Omorfee Island, literally translated as 'beautiful', is the most populous, modern and cosmopolitan of the islands and the main administrative centre of the country as the city of St.George or Agios Georghios is the capital of Paulovia. The Royal Government ministries, cultural and business centre are situated in the city. The main Royal Palace is on Omorfee Island with a smaller palace on Prince Paul Island, plus smaller residencies on many of the Paulovian islands.
Omorfee has a unique Anglo-Grecko-Italian character offering cultural riches such as the National Orchestra and the National Theatre Company, the National Museum and Gallery. Culinary delights to rival the best restaurants in the world can be found along the sea frontage and in the side streets leading down to the fishing port. Cosmopolitan sophisticated city life contrasts with the rural agrarianism and fishing villages around its coast which typifies Paulovian life. The heart of the city is the walled Old Town which boasts Italinate and Greek style buildings in pastel colours and terracotta pantiles. In the centre of the Old Town is the Byzantine citadel which now serves as an open air public auditorium for concerts and theatre performances.
The city also hosts the University of Paulovia, the Acropolis Cultural Centre, the Prince Paul Library and the Maritime Training College. The commercial port is situated a few miles east of the city's fishing port and handles two fifths of the nations imports and export trade, but most maritime commercial traffic is directed to modern facilities at Port Opulenza a few miles south-east. The Island has a regular ferry service to most of the islands and direct ferry links to Italy, Greece and France. Mainland air links and air travel within the principality is limited as there is only a small aerodrome near St. George for small commercial and light private aircraft and scattered airfields throughout the islands for medical emergencies. Further development is restricted to protect the natural environment and maintain the character of the unspoilt islands. Most islanders and tourists use the regular and extensive ferry and bus services available throughout the islands and described as, "...the only way to travel if you want to see the islands in their full glory, but forget the schedule, island travel takes on a new meaning when in Paulovia but it is worth the waiting." (1)
In association with the Cyprus Republic, Greece and the UK the endangered Agrinon or Mouflon Wild Sheep has been introduced to the mountain regions of Munro Island and Prince Paul Island. The Mouflon Project is under the control of the Paulovia Environment, Ecolology and Parks Service (PEEPS) hopes to breed a significant and permanent population of Mouflon in the unspoilt and wild mountain areas of Munro and Prince Paul, and ultimately provide new breeding animals for reintroduction to Cyprus to bolster their dwindling Mouflon population, and reintroduce Mouflon to other suitable Greek and Paulovian islands. Funding has been requested for the project from the European Union.
Constantine and Pax are favourite destinations for Omorfeens to take short quiet breaks amoungst natural unspoilt countryside. There are no hotels or significant settlements on Pax which is said to be the quietest place in Omorfee. The ruined Venetian fortress on Pax bears witness to the past residents of the islands and hosts the annual spring Festival of Light that welcomes the coming of a new growing year. Constantine has just two small communities of permanent residents and a few vineyards and olive groves so camping and al fresco dinning are the delights that await intrepid visitors. Constantine Island also has a large natural forest and associated wildlife which is strictly monitored and carefully managed by the Paulovia Environment, Ecolology and Parks Service (PEEPS) under the offices of the Ministry of the Interior.
Mandrakis Polis is a semi-autonomous entity and historical oddity even for Paulovia! Mandrakis has the ruling monarch as their permanent Mayor, currently HRH Prince Paul. The town council administers the island on behalf of the crown and pays a symbolic annual levy to the monarch. It's preserved medieval walled town offers visitors dramatic views towards Omorfee Island and a delightful historic and peaceful atmosphere within its walls, including tall stone buildings that overhang and dominate the narrow cobbled streets, and the large Venetian citadel which partly serves as the Mandrakis Polis Council Administration Offices and the Mandrakis Museum. The daily street market in the central square is particularly attractive and popular with local residents and tourists.
Prince Paul Island is a Crown Island (owned by the Royal Family). But unlike other Crown Islands settlement by Honorary Citizens is permitted. A Royal Palace is situated to the north-west of the island near the small town of Kyrenia. The island is said to have a continuously changing landscape as the flora is one of the most diverse in Paulovia and includes flowers such as Anemones, Paparounes (Poppies), Cyclamen and Daisies; shrubs and herbs such as Oleander, Myrtle, Oregano, Wild Garlic, Wild Rosemary and Prickly Pear. Overall the island has nearly 1200 species of plants, flowers, fruits and shrubs.
The lowland areas can be dry during summer but the hills and small mountains to the west of the island provide a constant visual delight. Vineyards can be seen on nearly every hill and mountain side above 1,000 metres and most belong to the Royal Estates that produce significant wine exports for Paulovia. The remainder of the smallest and privately owned vineyards form the Konnos Co-operative which is guaranteed a minimum price for its grapes by the Royal Estates.
Munro Island was settled and named by shipwrecked British sailors around 1806 and became a Crown Island in 1906. The island is largely ringed by mountains with a central plateau which is largely devoted to the production of potatoes and wheat. Intermarriage with the local populace has resulted some unique Anglo-Scottish-Grecko characteristics. These include the use of the bagpipes in traditional music; A form of Scottish Highland games of strength and skills in an annual island wide competition in August outside the main town of Gordonston; Traditional dancing which combines Greek and Scottish styles of dance and dress accompanied by English folk songs. A favourite island for study by anthropologists from the European mainland and the University of Paulovia's Faculty of Traditional Culture. Visitors to Munro may be very lucky and see one of the rare Mouflon Wild Sheep that has been introduced by the Mouflon Project. But beware, they are not likely to run very far because they like to keep their enemy in full view and we advise you not to approach them - they have very large horns!
Honorary Citizens are permitted to register their Residency on the islands of Omorfee, Prince Paul and Constantine.
(1) Omnibus Mania Magazine, March 2002
Old Town Marina, Agios Georghios, Omorfee IslandPublished: 18 July 2008 (Updated May 2009) by the Ministry of Information in association with the Ministry of Citizenship and Culture