Why Do Russians Choose Cyprus? | Cyprus Inorm
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Why do Russians choose Cyprus?

Nissi beach

Convincing statistics

a beach in PaphosAccording to the statistical agency in Cyprus, the island annually attracts more than 2.5 million tourists. For the first time in June 2014, the number of tourists from Russia in Cyprus exceeded the number of guests from the UK. In addition, the revenue from Russian tourists in Cyprus exceed that from tourists from England by 36%. Not surprisingly, the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) is doing everything possible to increase the popularity of the island in Russia, organizes additional charter flights in the autumn-winter period, provides the Russian news agency the opportunity to come and learn about local attractions and amazing mountain villages, promotes the Cypriot area on a variety of exhibitions. But let’s try to answer the question: “What attracts Russian tourists to Cyprus?”

Our compatriots began to develop this small island in the Mediterranean as a favorite vacation spot since the early 2000s, and since then their number has been steadily increasing in Cyprus. This island is popular with all travelers: families with children, honeymooners, people who value quiet and respectable relaxation, noisy party-goers – all the island is a place for entertainment and relaxation.

What attracts Russian tourists to Cyprus?

First, of course, it is the sea and the sun. Officially, the summer season in Cyprus opens from May 1st and ends on October 31st. But those who come to the island in the middle of November, still have time to enjoy the warm tender sea and comfortable temperatures.

a fish tavern in CyprusSecond, is the great interest in the traditional Cypriot cuisine, which the many Russians elish as well as a variety of fruits, berries, vegetables at any time of the year. For example, winter visitors will find many citrus fruits, bananas and strawberries that are grown in greenhouses. In the spring season watermelons and cantaloupes begin. From early summer until September, you can feast on apricots, peaches, plums, grapes. It is time for autumn apples and a variety of exotic fruits grown in Paphos. On top of all this, a visit to the famous wineries and mountain taverns will probably won’t allow anyone to bypass such unique experiences.

Third,  is the unity of religion. Cypriots are particularly zealous followers of the Orthodox religion. And our fellow citizens have the possibility to make pilgrimages to Orthodox holy places in Cyprus. According to numerous reports, Orthodox Cyprus was born a few years after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, not only because of the geographical proximity of the island to the Syro-Palestinian coast, but also a number of important events, which have been mentioned in the Scriptures. Thus, many Christians  fled from the Holy Land to the island as a result of the first persecutions that followed the martyrdom of St. Stephen. Many early Christians were originally from Cyprus and brought new beliefs to their homeland in Greece. Another highlight, the number of Christians in Cyprus were multiplied since St. Paul and St. Barnabas, native to Cyprus, and his nephew Mark stayed and preached on the island. The ubiquity of Christianity was met with resistance by the pagan population, and the apostle Barnabas, who arrived in Cyprus later, was stoned, and died as a martyr at the stake. The ashes of the saint were buried by his disciples in Salamis.

 

an Orthodox church in Ayia NapaKikkos monasteryThe ruins of the church of St. Sozomenos

The appearance of the martyrs and saints of the first preaching of the bishops, including St. Lazarus, created a fertile ground for the spread of the Christian faith. And to date, Cypriots hold their sacred Christian traditions, and the believers, and pilgrims have the opportunity to visit the holy places.

ancient SalaminaOne more reason for the Russians choosing the island is the large number of monuments, archaeological sites and nature reserves. Many archaeological parks date back to the Neolithic era, as it then the first settlements appeared in Cyprus- Choirokoitia, Petra tou Limniti, Kalavasos, Frenaros and others. Guests can walk the island of Aphrodite trails, listen to legends of the ancient Greek gods, traces of which seemed scattered around the island and establish ancient legends and feel a connection with the ancient world.

Moreover, you will not be left indifferent by a trip through the nature reserve, for example, a jeep safari to the Akamas peninsula and the Troodos mountains, fishing and catching octopuses in the open sea or mountain reservoirs, horseback riding on the unique snow-white rocks and enchanting diving in the warm sea.

What else can you say about the choice in favor of Cyprus? Tourists visiting the island are able to go on exciting excursions to Israel, to visit the Greek Islands or Egypt. According to statistics, about 25% of tourists from Russia take part in the 2-3-day cruises to Israel and Greece.

The inscription in Russian on the beach in Ayia NapaThe high security, excellent service, and favorable environment also attract tourists. Most Cypriot beaches have been awarded a special mark, the “Blue Flag” for the cleanliness of the water, safety and the clean coastline. Vacationers feel very comfortable in Cyprus, crimes  are extremely rare. Of course, it is never wise to leave a bag full of money on the beach. But even in the tourist areas robbery cases are extremely rare.

In addition, you do not have to plan a trip to Cyprus well in advance, but instead make it spontaneously. Visas for Cyprus are issued to the Russians through the Embassy of Cyprus in Moscow by e-mail for free.

Finally, it is worth to mention the almost ubiquitous Russian language. Here, even the tourists who do not speak English or German, are not a problem to the hotels, restaurants, shops and other places of rest: almost everywhere you can find Russian speaking staff, who will be happy to help. Of course, it is better to learn some of the most common words to be able to greet the Cypriots, to say ‘thank you’ or to ask a simple question. They will appreciate it, because they themselves have great respect for their language and traditions, as well as those people who show similar respect for their culture.

Conclusion

Of course, everyone has their own preferences, and favorite destinations – places that attract them, and people who like them. But if you opt for a country that has a unique heritage, numerous shrines, hospitable people and excellent cuisine, then, from our point of view, it is mandatory to come to Cyprus.

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