This page is still
U der Con tr ion
n s u c t
I’ll keep adding to this page as and when I think of something that might be useful to anyone thinking of visiting Cyprus. Feel free to ask questions at the foot of this page, or suggest something that might be useful.
If you’re thinking of moving here permanently, or just want to know a bit more about life on the island, then Living In Cyprus is well worth taking the time to peruse.
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Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean (3,572 square miles) and lies at the eastern end, about 60 miles from Syria to the east, with Turkey about 35 miles to the north.
Main towns: Paphos, Limassol, Larnaca, and the capital Nicosia (half of it anyway!)
Airports: Cyprus has two international airports – Larnaca and Paphos
There are two airports, Ercan (just outside Nicosia) and Lefkonico (just outside Famagusta), in the Turkish-occupied northern part of the island, but flights to these two airports are forbidden by international law, and are considered illegal points of entry
Trains: There are no trains in Cyprus
Population: about 785,000 – well, 785,001 for now, but I promise to be good and not to take up too much space while I’m here
Climate: The sun shines at least 300 days a year. Rainfall is minimal and occurs mostly in December and January
Winters are cold.
It can get very hot in July and August. The hottest temperature ever officially recorded in Cyprus is 44.4º in Nicosia – 41.1º in Larnaca. But speak to anyone here, and they’ll all tell you that it can often reach 50º at its peak.
At certain times of year, you can either sunbathe on the beach or ski in the Troodos mountains
Beaches: Cyprus has 49 Blue Flag beaches. The authorities have gone to a lot of trouble to make it that way. The water is clean and unpolluted, and as good as you’ll find anywhere in the Mediterranean.
Language: The official languages are Greek and Turkish. The main spoken language is Greek, although 90% of Cypriots also speak English. Most signs/menus etc. are written in both Greek and English
Time: 2 hours ahead of GMT. Clocks change on the same dates as the UK (but 2 hours earlier!)
Money: Currency is Cyprus Pounds (CYP) – coins are cents
Current Exchange Rate – depends where you shop, but as a rough guide £1 Sterling will buy you around 85 Cyprus cents. Or to put it another way, £1 CYP = about £1.20 Sterling with a bit of change
Cyprus joined the EU on 1st May 2004. The Central Bank Of Cyprus intends to adopt the Euro from January 1st 2008
Driving: They drive on the left (most of them, anyway!)
Distances are measured in kilometres. Fuel is measured in litres.
Petrol is around 50 cents per litre (tbc) diesel –
Electricity: 240volt – plugs are square-pin – same as the UK
Beer: cheapest bar I’ve found so far is 90 cents a pint, but generally about 1.50 a pint. That’s for a very acceptable locally-brewed, pilsner-type lager called KEO (pronounced kay-o). It’s worth clicking on the link just to hear their jingle! Most imported beers and spirits are not much cheaper than the UK, although you can buy a perfectly acceptable bottle of Scotch for around 4 quid
Tobacco: packet of 20 – 1.60 upwards depending on brand. Rolling tobacco is equivalently cheap compared to the UK
Women: all beautiful
Older Women: not so much!
Cypriot Women: not sure, but I think you have to marry them first
Other Nationalities: free-for-all
Men: what can I say? Men are men wherever you go!
Golf: There are currently four courses on the island, with a fifth one on the way. To anyone thinking of playing golf in Cyprus, this link will take you to a site which in turn has links to all four courses on the island. Golf In Cyprus has some useful information, but the location map is inaccurate.
Recent History: Cyprus became an independent country in 1960 under the presidency of Archbishop Makarios
The UK still retains two Sovereign Territory air-bases – Akrotiri and Dhekelia
The northern 37% of the island, including half of the capital Nicosia, has been illegally occupied by Turkey since they invaded Cyprus in 1974
In 1983 Turkey renamed the occupied territory as the Turkish Republic Of Northern Cyprus, but it has never received official recognition from any country other than Turkey. Not to be outdone, Turkey does not officially recognise the Republic Of Cyprus
There has been a UN peace-keeping force (UNFICYP) in Cyprus since 1964
There is a Buffer Zone between Cyprus and the illegally occupied North, patrolled and controlled by the United Nations peace-keeping force – see Map
So you now have a situation whereby part of an EU member country (Republic Of Cyprus) is illegally occupied by another country seeking EU membership (Turkey)!
The illegal occupation by Turkey represents no threat to anyone visiting the island. Parts of the border are now open and you can move freely between the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish-occupied North
Talks are in progress between Cyprus and Turkey for the settlement of the Cyprus Issue, as it is called, and for the reunification of the island. I’d love to see them achieve it, but don’t hold your breath!