There are six main districts in Cyprus, with each district having the same name as its capital:
Famagusta (Ammóchōstos) was the number one tourist destination in Cyprus during the early 1970's. So much so, that many new high-rise buildings and hotels were constructed to cater to the increasing number of tourists. At this time, the Varosha quarter of Famagusta was not only the number one tourist destination in Cyprus, but between 1970 and 1974 it was one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and attracted wealthy, rich and famous stars. Some famous names mentioned are Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Brigitte Bardot, and Raquel Welch. Since the Turkish invasion and occupation in 1974, Varosha has remained fenced off, and is only accesable to Turkish military and UN personel. The areas under the Cyprus Government administration include Ayia Napa, Protaras, Paralimni, Deryneia, and Cape Greco which all form part of the Ammochostos region.
Kyrenia (Kerýneia) is the smallests of the main districts in Cyprus, and the only one that is 100% contolled by the Turkish Military since 1974. Kyrenia extends from Cape Kormakitis, through the greatest part of the mountain range of Kyrenia, (commonly referred to as Pentadaktylos), including the well known peaks of Kornos, Kyparissovouno, Ayios Ilarionas, Voufavento, and Pentadaktylos, ending in the middle of the northern coast of the island, known as Achaeon Akti. Visit Kyrenia Municipality website.
Nicosia (Lefkosia) is the largest city in Cyprus, known centuries ago as Ledra, it is the capital city of the Republic of Cyprus. Situated almost at the centre of the island, and on the River Pedieos, it is home the Government offices, as well as being the main business centre. Since the Turkish invasion of 1974 the city has remained the only divided city in Europe, with the Turkish military occupying the Northern part, and the Republic of Cyprus administering the southern part. It is a major trade centre for manufacturing of textiles, leather, pottery, plastic, and other products. There are six universities based in Nicosia. The historic Old Town lies within massive 16th century Venetian Walls, and is home to important museums, Byzantine churches, medieval and neoclassical buildings, all of which stand along picturesque narrow roads. Visit Nicosia Municipality website. See also Places to visit in Nicosia.
Larnaca (Larnaka) is on the southern coast of Cyprus. The city of Larnaca is well-known for its picturesque seafront which is lined with rows of palm trees (Phinikoudes). Larnaca has two of the official legal points of entry into Cyprus, being the Larnaka International airport, and the Larnaka port. The Larnaka International airport was completely upgraded in 2009, with the official opening to all airlines being on 17th November 2009. The Larnaka port and marina are also to undergo a major transformation, said to cost €1 billion, with work scheduled to start in 2010, and which will include the construction of a 1,000 berth marina, and luxury hotels and villas. The reconstruction of the port will include facilities for the large third generation cruise ships which cannot currently dock on the island. The project is scheduled to be completed within six years from commencement. Larnaka is also famous for its salt lake that offers a temporary home every year to thousands of migratory birds, including the pink flamingo. Visit Larnaca Municipality website. See also Places to visit in Larnaca.
Limassol (Lemesos) is the second biggest city in Cyprus, and is located on the island's southern coast at Akrotiri Bay. Limassol is the biggest port in the Mediterranean transit trade. A planned new marina, will have 1000 births available, luxury properties, boating services and entertainment areas, however the commencement of this grand plan has seen several delays. Limassol district consists of two UK administered areas, being Akrotiri and Episkopi, known as the Western Sovereign Base Areas. Built between the two ancient cities of Amathus and Kourion, Limassol has become an important tourism, trade and service-providing centre, as well as being Cyprus' main wine growing region. Limassol's tourist strip runs east along the coast as far as Amathus, and is constantly being upgraded. Limassol is famous for its great annual festivals, such as the Carnival and Wine Festival. Visit Limassol Municipality website. See also Places to visit in Limassol.
Paphos (Pafos) is the mythical birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty. It lies to the West of Cyprus. The district consists of four municipalites being: Paphos, Yeroskipou, Peyia, and Polis Chrysochous. Paphos has become a major tourist destination, not only for beach lovers, but also for those interested in the vast archeological history of Cyprus. In recent years, it has become the favorite retirement place for British ex-pats. It has a quaint fishing harbour, a sandy coastline with coves and gorges, and a hilly region that climbs up to Paphos forest, as well as a mountainous region. The town of Paphos is included in the official UNESCO list of cultural and natural treasures of the world's heritage. Pafos International Airport completed a major upgrade in November 2008, and a new 1,000 berth marina is planned in Kissonerga, however a commencement date has not yet been agreed. Visit the Municipality websites of - Paphos - Geroskipou - Pegeia - Polis Chrysochous. See also places to visit in Paphos.
United Nations Buffer Zone
The buffer zone stretches for 180 km from the west near Kato Pyrgos to the east just south of Famagusta. It cuts through the center of the old town of Nicosia, separating the city into southern and northern sections. There is also a buffer zone around the Kokkina enclave in the west. The width of the zone ranges from 3.3 meters in central Nicosia, to 7.4 km at the village of Athienou. There is no buffer zone along the common border between the eastern British Sovereign Base Area and the area under Turkish Cypriot control. The buffer zone is home to over 10,000 people and there are several villages and farms located within. The village of Pyla is known for being the only village in Cyprus where Greeks and Turks live side by side. Other villages in the buffer zone are Dhenia, Mammari, Athienou, and Troulli, whilst Lymbia lies partially within the zone.
See also the five district regions around Mount Olympus in the Troodos Mountains.