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Cyprus

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The King Jason
The King Jason - dream vacation

Pentadaktylou Street, Paphos

Louis Imperial Beach
Louis Imperial Beach - dream vacation

Poseidonos Avenue, PO Box 60284, Paphos

Avanti Hotel
Avanti Hotel - dream vacation

Poseidon Avenue PO Box 61082, Paphos

Capo Bay Hotel
Capo Bay Hotel - dream vacation

Iasonos 2, P.O.Box 33115, Protaras

Louis Phaethon Beach
Louis Phaethon Beach - dream vacation

Aphrodite Avenue, Geroskipou, P.O. Box 61017, Paphos

Cyprus (Greek Κύπρος, Turkish Kıbrıs,) is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Turkey. After Sicily and Sardinia, Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is geographically part of Asia.

There are three politically distinct areas in the island: the Republic of Cyprus (a member of the European Union) is a state with wide international recognition. However it only controls territory in the south. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus acts as a de facto separate country. The British military sovereign base areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, while legally separate from either republic, have open borders with the Republic of Cyprus.

Regions

Cyprus is divided into 6 administrative regions, each named for its administrative capital. Since 1974, the whole of Kyrenia district, most of Famagusta district, and the northern portion of Nicosia district have been under Turkish military control. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus administers those areas. The Republic of Cyprus administers the following districts:

Cities

Note that Cypriot cities have a variety of historical spellings and writings, all in fairly common use, and which change according to the context, whether it be Greek Cypriot, Turkish or English tourist. The following list emphasizes traditional English spellings, that will most often be encountered by the traveller.

  • 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

  • Akamas Peninsula
  • Ayia Napa - in the far east of the Republic, considered by many to be the main party town of Cyprus
  • Troodos Mountains
  • Lefkara The Lace village,in the foothills of the Troodos Mountains, a charming little town with lots of character, in the heart of Cyprus.

Understand

History

See also: Ancient Greece, Ottoman Empire, British Empire

Cyprus gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1960. Despite a constitution which guaranteed a degree of power-sharing between the Greek Cypriot majority and the Turkish Cypriot minority, the two populations – with backing from the governments of Greece and Turkey, respectively – clashed vehemently in 1974, with the end result being the occupation of the northern and eastern 40% of the island by Turkey. In 1983, the Turkish-held area declared itself the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus". So far, only Turkey recognizes the TRNC, while all other governments and the United Nations recognize only the government of the Republic of Cyprus over the whole island. The UN operates a peacekeeping force and a narrow buffer zone between the two Cypriot ethnic groups. Fortunately, open hostilities have been absent for some time, as the two sides (now with the growing involvement of the European Union) gradually inch towards a reunification of some sort.

Climate

Temperate; Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters.

Terrain

Central plain with mountains to north and south; scattered but significant plains along southern coast.

Culture

Cyprus is divided between two distinct cultures of Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

Get in

Cyprus is committed to implementing the Schengen Agreement although it hasn't yet done so. For citizens of the European Union (EU) or European Free Trade Area (EFTA) (i.e. Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), an officially approved ID card (or a passport) is sufficient for entry. Other nationalities will generally require a passport for entry.

Travel to/from any other country (Schengen or not) from/to Cyprus will (as of now) result in the normal immigration checks, although customs checks will be waived when travelling to/from another EU country.

Inquire with your travel agent or with the local embassy or consulate of Cyprus.

By plane

Cyprus' main airport is Larnaca International Airport (LCA) and is on the outskirts of Larnaka.

The previous main international airport located SW of Nicosia is now located on the Green Line separating the Greek and Turkish parts of Cyprus - it has been out of use since 1974.

Cyprus is serviced by a variety of different carriers, the main one being the Cypriot Cyprus Airways. There are flight connections with most major European cities, e.g. London, Birmingham, Manchester, Frankfurt, Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, Milan) and many Eastern European countries. There are also connections to almost all Middle Eastern capitals. There are no flights to Turkey from the south.

There is a frequent and cheap (€1.50) public bus connection from the airport into central Larnaca, but it is poorly indicated. The bus stop is at the departure hall level (upstairs) and shows a sign with a series of three digit bus numbers. Buses go to "Finikoudes", at the beach in Larnaca where buses to other distinatons in Cyprus leave (see "getting around" section).

There is also a direct Larnaca Airport - NicosiaNicosia - Larnaca Airport Bus service provided by Kapnos Airport Shuttle. The journey takes around 30-45 minutes (depending on the traffic and the hour), and a one way ticket costs €8 per person. There are bus routes throughout the night. More information about the service and the timetable can be found at the bus service website: http://www.kapnosairportshuttle.com .

