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Europe > Cyprus (island)

Cyprus (island)


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A map showing the division of Cyprus

Cyprus is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, to the south of Turkey and west of Lebanon. Since July 1974, Cyprus has been politically separated into two separate territories divided by the "Green Line"; travel between the two parts is much easier than it used to be.

In addition to the two republics, there are also the British "Sovereign Base Areas" of Akrotiri and Dhekelia.

While it is possible to drive hired cars from one part of Cyprus to another and back again, insurance policies may make this impractical. Discuss insurance restrictions carefully with the rental agency. Hire cars in Northern Cyprus have distinctive red number plates.

The whole island drives on the left, since it was under British administration from 1878-1960, and English is widely understood in all parts. There are also large military bases on the island which remain sovereign territories of the United Kingdom.

Per head of population, Cyprus produces a lot of wine and has a history of production going back more than five millennia; the whole island is Phyloxerra-free. Most of the better quality grapes are grown at altitudes of up to 1,500 m in the Troodos mountains. These are some of the European Economic Area's highest vineyards, where lower temperatures and high levels of UV light assist in producing grapes of the highest quality.

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