Cyprus has been fought over for centuries and been under foreign control for much of that time, meaning there are African, Asian and Eastern influences at work here although the island is culturally European.
Most visitors head to the Greek-Cypriot southern half of the island; Nicosia is the laidback capital here. Aside from the package resorts there are quiet coves and sandy expanses to see and plenty of history and archaeology to discover inland.
Lively Paphos is a booming tourist town that still retains some of its traditional identity; the fortress of Saranta Kolones and the cliff tombs of Kato Pafos are prime attractions. Agia Napa attracts partygoers the world over but has a sixteenth-century monastery at its heart.
In the north, Kyrenia, also known as Girne, is a pleasant coastal resort with a strongly Mediterranean feel, an atmospheric old town and modern strip of hotels.
Inland, discover the Byzantine churches hidden in the Trooddos Mountains and hike the Mt Olympus trails to stand on the island's highest summit. Inevitably snow-covered in winter, there is skiing on the slopes here too.