Sunday, December 3, 2023
Cyprus travel guide - Travel S helper

Cyprus

travel guide

Cyprus, formally the Republic of Cyprus, is an island nation in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. It is the Mediterranean’s third biggest and third most populated island. It borders Turkey on the south, Syria and Lebanon on the west, Israel and Palestine on the northwest, Egypt on the north, and Greece on the southeast.

Human activity on the island goes all the way back to about the tenth millennium BC. The well-preserved Neolithic town of Khirokitia is an example of this period’s archaeological remnants, and Cyprus is home to some of the world’s oldest water wells. Cyprus was colonized in two waves by Mycenaean Greeks in the second millennium BC. As a strategic position in the Middle East, it was afterwards controlled by many great nations, including the Assyrian, Egyptian, and Persian empires, from whom Alexander the Great conquered the island in 333 BC. Between 1571 and 1878, Ptolemaic Egypt, the Classical and Eastern Roman Empires, a brief time of Arabcaliphates, the French Lusignan dynasty, and the Venetians were followed by almost three centuries of Ottoman dominance (de jure until 1914).

Cyprus was officially acquired by Britain in 1914 after being put under British control in 1878 according to the Cyprus Convention. While Turkish Cypriots constituted 18% of the population, in the 1950s, Turkish Cypriot leaders and Turkey adopted a strategy of partitioning Cyprus and establishing a Turkish state in the north. Turkish officials formerly pushed for the annexation of Cyprus, which they saw as a “extension of Anatolia”; however, the majority Greek Cypriot people and its Orthodox church have been seeking union with Greece since the nineteenth century, which became a Greek national goal in the 1950s. Cyprus gained independence in 1960 as a result of nationalist unrest in the 1950s. In 1963, the 11-year intercommunal violence between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots began, displacing over 25,000 Turkish Cypriots and thus ending the republic’s Turkish Cypriot representation. On 15 July 1974, Greek Cypriot nationalists and members of the Greek military junta attempted a coup d’état in an attempt at enosis, or the absorption of Cyprus into Greece. This action triggered Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus, which resulted in the conquest of present-day Northern Cyprus the following month, after the breakdown of a truce, and the displacement of nearly 150,000 Greek Cypriots and 50,000 Turkish Cypriots. In 1983, a unilateral proclamation created a distinct Turkish Cypriot state in the north; the action was highly criticized by the international world, with Turkey alone recognizing the new state. These events and the ensuing political situation remain a source of contention.

According to international law, the Cyprus Republic possesses de jure sovereignty over the island of Cyprus, as well as its territorial sea and exclusive economic zone (except for the British Overseas Territory of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, administered as Sovereign Base Areas, 2.8 percent of the territory). However, the Republic of Cyprus is effectively divided into two parts: the area under the Republic’s effective control, located in the south and west, and covering approximately 59% of the island’s area; and the north, administered by the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which covers approximately 37% of the island’s area. The UN buffer zone covers approximately 4% of the island’s surface. The international world regards the northern half of the island as Republic of Cyprus territory that has been seized by Turkish troops. International law considers the occupation to be unlawful, since it amounts to illegal occupation of EU territory since Cyprus became a member of the European Union.

Cyprus is a popular Mediterranean vacation destination. The Republic of Cyprus, which has an advanced, high-income economy and a very high Human Development Index, has been a Commonwealth member since 1961 and a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement until it joined the European Union on 1 May 2004. Cyprus joined the eurozone on 1 January 2008.

In 1960, Cyprus declared independence from the United Kingdom. Despite a constitution that guaranteed a degree of power-sharing between the Greek Cypriot majority and the Turkish Cypriot minority, the two populations clashed vehemently in 1974, with support from the governments of Greece and Turkey, respectively, resulting in Turkey’s occupation of the northern and eastern 40 percent of the island. The Turkish-controlled region proclaimed itself the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” in 1983. So date, only Turkey recognizes the TRNC, while all other countries and the United Nations acknowledge only the Republic of Cyprus as the only authority over the whole island. The United Nations maintains a peacekeeping force as well as a small buffer zone between the two Cypriot ethnic groupings. Fortunately, open confrontations have been avoided for some years as the two sides (today with the increasing participation of the European Union) inch closer to some kind of reunification.

Flights & Hotels
search and compare

We compare room prices from 120 different hotel booking services (including Booking.com, Agoda, Hotel.com and others), enabling you to pick the most affordable offers that are not even listed on each service separately.

100% Best Price

The price for one and the same room can differ depending on the website you are using. Price comparison enables finding the best offer. Also, sometimes the same room can have a different availability status in another system.

No charge & No Fees

We don’t charge any commissions or extra fees from our customers and we cooperate only with proven and reliable companies.

Ratings and Reviews

We use TrustYou™, the smart semantic analysis system, to gather reviews from many booking services (including Booking.com, Agoda, Hotel.com and others), and calculate ratings based on all the reviews available online.