There are also charter flights to the western airport of Paphos.

By boat

Occasional ferries connect Cyprus to Greece. Services to Israel and Egypt have been terminated for the time being; however, there are 2 and 3 day cruises running in the summer months from about April to October and they take passengers one way between Israel and Cyprus. These mini cruises also run to Syria, Lebanon, Rhodes, the Greek Islands, The Black Sea and The Adriatic. The ferry service from Greece runs from Piraeus, Rhodes and Ayios Nikolaos in Crete to Limassol. See the itinerary here: You may also catch a freighter from Italy, Portugal, Southampton and various other European ports. See Grimaldi Freighter Cruises providing you with the opportunity to bring a vehicle to Cyprus throughout the year.

There is a regular ferry service from Turkey, connecting Taşucu to Girne (north of Nicosia) .

Traveling to and from the north

Prior to Cyprus's accession to European Union, evidence of entry to Northern Cyprus resulted in denial of entry to the Greek part of Cyprus at the very least. After the accession, and according to EU legislation that considers Cyprus to have been admitted in full, an entry to the Turkish part is formally an entry to whole Cyprus and must therefore not result in any disadvantage to travelers from the EU. Travelers from non-EU member states (as, for instance, Turkish citizens) must enter the island via one of the legal entry points (i.e. entry points in the Southern part of the island) in order to visit the Southern part.

The Cyprus embassy in Washington on the phone (June 2006) when asked if the border is open to U.S. citizens, didn't give a 'No', but said that they recommend entering from the legal points in the Greek side. Different entities and web pages claim different things. But there are recent (2012) examples of people entering Northern Cyprus from Turkey, crossing the border without any problems, although it was noticed when leaving Cyprus.

The main crossings between the south and north are:

  • 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.

In 2012, crossing the green line is very simple. The "visa form" to be completed is very basic (barely usable as a souvenir!) and requires only the name, the nationality and the passport (or identity card) number to be entered. Then it is stamped, and the whole procedure should take no more than three minutes. Upon return, it is stamped again.

Get around

Public transportation in Cyprus has been revamped with all new buses in Nicosia. Still, most Cypriots drive. There are no railways in Cyprus.

By bus

There is a comprehensive network of bus routes that cover all Cyprus. Use Cyprus By Bus to plan your journey using buses in Cyprus.

Buses by City:

  • Lefkosia
  • Limassol
  • Pafos
  • Larnaka
  • Ammochostos
  • Intercity Buses

Larnaca Airport Shuttle services:

Paphos Airport Shuttle services:

On the Turkish side, buses are more frequent (and smaller). In Nicosia, they depart from stops at the street north of the northern gate. Prices are similar to prices on the Greek side of Cyprus. Beware that return tickets may not be valid on all buses on the Turkish side.

By shared taxi

Services run every half-hour or so from 6 or 7 in the morning, but terminate at 5 or 6 PM on the dot. You can book a taxi to pick you up anywhere and ask to be dropped off anywhere in city limits; the flip side is that it will often take you longer to get in or out of the city than the journey itself! Figure on £4-6 for a taxi ride on any of these, with an increased price on Sundays and holidays. Also known as a service taxi.

By car

Car hire is the easiest (but the most expensive) way to get around the island. Companies will typically not rent cars for fewer than three days, although some international vendors (Budget) will offer one or two day service for a high fee. Renting in advance can be beneficial as walk-in options are obviously limited to available cars. Cypriots drive on the left side of the road, in keeping with British and British Commonwealth practice. However, driving standards are poor. Drivers attack their art with an equal mix of aggressiveness and incompetence and view road rules as mere guidelines. Some main roads do not even have road markings and people often sound their horn, especially in Nicosia. Take care when crossing the roads, and even greater care when driving on them. Highways are generally of excellent condition and quite traversable, but other roads vary greatly in quality. As with surrounding countries, rental cars frequently use diesel fuel and manual transmission rentals are cheaper than automatic transmission, although not typically only by a few euro.

