Known as Aphrodite’s Birth place, Cyprus is the Mediterranean island located at the crossroads of three continents, where East meets West.
While boasting a wealth of history and heritage, the Island also offers championship golf courses, luxurious hotels, inviting beaches, and breathtaking mountain trails.
Enjoying a prosperous service-based economy and blessed with a mild climate and predictable sunshine almost every day, Cyprus is the ideal destination to recuperate for after surgery.
We have gathered all the information you may need to successfully plan your visit to Cyprus, including entry requirements, currency, electricity voltage and time zone, to help you make the most of your time here:
Travelling to Cyprus is very easy.
The documentation required varies, depending on your nationality.
A valid passport is required for a stay of up to 90 days for all bonafide tourists except citizens of European Union countries, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway who may enter Cyprus with their national identity card provided it bears a photo.
Some non-EU third country nationals require a visa.
For longer stays, a visa or residence permit is required. U.S. citizens should be mindful that the Government of Cyprus does not recognize the residence permits issued by Turkish Cypriot authorities for the portions of the island under Turkish Cypriot administration.
For USA Citizens a passport is required for travel to Cyprus. A visa is not required for a stay of up to 90 days.
Further detailed information can be obtained from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Travellers from the US can also contact the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus at 2211 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008-4082, tel. (202) 462-5772, or the Cypriot Consulate in New York at 13 East 40th St., 5th Floor, New York, NY 10016, tel. (212) 686-6016/17.
Legal Points of Entry
The legal ports of entry into the Republic of Cyprus are the airports of Larnaka (Larnaca) and Pafos (Paphos) and the ports of Larnaka (Larnaca), Lemesos (Limassol), Latsi and Pafos (Paphos), which are situated in the area under the effective control of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus. Entry into the territory of the Republic of Cyprus via any other port or airport in which the Government of the Republic does not exercise effective control (Turkish occupied areas) is illegal.
Every person entering Cyprus is entitled to import the following duty free articles (not intended for commercial purposes), provided they are carried in the passengers’ hand luggage or accompanying baggage:
1kg of tobacco
10 litres of spirits
20 litres fortified wine, (such as port or sherry)
90 litres of wine (of which, a maximum of 60 litres of sparkling wine)
110 litres of beer
Travellers under the age of seventeen are not entitled to duty free tobacco products and alcohol.
It is prohibited to import agricultural products or propagating stock such as fruit, vegetables, cut flowers, dry nuts, seeds, bulbs, bulb-wood sticks, cuttings, etc., without the approval of the competent authorities.
The import, possession and use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances are strictly prohibited.
The import of fire arms, ammunition, explosives, flick knives, daggers, swords, obscene books, photographs, films and articles as well as goods bearing a forged trademark or false trade description is prohibited or restricted.
Also prohibited or restricted are pirated or counterfeit goods, animals, birds, uncooked meat and fish and products thereof, milk and dairy products.
Languages and Religions
Greek and Turkish are the main languages spoken by the Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot communities respectively. English is widely spoken. French and German are also well spoken within the tourist industry.
Cyprus enjoys an especially high level of freedom of worship.
While the majority of Greek-Cypriots are Greek-Orthodox Christians, other denominations are represented on the island, including Armenians, Maronites and Roman Catholics.
The Turkish-Cypriot community is predominantly Muslim.
There is also an affluent Israeli community thriving in Cyprus, enabling GMS to offer spiritual guidance, support and kosher meals upon request.
Money and Currency
As from 1st January 2008 the Euro became the legal tender money of Cyprus.
There are seven denominations in Euro banknotes: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euro. They all have different colour and size, the higher the denomination, the bigger the size.
One euro is divided into 100 cent.
There are eight euro coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent, €1 and €2.
The designs on one side of the coins are common to all the countries of the euro area, while the other side reflects national identities. All euro coins can be used in all euro area countries, irrespective of their national side.
