A last minute holiday to Cyprus is fast becoming a popular choice for holidayers from the U.K and also other European nations who seek to enjoy and explore this sunny island paradise. If you’re considering a holiday to Cyprus, this article is a great and perhaps sufficient resource to gather all the information needed.
Flying to Cyprus from the U.K
As most visitors to Cyprus come from the UK and Germany, direct flights to both Larnaca and Paphos airports leave from almost all the major British and German airports, such as Heathrow, Stansted, Luton, Glasgow, Manchester, Munich, Stuttgart and Berlin. Direct flights to Larnaca leave from almost every European city, including Paris, Prague, Barcelona, Rome and Lisbon. You can get especially cheap flights to Cyprus from Athens, Greece.
Travel to Cyprus from Africa and the Middle East
Cyprus Airways and Emirates Airlines operate direct flights from many Middle Eastern destinations, such as Bahrain, Dubai, Beirut, Damascus and Tel Aviv and Cyprus Airways is well represented in this region. Direct flights are also available from Cairo. Connecting flights are needed from other African destinations. For example, if you are travelling from Johannesburg or Nairobi fly with Egypt Air or Emirates, stopping in Cairo and from there directly to Larnaca.
Travel from the Americas
Several airlines fly from North America to Larnaca via a connecting flight in a European city. These leave from all the major airports including JFK, Newark and LAX. You can do this with American Airlines coupled with Cyprus Airways.
From Canada, you can pick up connecting flights at various airports, such as Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. The best way is from Montreal direct to Athens, from where you can fly to Cyprus direct. Connecting flights are also available from South American destinations. From Sao Paulo for example you can fly to Cyprus with Air France via a connecting flight in London.
Travel from Asia and Australasia
Coming from Australia is pretty easy as many expat Cypriots live down under. Cyprus Airways is represented by the Cyprus Tourist Agency in Melbourne, located at 237 Lonsdale Street. Most flights leave from Melbourne and Sydney. Travellers from New Zealand do roughly the same journey as those from Australia, but will have to fly to Australia first from Auckland. Connecting flights are also available from most of the major Asian airports, such as Delhi and Bangkok.
Travel by Boat
If you are planning to travel to Cyprus by boat, you will be disappointed that the companies who ran passenger ferries between South Cyprus and mainland Europe suspended their services in 2001 until further notice. However cruise ships stop regularly in Cyprus, mainly at the island’s biggest port in Limassol.
Cheap Flights to Cyprus
Many tourists believe that cheap flights to Cyprus have become a thing of the past thanks to the increased tourism of the last 20 years. It’s true that cheap Cyprus flights are not something you will come across every day, but they still exist if you know where to look.
So why are cheap flights to Cyprus so hard to find? Well depending where you are coming from, a large factor is the island’s location. For example, if you are travelling from the UK, the flight takes just over four hours. This is quite a difference from short flights to say, Spain or Portugal and obviously requires a lot more fuel.
Another thing is the quality of the destination. There are not many places that can boast year round sunshine and such a unique travel experience. When you think of what’s available on the island, paying that little bit extra is more than worth it!
How to Get Cheap Cyprus Flights
When trying to book cheap flights to Cyprus, the first thing to think about is timing your booking well, and in this respect it’s all about one extreme to the other. To get the cheapest deals book either really early or find a very last minute holiday to Cyprus.
The next thing to think about is the time of year you are flying. For cheaper flights, look to book outside of the peak tourist season between June and September. Also avoid holiday times such as Easter (which can be of the most expensive times to visit the island) and of course bank holidays. It is also generally cheaper to fly to Cyprus on a weekday rather than a weekend.
Another tip is to “manipulate” your flight itinerary. For example, it may be worth just booking a one way trip and booking your return flight separately as this can usually save you money. Charter flights can also be more economical.
Also, if you are flying to Larnaca Airport look for flights that have a brief stopover at Paphos airport first because this is often cheaper than flying directly to Larnaca. If you live close to Greece it is can be a good idea to fly there first. This is because prices between Athens and Cyprus are so cheap.
The Cheapest Flights to Cyprus
The good news is that the budget airline EasyJet has begun flying to Cyprus in recent years. You can find some EasyJet flights from the UK to Cyprus for as little as £49.99. Because of the competition from EasyJet, many other airlines have been placed under pressure to reduce their airfares, making air travel to Cyprus better for all of us.
Another budget airline, Ryanair has also started flying to Cyprus recently. EasyJet and Ryanair are often the cheapest Cyprus airlines but bear in mind that you will not get a free meal as you would with some of the other airlines such as Cyprus Airways. You will also have to pay for drinks.