See

  • The many archaeological and antiquities sites scattered around the island, dating from the New Stone Age through to the Roman Empire
  • The beautiful coastline of the island - still quite unspoilt in many places - is well worth exploring
  • Nicosia, the capital as it has a wealth of history, preserved Venetian walls surrounding the city, some wonderful bars and restaurants within the old walls of the city and of course the 'green line' - the dividing line with the Turkish part of Cyprus, which cuts through the centre of Nicosia, now the only divided capital
  • The Troodos mountains, rising as high as 1952 metres, offering some beautiful trail walks and also quaint little villages such as KakopetriaPlatres and Phini. In winter there is the chance to ski there and the ski resort is being developed
  • Paphos harbor and archeological park. Nearby Rock of Aphrodite can be a beautiful scene for picnics
  • Hamam Omerye in Nicosia, Cyprus is a 14th Century building restored to operate once again as a hammam for all to enjoy, relax and rejuvenate - it is indeed a place to rest. Dating back to French rule and located in the heart of Nicosia's old town is Hamam Omerye - a true working example of Cyprus' rich culture and diversity, stone struggle, yet sense of freedom and flexibility. The site's history dates back to the 14th century, when it stood as an Augustinian church of St. Mary. Stone-built, with small domes, it is chronologically placed at around the time of Frankish and Venetian rule, approximately the same time that the city acquired its Venetian Walls. In 1571, Mustapha Pasha converted the church into a mosque, believing that this particular spot is where the prophet Omer rested during his visit to Lefkosia. Most of the original building was destroyed by Ottoman artillery, although the door of the main entrance still belongs to the 14th century Lusignan building, whilst remains of a later Renaissance phase can be seen at the north-eastern side of the monument. In 2003, the [EU] funded a bi-communal UNDP/UNOPS project, "Partnership for the Future", in collaboration with Nicosia Municipality and Nicosia Master Plan, to restore the Hamam Omerye Bath, revitalising its spirit and sustaining its historical essence. The hamam is still in use today and after its recent restoration project, it has become a favourite place for relaxation in Lefkosia. In 2006 it received the Europa Nostra prize for the Conservation of Architectural Heritage.

Do

  • Mixed-religion couples from countries such as Israel, Lebanon and Syria, who do not have access to non-religious marriage ceremonies at home, often choose Cyprus for wedding travel, as they can tie the knot in a same-day civil ceremony.

Talk

The official languages of Cyprus are Greek and Turkish. Greek is spoken predominately in the south and Turkish is spoken predominately in the north. English is very widely spoken by locals of all ages because of previous British rule. Other common languages spoken on the island are French, German and Russian.

Buy

Costs

Cyprus has always been a relatively expensive destination. Except for some agricultural products, practically everything has to be imported. The cost of living in Cyprus is comparable to Central Europe, especially in the tourist centers. Price examples: National Beer cost €3 to €3.50 euros, a pack of cigarettes €4, a hamburger €5-€7, squids about €10, a steak around €20. Away from the tourist hotels and beaches the prices are much more moderate.

Money

Cyprus uses the euro. It is one of several European countries that uses this common currency. All euro banknotes and coins are legal tender within all the countries.

One euro is divided into 100 cents.

The official symbol for the euro is €, and its ISO code is EUR. There is no official symbol for the cent.

  • Banknotes: Euro banknotes have the same design in all the countries.
  • Normal coins: All eurozone countries have coins issued with a distinctive national design on one side, and a standard common design on the other side. Coins can be used in any eurozone country, regardless of the design used (e.g. a one-euro coin from Finland can be used in Portugal).
  • Commemorative two euro coins: These differ from normal two euro coins only in their "national" side and circulate freely as legal tender. Each country may produce a certain amount of them as part of their normal coin production and sometimes "Europe-wide" two euro coins are produced to commemorate special events (e.g. the anniversary of important treaties).
  • Other commemorative coins: Commemorative coins of other amounts (e.g. ten euros or more) are much rarer, and have entirely special designs and often contain non-negligible amounts of gold, silver or platinum. While they are technically legal tender at face value, their material or collector value is usually much higher and, as such, you will most likely not find them in actual circulation.

If you have any old Cypriot pounds lying around, the Central Bank of Cyprus in Nicosia will exchange them at a rate of CYP 0.585274 per €1 until 2017.

Northern Cyprus uses Turkish lira (TRY). Euros are generally also accepted in the tourist centres, but at the unfavourable rate of €1 buying 2 TRY rather than ~2.4 TRY. There are many ATMs in the North too.

