Cyprus, an island in the Mediterranean Sea, lies at the crossroads of three continents. While the island is geographically a part of Asia, politically it is a European country and is where east meets west. Since Cyprus is a divided country, with a Greek Cypriot side and a Turkish Cypriot side, travelers will find visiting either side a completely different experience. With seven access points linking both sides, including two pedestrian crossings in Nicosia, tourists must make it a point to cross the line and experiencing the two different cultures within Cyprus if possible. Home to breathtaking beaches, spectacular mountain trails and many historical sites, tourists visiting Cyprus will have plenty of sites to see and activities to enjoy, along with great flavors to sample.
The cuisine in Cyprus is essentially Mediterranean, mainly Greek with heavy Middle Eastern and Asian influences. The best way to acquaint yourself with the local cuisine is to order a mezz - a medley of up to 20 small dishes ranging from appetizers to main. This popular platter will tantalize your taste buds and is a definite must-try when in Cyprus. Haloumi or Helimi - a local cheese that is usually grilled or fried, is another must try dish, while the Cypriot desserts flavored with rose water, almonds and pistachios are quite irresistible and should not be missed.
Tourists in Cyprus must make it a point to try out as many of its popular local dishes as possible and discover the flavors of the island. Muslims in Cyprus are also sure to want to indulge in the country’s cuisine, as it is a big part of the travel experience. They will however have to find suitable restaurants in order to enjoy these dishes. Although finding Halal food in Cyprus is possible, not all cities have many Halal options.
Muslim visitors will find that some cities in Cyprus have more Muslim-friendly facilities than others. In fact, Northern Cyprus; the Turkish Cypriot side, is known to have more Muslim-friendly facilities, including better prayer facilities and more Halal restaurants. Kyrenia and Famagusta, located in Northern Cyprus are home to some great sites and locating mosques and Halal food is not a problem at all. The cities in Southern Cyprus have less Muslim-friendly facilities than its Turkish Cypriot north, and thus locating prayer facilities and Halal food might not be as easy.
Muslim tourists visiting Nicosia, the divided capital city of Cyprus, will find that locating Halal food is not too hard in this city as it is home to a sizeable Muslim population. While Green Pepper Indian Style, Alladin Cafeteria and Sham Food are some of the better known Halal outlets, Muslim tourists in Nicosia will also be able to find more Halal dining options from the local Muslims in Cyprus or while at the mosque.
Limassol also has a small Muslim population and a few Halal outlets that are Muslim owned. The Syrian Arab Friendship Club and Al-Zahra Lebanese Restaurant are two Halal restaurants in Limassol that Muslim tourists could dine at. For more Halal options Muslim tourists could make inquiries at the mosque.
While locating Halal eateries in Limassol and Nicosia in the southern part of Cyprus is possible, locating Halal restaurants in cities like Paphos and Larnaca are much more difficult. The best options for those looking to find Halal restaurants in these cities are to make inquiries at the local mosque or ask the Muslim residents. Muslim tourists visiting Cyprus should however be aware that although there are Halal restaurants in most of the cities, these outlets do serve alcohol as well.