Discounts and Offers

We search for destinations through a large booking services database. This way we find the best discounts and offer them to you.

Cyprus - Info Card

Population

1,244,188

Currency

Euro (€) (EUR)

Time zone

UTC+2 (EET)

Area

9,251 km2 (3,572 sq mi)

Calling code

+357

Official language

Greek, Turkish

Cyprus | Introduction

Geography Of Cyprus

After the Italian islands of Sicily and Sardinia, Cyprus is the third biggest island in the Mediterranean Sea (both in terms of area and population). It is also the world’s 80th biggest in terms of land and the world’s 51st largest in terms of people. It is 240 kilometers (149 miles) long and 100 kilometers (62 miles) broad at its widest point, with Turkey 75 kilometers (47 miles) to the north. It is located between the latitudes of 34° and 36° N, and the longitudes of 32° and 35° E.

Syria and Lebanon are to the east (105 and 108 kilometers (65 and 67 mi), respectively), Israel is to the southeast (200 kilometers (124 mi), Egypt is to the south (380 kilometers (236 mi), and Greece is to the northwest (280 kilometers (174 mi) to the small Dodecanesian island of Kastellorizo (Megisti), 400 kilometers (249 mi) to Rhodes, and 800 kilometers (497 mi) to the Gr. According to several sources, Cyprus is located in Europe, Western Asia, and the Middle East.

The island’s physical relief is dominated by two mountain ranges, the Troodos Mountains and the lesser Kyrenia Range, as well as the middle plain they encircle, the Mesaoria. The Mesaoria plain is drained by the Pedieos River, the island’s longest. The Troodos Mountains encompass the majority of the island’s southern and western regions, accounting for approximately half of its total size. Mount Olympus, situated in the Troodos range, is Cyprus’s highest peak at 1,952 m (6,404 ft). The short Kyrenia Range, which runs along the northern shore, has a much smaller area and has lower heights, reaching a maximum of 1,024 m. (3,360 ft). The island is located on the Anatolian Plate.

The island is split into four major geopolitical divisions. The Republic of Cyprus controls the island’s southern two-thirds (59.74 percent ). The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus occupies the northern third of the island (34.85 percent), while the UN-controlled Green Line serves as a buffer zone between the two, covering 2.67 percent of the island. Finally, the remaining 2.74 percent of the island is covered by two bases under British control: Akrotiri and Dhekelia.

Climate In Cyprus

Cyprus has a subtropical climate – Mediterranean and semi-arid (in the north-eastern portion of the island) – Köppen climatic classifications Csa and BSh, with pleasant winters (near the coast) and moderate to hot summers. Snow is only conceivable in the Troodos Mountains in the island’s center. Rain falls mostly in the winter, with the summer being mostly dry.

Cyprus has one of the hottest temperatures in the European Union’s Mediterranean region. On the shore, the average yearly temperature is about 24 °C (75 °F) during the day and 14 °C (57 °F) at night. Summers last approximately eight months, beginning in April with average temperatures of 21–23 °C (70–73 °F) during the day and 11–13 °C (52–55 °F) at night and ending in November with average temperatures of 22–23 °C (72–73 °F) during the day and 12–14 °C (54–57 °F) at night, although temperatures occasionally exceed 20 °C (68 °F) during the remaining four months.

Limassol has one of the warmest winters in the Mediterranean region of the European Union, with an average temperature of 17–18 °C (63–64 °F) during the day and 7–8 °C (45–46 °F) at night, while other coastal locations in Cyprus have an average temperature of 16–17 °C (61–63 °F) during the day and 6–8 °C (43–46 °F) at night. Limassol has an average temperature of 19–20 °C (66–68 °F) during the day and 9–11 °C (48–52 °F) at night in March, whereas other coastal places in Cyprus have an average temperature of 17–19 °C (63–66 °F) during the day and 8–10 °C (46–50 °F) at night.

In July and August, the average temperature on the shore is typically about 33 °C (91 °F) during the day and approximately 22 °C (72 °F) at night (inland, in the highlands, the average temperature reaches 35 °C (95 °F)). In June and September, the average temperature on the shore is typically about 30 °C (86 °F) during the day and around 20 °C (68 °F) at night in Limassol, while in Paphos it is usually around 28 °C (82 °F) during the day and around 18 °C (64 °F) at night. Temperature swings of this magnitude are uncommon. Inland temperatures are more severe, with colder winters and hotter summers than on the island’s coast.

The average annual sea temperature is 21–22 °C (70–72 °F), with temperatures ranging from 17 °C (63 °F) in February to 27–28 °C (81–82 °F) in August (depending on the location). From May through November, the average sea temperature surpasses 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit).

