Living in CyprusIyna Bort Caruso
A beach along the southwest coast of Cyprus draws visitors for any number of reasons. It is here where Greek mythology claims the goddess of love, Aphrodite, rose from the waves. Local legend also has it that a large rock just off-shore brings blessings to anyone who swims around it three times. Whether or not it actually brings eternal love or everlasting beauty is up for debate but there’s no question the beach, like most of Cyprus’ beaches, offers something magical.
Cyprus is the sun-drenched island in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. It’s a country of rural villages, elegant seaside resorts, medieval castles, archaeological sites, Blue Flag beaches and acclaimed vineyards. During its brief winter season, it’s possible to ski Mount Olympus in the Troodos Mountain range in the morning and swim in the sea in the afternoon. Crime rates are low and education is a priority. Within the European Union, Cyprus is among the top spenders on education as a percentage of its gross national product.
A former British colony, the Republic of Cyprus has been independent since 1960 and divided for most of its young modern history. Four-fifth of the population are Greek Cypriots, one fifth are Turkish Cypriots. In 1983, Turkish Cypriots declared the northern region to be a sovereign state, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which has only been recognized by Turkey. The territory has its own independent economy and currency.
The capital city of Nicosia in the north-central part of the country and Limassol on the south coast have become international business hubs and beneficiaries of the country’s low corporate tax rates. Only a few years ago, the government gave the green light to high-rise construction, which resulted in urban skylines of cranes and new luxury towers. International property buyers have helped fuel the demand. Those who meet minimum investments requirements are eligible for EU citizenship, which is particularly attractive to Russians, Middle Easterners and Asians. The holiday resorts of Ayia Napa and Paralimni-Protaras have also attracted buyers from around the globe.