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Unsurprisingly in a country of resorts, Cyprus has plenty of places where you can indulge in water sports. If it's windsurfing or sailing you want, head to the peninsulas and capes, where the wind is strongest. There's also at least one diving site in each of the big resorts. Mountain biking and hiking are possible all over the island, with specially marked trails in the southern hills, on the Akamas Peninsula and in the Troƶdos. Although hardly renowned for its skiing, Cyprus does have a resort on the northeastern face of Mount Olympus, but it's not exactly world standard. And what would a package tourist destination be without golf - several courses are complete or under construction; the most popular are in the Pafos district.


The Republic celebrates basically the same festivals as Greece. Easter, more important in the Greek Orthodox Church than Christmas, is the biggest celebration of the year - expect candle-lit processions, fireworks and feasting. The date changes every year, but it's 50 days after the first Sunday in Lent, which is occasion for a carnival of its own. Cyprus Independence Day is celebrated on 1 October.

The North observes Muslim holidays. Foremost among these is Ramadan, a month where everyone fasts between sunup and sunset to conform to the fourth pillar of Islam. Ramadan ends with a huge feast, Eid al-Fitr, where everyone prays together, visits friends, gives presents and stuffs themselves. The Proclamation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is celebrated on 15 November.

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