Sunshine hours on the coast average about 3,200 each year, ranging from 5–6 hours per day in December to 12–13 hours in July. This is almost twice the amount received by cities in the northern part of Europe; for example, London gets around 1,540 per year. In December, London gets about 50 hours of sunlight, whereas coastal areas in Cyprus receive over 180 hours (almost as much as in May in London).

Demographics Of Cyprus

According to the CIA World Factbook, Greek Cypriots made up 77% of the Cypriot population in 2001, Turkish Cypriots 18%, and others 5%. According to the 2011 official census, Cyprus has 10,520 individuals of Russian ancestry.

According to the first population census following independence, conducted in December 1960 and encompassing the whole island, Cyprus had a total population of 573,566 people, of which 442,138 (77.1 percent ) were Greeks, 104,320 (18.2 percent ) Turkish, and 27,108 (4.7 percent ) others.

An island-wide census was deemed unfeasible between 1963 and 1974 due to inter-communal ethnic conflicts. Nonetheless, the Greek Cypriots staged one in 1973, without the participation of the Turkish Cypriot population. The Greek Cypriot population was 482,000 at the time of the census. One year later, in 1974, the Cypriot government’s Department of Statistics and Research estimated the entire population of Cyprus to be 641,000, with 506,000 Greeks (78.9 percent) and 118,000 Turkish (18.4 percent). Following the island’s division in 1974, Greeks conducted four additional censuses: in 1976, 1982, 1992, and 2001; they omitted the Turkish population who lived in the northern half of the island.

According to the Republic of Cyprus’s most recent estimate from 2005, the number of Cypriot nationals residing in the Republic of Cyprus is about 871,036. In addition, the Republic of Cyprus has 110,200 foreign permanent residents and an estimated 10,000–30,000 undocumented illegal immigrants residing in the island’s south.

Northern Cyprus has 256,644 (de jure) persons residing there in 2006, according to the Northern Cyprus census. Northern Cyprus had 178,031 people, of which 147,405 were born in Cyprus (112,534 in the north; 32,538 in the south; 371 did not specify which part of Cyprus they were from); 27,333 in Turkey; 2,482 in the United Kingdom; and 913 in Bulgaria. Of the 147,405 Cyprus citizens born, 120,031 had both parents born in Cyprus; 16,824 have both parents born in Turkey; and 10,361 have one parent born in Turkey and one parent born in Cyprus.

According to the International Crisis Group, the overall population of Cyprus is 1.1 million, with an estimated 300,000 inhabitants in the north, possibly half of whom were born in Turkey or are offspring of such immigrants.

According to one estimate, the population in the north has reached 500,000 people, with half of them believed to be Turkish immigrants or Cypriot-born offspring of such settlers.

Potamia (Nicosia district) and Pyla (Larnaca District) are the only settlements in the Republic of Cyprus with a mix of Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

In Cyprus, the following Y-Dna haplogroups are found at the following frequencies: J (43.07 percent, including 6.20 percent J1), E1b1b (20.00 percent), R1 (12.30 percent, including 9.2 percent R1b), F (9.20 percent), I (7.70 percent), K (4.60 percent), A (4.60 percent) (3.10 percent ). J, K, F, and E1b1b haplogroups are made up of lineages that are found in the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe, while R1 and I are found in West European populations.

Outside of Cyprus, there is a sizable and vibrant Greek Cypriot diaspora as well as a Turkish Cypriot diaspora in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, the United States, Greece, and Turkey.

Religion In Cyprus

The majority of Greek Cypriots are Greek Orthodox, while the majority of Turkish Cypriots are Sunni Muslims. According to Eurobarometer 2005, Cyprus was the second most religious state in the European Union at the time, behind only Malta (although Romania was not a member of the European Union in 2005; presently, Romania is the most religious state in the European Union). Makarios III, the first President of Cyprus, was an archbishop. Archbishop Chrysostomos II is the current head of the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus.

Some secular orientalists see Hala Sultan Tekke, located near the Larnaca Salt Lake, as the third holiest shrine in Sunni Islam and a place of pilgrimage for both Muslims and Christians.

According to the 2001 census, 94.8 percent of the population is Eastern Orthodox, 0.9 percent are Armenians and Maronites, 1.5 percent are Roman Catholics, 1.0 percent are Church of England, and 0.6 percent are Muslims. On Cyprus, there is also a Jewish community. The remaining 1.3 percent are members of other religious groups or have not declared their faith.

Economy Of Cyprus

The Cypriot economy has diversified and become wealthy in the early twenty-first century. However, it was impacted by the Eurozone financial and banking crisis in 2012. The Cypriot government stated in June 2012 that it would need €1.8 billion in external assistance to sustain the Cyprus Popular Bank, which was followed by Fitch lowering Cyprus’s credit rating to junk status. Fitch stated Cyprus will require an extra €4 billion to sustain its banks, and the downgrading was mostly due to the exposure of Cyprus’s three biggest banks, Bank of Cyprus, Cyprus Popular Bank, and Hellenic Bank, to the Greek financial crisis.