All banks operating in Cyprus offer foreign currency exchange services and quote the exchange rates of the Euro against all major foreign currencies daily. Foreign currency can also be exchanged at hotels. More detailed information concerning exchange rates can be obtained from the Central Bank of Cyprus. You can also use the currency converter.
Forms of Payment
Hotels, large shops and restaurants accept most credit cards, travellers cheques, Euro cheques and banknotes of major foreign currencies.
Foreign visitors from countries outside the EU can claim back V.A.T. on goods exported in their hand luggage. Visitors are eligible for a V.A.T. refund if:
– They are not holders of a passport or other form of identification from an EU Member State.
– The total purchased from one store or a chain of stores is more than 171 Euro and less than 17 100 Euro.
More detailed information can be obtained from the V.A.T. Service of the Customs and Excise Department.
The price of products and services in Cyprus varies depending on the season and the location. Below is an indicative list in Euro:
– A single bus ticket costs around € 1
– A glass of beer costs between € 3.50 and € 5
– A ticket to the theatre costs between € 17 and € 25
– Lunch – a fixed menu costs between € 10 and € 13.50
– Dinner at a local tavern (meze, including beer or cold drink) costs around € 20 per person
Since a 10% service charge is levied in hotels and restaurants, tipping is not obligatory but is the norm and is always welcome and appreciated.
Time, Working Hours and Holidays
Cyprus Time is GMT +2.
Public service operating hours are flexible all year round. Operating days are from Monday to Friday starting between:
07:30 – 08:30 and closing between 15:00 – 16:00.
Private sector working hours are:
08:00 – 13:00, 15:00 – 18:00 Monday to Friday for the period September 15th – May 31st and
08:00 – 13:00, 16:00 – 19:00 Monday to Friday, for the period June 1st – September 14th.
Shop opening times vary depending on their type and location, though shops normally open between 07:00 and 09:00.
Special shopping hours apply for Christmas and Easter.
Breakfast is usually served between 07:00 and 10:00 in the morning.
Lunch is served in restaurants between 12:00 and 15:00.
Dinner is served from 19:00 till late in the evening.
The days listed below are public holidays in Cyprus. All public services, private enterprises, banks and shops are closed on public holidays though many shops and certain services remain open in resorts and coastal areas.
*Banks are closed on Easter Tuesday but not on Christmas Eve.
January 1st – New Year’s Day
January 6th – Epiphany Day
March 25th – Greek National Day
April 1st – National Anniversary Day
May 1st – Labour Day
August 15th – Assumption of the Virgin Mary
October 1st – Cyprus Independence Day
October 28th – Greek National Anniversary Day
December 24th – Christmas Eve
December 25th – Christmas Day
December 26th – Boxing Day
Variable – Green Monday (50 Days before Greek Orthodox Easter)
Variable – Good Friday (Greek Orthodox Church)
Variable – Easter Monday (Greek Orthodox Church)
Variable – Pentecost – Kataklysmos (Festival of the Flood)
Health and Safety
Health Care System
Emergency medical treatment and assistance in Cyprus is offered free of charge to international tourists. In cases of emergency this is provided through the Accident and Emergency Department of Government Hospitals and Health Institutions.
EU citizens must produce an E111 form or a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) issued by their country’s health care authorities to obtain additional health care.
Holiday makers can also use their health insurance towards their medical expenses, provided the policy covers the length of their stay on the island.
More detailed information can be obtained from the Cyprus Ministry of Health
Cyprus has no dangerous infectious diseases. Visitors do not require any vaccinations to travel to Cyprus.
Safety in Cyprus
Cyprus has an excellent reputation for being a safe and friendly place. You can help us keep it that way. A few basic precautions can be enough to protect your belongings.
Driving in Cyprus
Driving in Cyprus can be enjoyable.
The minimum driving age is 18. To rent a car, drivers must be in possession of a driving license for at least three years or be aged over 25. Visitors may drive using a valid international driving license or their national driving license, provided it is valid for the class of vehicle they wish to drive.
Drivers should note that driving is on the left-hand side of the road, not on the right.