Things to buy

  • Cypriot wine - the iconic local variety known as Commandaria is strong, sweet and somewhat akin to Porto wine
  • Lacework of an intricate nature - from the village of Lefkara.
  • Zivania - a strong spirit based alcoholic drink
  • Filfar - the traditional Cyprus orange liqueur
  • Leather goods such as shoes and handbags
  • Jewellery

Eat

  • Cypriot meze (appetizers akin to Spanish tapas) are an art form, and some restaurant serve nothing but. Meze are available in a meat variety or fish variety but quite often come as a mixed batch, which is rather pleasing.
  • Kleftiko roasted lamb with flavours of herbs and lemon.
  • Halloumi (Χαλλούμι) is a uniquely Cypriot cheese, made from a mix of cow's and sheep's milk. Hard and salty when raw, it mellows and softens when cooked and is hence often served grilled.
  • Taramosalata is traditionally made out of taramas, the salted roe of the cod or carp. The roe is either mixed with bread crumbs or mashed potatoes. Parsley, onion, lemon juice, olive oil and vinegar are added and it is seasoned with salt and pepper.
  • Tahini
  • Shoushoukos is a traditional sweet made out of grape juice. A series of almonds are thread with a needle and they are then dipped into the grape juice several times until it becomes quite thick.
  • Palouzes/Kiofterka are both traditional sweets made out of grape juice.

Palouzes is a pudding made with grape juice, flour and different flavorings. Kiofterka are made from any leftover pudding. They cut it into pieces, put them to dehydrate and the final result is a hard but chewy thing.

Sleep

There are countless hotels and hotel apartments of varying degrees of luxury within Cyprus. Some of the hotels are: Kefalos Beach Tourist Village, Holiday Inn, Le Meridien, Hilton, Elias Beach Hotel. Alternative self-catering accommodation is offered in restored traditional houses in picturesque villages all over Cyprus through the government Agrotourism initiative.

Work

Cyprus' climate and natural advantages mean that there is always a steady supply of travellers seeking employment and residency on the island. Perhaps the biggest change that has occurred in recent years has been the accession of southern Cyprus to the European Union on 1 May 2004, opening up new employment opportunities for European citizens.

The burgeoning Cypriot tourism industry, however, means that there is a huge seasonal demand for temporary workers of most nationalities during the summer months, with a definite preference for English-speaking workers in order to service the very large numbers of British tourists. The Greek Cypriot South remains the best overall bet for jobs, as the South is where the majority of the tourist trade is located. The Turkish North is much harder to get work in as a traveler, as the local economy is in a precarious position and high local unemployment means competition for work is fierce.

Seasonal employment will most probably involve working in one of the countless bars, hotels and resort complexes of the South. Such work is usually poorly paid, but accommodation is often thrown in as some compensation and the Cypriot lifestyle usually makes up for low wages. Many holiday companies employ 'reps' (representatives) and marketing staff to assist their operations on the island - this work is usually more financially rewarding.

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) is another worthwhile option, well paid though often difficult to find.

Finally, Cyprus' ongoing construction boom in tourism infrastructure results in a demand for skilled builders and tradesmen.

Learn

If you are considering an extended stay on the island, there are a number of educational courses that you can take. Popular options include Greek language courses and arts courses. Most will have a tuition fee attached, and EU nationals should not have any visa problems. If you are from outside the EU, you will need to speak to individual colleges/organisations about visa requirements. Some popular travel and learn programmes include:

  • Theatre Cyprus - A Gap-Year Theatre Training Programme [1] , a Gap-Year drama programme that offers a 10 month course in Cyprus and also allows time to explore the surrounding continents (Europe, North Africa and the Middle East).
  • Tekni Art [2], also run a one year visual arts programme between September and July.

Cope

Beware that Greek Cyprus celebrates Easter on different dates than Western Europe, in most years. On Easter Sunday, many museums etc. are closed, and buses run reduced services in some places even until Easter Tuesday.

Electricity

Cyprus operates on a 230 V, 50 Hz electrical system using the BS-1363 3-pin British plugs. Europlug adapters are widely available in local stores.

Stay safe

Cyprus is a remarkably safe country, with very little violent crime. Cars and houses frequently go unlocked. That said however, it is wise to be careful when accepting drinks from strangers, especially in Ayia Napa, since there have been numerous occasions of muggings.

Note also that the numerous Cypriot "cabarets" are not what their name implies but rather brothels associated with organized crime.

Respect

It is best to avoid discussion of the various merits of the Greek-Turkish divide and events beginning in 1963 in some quarters. Any sully of Archbishop Makarios will be looked down upon.