The 2012–2013 Cypriot financial crisis resulted in a March 2013 agreement with the Eurogroup to divide the country’s second largest bank, Cyprus Popular Bank (also known as Laiki Bank), into a “bad” bank that would be wound down over time and a “good” bank that would be absorbed by the Bank of Cyprus. In exchange for a €10 billion bailout from the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, collectively known as the “troika,” the Cypriot government was required to impose a significant haircut on uninsured deposits, the majority of which were held by wealthy Russians who used Cyprus as a tax haven. Deposits of €100,000 or less were unaffected.

According to the most recent International Monetary Fund estimates, its per capita GDP (adjusted for buying power) is $30,769, which is somewhat higher than the European Union average. Because of its low tax rates, Cyprus has been sought after as a location for many offshore companies. Tourism, financial services, and shipping all play important roles in the economy. The Cyprus government’s economic strategy has been centered on fulfilling the requirements for entrance to the European Union. On January 1, 2008, the Cypriot government accepted the euro as the national currency.

Significant amounts of offshore natural gas have been found in recent years in the Aphrodite region of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), about 175 kilometers (109 miles) south of Limassol at 33°5′40′′N and 32°59′0′′E. Offshore drilling firms in Turkey, on the other hand, have had access to both natural gas and oil resources since 2013. Cyprus established a marine boundary with Egypt in 2003 and a border with Lebanon in 2007. In 2010, Cyprus and Israel defined their maritime boundary, and in August 2011, the US-based company Noble Energy entered into a production-sharing deal with the Cypriot government regarding the commercial exploitation of the block.

Turkey, which does not recognize Cyprus’s boundary accords with its neighbors, has threatened to mobilize its naval troops if Cyprus goes through with preparations to begin drilling in Block 12. Cyprus’ drilling operations have the backing of the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations, and drilling in Block 12 started on September 19, 2011, with no issues recorded.

The property rental industry in Cyprus has expanded in recent years as a result of the large inflow of tourists and international investors. The Cyprus Town Planning Department launched a series of incentives in late 2013 in order to boost the property market and increase the number of property projects in the country’s town centers. This comes on the heels of previous steps to expedite the issuance of immigration permits to third-country citizens who invest in Cyprus real estate.

Things To Know Before Traveling To Cyprus

Internet, Comunication

Internet connection is becoming more widely accessible in tourist areas in the form of Internet cafés and side rooms outfitted with monitors. Prices vary, so shop around. €2 an hour seems to be the norm, although you may get better. Many cafés now provide free wi-fi, while hotels and resorts often provide Internet connection to their visitors.

Language

Cyprus’s official languages are Greek and Turkish. Greek is spoken mostly in the south, whereas Turkish is spoken primarily in the north. Because of former British control, English is commonly spoken by people of all ages. French, German, and Russian are all widely spoken on the island.

Respect

It is advisable to avoid debating the different qualities of the Greek-Turkish split and events that began in 1963 in certain circles. Any sullying of Archbishop Makarios will be frowned upon.

Entry Requirements For Cyprus

Minimum validity of travel documents
EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals simply need to bring a passport that is valid for the duration of their stay in Cyprus.
All other nations who need a visa (including visa-exempt nationals such as New Zealanders and Australians) must, however, show a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond their stay in Cyprus. Children under the age of 16 who are registered on their parents’ passports are permitted to go to Cyprus.

Cyprus has stated its intention to adopt the Schengen Agreement, but has yet to do so. An officially authorized ID card (or a passport) is sufficient for admission for citizens of the European Union (EU) or European Free Trade Area (EFTA) (i.e. Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland). Other nationalities will almost always need a passport to enter the country.

Travel to/from any other nation (Schengen or non-Schengen) from/to Cyprus will result in the usual immigration inspections (for the time being), but customs procedures will be avoided when traveling to/from another EU country.

Inquire with your travel agency or the Cyprus embassy or consulate in your area.

How To Travel To Cyprus

Get In - By plane

Larnaca International Airport (LCA) is Cyprus’s major airport, located on the outskirts of Larnaka.

The former major international airport, situated southwest of Nicosia, is currently on the Green Line that separates the Greek and Turkish portions of Cyprus; it has been closed since 1974.

Cyprus is served by a number of airlines, the most important of which being Cypriot Cyprus Airways. Most major European cities (e.g., London, Birmingham, Manchester, Frankfurt, Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, Milan) and many Eastern European nations have airline connections. There are additional links to virtually every capital in the Middle East. There are no flights from the south to Turkey.
There is a regular and inexpensive (€1.50) public bus service from the airport to downtown Larnaca, although it is poorly marked. The bus stop is located on the departure hall level (upstairs) and is marked with a sign displaying a sequence of three-digit bus numbers. Buses arrive at “Finikoudes,” a beach in Larnaca from where buses to other destinations in Cyprus depart (see “getting around” section).