All the international road traffic signs are in use and placed on the left-hand side of roads and highways.
Distances and speed limits are posted in kilometers and kilometer/per hour (km/h) respectively. The maximum speed limit on motorways is 100 km/h and the minimum is 65 km/h.
The use of seatbelts is compulsory both in the front and back, while the use of mobile phones is strictly prohibited while driving.
It is an offence to drive a vehicle or a pedal bicycle when under the influence of alcohol.
The legal limit in breath is 22 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.
Rush hours in the cities are approximately between 07:30 – 08:00 and 13:00 – 13:30 and in late afternoon 17:00 – 18:00 in winter or 18:00 – 19:00 in summer.
Pharmacies and Medications
Medicine can be purchased at pharmacies on presentation of a doctor’s prescription. Almost all brands of medicine are available in Cyprus. Pharmacies are all marked with a green cross.
In case of emergency call 112 wherever you are on the island.
There are three types of buses in Cyprus that can help you move around:
Trans-urban buses that link all towns on a daily basis and with frequent routes.
Rural buses that link almost all villages with the nearest city but with limited frequency once or twice daily except Sundays.
Urban buses that link different areas within the cities and operate frequently during daytime. In certain tourist areas, during summer period, their routes are extended till late in the evening.
There are different types of taxi services available, covering the entire island:
1. GMS Taxi Service – Our drivers are on call 24/7 to meet your specific requirements. Whether you wish to be dropped off in town, or go on a day trip, our preferred Taxi Service is available to make your stay memorable, trained particularly in taking your physical needs into account. We have also negotiated reduced service rates on your behalf.
2. Trans – urban service which offers the opportunity to share a taxi with 4 – 7 other passengers. It provides connection between all major cities of Cyprus, every half an hour, from Monday to Friday starting at 06:00 in the morning until 18:00 in the evening. On Saturdays and Sundays the service finishes an hour earlier at 17:00. Seats can be booked by phone or online from the providing companies.
During the following public Holidays, taxis charge an extra supplement of 1,96 Euro per ride: 24th, 25th, 26th and 31st December, 1st January, Good Friday, Good Saturday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday and 1st May.
The transport of pets is allowed only when they are carried in small pet-carrying boxes and the charge in such cases is 0,55 Euro per pet.
A number of short cruises sail from Cyprus with trips lasting typically between two-to-five days on board large and comfortable ships. You can either book while on holiday in Cyprus or through tour operators abroad who feature the cruises in their holiday brochures. There are also many short boat trips from and to various destinations around the island sailing from almost all marinas and fishing shelters.
Making Phone Calls
In order to make a phone call to Cyprus from abroad, dial 00357 and then the eight-digit phone number.
If you wish to make a phone call abroad while in Cyprus, dial 00, followed by the country code and the telephone number. International calls can be made from public telephones available at various central locations in all cities and villages, as well as at international airports, harbours and elsewhere. There are three types of public telephones – coin phones, outdoor card phones and indoor card phones. Public payphones can be used for both national and international calls. Dialling instructions as well as rates are displayed in all payphones.
Calling within Cyprus simply requires dialling the eight-digit telephone number.
Many establishments including phone centres, internet cafes and hotels offer internet connection services of various speeds and types. Depending on the establishment, the service offered is wired or wireless and is usually charged by the hour.
Free wifi services
Free wifi access points from CYTA
Free wifi access points from MTN
Climate and Weather
Similar to Israel, Cyprus enjoys an intense Mediterranean climate of hot dry summers starting in mid-May and lasting until mid-September and then rainy, quite mild winters from November to mid-March. Spring and autumn are effectively short intervals in between, characterized by smooth weather. With almost year-round clear skies and sunshine, daylight length ranges from 9.8 hours in December to 14.5 hours in June.
In broad lines, Cyprus’s climate is characterized by hot summers and mild winters.
