The island of love, long history, breathtaking nature, fascinating beach resorts, beautiful beaches with blue crystal waters, great Cypriot food, wine, traditions....
The island of unlimited fun for any age!!!!
It sounds like paradise....
We invite you take a great opportunity to start building your dream vacations today.....
On our site you can find a lot of useful info about the island, weather, history and much more.
Trackers Excursions sophisticated and skilled philosophy gives us a strong advantage, accommodating our customers with the finest travel options available.
We thought it would be interesting to write some of the traditions and customs that one may come across amongst the Cypriot people.
Some of these are traditional only to Cyprus, but the majority stem from Greek culture, and have been adopted and sometimes adapted over the years by Cypriots.
One of the first aspects of the Cyprus culture experienced by foreigners to Cyprus is the warm welcome. Cypriots are known worldwide for the genuine and sincere hospitality and friendliness. The words 'Kalosorisate' (Welcome!) and 'Kopiaste' (Come join us!) are frequently called to locals and foreigners alike.
The smashing of plates is an old time Greek tradition which spread around many of the Greek islands including Cyprus. Demonstrated at weddings, and other parties and celebrations, plates would be thrown to the floor and smashed whilst singing and dancing.
Previous to the plates, knives were thrown, in particular towards the feet of performing artists on stage, with the thrower shouting "Opa!" to signify respect to the artist and enjoyment of their performance.
This practice soon died out due to many mis-haps and injuries, and soon the throwing of plates took over. It is said this custom is an expression of 'Kefi', which roughly translated means 'the spirit of joy, passion, enthusiasm, high spirits, or frenzy'.
Plate smashing can still be found in some parts of Cyprus, and in Greece, however this tradition has also now mostly been replaced, in this instance with the throwing of flowers, due to the obvious 'safety' problems associated with many plates being smashed.
In many bouzoukia or other modern establishments, girls with baskets or plates with flowers will go around the tables and sell them to the customers, who then throw them to the performers on stage.
The kompoloi, or string of beads, is a familiar sight in the hands of many Greek and Cypriot men.
It became a popular form of plaything amongst men in Greece and many of the Greek islands.
The word komboloi incorporates the word kombos, meaning the knot.
The fascination and magic derived from these knots running through one’s fingers may well have come from the thoughts conjured up from playing with the string of beads, which are always made with an uneven number of beads.
The kompoloi is said to be more than just a means of passing time, it reflects a way of life.
They are certainly relaxing, with the sound of the beads clocking together combined with the feel of the smooth beads between once fingers.
The beads can be bought in many weights, sizes, colours, and materials and can make a nice cost effective gift, or a very expensive one.
Some Cypriots believe that someone can catch the evil eye, or 'matiasma', from someone else’s jealous compliment or envy.
After a person has caught the evil eye, they usually feel bad physically and psychologically.
To avoid the matiasma, those who believe in it will often wear a charm; a little blue marble glass with an eye painted on it or a blue bracelet.
Blue is believed to be the color that wards off evil eye, however, it is also believed that people with blue eyes are the givers of the matiasma.
Unlike the Christian Easter, Orthodox Easter is the first Sunday after the full moon of the vernal equinox, so the date varies each year. Cyprus Easter 2013 is from Friday 3rd May (Good Friday) to Tuesday 7th May (Easter Tuesday), and in 2014 both Orthodox and Christian Easters will coincide on the same dates, Friday 18th April (Good Friday) to Tuesday 22nd April.
Orthodox Easter follows a period of 50 days of lent, during which fasting takes place. Easter in Cyprus generally last for 5 days, from Good Friday, through to the following Tuesday. Most major shops and businesses will close for much of the Easter period. On Easter saturday, everybody heads for the churches for the midnight sermon.
Upon exit from the church, they can be heard greeting each other with the words "Christos anesti", which means 'Christ has arisen', and others may reply "Alithos anesti" , which means 'indeed he has arisen'. Candles and bonfires are lit, and fire crackers are let off all around the island.
This is the end of fasting, and most people go home to eat traditional easter soup Cypriot Easter Soup(mayeritsa) and flaounes, which are traditional easter cheese pastries.
Easter Sunday is a day of rejoice, feasting, drinking, singing and cracking red dyed eggs. The idea of the eggs is to tap your egg hard against your opponent’s egg, and the person who holds the last uncracked egg will be lucky. It is mostly children who play the eggs, but many adults do too.
Barbeques will be lit up all around the island as spring lambs are roasted on the spit, and the wine flows freely.