Connect

  • Internet access is increasingly available in tourist centres in the guise of Internet cafés and side rooms equipped with monitors. Prices vary, so shop about. €2 an hour seems average, but you can do better. Many cafés now offer free wi-fi access and hotels and resorts often offer Internet access to their guests.

Photo: Ivan Wong Rodenas

Get yourself a neck pillow, this is going to be a long flight.

Starting in March 2018, Australian airline Qantas will be flying direct from London, England to Perth, Australia. The journey is expected to take around 17 hours in the 787-9 Dreamliner. [World Economic Forum]

News from the borders.

US travelers may soon need visas to travel to Europe.

On March 2nd, the European Parliament voted a resolution that would refuse US citizens visa-free access to the EU within two months. This move from the European Parliament is in response to American visa rules denying citizens from Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania visa-free access to the US, while American citizens can travel to these countries without a visa. Because of its reciprocity policy, the EU Commission had to suspend the visa waiver for US nationals; however, the move could be seen as a diplomatic faux pas. [Forbes]

Immigrants crossing illegally from the US to Canada are safe.

This winter, hundreds of people have defied extreme winter conditions and walked across the Canadian border to flee Donald Trump’s planned immigration clampdown. Despite the unusual flow of asylum seeker crossing illegally from the US into Canada, Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said that Canada will not tighten its border to deter migrants. When Donald Trump, signed the travel ban in January, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded with the tweet below and sent a message of hope to all of those seeking a better future, wherever they may be. [Reuters]

To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada

— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) 28 janvier 2017

The language capital of the world: Queens, NY.

According to the Endangered Language Alliance (ELA), There are 800 languages spoken in New York City, but Queens, one of the five boroughs of NYC, is the capital language of the world. Below is a map of the linguistic diversity of the area. [World Economic Forum]

Here is a close-up:

Photo by Mike

VISA-FREE TRAVEL is kind of like having a great partner — you don’t fully realize how lucky you are until the other party ends it. The recent developments between the European Parliament and the United States in the visa reciprocity issue puts us in this exact scenario.

On March 3rd, the EU Parliament announced that due to the US Government’s refusal to grant visa-free entry for people from Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania, the EU will impose travel visas on US citizens. Reactions on the web have been mixed, ranging from sympathy and understanding to annoyance and criticism of the EU.

Those against the new European restrictions might argue that any law that limits the free travel between people isn’t a good thing. This is a fair point, but as a Bulgarian citizen who has spent a third of her life in the US and I’ll tell you why I think the move by the EU is fair.

The ability to travel has changed our lives.

Having broken free from the Soviet Union in 1991, Bulgaria looked towards the West and finally joined the European Union in 2007. Bulgarian Millennials will argue that this is the greatest day in our recent history. Establishing free movement within the European countries has been an absolute game changer for us.

If you follow travel photographers on Instagram, it’s worth noting that a lot of the Bulgarian and other Eastern European accounts are fairly recent. Why? It’s because only recently we were allowed to pack a backpack and hop on a plane to Germany, Spain or Holland without having to go through a torturous process of visa interviews and screenings. Thanks to our entry in the EU, we can now study and work abroad, rubbing shoulders with people from diverse cultures from all over the globe (and explain how yogurt is actually Bulgarian, not Greek).

Though we were granted this freedom ten years ago, we still feel like second-class citizens. A huge contributing factor to that is the treatment we have been and continue to receive from superpowers like the United States.

What we have to do to come to the US

I moved to the US in 2009 to go to school and ended up staying for 7 years of study and work. I’ve since left and settled in Europe, but I naturally feel a draw to go back to my old home and visit my college friends. The problem is that entering the United States on a Bulgarian passport is very complicated because of visa regulations.

This is what I have to do in order to board a plane to the United States (even if I wish to visit for a day):

I have to fill out a form on the US embassy website, accompanied by a photo with specific quality and dimensions. I have to schedule an appointment at the US Embassy (I either have to fly home to Bulgaria, or go to Madrid, since I now live in Spain). I have to pay a fee of $160, nonrefundable. I have to show up for an in-person interview, but it doesn’t end there.

At the interview, I have to present a body of evidence proving that I don’t aim to immigrate to the United States, but only want to have a good vacation and eat chicken wings in LA’s Chinatown, like any other traveler would. This “evidence” includes my work contract, my apartment lease, an invite from whoever I am visiting in the US with his/her address and a document that proves his/her status in the country (Good luck visiting a non-citizen). I have to specify where I will be staying, how long and provide a phone number where I can be reached at all times.

