Cyprus's History

Hunter gatherers arrived in Cyprus the same time dwarf elephants and dwarf hippos became extinct; 10,000BC. Cyprus attracted numerous races from all around with the Greeks first arriving in 1600BC. Phoenicians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians and Alexander the Greats' Ptolemaic descendants all ruled the strategic island before the Romans arrived in 58BC. The Hellenisation of Cyprus continued under Byzantine rule from 395. Arabs, Christian Crusaders and Venetians all followed until 1570 when the island finally fell to the Ottoman Turks after decades of raiding. Britain purchased administrative rights over Cyprus in 1878 and following WWI the island was formalised as a British colony in 1925. Beginning in 1955 Greek demands for ‘enosis’ (union) with Greece became violent, matched by Turkish demands for partition. In 1960 both demands were dropped as Cyprus was granted independence. Greek domination became complete by 1964 and an Athens supported coup in 1974 resulted in a Turkish invasion that split the island.

Our Pick


If sun, swimming and partying is your thing, you should at least spend one day seeing the historic charms of Cyprus and this full day tour is designed just for that purpose. Cyprus in a nutshell.

Right Now

The northern third of the island is governed by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus while the remainder of the island is the European Union member state; the Republic of Cyprus, which claims the entire island. Greek and Turkish communities are now completely separated and consequently at peace and both sides of the island enjoy economic growth with tourism the founding bedrock. The sun blessed, winterless, historic, party island of Cyprus is hugely popular with northern Europeans and British. Since 2003 visitors are free to explore both sides of the border which has further enhanced the island’s popularity. The Cypriot economy experienced a catastrophic meltdown fuelled by bank debts in 2011 from which it is slowly rebuilding.

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