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Aphrodite's Island

Cyprus suits the goddess of love and beauty

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A souvenir image of Aphrodite stares out of a shop window.

Aphrodite stares out of a shop window.

Photo of Aphrodite in a shop window by deTraci Regula; licensed to About.com

Rising from the sea like a goddess itself, the island nation of Cyprus combines the more recent presence of Turkey with a strong and pure Greek culture. The roots of this conflict are varied, but while political arguments and tensions are divisive, they rarely trouble visitors.

Cyprus is proudly reclaiming its ancient honor of being the birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite, and even is offering a tasteful re-creation of her ancient rites. The supreme goddess of love and beauty knew what she was doing when she chose the lovely Cyprus as the site of her emergence from the seafoam.

This island offers particularly deluxe accommodations, and while they aren't cheap, they offer a good value. Whereas with many of the tourist islands of Greece, finding even a "B" class hotel can be a challenge, Cyprus offers a number of excellent hotels, including the five-star Four Seasons, and the Le Meridien Limassol, both in Limassol.

Since November 2003, there is free passage between the Greek and Turkish-held portions of the island. This happened suddenly, without advance notice from the Turkish authorities, and could be revoked at any time though it is still in force as of summer 2009, though there have been some recent, random problems. The Greek portion of the island is well-developed for tourism; the Turkish portion is much less so. Northern Cyprus still uses the Turkish lira while the rest of Cyprus is now officially on the Euro. In practice, many currencies are accepted.

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Airport codes for Cyprus are:
Larnaca - LCA
Paphos - PFO
In Northern Cyprus:
Ercan - ECN

The Greek airport code for Athens International Airport is ATH.

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