Kapnos Airport Shuttle also provides a direct Larnaca Airport – Nicosia, Nicosia – Larnaca Airport Bus service. The trip takes about 30-45 minutes (depending on traffic and time of day), and a one-way ticket costs €8 per person. Throughout the night, there are bus services.

Get In - By boat

Cyprus and Greece are sometimes linked by ferries. For the time being, services between Israel and Egypt have been discontinued; nevertheless, there are 2 and 3 day cruises operating in the summer months from approximately April to October that transport tourists one way between Israel and Cyprus. There are also short cruises to Syria, Lebanon, Rhodes, the Greek Islands, the Black Sea, and the Adriatic. The ferry service from Greece to Limassol operates from Piraeus, Rhodes, and Ayios Nikolaos in Crete. The itinerary may be seen here: You may also take a freighter from Italy, Portugal, Southampton, and other European cities. See Grimaldi Freighter Cruises for the chance to transport a vehicle to Cyprus at any time of year.

Taşucu is connected to Girne (north of Nicosia) by a frequent ferry service from Turkey.

Traveling to and from the north

Prior to Cyprus’s admission to the European Union, proof of entrance to Northern Cyprus led in, at the very least, denial of entry to the Greek portion of Cyprus. Following the admission, and in accordance with EU law that deems Cyprus to have been accepted in whole, an entrance to the Turkish portion is officially an entry to the entire Cyprus and must thus not result in any disadvantage to EU passengers. Travelers from non-EU member countries (such as Turkish nationals) must enter the island via one of the legal entrance points (i.e. entry points in the island’s southern half) in order to visit the southern part.

When asked whether the border is accessible to US Americans over the phone in June 2006, the Cyprus embassy in Washington did not say ‘No,’ but did suggest going via the legal points on the Greek side. Different organizations and online sites make various claims. However, there are recent (2012) instances of individuals entering Northern Cyprus from Turkey and passing the border without incident, despite the fact that it was seen while leaving Cyprus.

The major border crossings between the south and north are as follows:

  • Astromerits/Zodhia (by car only)
  • Agios Dometios/Kermia/Metehan
  • Ledra Palace (by car or foot) – the oldest crossing, just outside the walls of old Nicosia to the west of the city
  • Pergamos/Beyarmudu
  • Strovilia near Agios Nikolaos – located at the eastern part of the island
  • Ledras Str. (foot only) – the new pedestrian crossing opened in 2008. Located at the old “dead-end” of the most popular street of Nicosia.

Crossing the green line in 2012 is a piece of cake. The “visa form” to be filled out is extremely simple (barely useful as a memento!) and just needs the entry of the name, nationality, and passport (or identification card) number. It is then stamped, and the whole process should take no more than three minutes. It is stamped again upon return.

How To Travel Around Cyprus

In Nicosia, public transit has been completely renovated, including all new buses. Even yet, the majority of Cypriots drive. In Cyprus, there are no railroads.

Get Around - By bus

There is a comprehensive network of bus lines that span the whole island of Cyprus.

Buses are more frequent on the Turkish side (and smaller). They leave from stations on the street north of the northern gate of Nicosia. Prices are comparable to those on the Greek side of Cyprus. Be aware that return tickets may not be valid on all Turkish buses.

Get Around - By shared taxi

Services begin at 6 or 7 a.m. and continue every half-hour or so until 5 or 6 p.m. on the dot. You may order a cab to pick you up and drop you off wherever inside city boundaries; but, getting in or out of the city will often take longer than the trip itself! Estimate £4-6 for a cab trip on any of them, with a surcharge on Sundays and holidays. A service taxi is another name for a service vehicle.

Get Around - By car

Car rental is the most convenient (but most costly) method to travel about the island. Companies usually will not hire vehicles for less than three days, but certain foreign vendors (Budget) may provide one or two day service for a premium price. Renting ahead of time may be advantageous since walk-in choices are clearly restricted to available vehicles. Cypriots drive on the left side of the road, as is customary in the United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth. Driving standards, on the other hand, are deplorable.

Drivers approach their craft with equal parts aggression and ineptitude, and they see traffic regulations as just suggestions. Some major roads do not even have road markers, and drivers often honk their horns, particularly in Nicosia. Crossing the street should be done with caution, and driving on it should be done with much more caution. Highways are usually in good shape and easy to navigate, while minor roads vary considerably in quality. As in neighboring countries, rental vehicles often utilize diesel fuel, and manual transmission rentals are generally less expensive than automatic transmission rentals, although not always by a few euros.

