Area : 3571.0 km2
Population : 1,088,503 inhabitants
Jet Lag : None from the UK; Cyprus is just two hours ahead of GMT.
4 hrs 30 mins to Larnaca or Paphos airports. The capital, Nicosia is 2,000 miles from London.
Larnaca Airport is 3 miles from Larnaca.
Larnaca Airport is just under two miles from the town centre, and is served by a regular and cheap bus service. In a taxi, the trip takes around 15 minutes, and will set you back about ?8 (about £6.20). Exact prices can be found on a board in the arrivals area. Coaches from the airport also serve main towns such as Nicosia, Limassol, , and Paphos.. Ferries from the ports of Larnaca and Limassol go to Piraeus, Rhodes, and Heraklion in continental Greece, as well as some ports in the Middle East (Haifa, Port Said...).
Paphos Airport is 6 miles from Paphos.
It is relatively easy to get from Paphos airport to the main resorts of Kapnos and nearby Limassol, using the shuttle bus services, which leave from just outside the airport terminal and deliver you to the main bus stops in the town centres. The Kapnos shuttle will deliver you to Kyrenias Avenue, opposite the police station, for 8 euros (around £6.20). The Limassol shuttle will take you to Christofi Ergatoudi Street in front of the Agios Georgios Havouzas church or to the entrance of the industrial area of Agios Athanasios on Iapetou Street for 9 euros (about £7). However, if your destination is more rural, taking a taxi is your best option. These also leave from just outside the terminal building, otherwise hiring a car can be extremely cost effective, especially if there are a few of you. Car hire can be booked in advance from a range of private car hire companies and is recommended, especially during the high season.
The northern zone has an airport at Ercan, but this is only served by Turkish Airlines for flights to Turkey. Ercan is smaller than Paphos airport and not particularly well-equipped with arrival facilities such as baggage carts and other conveniences. Car hire must be arranged beforehand. Taxis are your only choice to and from the airport.
The island is not thought of as dangerous and crime against tourists is rare, but remember not to leave valuable items in vehicles. Do not photograph the military bases or the demarcation line between the two zones. You are also advised to avoid getting too close to the "buffer zone" along the demarcation line. Be wary of road travel as driving standards are poor.
Greek in the south, and Turkish in the north (25% of the population). Cypriot Greek is slightly different from continental Greek. English and, to a lesser extent, French and German, are spoken in the tourist areas.
British passport holders do not require a visa.
British nationals simply require a passport that is valid for the duration of your stay for visits of up to three months.
In 2003, the Cypriot governments of Northern and Southern Cyprus decided to open the border between the two disputing states, therefore making exploring both sides of the island much easier. Unfortunately, hire cars are still not allowed to pass over the border from north to south, although private cars are permitted for an extra fee. If you are travelling from south to north, it would be advisable to discuss with your hire company first whether they permit journeys over the border but certain companies have no problem with this.
If you do decide to spend your stay in the north, you can fly to Ercan airport. However, it is not recognised by international airline authorities and so you can only reach it by flying to Turkey first.
78% of the population is Christian. This is mainly broken into Greek Orthodox in the south, and Muslim and a small amount of Protestant in the north. In the Greek zone, the Maronite and Armenian minorities are Catholic.
In Northern Cyprus the currency is the new Turkish Lira, which is susceptible to fluctuations as a result of a high rate of inflation. Hotels and shops in the north may accept hard currencies such as UK sterling, US dollars and euros.
In the Republic the currency is the Euro. Credit cards are widely accepted in shops, restaurants and large hotels, with Visa being the most commonly used. You will have no trouble finding ATM machines in touristic towns like Nicosia, Paphos, Limassol and Ayia Napa.
Banks exchange all major currencies and have varying opening hours depending on the season. In summer, most will close at around 13.00 Monday to Friday, in order to avoid the hottest hours of the day. However a select few remain open specifically for tourists.
There are three types of bus services on the island, providing a cheap means of transport. The inter-city and city services run at one or two hour intervals on a daily basis, whilst the rural services operate no more than once or twice daily. Although it is quite slow, it is cheap and an excellent way of exploring the country and its inhabitants.
Taxis are easy to hail in rural areas as well as in cities. Most city taxis will charge around ?3.42 (just over £2.60) base fee and then 73 cents per km (1mile=1.6 km). There are seven-seater shared taxis that you will find in the 'taxi service' stations which can be useful for larger parties. However, they do not leave unless they are full, meaning you may have to wait for a while for others heading in your direction.
To be completely independent, car hire is ideal. A UK driver's licence is sufficient to hire a vehicle. However, you need to be at least 21 years of age (and don't be surprised if some companies want you to be 25) and have held a full licence for at least 3 years. Think of booking in advance if you are planning on visiting during peak season (school holidays). Driving is on the left, and on the main roads, sign-posting is translated from Greek into English. Having said this, on the small roads you will need a good map and plenty of patience.
- UK nationals should obtain a European Health Insurance Card before going to Cyprus. Please remember this is not a substitute for health insurance, and you must take out a comprehensive health insurance policy as well. The EHIC warrants you state provided medical treatment on the same terms as Cypriot nationals. For more information see the NHS EHIC page.
- Ensure you have sufficient medication for any pre-existing illnesses in their original, clearly labelled containers from the UK. It is not worth the hassle trying to acquire this abroad.
- No vaccinations are required. Conversely, the World Health Organisation advises all travellers to ensure they are covered against diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella and polio before venturing abroad.
- Remember to check updates for the usual vaccines before departure (tetanus, poliomyelitis, hepatitises A and B).
- Dial 112 for an ambulance in Cyprus.
Voltage is 240 V. The electrical outlets are either of British type (three flat pins) or of Greek type (three round pins). Thus, an adaptor is not necessary.
Cyprus receives over 2 million tourists per year.
In hotels and restaurants, the bill is automatically increased by a 10% tax therefore tips are unnecessary unless you wish to leave one. Taxi drivers and hotel porters will be grateful of a small tip. Despite its close proximity to the Middle East, haggling is not the custom in any part of Cyprus.
To call Cyprus from the UK, dial 00 + 357 (country code) + n° of the other party without the initial 0.
To call the UK from Cyprus: dial 00 + 44 + the n° of the other party without the initial 0.
Cyprus Tourist Office:
17 Hanover Street, Mayfair
London W1S 1YP
Telephone: 020 7569 8800
13 St. James' Square
London, SW1Y 4LB
Tel: 020 7321 4100
British High Commission:
Alexander Pallis Street (PO Box 21978)
Telephone: +357 22 861100
There are also consular agencies in Larnaca, Paphos and Limassol.