An incredible Island located in the Mediterranean and divided between Greek and Turkey since 1973. Cyprus mixes all the marvels of historical culture with destinies that date from centuries BC and the elegance and fun of the most modern resorts and hotels.
If you want to enjoy a relaxing cocktail and snacks vacation, then the coastal zone is the right for you with a great resort complex for the luxury tastes. But if you like better exploring and feeling the adventurous air of a less globalized era, then you need to see the interior of the island, where the mountains and old villages cluster together around really antique churches and Viking style taverns.
It’s important to take into consideration that entering the North side of Cyprus is considered illegal, unless you enter with a special Visa that you get when you arrive on the island, at the legal entry points.
Entering the Southern side of Cyprus is quite easy, on the other hand; if you’re from Canada, EU, Australia, New Zealand, The United State and others, you won’t need any visa always you are a tourist and stay for less than 90 days.
The legal points of entry are the international airports on Paphos and Larnaca and the ports located in Paphos, Larnaca, Limassol, and Latchi.
Please take into consideration that if you try to enter the country with a passport from the Turkish North Republic of Cyprus, it might be canceled at the entrance, but you still may be able to enter. If you choose to visit the North, make sure they stamp on a different page of your passport.
This happens because of the political dispute between Greek and Turkey about the Cyprus territory, which is also a very delicate subject to talk about with the locals. If you can, avoid it, but if you end up wrapped in that conversation, be very cautious.
As we mentioned before, Cyprus is incredibly versatile when it comes to tourism, so it’s very important that you settle clear what are your interests and what kind of vacation you wish for.
If you’re looking for beaches and a great nightlife to take a fun and relaxing vacations, then Ayia Napa/ Protaras, Larnaca, and Lemesos are the perfect places for you, with great touristic development. Even Limassol offers a great nightlife with more access to other kinds of touristic interests such as history.
If your interests are more cultural, then the capital Nicosia/Lefkosa is right for you with markets and museums that will give you a taste of both cultures (read the above “entering Cyprus” section for important information regarding crossing the capital division).
Ancient history can also be found all over the island with incredible and millennial structures, churches, monasteries, etc. For this kind of experiences, we would recommend you Limassol, Paphos, and Kourion among others.
Shopping is very attractive in Limassol, Paphos, and Nicosia. Just be careful to consult different prices before buying so you won’t get scammed. Finally, the rural mountains Troodos can provide all the old-fashioned, adventurous vacation for the most daring ones.
Even though distances in the island are relatively short, it’s important that you get honest with how many days you’ll stay and take into consideration that the first day you probably won’t be able to travel too much due to the fatigue of the trip.
If you want to take the most of your trip, hiring a car is the best way to move through the island. Even though buses are frequent, they don’t work on Sundays and if you’re on vacation season, they’re going to be crowded. Also, there’re no trains and if you’re planning on visiting mountain villages, taverns, and landscapes, you must know that there’s no public transport for Troodos and the must rural zones.
Flights and Hotels
Booking a flight is actually really easy and if you get to go to the island from London, it will only be a 4 hours trip so it’s nothing to worry about. You can do it comfortably even with kids.
On the other side, picking the time of the year for going to Cyprus is quite important as the weather changes drastically, and also does the crowd.
Unless you love heat and crowds, summer (June-August) is the worst season for visiting the island; temperatures rise over the 30º, and it is the top holiday season, so everything will be crowded including resorts.
Spring and Autumn are better seasons for enjoying the beauties this island has to offer, as April and May offer windflowers covered hills and turtles laying and hatching seasons.
If you like cold better, then visit Cyprus from December to March, where the winds are cold and the mountains get foggy.
The airports of Larnaca and Paphos are at 4km and 6.5km of each respective city. So, if you’re arriving at night, it’s recommendable to previously book a cab or a rental car that’s waiting for you outside.
When it comes to hotels, it all depends on your tastes; you can find all kinds of allocations, from the most Luxurious resorts and 5 stars hotels that are great for Honeymoons and couple trips.
If you’re planning on a more familiar trip, then you can look for the beach apartments at Limassol that are fairly priced and comfortable, and also near the public transport.
There’re also lots of villages and mid-range hotels with pools, but those are the first ones that get coped, especially in the summer.
If you’re looking for a more campsite experience, then you should look for rural villages and B&B’s that usually renovated villages houses that will give you all the experience of a simpler era and are self-catering. But you will need a car for this kind of trip.
Tips and recommendations
- If you’re going on summer, make sure to pack sunscreen and a hat, as well a hydration every time you go out.
There’re three kinds of poisonous snakes in the countryside, so it’s recommendable to walk with boots and socks if you’re planning on exploring.
- Tick-borne diseases are common in Cyprus, make sure you pack repellent and every night check for ticks. If you feel weird after having one, go to a health facility.
- Coffee is really black and strong, without sugar. If you want some, ask for “glyckos” when you order the coffee.
Food is based on yogurt, dips, fish, and lamb, but you can find beef and meat and also plenty of vegetarian options.
The official currency is Euro. ATMs and credit cards are frequent and accepted. Tipping is appreciated at restaurants.
- You can enjoy the taverna-style restaurant in the rural zone where you’ll be treated as in the old times, with plenty of food and drink at a low cost.
- Be careful when talking about politics with the locals.
- If you visit the turtle beaches, make sure to not interfere with the fauna.
- Sundays are resting days on Cyprus, you’ll probably find most establishments closed.
- If you want to visit the “no man’s land” in the divided capital, make sure to carry your passport to avoid problems.
- You can have a picnic in Petra tou Romiou, the place where Aphrodite supposedly emerged from the sea.
- If you make friends with a fisherman, they may take you to the sea caves.