Destinations in Cyprus

Regions in Cyprus

Cyprus is split into six administrative areas, each of which is named after its administrative capital. The whole Kyrenia district, the majority of Famagusta district, and the northern part of Nicosia district have been under Turkish military rule since 1974. Those regions are administered by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The Republic of Cyprus is responsible for the following districts: Larnaca,Famagusta, Limassol, Nicosia, Paphos, Akrotiri, and Dhekelia.

British sovereign territories mainly used for military purposes. There isn’t much to see and do here, although it’s quite close to the Republic of Cyprus districts.

Cities in Cyprus

It’s interesting to note that Cypriot towns have a number of historical spellings and writings, all of which are quite frequent and vary depending on the situation, whether it’s Greek Cypriot, Turkish, or English tourist. The following list highlights conventional English spellings that the tourist would most likely encounter.

  • Nicosia (also Lefkosia in Greek, Lefkoşa in Turkish) – the divided capital
  • Ayia Napa Ayia Napa
  • Larnaca Larnaka
  • Limassol (Lemesos in Greek, Limasol in Turkish)
  • Paphos (Pafos in Greek, Baf in Turkish)

Other destinations in Cyprus

  • Akamas Peninsula
  • Ayia Napa – located in the extreme east of the Republic, Ayia Napa is often regarded as Cyprus’s major party destination.
  • Troodos Mountains
  • Lefkara The Lace town is located in the foothills of the Troodos Mountains and is a beautiful small town with a lot of character in the heart of Cyprus.

Accommodation & Hotels in Cyprus

Cyprus has a plethora of hotels and hotel flats of various levels of quality. Kefalos Beach Tourist Village, Holiday Inn, Le Meridien, Hilton, and Elias Beach Hotel are among the hotels. Through the government’s Agrotourism program, alternative self-catering lodging is available in renovated traditional homes in beautiful communities across Cyprus.

Things To See in Cyprus

  • The many archaeological and antiquities sites spread across the island, ranging from the New Stone Age to the Roman Empire
  • The island’s magnificent shoreline, which is still relatively unspoiled in many areas, is definitely worth exploring.
  • Nicosia, the capital, has a wealth of history, preserved Venetian walls surrounding the city, some wonderful bars and restaurants within the city’s old walls, and, of course, the ‘green line’ – the dividing line with the Turkish part of Cyprus, which cuts through the center of Nicosia, now the only divided capital.
  • The Troodos mountains, which rise to a height of 1952 meters, provide some lovely trail hikes as well as charming small towns such as Kakopetria, Platres, and Phini. There is the possibility of skiing there in the winter, and a ski resort is being built.
  • The port and archeological park of Paphos. Picnics may be enjoyed nearby at the Rock of Aphrodite.
  • Hamam Omerye in Nicosia, Cyprus, is a 14th century structure that has been renovated to function as a hammam for everyone to enjoy, relax, and revitalize – it really is a haven to rest. Hamam Omerye, situated in the center of Nicosia’s old town, dates back to French control and is a real functioning illustration of Cyprus’ rich culture and variety, stone struggle, but feeling of freedom and adaptability. The site has a long history, dating back to the 14th century when it was an Augustinian church dedicated to St. Mary. It is stone-built, with tiny domes, and dates from the period of Frankish and Venetian control, about the time the city gained its Venetian Walls. Mustapha Pasha turned the chapel into a mosque in 1571, claiming that here is where the prophet Omer slept on his journey to Lefkosia. The majority of the original structure was destroyed by Ottoman cannon, although the main entry door still belongs to the 14th century Lusignan construction, and remnants of a later Renaissance phase may be seen on the monument’s north-eastern side. The [EU] sponsored a bi-communal UNDP/UNOPS initiative, “Partnership for the Future,” in 2003, in cooperation with Nicosia Municipality and the Nicosia Master Plan, to rehabilitate the Hamam Omerye Bath, revitalising its spirit and preserving its historical character. The hamam is still in use today, and because to a recent restoration effort, it has become a popular leisure spot in Lefkosia. It was awarded the Europa Nostra Prize for the Conservation of Architectural Heritage in 2006.

Food & Drinks in Cyprus

  • Cypriot meze (appetizers similar to Spanish tapas) is an art form, and certain restaurants specialize on it. Meze are available in meat or fish varieties, but they often come in a mixed batch, which is very appealing.
  • Kleftiko grilled lamb with herb and lemon flavors.
  • Halloumi (Χαλλούμι) is a distinctively Cypriot cheese produced from a combination of cow’s and sheep’s milk. It is hard and salty while raw, but softens and mellows when cooked, thus it is often served grilled.
  • Taramosalata is typically prepared using taramas, which is salted fish or carp roe. The roe is combined with either bread crumbs or mashed potatoes. It’s seasoned with salt and pepper and topped with parsley, onion, lemon juice, olive oil, and vinegar.
  • Tahini

Money & Shopping in Cyprus

Costs

Cyprus has long been a pricey tourist destination. Except for a few agricultural goods, almost else must be imported. The cost of living in Cyprus is similar to that of Central Europe, particularly in tourist areas. Examples of prices: A pack of smokes costs €4, a cheeseburger costs €5-€7, squids cost around €10, and a steak costs about €20. Away from the tourist hotels and beaches, costs are considerably more reasonable.

