Tourist information about Cyprus for independent travel

This article has been translated from Russian language using an artificial intelligence-based translation algorithm. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the quality of the translation. You can read the original of this article in Russian here, and ask questions on the topic of our travel forum in English here.

General information

Cyprus (Cyprus) - an island state in the Mediterranean Sea, officially called The Republic of Cyprus, is part of the European Union. The area of the island is 9,251 km2, which, for comparison, is four times smaller than the Moscow region.

  • Money. The settlement currency is the Euro, other currencies are not accepted. In the country you can exchange dollars and other convertible currencies, you can find the exchange of rubles, but the rate is unprofitable. On the north side, the official currency is the Turkish lira, but sometimes you can pay in euros. about the currency of Cyprus here...
  • Visa. Citizens of the Russian Federation can enter on a pro-visa issued online, or get a paper visa in advance at the consulate, all for free. Citizens of Ukraine enter without a visa, Belarus and other CIS countries on a visa issued in advance for 30 euros. Learn more about the visa and visa regime of Cyprus here...
  • Language. The official language is Greek, English, Armenian, and Russian are also spoken. On the north side, the main language is Turkish. Russian is very common, there are no great difficulties without knowledge of a foreign language during rest and travel.

Important information about the territorial structure and political situation in Cyprus

Although the island is legally a state of the Republic of Cyprus, in fact the Republic occupies only half of its area-Southern or Greek. The rest is actually occupied by unrecognized states The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (server Cyprus), has UK military bases, and a small portion is controlled by the UN. This happened in 1974, when a coup took place in the country, which resulted in a civil war and the entry of Turkish troops, who occupied the northern part of the island and declared this territory an independent state. Northern Cyprus is not recognized by any country in the world except Turkey.

Now between the northern and southern (Greek) part there is a border that divides, among other things, even the capital of the country – Nicosia (Lefkosia) into two parts. This border is conditional, only police control is carried out. But since the Republic of Cyprus does not recognize it as an interstate border, considering Northern Cyprus as its temporarily occupied territory, this imposes some restrictions and difficulties for tourists. So, it is impossible to cross the border by rented car, it is forbidden to stay in hotels and apartments in the occupied territory. And if you enter the island from the outside immediately to the north side from Turkey (this is the only way to get there from other countries), then under the laws of Cyprus and the European Union you will be considered a state border violator, and you can be subjected to criminal prosecution. Therefore, when a holiday in Cyprus is meant, we are talking about a holiday only in the southern territory of the island in the Republic of Cyprus, and an official visit to the northern part takes place in the form of excursions without an overnight stay.

Holidays in Cyprus

Cyprus is one of the most popular destinations for summer holidays of Russians in Europe. And this is not surprising, because it is one of the few European countries that have not introduced a strict visa regime. Russian citizens can apply for a visa to Cyprus online and completely free of charge. Citizens of other CIS countries can also easily apply for a Cyprus visa for 30 euros, and for Ukrainians visa-free entry is generally open only on a foreign passport.

Ayia Napa Beach

Of course, first of all they go to Cyprus for a beach holiday. But not only sunny beaches are rich in the island. Thanks to its rich history, there is a large selection of excursions to natural, historical and cultural attractions, and many interesting places can be visited independently. And in winter there is a ski resort on the slopes of Mount Olympos.

Royal tombs in Paphos

And Cyprus is one of the most Russian-speaking countries. A huge number of our fellow citizens and immigrants from the former USSR constantly live and work here, so there will be no problems with ignorance of a foreign language, you can explain yourself in Russian everywhere.

Of course, during the rest you will want to have fun, and in this regard, everything is also fine here. You can go diving (including training and obtaining a certificate), snorkeling, learn kayasurfing, windsurfing and other active sports. For children there are amusement parks, water parks, zoos. Adults can visit the casino (there are in Ayia Napa, Limassol and Nicosia), and in the evening relax in the restaurant, sit in the bar, or come off in a nightclub. The truth is, of course, objectively to say that the price of entertainment, as well as in general for tourist services, food in cafes, products in stores here are much more expensive than in Russia or Asian countries, for example.