There is a significant seasonal difference between mid-summer and mid-winter temperatures that ranges from 18° C inland to about 14° C (between 68 – 58° F) on the coast. The difference in daily maximum and night minimum temperatures is also quite significant. In winter they range from 8° to 10° C ( 46-50° F)on the lowlands and 5°to 6°C(42° F)on the mountains and in summer from 16° C (60 ° F )on the central plain and 9°to 12° C ( 48- 54° F) elsewhere.
Daily temperatures during the hottest months of July and August, range between 29°C (85 ° F) to on the central plain and 22° C (72° F) on the Troodos Mountains. The average maximum temperatures for these two months range between 36° C and 27° C (97 and 81 ° F ). In January, the coolest month, the indicative daily temperature is 10° C ( 50° F ) on the central plain and 3° C ( 38° F ) on the higher parts of the Troodos Mountains while the average minimum temperatures are 5° C and 0° C (41 and 32° F).
The temperature in the open sea hovers above 22° C (72° F) from June to November, climbing to 27° C (81° F) in August. Even during the three coolest months of January to March, average sea temperatures are an acceptable 16° or 17° C (62° F). Near the coast, the temperature of water three or four metres deep is similar to that of the open sea, ranging from 15° to 17°C (<63° F) in February and from 23° to 28° C (73 to 82° F) in August. There are no significant daily fluctuations in sea water temperatures, except in very shallow waters less than one metre deep.
During the days in winter and at night throughout the year, humidity ranges from average to slightly low (65% – 95%). During summer it is very low near midday, ranging from 15% to 30% on the central plain. Fog is rare and typically occurs in early morning. Visibility is normally very good or excellent. There is an exception over a few days in spring when the atmosphere is very hazy due to dust from the Arabian and African deserts.
Cyprus enjoys a very sunny climate compared with most countries with 11.5 hours of bright sunshine per day over the six summer months. Even during the winter months of December and January, there is 5.5 hours of sunshine.
Winds over the island are relatively variable in direction and strength depending on the elevation of the land and local temperatures.
Clothing requirements vary, depending on the length and the period of your visit:
During April and May, days are pleasantly warm, but temperatures may drop at night.
Spring and summer apparel and long sleeved tops or light jackets for the evenings are recommended.
From June to the end of August, very light summer clothing is a must.
September to October see quite a few warm days and cool evenings. Light apparel for the day and long sleeves for the evenings in October is recommended.
November has pleasantly warm days that can be enjoyed in jumpers and light jackets.
December and January will be the only winter you will get, even though it feels more like autumn for most visitors. It may rain occasionally, yet the promise of glorious sunshine is still there. Winter clothing is necessary, but not heavy coats.
The possibility of fairly warm days is always there during February, as is the occasional rainfall. Mild daytime temperatures are the harbingers of spring but it can get quite cold in the evenings and winter apparel will be needed.
Winter wear will also be appropriate during March with its moderate but sometimes unpredictable weather inviting you to enjoy Cyprus nature at its best.
Other Practical Information
Drinking Age Limit
The legal drinking age in Cyprus is 17. Drivers should exercise due care over the amount of alcohol consumed. The legal limit in breath is 22 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit in blood is 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.
Water is safe to drink in Cyprus. Water pollution is negligible and every home has fresh running drinking water. Tap water in hotels, restaurants, public premises, etc., is also safe to drink.
The electricity supply in Cyprus is 230 volts, a.c. 50 Hz. Sockets are usually 13 amp, square pin in most buildings. More than one low current rating appliance may be operated from the same supply point by using an adaptor (i.e. radios, electric clocks etc.). The use of adaptors for operating high current rating appliances is not recommended (i.e. electric heaters, toasters, irons etc.). Many hotels provide adaptors upon request from the reception. Adaptors can be purchased from electricians, supermarkets, grocery shops, etc.
Cyprus uses the metric system of weights and measures. Temperatures are reported in degrees Celsius, petrol is sold by the litre, grocery items are in grams and kilograms, fabric lengths in metres, and road speeds and distances posted in kilometers.