Part of the European Union since 2004 the Republic of Cyprus, often just referred to as Cyprus, has a great deal to offer. Mountains, magnificent beaches and archaeological sites at the busy city of Paphos and at numerous other locations.
If that’s not your thing, then how about waterparks, windsurfing, snorkeling and sailing in the warm waters of the Mediterranean? All this plus more or less guaranteed sunshine makes for an irresistible destination.
Discover the birthplace of the Goddess of Love herself here at the Rock of Aphrodite.
Known as Petra tou Romiou, the rock rises mysteriously out of the sea near the charming village and resort of Pissouri on the south coast.
In addition, a visit to the Troodos Mountains should provide something a little different. The Troodos are located north of Limassol and Paphos in the western part of the island. Their highest point is Mount Olympus at 1952 metres.
Larger cities more your style? The Republic boasts Lefkosia (Nicosia) which is shared with the Turkish Republic and located towards the north of the Island. This city, shared by Turkish and Greek Cypriots, offers the strange experience of having to pass through a customs post in the city centre. Make sure you take your passport!
Lemesos (Limassol) and Larnaka (Larnaca) are both on the south coast. Each has all the usual big-city amenities including shopping plus access to good beaches. Also on the coast is the afore- mentioned city of Paphos with its extensive archeological sites associated with the cult of Aphrodite. Discover palaces, tombs and wonderful mosaic displays.
To learn more about the Republic of Cyprus check out the website… And until we find the perfect destination specialist (if that’s you please contact us), we’re endeavouring to source a good itinerary from Cyprus Tourism.
Cyprus is a year round destination as it never really gets cold even in January and February but the best months, in terms of warmth and lack of rainfall, are from April to November.
At the very minimum go for a week but two or three weeks is the ideal. Although Cyprus is a relatively small island and the roads are quite good it takes a while to get round especially if your trip involves crossing the border.
High season is, as with most European destinations, July and August although June and September can be quite busy in the main resorts. Low season is January and February when the temperatures are at their lowest and the precipitation at its highest.
Temperatures in the Summer months can be very hot, especially in July when they can exceed 40 degrees C (100 degrees F). June, August and September can also be very hot while April/May and October/November are usually pleasantly warm. There is very little rainfall between the the of May and the beginning of October but expect 9 -11 rainy days per month during the Winter months.
Local Events include:
June (Whitsun) – Feast of Kataklismós Lárnaka (Southern Cyprus)
August 15th – Parish Fairs (Southern Cyprus)
September 1st/2nd Weekend – Limassol Wine Festival (Southern Cyprus)
Cypriot Holidays include:
January 1st New Year’s Day (All of Cyprus)
March 25th Greek National Holiday (Southern Cyprus)
Good Friday and Easter Monday (Southern Cyprus)
May Whit Monday – last Monday of month (Southern Cyprus)
August 15th Assumption Day (Southern Cyprus)
December 24th Christmas Eve (Southern Cyprus)
December 25th: Christmas Day (Southern Cyprus)
December 26th: Boxing Day (Southern Cyprus)
Cyprus is located in the Eastern European TimeZone (EET)
Daylight Saving Time (DST) happens in the Spring (last Sunday in March at 1AM) when clocks are advanced one hour. In the Autumn (last Sunday in October at 1AM), clocks shift back one hour to standard time to give more daylight in the morning.
The Republic of Cyprus uses the Euro as it’s main currency. In the main centres you may find that Euros, British Pounds and US Dollars are accepted.
Cyprus is not expensive – expect to pay much the same as, or even less, than you would elsewhere. Admission to sites of interest is often surprisingly cheap and eating out, while not exactly inexpensive, is normally very reasonably priced.
Of course the larger cities can be a little more pricey but, if you are prepared to shop around a little, you’ll find something to suit your pocket.
What you can expect is value for money wherever you go. For food shopping try the nearest outdoor market. This will not necessarily be cheaper than the shops but the produce is guaranteed to be local and fresh.
Prices often fluctuate dynamically depending on capacity, seasonality and deals. We don’t want to lead you astray by quoting exact prices that quickly become wrong. To give you a rough idea for budgetary planning purposes, though, we have indicated general price ranges for all points of interest.
Price ranges are quoted in €.
See & Do
N/A => Not applicable
€ => Tickets less than €15 per person
€€ => Tickets €15- €30 per person
€€€ => Tickets €30 per person
Sleep — Out of town/rural
€ => Rooms less than €60 for a double
€€ => Rooms €60 – €100 for a double
€€€ => Rooms €100 for a double
Sleep — Large Cities
€ => Rooms less than €100 for a double
€€ => Rooms €100 – €150 for a double
€€€ => Rooms €150 for a double
€=> €5- €10 per person for a meal (without alcohol, tax, tip)
€€ => €10 – €25 per person for a meal (without alcohol, tax, tip)
€€€ => €25 per person for a meal (without alcohol, tax, tip)
N/A => Not applicable
€ => Tickets less than €25 per person
€€ => Tickets €25 – €50 per person
€€€ => Tickets €50 per person
Fly the Friendly Skies
Airfares are a fickle thing. When you need it to be low, it’s high. And when prices dip, what happens? You can’t get off work to travel. Sigh.
But you can get notifications from companies like Kayak, which will email you when airfares drop. Type your destination and the dates you are watching and boom, when there’s a deal, you’ll hear about it immediately via your inbox.
Sites like Momondo also display prices for multiple airlines, so you can compare rates without visiting individual airline sites.
