Cyprus, Kourion, Sanctuaire d'Apollon, 2005 - ©Photo: Patricia Cardet


Kevork K. Keshishian in his highly instructive Comprehensive Guide for Tourists and Travellers, which was first published in 1946, tells us:

The island is situated in the north-eastern corner of the Mediterranean sea, it is the third largest island in this sea, smaller than Sicily and Sardinia but larger than Corsica or Crete ...

...There are two mountain ranges, extending in parallel lines from West to East, and separated by a wide and fertile plain - the Messaoria. The northern range is called the Kyrennia mountains and the southern the Troodos mountains. The highest peak is Chionistra or Olympus which is 6402 feet (1952 meters) above sea-level. The most beautiful and forested section of the mountain ranges is the region about the Kykko Monastery. There are no rivers with perennial flow....

The origin of the word Cyprus is uncertain. Some say Cyprus is derived from the Greek word for copper, said by some to have been first found in the island, while others say it is just the contrary - that copper is a corruption of the Greek word for Cyprus.

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But isn't it better to let the poets and novelists speak about that marvelous island?

« The beauty of Cyprus is a perfect blend of mountain and plain, and of hills that slope to deserted bays half screened by olive trees.
If I were obliged to spend the rest of my life out of England, I sometimes think I should like to live on the magic isle of Delos in the Aegan. But this is an idle thought, for no one except the guardian of the ruins is allowed to live there. My second choice would be Cyprus. »

H.V. Morton
  « In the steps of St. Paul »



Cyprus, Akamas, 2005 - ©Photo: Patricia Cardet

Love hath an island,
And I would be there ;
Love hath an island,
And nurtureth there
For men the Delights
The beguilers of care,
Cyprus, Love's island ;
And I would be there.
At Paphos she dwelleth,
And I would be there.
At Paphos she dwelleth,
And wealth cometh there.
Afloat with the kisses
That Ocean doth bear
From the hundred streams
Like a shower unfurled
Of the Rainless River
Born out of the world ;
There are the hill-sides,
On Earth most fair,
Pierian hill-sides,
And melody there,
The voice of the Nine,
Is borne on the air
Over the hill-sides,
And I would be there —
Olympian hill-sides,
For Heaven is there
With spirits divine
And shining of fire ;
And there are the Graces,
And there is Desire.

   Euripides, Bacchai.

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