Information & Facts
Steeped in hundreds of years' history, it's no wonder Cyprus
offers some of the most exciting and fascination sightseeing
opportunities in Europe.
Visit the Archaeological Museum in Nicosia to view artefacts
dating back to over 8,500 years ago or explore the site of the
first discovered Neolithic ruins of Choirokoitia just north of
Larnaca. Marvel at the striking mosaic floors in Paphos dating from
the third century AD; visit the mystical Catacombs where visitors
are greeted by a pistachio tree laden with pieces of cloth, or for
a romantic side trip from Paphos, visit the natural grotto on the
Akamas Peninsula near Polis (30 miles/48km north of Paphos) where
legend has it that the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, used to
take her baths.
The public transport system is reliable enough and can get you
to most major cities, however, one of the best ways to get a real
feel for the country and to explore everything it has to offer is
to hire a car or moped and take yourself on a leisurely tour round
Business in Cyprus is best conducted face-to-face, as developing
a working relationship based on trust is important. Business is
conducted formally, and dress should be smart and conservative (a
suit and tie are the norm). Greetings are usually made with a
handshake, and business cards are exchanged. It is common for women
to hold high positions and they are generally well respected in the
business world. Punctuality is important, but meetings may not
begin on time. Business hours can vary according to the season, but
are usually 8am to 1pm and 4pm to 7pm Monday to Friday in summer,
closing at 5pm in winter.
Cyprus enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with abundant sunshine
year round. Long dry summers and mild winters are separated by
short autumn and spring seasons. Summer is a time of high
temperatures with cloudless skies, but the sea breeze creates a
pleasant atmosphere in the coastal areas. Winters are mild, with
some rain and snow on Troodos Mountains.
The international access code for Cyprus is +357. The outgoing
code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the
United Kingdom). Area codes are not required. Mobile phone
operators use GSM networks and have roaming agreements with most
international operators, but not the United States. There are
public phones in all towns and villages and can be used for
domestic and international calls. Phone cards can be purchased from
shops, banks and post offices. Internet cafes are available in the
main towns and resorts.
Avoid taking photographs near military establishments. Religious
customs such as Ramadan should be respected, particularly in the
north where most of the Turkish Cypriots are Muslim; avoid eating,
drinking, smoking and chewing gum in public during the holy month.
Women should dress modestly.
Travellers to Cyprus over 17 years arriving from non-EU
countries do not have to pay duty on 200 cigarettes or 100
cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g smoking tobacco; 1 litre spirits
with higher than 22% alcohol volume or 2 litres spirits or
aperitifs with less than 22% alcohol volume, or 2 litres of wine;
50g perfume or 250ml eau de toilette; 500g coffee; 100g tea;
medicines for personal consumption; and other goods to the value of
EUR175. Prohibited items include fresh fruit, meat and dairy
Electrical current is 240 volts, 50Hz. The UK-style
three square-pin plugs are used.
No vaccinations are required. Travellers are advised to avoid
eating fruits and vegetables unless they have been peeled or
cooked. Health services on Cyprus are of a good standard. UK
citizens should bring with them a European Health Insurance Card
(EHIC), which enables them to receive free emergency medical
treatment. Medical fees are reasonable in Cyprus, but supplies are
expensive. Medical insurance is advised.
The majority of Cypriots speak Greek, and a small
percentage speaks Turkish. The Greek Cypriot dialect differs from
mainland Greece. English, German and French are spoken in tourist
The currency was changed to the Euro (EUR) on 1 January 2008.
Major credit cards are accepted at most establishments. Money and
travellers cheques can be exchanged at banks, open from Monday to
Friday. There are ATMs spread throughout the island, operating 24
hours a day.
Travellers, except EEA nationals, should hold an onward or
return ticket and documentation necessary for that journey, as well
as sufficient funds for the period of intended stay in Cyprus. It
is also advisable to have a hotel reservation. Nationalities that
require a visa are recommended that their passport is valid for at
least six months beyond the period of intended stay. Extensions are
available to visa-exempt nationals. Travellers should note that
foreigners entering Cyprus north of the UN-patrolled 'green line'
are deemed by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus to have
entered illegally, and can be fined when crossing to the south
(EU). Policies and procedures are subject to sudden changes, and
visitors should check on the current situation before departing for
Cyprus. NOTE: It is highly recommended that your passport has at
least six months validity remaining after your intended date of
departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often
apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official
The terrorist threat is low, and crime against tourists is
GMT +2 (GMT +3 from the last Sunday in March to last Sunday
A 10% service charge is levied in hotels and restaurants so a
tip is not obligatory, but small change is always welcome. Taxi
drivers, porters etc, appreciate a small tip.