Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.
Since ancient times, Cyprus has been renowned for its mineral wealth, superb wines and natural beauty.
The island’s main inhabitants are Greek and Turkish Cypriots.
According to some Greek mythology, Cyprus is the birthplace of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. No wonder it’s a favourite place for weddings and honeymoons!
Richard the Lionheart married his queen in Limassol castle, the only non-UK venue to host an English royal wedding.
Cyprus lies on major migration routes for birds. In spring and autumn millions pass over the island, where many species winter.
Tourism and manufacturing are important for the island’s economy. It also produces fine grapes, citrus fruits and olives.
Traditional island music has elements of Greek, Turkish and Arabic culture. With the popularity of Ayia Napa nightlife, you’ll also hear a mix of hip hop, R&B, pop and house music.
Football is popular, as are rugby, tennis, basketball and sailing. Pavlos Kontides, competing in the Men’s Laser class, won the country's first ever Olympic medal at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Cyprus joined the Commonwealth in 1961.
The island has attended all Commonwealth Games since 1978, except the 1986 instalment. Medals have been won in Shooting, Athletics, Boxing, Gymnastics, Judo and Wrestling. At the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games, Cypriots enjoyed a haul of 11 medals, four of which were Gold.
Fun fact: In the spring, you can have the best of both worlds in Cyprus. With the mountains still covered in snow, you can ski in the morning and lie on the sunny beach in the afternoon!
Sport fact: Marcos Baghdatis is a professional tennis player from Cyprus. In 2006 he was runner-up at the Australian Open and semi-finalist at the Wimbledon Championships. In 2012, Andy Murray beat Marcos in the quarter finals of the Brisbane International.