Cyprus cuisine is much like the Greek cuisine. The Cypriot cuisine involves appetizers, delicacies and salads, main dishes and sweets. There is also the traditional Cyprus coffee and other traditional beverages brewed on the island.
In Cyprus you will find restaurants to suit all palates and budgets. Prices range which helps make according to the type of food served and the location. Waiters always speak English, your visit a culinary experience to remember.
The best way to get acquainted with Cypriot food is to order a meze, in one of the many Cypriot taverna's and restaurants.
In the summer you can enjoy your meal at one of the many open air tavernas, usually decorated with vines and, in some instances, offering live Cypriot music.
If Cypriot food is something you don’t want to stick to during your whole visit, there is nothing to worry about, as in the whole of Cyprus you can find plenty of restaurants which offer a wide variety of international cuisine, going from Mexican to Chinese.
Most of the international fast food chains have outlets in Cyprus, and you will also find local versions serving kebabs or more traditional dishes.
These are just some of the Cypriot dishes worth breaking the diet for during a visit to Cyprus:
Meze: Small dishes of a variety of Cyprus delicacies.! (Tapas style menu)
• Afelia: Famous Cypriot pork, marinated with dry coriander seeds and red wine.
• Sheftalia: Famous Cypriot handmade sausage made of minced meat.
• Loukanika: Famous Cypriot pork sausage
• Pastourmas: Famous Cypriot beef, garlic, spicy sausage
• Halloumi: Famous Cypriot cheese made from either sheep's or cow's milk.
• Kleftiko: lamb simmered in foil.
• Souvla: Chunky pieces of pork, chicken or lamb slow roasted on a spit
• Souvlakia: Char grilled meat kebab sticks.
• Keftedes: fried meatballs
• Kolokasi: Taro root slow cooked with celery (melts in your mouth, taste like sweet potato)
• Koupepia (dolmades): Stuffed vine leaves with mince meat and rice mixture.
• Makaronia tou Fournou (or Pastitsio): Macaroni casserole made with minced meat and cheese sauce.
• Pilafi: Coarsely ground wheat grains and thin noodles cooked in chicken broth and tomato puree.
• Tavas (Stifado): Beef, goat or rabbit stew slowly cooked in the over with onions.
• Trahanas: Coarsely ground wheat grains dried with yogurt and added to soups together with halloumi.
• Olives: Green olives marinated with garlic, coriander and lemon juice.
• Tahini: Sesame sauce with lemon and garlic.
• Talattouri (Tzatziki): Yogurt prepared with cucumber and mint.
• Taramosalata: Pink dip made of cod roe with lemon, potato puree, onions and oil.
If you have a sweet tooth, Cyprus offers plenty of delicious treats to finish your meal or to snack on:
• Loukoumia or Cypriot Delight: A culinary speciality from the village of Yeroskipos, near Paphos consisting of cubes of gelatine like sweets made with rosewater and dusted with powdered sugar.
• Palouzes: a kind of pudding made from grape juice and flour; it is the basis for soutzoukos.
• Soutzoukos: A long chain of almonds strung together, dunked in palouse and then hung to dry.
• Loukoumades: Deep-fried balls of potato pastry served in syrup.
• Galaktoboureko: Fillo pastry filled with custard like cream and drizzled with syrup.
• Baklava: Fillo pastry filled with nuts and drizzled with syrup.
• Pourekia: deep-fried pastry stuffed with ricotta cheese, sugar and cinnamon
• Daktila (“ladies' fingers”): Finger-shaped strudel pastry filled with a nut-cinnamon mixture drizzled with syrup.
• Glyko tou koutaliou (“spoon sweet”): A variety of fruit, vegetables or nuts marinated in syrup and served with a glass of water as a welcome titbit for guests.
Visitors to Cyprus will find an abundance of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Coffee is boiled in a little pot with sugar added upon request and poured into a cup together with the steeped coffee grounds and accompanied with a glass of water.
If you like your coffee sweet, then ask for a “glyko”, not very sweet but with some sugar is a “metrio” and if you prefer it black order a “sketo”.
Frappe: An iced coffee drink. It is either glykos (sweet), metrios (medium sweet) or sketos (no sugar). It is also ordered with milk (me gala) or without.
Commandaria wine (sweet dessert wine made from red grapes)
Zivania spirit (produced by distillation of grapes).
Ouzo is another famous and traditional Cyprus drink, which is produced by double distillation of selected dry wines, together with seeds of anise.
Cyprus beers (due to the mild climate that produces rich wheat, which is used to brew high quality light beers).