Hopefully, this would grant me a visa, but the embassy officials have the right to decline without providing any explanation. So this is the process I have to go through in order to board a plane to the United States as a Bulgarian citizen. In comparison, if my friend from Los Angeles wants to visit me, all he needs to do is hop on a plane and get his passport stamped upon arrival in Spain.

Openness to other cultures has to go both ways

Americans might be justifiably annoyed at losing easy access to so much of the world, but this is what we have to go through every time we want to visit you. That was the whole point of the 2014 reciprocity agreement. It’s a great idea which makes everyone’s life easier. The only issue is that both the EU and US have to abide by the agreement.

To my pleasant surprise, most of the comments on the articles announcing this change which have been circulating over the past week have been positive. The vast majority of those who can travel free of visas sympathize with us who still need to be thoroughly screened and questioned just to go on a road trip, which demonstrates international solidarity.

Though the implementation of these measures will not be immediate, the European Union’s decision to finally stand up for Bulgaria and the other four countries affected comes as a reminder that at a time when world politics resemble a circus with the potential for a catastrophic ending, we can still manage to unite.

Fellow travelers from the US, thank you for understanding. Don’t let this situation deter you from visiting Europe. You are still very welcome, we just want to feel the same way.

Lonely Planet Cyprus (Travel Guide)

Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher

Lonely Planet Cyprus is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Hike in the beautiful Troodos Mountains, enjoy delicious mezze at a chic cafe in Kyrenia harbour, or explore fascinating Roman ruins in Pafos; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Cyprus and begin your journey now!

Inside Lonely Planet's Cyprus Travel Guide:

Colour maps and images throughout Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots Essential info at your fingertips - hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices Honest reviews for all budgets - eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss Cultural insights give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience - history, cuisine, wildlife, arts Over 30 maps Covers Lemosos, Troodos Mountains, Pafos, Larnaka, Lefkosia, Nocisia, Kyrenia and more

The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet Cyprus, our most comprehensive guide to Cyprus, is perfect for both exploring top sights and taking roads less travelled.

Looking for more extensive coverage? Check out Lonely Planet's Mediterranean Europe guide.

Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet, Josephine Quintero and Jessica Lee.

About Lonely Planet: Since 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel media company with guidebooks to every destination, an award-winning website, mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet covers must-see spots but also enables curious travellers to get off beaten paths to understand more of the culture of the places in which they find themselves.

The Rough Guide to Cyprus

Rough Guides

The Rough Guide to Cyprus is the definitive guide to this alluring, sun-drenched island.

Illustrated throughout with striking full-color photographs, this guidebook offers detailed background on everything from the holiday playgrounds of Agia Napa and Pafos to off-the-beaten-track mountain hikes and vineyard tours.

Crystal clear maps help you explore both the north and south sides of the island, with full information on border crossings and day-trip suggestions, and detailed listings review everything from boutique hotels to youth hostels. Rough Guides' unrivaled contextual background gives you the inside track on Cypriot history and full accounts of all the sights, from stunning Byzantine churches and Roman temples to Ottoman mosques and Venetian forts.

Make the most of your time with The Rough Guide to Cyprus.

Series Overview: For more than thirty years, adventurous travelers have turned to Rough Guides for up-to-date and intuitive information from expert authors. With opinionated and lively writing, honest reviews, and a strong cultural background, Rough Guides travel books bring more than 200 destinations to life. Visit RoughGuides.com to learn more.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Cyprus

DK

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Cyprus will lead you straight to the best attractions this island nation has to offer.

Explore ancient sites, monasteries and hill villages, dramatic countryside, and beaches. Play water sports and take scenic walks. This fully updated guidebook covers of all the major sights and activities, from Nicosia to the harbor at Kyrenia.

Discover DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Cyprus.

   • Detailed itineraries and "don't-miss" destination highlights at a glance.    • Illustrated cutaway 3-D drawings of important sights.    • Floor plans and guided visitor information for major museums.    • Guided walking tours, local drink and dining specialties to try, things to do, and places to eat, drink, and shop by area.    • Area maps marked with sights and restaurants.    • Insights into history and culture to help you understand the stories behind the sights.    • Suggested day trips and itineraries to explore beyond the cities and towns.    • Hotel and restaurant listings highlight DK Choice special recommendations.

With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that illuminate every page, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Cyprus truly shows you this nation as no one else can.