Resorts where to go

Most of the popular tourist resorts are located on the south side of the island, i.e. on the territory of the Republic of Cyprus. Visiting the northern part is complicated by the difficult political situation, but in practice independent tourists rest in the North. True, for this you need to comply with some conditions: do not inform when entering the country that you plan to rest on the northern part, and of course, do not report this when crossing the internal border. Here are the main resorts of Cyprus, where you should go:

  • Ayia Napa. The most popular beach resort in the southern part. Here are the best sandy beaches, lots of entertainment, well-developed tourist infrastructure. But the resort exists only in the summer at the height of the season, and in the winter it turns into a "ghost town".
  • LArnaka (Larnaca). A city and beach resort, convenient because it is the main international airport of the country. But its disadvantage is not very beautiful beaches with gray-black volcanic sand.
  • Limassol. A large city and the main economic center, the most Russian-speaking. This is also a beach resort, and there are many interesting historical sights, but you need to be careful when choosing a place (area) for accommodation.
  • Pissouri. Very well maintained village and Resort, part of Limassol. There is an excellent beach and water activities are well represented.
  • Pafos. Also a beach resort, but more interesting as a place to explore historical sites, since the beaches in the city are far from the best.
  • Peyia. Village and beach resort area of Paphos, one of the few places for beach holidays in Paphos.
  • Polis. A small quiet and peaceful beach resort on the northwestern tip of the island, the farthest resort from all airports.
  • Troodos. This is a mountainous region that is known as a ski resort in winter and in summer it is a place for lovers of outdoor activities, hiking, trekking and hiking. Troodos includes several mountain villages-resorts Troodos, Kakopetria, Platres, etc.
  • Nicosia The capital of the country, and the only city in the world divided by a border: part is in the Republic of Cyprus, and part in Northern Cyprus. There is nothing to do here, if only to stop by for a day or two to explore the local attractions.

See also overview of Cyprus resorts and what to choose for a holiday here...

Seasons in Cyprus, when it is better to go

Cyprus is not a year-round resort, in winter it is too cold for a beach holiday here. But you can travel here at any time of the year, there is always something to do.

  • The high tourist or beach season runs from the end of May to October inclusive. It is in these months that the water warms up to temperatures that make bathing comfortable, and a large flow of tourists rushes here to rest. But it is worth saying that you can sunbathe and swim in the pool or cool water that has not yet warmed up in March and April, so if you want to save money due to price increases and avoid crowds of tourists, you can go in these months.
  • The low tourist season or off-season runs from November to mid-May. In these months it is too cold for comfortable bathing, and in winter it is not necessary to do this at all, the water is very cold. But the low season is suitable for traveling around the country and getting acquainted with its sights. In addition, in winter (January and February) there is a ski resort on Mount Olympos.

Seasons in Cyprus by month, when is the best time to go

Jan Feb March Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov. Dec
                       

* best time to visit;
acceptable time to visit;
not recommended time to visit

Current weather in Larnaca and Ayia Napa, and forecast

Tides in Cyprus

Fortunately for vacationers, the tides in Cyprus almost do not affect the rest. The water level drop due to them is minimal, and does not interfere with beach holidays and swimming. You can see the forecast of tides in Cyprus for six months ahead:

График приливов и отливов в Ларнаке
00:0006:0012:0018:0000:0006:0012:0018:0000:0006:0012:0018:0000:0006:0012:0018:0000:0006:0012:0018:0000:0006:0012:0018:0000:0006:0012:0018:0025/06/2022 / сб26/06/2022 / вс27/06/2022 / пн28/06/2022 / вт29/06/2022 / ср30/06/2022 / чт01/07/2022 / пт0.16 м. / 0.5 ft.-0.16 м. / -0.5 ft.
График приливов и отливов в Ларнаке подробно ⧉

How to get there

You can get to Cyprus from Russia and other countries by plane, as well as from neighboring Mediterranean countries by ferry. But let's just say that if you think that you can save money if you use water transport instead of an airplane, then this is not so.

It should be borne in mind that the legal way to visit the island from the point of view of the authorities of the Republic of Cyprus and European countries is to arrive through the International Airports of Larnaca and Paphos, or seaports on the southern (Greek) part of the island. If you arrive at one of the ports in the Northern Territory, you will be a state border violator with subsequent deportation and possible criminal prosecution. To prevent this from happening, it is important to remember the following:

  • If you arrive on the Greek part of the island (in the Republic of Cyprus), then you can visit the northern part of the island, but you need to leave the country strictly from the Greek part.
  • If you arrive in the northern part of the island (in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus), then it is better to refrain from visiting the Greek part, since you will not have entry stamps to the Republic, and any meeting with the police can end in expulsion and criminal prosecution. And of course there can be no question of leaving the Greek part.

