The language of the Greek Cypriot community is Greek and the community adheres to the Autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus. However, English is widely spoken in Cyprus and is regularly used in commerce and government. The language of the Turkish Cypriot community is Turkish and the community adheres to Islam.
The people of Cyprus owe their individuality and warmth to the fact that they are the product of an amazingly colorful history. This sun drenched island has been at the crossroads of world events for centuries. Roman, Byzantine, Greek and British influences (to name just a few) have all had a bearing on life in Cyprus.
Perhaps that is why Cypriots make visitors feel at home as soon as they step off the plane or ship. That warm welcome, plus the slow pace of daily life, makes Cyprus an instant favorite of anyone who goes there.
The island is a fascinating land of contrasts. It has some of the most sophisticated cities in the region, and yet, a short distance away, you can feel as if you have stepped back into a previous century, not just the 19th, but far back to a time when people pursued simpler pleasures. Drop into almost any country taverna, or join the locals at a town market, and you will feel the atmosphere of a way of life that has remained essentially the same for centuries.
The island has proved irresistible to many famous historical personalities, such as Cleopatra, Alexander the Great, Leonardo da Vinci and Richard the Lion Heart. When Richard freed his imprisoned bride-to-be, Berengaria of Navarre in 1191, Cypriots all across the island seized the opportunity to have a party!
As you can see, a delight in having a good time is at the heart of the Cypriot personality. Observe the fun Cypriots have when they go out, perhaps in large family groups, to eat and drink, and you will see how important a lust for life is on this enchanted island. Get to know the people, and you will probably be invited back to a Cypriot home to enjoy a meal of meze. Then, you will truly learn the meaning of the word "hospitality."
Cyprus is deservedly called the "Island of Love". Come and find out for yourself!