Series Overview: For more than two decades, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides have helped travelers experience the world through the history, art, architecture, and culture of their destinations. Expert travel writers and researchers provide independent editorial advice, recommendations, and reviews. With guidebooks to hundreds of places around the globe available in print and digital formats, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides show travelers how they can discover more.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guides: the most maps, photographs, and illustrations of any guide.

Bitter Lemons

Lawrence Durrell

In Bitter Lemons, Durrell tells the perceptive, often humorous, story of his experiences on Cyprus between 1953 and 1956-first as a visitor, then as a householder and teacher, and finally as Press Advisor to a government coping with armed rebellion. Here are unforgettable pictures of the sunlit villages and people, the ancient buildings, mountains and sea-and the somber political tragedy that finally engulfed the island.

Journey Into Cyprus

Colin Thubron

Beautifully packaged reissue of Colin Thubron's classic which bring the whole of his backlist into Vintage, The people, their history and the beauty of an island on the brink of tragedy.  This is the account of a unique journey -- a six-hundred-mile trek on foot around Cyprus in the last year of the island's peace. Colin Thubron intertwines myth, history and personal anecdote in a quest from which the characters and places, architecture and landscape all spring vividly to the reader's eye.

Top 10 Cyprus (Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guide)

DK

True to its name, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Top 10 Cyprus covers all the region's major sights and attractions in easy-to-use "top 10" lists that help you plan the vacation that's right for you.

This newly updated pocket travel guide for Cyprus will lead you straight to the best attractions these cities have to offer, from the Paphos Archaeological site to scenic beaches to wine-growing regions. Find the best hotels, food, and attractions for every budget.

Expert travel writers have fully revised this edition of DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Top 10 Cyprus.

   • Brand-new itineraries help you plan your trip to these areas of Cyprus.    • Expanded and far more comprehensive, new laminated pull-out map now includes color-coded design, public transportation maps, and street indexes to make it even easier to use.    • Maps of walking routes show you the best ways to maximize your time.    • New Top 10 lists feature off-the-beaten-track ideas, along with standbys like the top attractions, shopping, dining options, and more.    • Additional maps marked with sights from the guidebook are shown on inside cover flaps, with selected street index and metro map.    • New typography and fresh layout throughout.

You'll still find DK's famous full-color photography and museum floor plans, along with just the right amount of coverage of history and culture. A free pull-out map is marked with sights from the guidebook and includes a street index and a metro map.

The perfect pocket-size travel companion: DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Top 10 Cyprus.

Recommended: For an in-depth guidebook to Cyprus, check out DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Cyprus, which offers a complete overview of the city; thousands of photographs, illustrations, and maps; and more.

Series Overview: For more than two decades, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides have helped travelers experience the world through the history, art, architecture, and culture of their destinations. Expert travel writers and researchers provide independent editorial advice, recommendations, and reviews. With guidebooks to hundreds of places around the globe available in print and digital formats, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides show travelers how they can discover more.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guides: the most maps, photographs, and illustrations of any guide.

Living In Cyprus

Tom Kane

What rattles your cage and makes you put pen to paper? Tom Kane is an English ex-pat living in the small Mediterranean island of Cyprus, and these are his observations of life as an ex-pat in Cyprus. Although part of Europe and in the EU, Cyprus is close to the Middle East, which is a bit unnerving when you realise only a hundred miles away there is a civil war raging in Syria.Tom has been blogging about Cyprus for many years and in this book we go from pornographic beer adverts to the island going broke, from Spy planes to flying dogs and from snake charming to rescuing dogs from a raging bush fire. Irreverent and funny but always observant, Tom Kane takes you on a ride through the funny, sad and odd side of Cyprus.

My Cyprus: Travel Guide for Cyprus

Connor Bailes

Number 1 Bestseller for a European Continental Book!An essential read for anyone traveling to Cyprus - This guide covers what to do in Cyprus and I have helped plan your trip before you go. It is a must-read if you are thinking about going to Cyprus. Here is everything you need to know. It can be made available offline, so you can read it on the plane or in your hotel. This book was written by me, I have been offered the place for a tourist information guide at Cyprus.Please leave a review.

Exercise normal security precautions

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.

Cyprus is an independent country that continues to be divided into two de facto autonomous areas and, contrary to United Nations resolutions, into two separate zones. The Government of the Republic of Cyprus, the internationally recognized authority, exercises control only in the Greek Cypriot southern part of the island. The northern area operates under an autonomous Turkish Cypriot administration. As Canada does not recognize the Turkish Cypriot administration, assistance to Canadians in the northern area of Cyprus could be limited.