Currency

Cyprus is a eurozone country. It is one of many European nations that utilize the Euro. All euro banknotes and coins are legal tender across the EU.

One euro is made up of 100 cents.

The euro’s official sign is €, and its ISO code is EUR. The cent does not have an official symbol.

  • Banknotes: Euro banknotes are designed the same way in all nations.
  • Normal coins: All eurozone nations issue coins with a unique national design on one side and a standard common design on the other. Coins, regardless of design, may be used in any eurozone nation (e.g. a one-euro coin from Finland can be used in Portugal).
  • Commemorative two euro coins: These vary from regular two euro coins solely on their “national” side and are freely circulated as legal currency. Each nation may make a specific number as part of their regular coin manufacturing, and “European-wide” two euro coins are sometimes minted to mark exceptional occasions (e.g. the anniversary of important treaties).
  • Other commemorative coins include: Commemorative coins of larger denominations (e.g., ten euros or more) are considerably uncommon, feature completely unique designs, and often contain significant quantities of gold, silver, or platinum. While they are legally legal currency at face value, their material or collector value is typically considerably greater, and as a result, they are unlikely to be in real circulation.

If you have some old Cypriot pounds hanging around, the Central Bank of Cyprus in Nicosia will exchange them for €1 at a rate of CYP 0.585274.

The Turkish lira is used in Northern Cyprus (TRY). Euros are usually accepted in tourist areas, although at the disadvantageous rate of €1 purchasing 2 TRY rather than 2.4 TRY. There are also a lot of ATMs in the north.

Things to buy

  • Cypriot wine, particularly the famous local type known as Commandaria, is robust, sweet, and reminiscent of Porto wine.
  • Lacework of the most complex kind – from the hamlet of Lefkara.
  • Zivania is a powerful spirit-based alcoholic beverage.
  • Filfar is a traditional orange liqueur from Cyprus.
  • Shoes and handbags made of leather
  • Jewellery

Festivals & Holidays in Cyprus

Public holidays in Cyprus

  • New Year’s Day – 1 January
  • Epiphany – 6 January
  • Clean Monday – date variable
  • Greek Independence Day – 25 March
  • Cyprus National Day – 1 April
  • Good Friday – date variable
  • Holy Saturday – date variable
  • Easter Sunday – date variable
  • Easter Monday – date variable
  • Easter Tuesday – date variable
  • Labour Day – 1 May
  • Pentecost Monday – date variable
  • Dormition of the Theotokos – 15 August
  • Cyprus Independence Day – 1 October
  • Greek National Day – 28 October
  • Christmas Eve – 24 December
  • Christmas Day – 25 December
  • Boxing Day – 26 December

Culture Of Cyprus

In terms of culture, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots have a lot in common, yet they also have distinctions. Several traditional foods (such as souvla and halloumi) and drinks, as well as expressions and ways of life, are comparable. Hospitality, as well as purchasing or providing food and beverages for visitors or others, is prevalent among both. Music, dance, and art are important elements of social life in all cultures, and many creative, verbal and nonverbal emotions, traditional dances such as tsifteteli, similarities in dance attire, and the emphasis put on social activities are shared. The two groups, however, have different faiths and religious traditions, with Greek Cypriots historically being Greek Orthodox and Turkish Cypriots usually being Sunni Muslims, which has hampered cultural interaction in part. Turkish Cypriots are influenced by Turkey and Islam, whereas Greek Cypriots are influenced by Greece and Christianity.

Limassol Carnival Festival is an annual carnival that takes place in Limassol, Cyprus. The popular event in Cyprus was launched in the twentieth century.

Art

Following the discovery of a series of Chalcolithicperiod carved figures in the villages of Khoirokoitia and Lempa, Cyprus’s art history may be traced back up to 10,000 years. The island is home to many instances of high quality Middle Ages religious icon painting, as well as many painted churches. Cypriot architecture was significantly affected by the introduction of French Gothic and Italian Renaissance styles to the island during the period of Latin dominance (1191–1571).

Cypriot art history starts in contemporary times with the painter Vassilis Vryonides (1883–1958), who trained at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice. Adamantios Diamantis (1900–1994), who studied at London’s Royal College of Painting, and Christopheros Savva (1924–1968), who also studied in London, were perhaps the two founding fathers of contemporary Cypriot art. In many respects, these two painters established the blueprint for future Cypriot art, and both their creative styles and educational methods continue to have an impact to this day. The majority of Cypriot painters continue to train in England, but some attend art schools in Greece and local art institutes such as the Cyprus College of Art, the University of Nicosia, and the Frederick Institute of Technology.

