Cyprus has very clean beaches, hotels with good service, and an easy excursion. Entertainment – mini cruises, thalassotherapy, and delicious Greek cuisine. Perhaps the most adequate assessment of tourist Cyprus will sound like this: “strong Mediterranean goodness.” That is, this is quite an atypical direction of beach recreation, without any bright or unique “chips”, but without major drawbacks. The island has a mild climate, the service in hotels is quite adequate to their level, and the beaches are very clean, with many Blue Flags – so tours to Cyprus are more than deservedly popular among travelers.
Cities and Resorts
The capital of the island – Nicosia – is an unpopular city among tourists, but definitely worthy of attention. It is the capital of two states at the same time – the Republic of Cyprus, where Greeks live, and Northern Cyprus, whose population is made up of Turks. This is a very beautiful ancient city, the first settlements date back to the 7th century BC. e. If you want to see an authentic non-touristy Cyprus, then you should set aside at least a couple of days to visit Nicosia. There are many museums in this city, as well as restaurants serving Balkan, Greek, and Turkish cuisine.
The largest and most popular Cypriot resort is the city of Limassol. It is located on the seaside and, in fact, is a “universal” vacation spot. For couples with children, there are water parks, an amusement park, and hotels with all the infrastructure of little travelers, for young people there are a lot of clubs, bars, and discos. In addition, this resort is considered the most international and “Russian-speaking”.
Ayia Napa is the “local Ibiza”, the funniest and most youthful resort on the island, where Cypriots themselves enjoy their holidays. The city has many great clubs, beach discos, and a wide variety of bars and restaurants. And compared to the same Ibiza, hanging out in Ayia Napa is several times cheaper.
The most inexpensive and “simple” Cypriot resort in Larnaca. There is nothing special, but it is great for a relaxing family vacation with children. Sandy beaches, a gentle entrance to the sea, and low prices for accommodation fully compensate for the lack of entertainment infrastructure. In addition, there is one of the two airports on the island.
The second airport is located in Paphos. This ancient city is known as the birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite and also as the most exclusive resort on the island. Wealthy people rest here, many luxury hotels and restaurants have been built. There is no special entertainment infrastructure and animation, but there are many beautiful bays, secluded places, and other opportunities for a relaxing holiday.
Protaras is a quiet resort town, already more budgetary. Many wide beaches, rocky coves, and inexpensive apartments are a good place to come on holiday with children. At the same time, if you wish, it is convenient to take a ride from here to Ayia Napa with its disco frenzy – just 15 minutes by taxi.
The small town of Polis, located in the north-west of the island, cannot boast of a large flow of tourists – and this is its charm. The locals just live their own lives, fish, and farm. Nobody entertains tourists here, but there is an opportunity to live in a real authentic Cyprus. Accommodation prices are significantly lower than in tourist centers, fish markets and fairs work on weekends, and if you’re lucky, you can see a yacht show.
The Troodos Mountains are a nature reserve and a must-see destination in Cyprus. These are cool cedar forests, in the shade of which are villages, Byzantine monasteries, ancient ruins, and small taverns. In winter, snowfalls in the Troodos mountains, and you can ski, while the rest of the time it is worth visiting the famous Kykkos Monastery, climbing Mount Olympos, visiting the pottery village of Kakopetria, or simply walking along the numerous mountain hiking trails.
Cyprus has a temperate climate with many sunny days throughout the year. Winters are very short and mild, with average temperatures from +17 to +19 ° C. In the highlands in winter, the thermometer drops to a few degrees below zero, and snowfalls. Summer is hot, lasting from mid-May to mid-October. During this period, the temperature can rise to + 35 ° C in the shade, but due to the low humidity, the heat is easily tolerated.
The average water temperature off the coast of Cyprus in July is +23 ° C, in February (the coldest month) +14 ° C, the swimming season is open almost all year round.
Visa and Customs
There are no restrictions on the import and export of currency, traveler’s checks, credit cards, and other payment documents. Cash amounts over 10,000 EUR must be declared. Permitted duty-free import of 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars, or 250 g of tobacco; 1 liter of spirits or 2 liters of alcoholic beverages with a strength of up to 22 °; up to 50 ml of perfume and 250 ml of eau de toilette. The import of parrots, fruits, and fresh flowers, any weapon (including gas), drugs, and dangerous chemicals is prohibited.
It is prohibited to raise archaeological values from the seabed or to export them from the territory of Cyprus without the prior permission of the Director of the Department of Antiquities.
There are no restrictions on the export of wine, but keep in mind that no more than 3 liters of alcoholic beverages can be freely imported into Russia, regardless of the strength. For the “overweight” you will have to pay a fee of 10 EUR per liter, but in total it is allowed to import no more than 5 liters per one adult citizen.
How to Get to
Although the bulk of foreign visitors to Cyprus arrive on package tours, you can find competitive deals by arranging your own flights and accommodation. The republic has two international airports (Larnaka and Pafos), and there are frequent direct flights to both these airports from London, Manchester, and numerous regional airports in the UK. Other major hubs for Cyprus include Athens, Amsterdam, and Brussels. Turkish-occupied north Cyprus (the “TRNC”) has one international airport at Ercan to which there are no direct flights other than through Turkey. A ferry service also links Turkey with north Cyprus.
Since Cyprus is a smallish island and has an excellent motorway system joining all the main towns and holiday areas, the price can be as much of a factor as transfer times in choosing your airport. However, Larnaka is the biggest and busiest, and therefore offers the widest choice of flights and arrival times and links with the rest of the island.
There are no direct flights to Cyprus from the US, Canada, South Africa, Australia, or New Zealand, so journeys involve at least one change of plane, often in London, Athens, or Dubai.