That said, there is an advantage to visiting an individual airline’s site. Why? Because some of their really great deals don’t show up on the aggregator airfare sites. Most airlines share limited-time, super-specials via their Facebook pages or email blasts. So it pays to be their ‘friend’ or subscribe to their e-mailings. European operators such as easyJet, Ryanair, Air France-KLM, Jet2, British Airways, flybe and Lufthansa offer an extensive range of routes in Europe.
Have Car, Will Travel
Like airlines, car rental rates are all over the map. Companies like Expedia and Hotwire offer comparison price shopping.
Hopefully, your trip to (or within) Europe goes without a glitch. But what if an unexpected situation arises? Will you lose the money you invested in the trip? Will you need quick cash to cover sudden costs?
Travel insurance policies are meant to cover these unexpected costs and assist you when problems arise. The fee is typically based on the cost of the trip and the age of the traveler.
Most travel insurance providers offer comprehensive coverage that usually includes protection for the following common events:
Trip Cancellation — About 40 percent of all claims fall in this category.
Medical — Travellers within Europe from European Union member states should obtain an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) card which entitles them to healthcare on the same terms as citizens from the country they are visiting. This is a reciprocal agreement which means for example that EEA visitors to the UK will receive free care in NHS hospitals in the same way that UK residents do. Some countries e.g. France make a charge known as a patient contribution for GP visits or stays in hospital for both their own citizens and visitors from the EEA. Even so, travellers are well advised to have additional medical insurance to cover for example the cost of repatriation, mountain rescue in ski resorts and other emergencies.
For travellers from outside the European Union the cost of health services in Europe, while not as high as in the US for example, can be relatively expensive for the uninsured. For this reason it is essential to consider purchasing medical insurance. If you have a Health Care Plan back home it may cover you for most situations which arise abroad but you need to check this out and in any case additional medical travel insurance will cover you for private health care or other expenses.
Some countries outside the European Union have a reciprocal agreement for healthcare with certain European countries. For example Switzerland has an agreement with all European Union countries and Australia has agreements with the UK, the Netherlands, Italy and others. It pays to check before leaving home.
Trip Interruption — For example, if you become ill during your trip or if someone at home gets sick, and you have to get off the cruise ship or abandon a tour. The insurer will often pay up to 150% of the cost of your trip to get you home.
Travel Delay — Insurance usually covers incidentals like meals and overnight lodging while you wait to travel home.
Baggage — Insurance will typically cover lost and mishandled baggage.
Some insurance companies allow you to purchase a policy that allows you to cancel for any reason. This may cost more (often 10% or more), but it is worthwhile for certain travellers.
Do I need travel insurance?
If your trip is expensive it’s essential and even if it isn’t it’s certainly a good idea. Your age and health are important factors. Your English or other European language skills are also crucial because insurance policies often include concierge services with 24-hour hotlines that can connect you quickly with someone who speaks your language.
How do I choose an insurance provider?
Do your homework — check around.
The largest insurers in the U.S. include Travel Guard, Allianz and CSA Travel Protection. Smaller reputable companies include Berkley, Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection, Travel Insured International and Travelex. You may also find deals through aggregates like Squaremouth and InsureMyTrip.
Many airlines and travel companies also offer travel insurance when you book your flight (often contracted with the above major players).
In Europe the largest insurers are Allianz, Axa and Zurich but there are many smaller providers such as insureandgo and Direct Line.
Pre-existing health conditions — Many policies have exclusion policies if you have a pre-existing medical condition or charge an additional premium related to the condition. Some companies also offer waivers that overwrite the exclusion if you purchase the policy within a certain time frame of paying for your trip (e.g., within 24 hours of buying your cruise package). Again, it’s best to check the fine print.
Credit card insurance — If you buy your airfare or trip with a credit card, you may be partially covered by the credit card’s issuing bank. Check directly with the company to find out exactly what’s covered, as many have “stripped down” coverage and restrictions.
The Republic of Cyprus (the South) uses the Euro
Euros come in €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500 notes. They vary in size, from 120mm x 62mm (€5) to 160mm x 82mm (500), and colour, so it is easy to differentiate between them. All feature European architecture throughout the ages. (Smaller businesses may not accept the larger notes, so plan to have €20s or smaller notes in hand)
There are eight denominations of euro coin: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent plus a €1 and €2 coin. All have a common side and a national side. Remember to spend all coins before you leave – they can’t be exchanged!
Many travellers like to have a small amount of local currency when they arrive in a country but this is becoming less and less important as ATMs and Bureaux de Change appear everywhere especially in transport terminals.
The good news for travellers in Europe is that you don’t need to get stressed about tipping – you don’t have to do it and when you do it really should reflect good or excellent service rather than be something you are expected to do. On the whole workers in tourism are reasonably well paid and don’t depend upon tips to make up their wages. In some cases over-tipping can be embarrassing for all concerned.
Many restaurants include a ‘service’ charge in the price so check and, if it isn’t mentioned, then a tip of between 5 – 10% is quite enough. Even where it is included but you feel that you’ve had really excellent service then the same amount is adequate but ensure that your server receives this by handing it directly to them.
Other methods are to add a euro/pound for each member of the party or round up the bill to the nearest 5 or 10 euros.
Many restaurants add an ‘optional’ amount to the bill when you are paying with plastic, but in many cases the servers don’t receive any of this and it simply becomes an extra profit for the owner. The server won’t mind if you decline to do this!
With taxis, just round up to the next euro or pound for a short journey or, for a long ride, to the nearest ten. Again 10% is the maximum you should consider unless of course the driver carries your bags into the hotel or airport when a little more will be appreciated.
You may wish to give the porter a euro for each bag he carries but, while it will be appreciated, it is not normally expected. Similarly you may wish to leave a small tip for the housekeeping staff, especially if they have been particularly helpful, but this is completely up to you.