Crime

The crime rate is low but on the rise. Petty crime such as pick pocketing and purse snatching is prevalent, particularly in urban areas.

Road travel

Exercise caution as driving standards are poor. While modern highways link the major cities, rural and mountain roads are often narrow, winding and poorly maintained. Enforcement of traffic laws and regulations is inconsistent. Running of red lights, speeding and tailgating are common causes of accidents.

United Nations peacekeeping force patrols the “green line” between the Republic of Cyprus in the southern part of the island, and the Turkish Cypriot northern area. You can cross the green line in both directions at designated crossing points, including at pedestrian-only Ledra Palace and Ledra Street checkpoints in central Nicosia.

Demonstrations

Demonstrations and strikes occur periodically, and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media. Strikes may occasionally interfere with services, such as public transport.

Public transportation

Public buses are limited but taxis are widely available. Rail service is non-existent.

Consult our Transportation Safety page in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.

Scams

Be aware that some bars and “cabarets” have been known to overcharge customers for drinks. Customers who refused to pay the bill have been threatened.

See our Overseas Fraud page for more information on scams abroad.

General safety information

Exercise normal safety precautions. Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times.

Emergency services

Dial 112 to reach emergency services.  For police or emergency roadside assistance, dial 199 in the Republic of Cyprus and 155 in the Turkish Cypriot area.

Health

Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread by contaminated food or water. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or through personal contact with unwashed hands. Get the flu shot.

Measles

Measles occurs worldwide but is a common disease in developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. Measles is a highly contagious disease. Be sure your vaccination against measles is up-to-date regardless of the travel destination.
 

Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives, or with weakened immune systems. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should consider getting vaccinated.

Yellow Fever Vaccination

Yellow fever is a disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Risk
  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
  • Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
Recommendation
  • Vaccination is not recommended.
Food/Water

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in Western Asia, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Western Asia. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!


Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas in Western Asia, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, malaria, Rift Valley fever, and West Nile virus.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.


Malaria

Malaria

There is no risk of malaria in this country.


Animals

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in Western Asia, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.


Medical services and facilities

Medical services and facilities

Satisfactory to good medical care is available at government hospitals and private clinics. Medical services in northern Cyprus can be more basic than those available in the Republic of Cyprus. In the event of a serious accident or illness, medical evacuation may be necessary.

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and Detention page for more information.

Dual citizenship

Canadian citizens with dual citizenship may be subject to compulsory military service and other obligations imposed by both the Government of Cyprus in the south and Turkish Cypriot authorities in the north. To determine your status, visit a consulate of the Republic of Cyprus in Canada.

Illegal drugs

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect jail and heavy fines.

Illegal activities

There are restrictions on photographing military installations in both the north and south. English-language signs are generally posted in sensitive areas advising of the restrictions. Regardless of whether signs are posted, refrain from photographing military installations or personnel and comply with all requests from local authorities regarding the use of photographic equipment.

Homosexuality activity

Homosexual activity is legal but is not widely accepted in Cypriot society.

Driving laws

An International Driving Permit is recommended.

Liability insurance is mandatory. Vehicle insurance purchased in the Republic of Cyprus is not valid in the Turkish Cypriot area. A specific insurance is required by the Turkish Cypriot administration, including when driving rental cars.

The use of a cellular telephone while driving is prohibited, unless it is fitted with a hands-free device.

Real Estate

Seek independent legal advice if you consider the purchase, rental, advertisement or promotion of property in areas that are not under the effective control of the Government of Cyprus. You may become the target of civil lawsuits and your ownership and involvement with that property may be challenged by Cypriots displaced in 1974.

Money

The currency of the Republic of Cyprus is the euro (EUR).

Credit cards are widely accepted. Traveller’s cheques can be exchanged at most banks. Automated banking machines (ABMs) are available.

The euro can be used in transactions in the Turkish-occupied areas although is not officially circulated. The new Turkish lira (YTL) is also in circulation in those areas.

When crossing one of the external border control points of the European Union (EU), you must make a declaration to customs upon entry or exit if you have at least €10,000 or the equivalent in other currencies. The sum can be in cash, cheques, money orders, traveller’s cheques or any other convertible assets. This does not apply if you are travelling within the EU or in transit to a non-EU country. For more information on the EU legislation and links to EU countries’ sites, visit the web page of the European Commission on cash controls.

Climate

Cyprus is located in an active seismic zone.

Beware of strong seas and undertows and take note of warning signs on beaches.