The Republic of Cyprus is an island off the south coast of Turkey. The largest city and capital is Nicosia. Official languages include Greek and Turkish and these are also the largest ethnic groups. Cyprus is the third-largest island country in the Mediterranean. It is located north of Israel, west of Lebanon and Syria and southeast of Greece.
The climate of Cyprus is a subtropical Mediterranean climate with some semi-arid areas. The central Troodos Mountains on the island do get heavy winter snowfall, but the rest of the island gets rain during the winter. Cyprus enjoys a large tourist contribution to its economy. Some popular tourist destinations in Cyprus include its beaches, the Limassol Carnival Festival, old architecture and restaurants.
Travel destinations in Cyprus
Here we present our tips for travel destinations in Cyprus.
The port city of Paphos (Pafos) is located in the south-west of the Republic of Cyprus. It is also the administrative centre of the Paphos region.Holidays in Paphos and the neighbouring region offer recreation and relaxation.
In the south-western interior of Cyprus lies the Troodos Mountains or Troodos. The mountain range is of volcanic origin, the highest peak of the Olympos is 1952 metres high.
Travel information Cyprus
So far we have only visited the south of the island. Therefore the information given here only refers to this area.
The island was already settled in 8000 B.C. Over the years, various cultural groups have determined life on the island: for example the Mycenaean culture of Greece, Assyrian, Egyptian and Persian. Thus in some Greek myths there are references to the island. Aphrodite is said to have landed on the island for the first time, which is why it is often referred to as the “island of Aphrodite” when referring to Cyprus.
Many different occupiers lived on the island: Romans, Western European crusaders, Genoese, Venetians, Ottomans, British. Each group brought its own culture and left influences behind.
Cyprus gained independence in 1960. Since 1974 the island has been divided into the Turkish north and the Greek south. A reunification was rejected by the Greek south in a referendum in 2004. Since 2008 the south of Cyprus has been Euroland. In many areas it is easy to pay by credit card. Britain still maintains two military bases on the island. Cypriot jurisdiction does not apply there.
Best time to travel
Cyprus is hot and dry in summer, temperatures can rise above 40°C and rainfall is rare.
Winters are rather mild (5 – 15°C) and also rainy.
Snow often falls in the mountains and skiing is usually possible in January and February.
We were in Cyprus in the spring. In the middle of March the temperature was 20 degrees, it was blooming everywhere.
Arrival / Entry regulations
ATTENTION! These figures refer to the Republic of Cyprus!
Citizens of the Federal Republic of Germany only need their identity card, which is valid for at least another 6 months. When we checked in at the airport, the airline employee asked for a passport. “According to its system Cyprus is outside the EU and a passport would be obligatory there”. My objection that Cyprus belongs to the EU and would even have the euro unsettled him, but he still insisted on a passport. So you better take your passport with you before you stand at the airport and are not allowed to fly!
The Republic of Cyprus can be reached via Larnaca and Paphos airports. The flight time from Central Europe is 3-4 hours. There are some direct flights from Germany, the frequency and prices vary and are highly seasonal.
At the moment there are no ferry connections to the island. These were offered to and from Syria, Egypt and Israel, but have been discontinued due to the conflicts in the Middle East.
Travelling in Cyprus
ATTENTION!!! On Cyprus there is left-hand traffic!!!!
The signposting of excursion destinations, cities is bilingual (Greek, English).
In small towns, on side streets you will rarely find signs.
Speed limits (town 50 km/h, Outside 80 km/h, Motorway 100 km/h), telephone ban while driving and the zero-alcohol-limit should be strictly observed. The penalties could be a heavy burden on the holiday budget.
During our stay we have rented a car from a large well-known rental company. Rental cars have a special red number plate, so they stand out better in traffic and the locals often show more consideration for driving on the left side of the road, which takes some getting used to.
Public transport is fairly well developed.
In the Paphos area, a single ticket (without changing) cost €1.50, a day ticket costs €5. If you want to travel outside the region on the Intercitybus, you have to buy route-related tickets.
We have also seen quite a lot of taxis, but we cannot give a price because we did not take a taxi.
The main language spoken in the Republic of Cyprus is Greek. English is well spoken in the cities and tourist areas. From time to time we have even been approached in a friendly manner in German.
Cyprus used to belong to the British Empire. This is not only noticeable in left-hand traffic, but also in sockets. Adapters are required.
Tipping is expected in Cyprus. In restaurants, tipping is often included in the price, but a 5% tip is still normal.
Near the port of Paphos is the main entrance to a remarkable excavation site. The Paphos Archaeological Park is a cultural highlight for me during our trip to Cyprus.
During our research on Cyprus we repeatedly came across pictures of a gorge on the internet. It was clear that the Avakas Gorge belonged on our to-do list for the stay in Cyprus.
We made another tour by car and drove towards the north-western coast of the island. On the way we visited some smaller destinations, of which I would like to introduce only a few places here.
Not far from our hotel was one of the most famous excavation sites in Cyprus. The King's tombs of Paphos attract visitors from all over the island and have been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1980.