One characteristic of Cypriot art is a preference for realistic painting, despite the fact that conceptual art is vigorously pushed by a variety of art “institutions,” most notably the Nicosia Municipal Art Centre. Municipal art galleries may be found in all of the major cities, and there is a thriving commercial art sector. Cyprus was scheduled to host the international art festival Manifesta in 2006, but it was cancelled at the last minute due to a disagreement between Manifesta’s Dutch organizers and the Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture over the location of some Manifesta events in the Turkish sector of the capital Nicosia.

Other well-known Greek Cypriot painters include Helene Black, the Kalopedis family, Panayiotis Kalorkoti, Nicos Nicolaides, Stass Paraskos, Arests Stas, Telemachos Kanthos, Konstantia Sofokleous, and Chris Achilleos, and Turkish Cypriot artists include smet Güney, Ruzen Atakan, and Mutlu erkez.

Music

Cyprus’s traditional folk music has many aspects with Greek, Turkish, and Arabic music, including Greco-Turkish dances such the sousta, syrtos, zeibekikos, tatsia, and karsilamas, as well as Middle Eastern-inspired tsifteteli and arapies. Chattista is a kind of musical poetry that is often performed during traditional feasts and festivals. The bouzouki, oud (“outi”), violin (“fkiolin”), lute (“laouto”), accordion, Cyprus flute (“pithkiavlin”), and percussion are frequently linked with Cyprus traditional music (including the “toumperleki”). Evagoras Karageorgis, Marios Tokas, Solon Michaelides, and Savvas Salides are among the composers connected with traditional Cypriot music. Among the performers are Cyprien Katsaris, a renowned pianist, and Marios Joannou Elia, composer and creative director of the European Capital of Culture project.

The Greek Laka scene has had a strong effect on popular music in Cyprus; musicians that play in this genre include worldwide platinum sensation Anna Vissi, Evridiki, and Sarbel. Hip Hop, R&B, and reggae have been aided by the development of Cypriot rap and the Ayia Napa urban music scene. Artists like as Michalis Hatzigiannis and Alkinoos Ioannidis are often linked with Cypriot rock music and Éntekhno rock. Metal is also popular in Cyprus, with bands such as Armageddon (rev.16:16), Blynd, Winter’s Verge, Methysos, and Quadraphonic.

Cuisine

Halloumi cheese was first produced in Cyprus during the Medieval Byzantine era. As an appetiser, halloumi (Hellim) is usually served sliced, either fresh or grilled.

Squid, octopus, red mullet, and sea bass are among the seafood and fish meals available. Salads often include cucumber and tomato. Potatoes with olive oil and parsley, pickled cauliflower and beets, asparagus and taro are also popular vegetable dishes. Other traditional delights include meat marinated in dried coriander seeds and wine, then dried and smoked, such as lountza (smoked pig loin), charcoal-grilled lamb, souvlaki (pork and chicken cooked over charcoal), and sheftalia (pork and chicken cooked over charcoal) (minced meat wrapped in mesentery). Pourgouri (cracked wheat) is the traditional carbohydrate source other than bread, and it is used to create the delicacy koubes.

Fresh veggies and fruits are often used. Vegetables such as courgettes, green peppers, okra, green beans, artichokes, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, and grape leaves are often used, as are pulses such as beans, broad beans, peas, black-eyed beans, chick-peas, and lentils. Pears, apples, grapes, oranges, mandarines, nectarines, medlar, blackberries, cherry, strawberries, figs, watermelon, melon, avocado, lemon, pistachio, almond, chestnut, walnut, and hazelnut are the most frequent fruits and nuts.

Cyprus is also famous for its sweets, such as lokum (also known as Turkish Delight) and Soutzoukos. This island has a protected geographical indicator (PGI) for the lokum produced in Geroskipou hamlet.

Stay Safe & Healthy in Cyprus

Cyprus is an astonishingly safe nation, with very little violent crime. Cars and homes are often left unlocked. However, it is prudent to exercise caution while taking beverages from strangers, particularly in Ayia Napa, where muggings have occurred on many occasions.

It is also worth noting that the many Cypriot “cabarets” are not, as the name suggests, cabarets but rather brothels connected with organized crime.

Asia

Africa

South America

Europe

North America

Read Next

Larnaca

Larnaca is the capital of the eponymous district and a city on Cyprus’s southern coast. With an urban population of 84,591 people, it is...

Limassol

Limassol is a city on Cyprus’s southern coast and the seat of the namesake district. Limassol is Cyprus’s second biggest city, with a population...

Nicosia

Nicosia is the capital and biggest city of Cyprus, as well as the island’s primary business center. It is situated at the center of...