In total, there are three international airports on the island: Larnaca and Paphos airport on the Greek part; Ercan airport on the northern part. Without a transfer, you can only get to the first two airports, since flights to Ercan airport are operated only from Turkey.

In order to enter the Republic of Cyprus on an online pro-visa, the arrival flight to the country must be direct, transfers are not allowed. If you find a suitable flight with a transfer, you will need to issue a paper visa at the embassy, which is also free for Russian citizens.

Learn more about all the ways, How to get to Cyprus, and how to save money read here...

Larnaca airport

Transport

Cyprus has a system of intercity and city buses, and this is the only form of public transport in Cyprus. Unfortunately, buses rarely run, there are not many convenient routes for tourists, so it is better to rely on renting transport or a taxi.

Taxis here are very expensive by Russian standards, but sometimes this is the only way to get to the right place. Here are the prices for travel from airports as of 2021:

  • Larnaca airport-Larnaca city center-from 5 euros / 266.41 rub.
  • Larnaca-Ayia Napa Airport-45 / 2397.69 rub.
  • Larnaca-Limassol Airport-54 / 2877.23 rub.
  • Larnaca-Paphos Airport-100 / 5328.2 rub.
  • Larnaca-Polis Airport-140 / 7459.48 rub.
  • Paphos airport - center of Paphos-from 14 euros / 745.95 rub.

All trips to and between cities should theoretically be carried out using counters at rates of 65 euro cents per landing (34.63 rubles, see currency of Cyprus and its exchange rate), and 22 cents (11.72 rubles) for each kilometer. But in fact, local taxis do not really like to go by the meter, offering instead a fixed price, usually rarely agreeing to go at a price cheaper than 5 euros (266.41 rubles).

Renting a car in Cyprus is the most profitable and convenient way to travel around the country. It will be convenient both for those who travel independently in different parts of the country, and for those who rest at the same resort on a package tour. In the off-season (from November to April), Car Rental here is even cheaper than renting a bicycle or moped, and cheaper to travel by bus. Moreover, the lease will not even need international law( IDL), there are Russian and other Driving License. It is cheaper to take a car at the airport of Larnaca or Paphos, at resorts prices are higher. Here are the minimum prices for the benchmark as of 2021.

  • In high season (may-October) - 68 euros for 7 days (3623.18 rubles), or 9.7 euros / day (516.84 rubles).
  • Low season (November-April) - 26 euros for 7 days (1385.33 rub), or 3.7 euros / day (197.14 rubles).

For example, in March 2020, we (the authors of the site) rented for 7 days a car class above the minimum for 30 euros. It was a five-door Toyota automatic with air conditioning and a radio in very good condition. Reservations were made through the website Discover Cars, picked up and returned at the end of the trip to Larnaca airport.

We recommend using aggregators for searching and renting data:

Intercity and city buses run in Cyprus. There is also a variety of intercity buses – the so-called shuttle buses (Shuttle Buses), and AirPort Express. Theoretically, you can get almost anywhere by bus, but in many directions they go very rarely, sometimes even once a day or not every day. They run on a strict schedule.

The fare is paid in cash to the driver. The cost depends on the time of day. Here are the rates:

  • City buses during the day-1.5 euros (79.92 rubles), children under 6 years-free of charge.
  • City buses at night (from 21:00 to 04:00) - 2.5 euros (133.2 rubles), children under 6 years-free of charge.
  • Long-distance flights from 4 to 15 euros.

There are also passes for 1 day, week and month on urban routes, and daytime on intercity. Passes are sold only at the ticket offices at major bus stations, usually these are final. Full see the current list of tariffs here...

Northern Cyprus also has its own route network, but these are not large regular buses, but dolmushi taxis, the same as in Turkey. There is no information about their routes and schedules on the network, but in general they go more often and are cheaper than on the Greek part, but are paid in Turkish lira. The main transport centers (final) of dolmushi are Nicosia (Lefkosia), Famagusta, Kyrenia (Girne).

Learn more about transport in Cyprus and what to use here...

Cyprus bus

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