These days it is also often much cheaper to book flights online.
There is nothing quite like flying into Cyprus airports and letting the unmistakable smell of pine and lemon groves hit you! Whatever type of trip you are planning whether self catering, half board or all inclusive holidays to Cyprus and whether you are travelling for business or pleasure, you will feel a thrill when you touch down in Cyprus and let the warm Mediterranean sun hit you!
Want to know more about Cyprus airports? If you are unsure which of the airports in Cyprus to fly to, check out our guide below:
Flying to Larnaca Airport
Larnaca Airport is the country’s major airport taking both scheduled and charter flight. It was established after the war in 1974 left Nicosia International Airport closed. The airport has grown since then, and because it is often used as a stopover between Europe and the Middle East, it often sees more than 5 million passengers a year. In 2009 a new terminal was opened with facilities for over 7 million passengers a year.
Fly to Larnaca Airport for flights to Ayia Napa, or if you are staying in Larnaca, Protaras or Nicosia. Limassol can be reached by either Paphos or Larnaca Airports. To give you a rough idea of the location, it takes around 45 minutes to reach Ayia Napa by taxi and costs about 50 Euros.
Larnaca Airport has good shopping facilities including a large duty free area and plenty of places to eat and drink. There are disabled toilets and lifts available. Parking is free for the first 20 minutes and then charged by the hour. It can be limited in the summer. There is also disabled parking and taxis are available outside 24 hours a day.
Flying to Paphos Airport
Paphos is the smaller of the Cyprus airports in the south and handles around 2 million passengers a year. Fly here if you are staying in Paphos, Polis or Latchi. A new terminal was opened here in 2008 increasing the capacity available for passengers and facilities.
Parking is now only free for the first 20 minutes or for the first 2 hours if you are disabled, and remains quite cheap after that (for example €6.5 for six hours). There is currently quite limited parking, although there are plans in place for expansion.
Paphos airport has a few shops, and a main restaurant and cafe as well as disabled toilets. There is also a bar with an outside terrace where you can watch the planes take off and arrive. Because the airport is located right by the sea, it is a great place to be if your flight is delayed!
Flying to Ercan International Airport
Ercan is the airport located in North Cyprus. Since the decline of Cyprus Turkish Airlines, flights here come from Pegasus Airlines and Turkish Airlines. Since it is against international law to fly here directly, every Ercan Cyprus flight must first stop in Turkey.
There are many websites offering cheap flights via Turkish Airways. For example, a company such as CheapOAir has deals with Turkish Airline flights.
Fly to Ercan airport if you are staying in any area of North Cyprus, such as Kyrenia or Famagusta. There are a couple of duty free shops as well as two restaurants.
Parking is free for the first 20 minutes but is charged after that. A stay for three hours will cost around 10 Turkish Lira.
Cyprus Shops – Shopping in Cyprus
Many souvenirs and crafts are available from Cyprus shops all over the island and which are unique to Cyprus.
One of the reasons that Cyprus shopping is fun is that you can find so many unusual things in places that you would never normally think to look!
What can I buy from Cyprus Shops and Markets?
Lots of towns and villages in Cyprus are known for producing particular products so it is worth getting of the beaten track to find authentic Cypriot craftwork. For example, the villages of Lefkara and Omodos are famous for lace-making, while Geroskipou and Liopetri make baskets. Lefkara is also well known for making silver jewellery and you can pick up handmade ceramics in Koloni and Kornos. For hand-blown glassware, head to Omodos.
You may also be interested in the Cyprus Handicrafts Service which sells Cyprus craftwork at sale prices. It has branches in Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos and if you visit the Nicosia location, you can watch the handicrafts being made in the workshop!
If you are on a longer stay and wanting to do something relaxing or work on a hobby, you are can pick up great art and craft supplies in Cyprus from a shop called Stitches in Limassol. They also run craft workshops.
Cypriots love jewellery and you can find many unique pieces on the island. In the south, gold jewellery is usually made in 18 or 22 carat, while in North Cyprus it is mostly made in 14 or 22 carat. There is also lots of silver jewellery available at very cheap prices.
Many visitors like to take home Cyprus food or drink as souvenirs to remind them of their trip. Some of the most popular buys are olive oil, Cyprus coffee, halloumi cheese and ouzo which can be found in lots of Cyprus shops – all supermarkets and most souvenir shops for example. A Turkish coffee pot is another popular buy. It is also worth visiting the flea markets for fresh herbs and spices.
Most visitors like to buy boxes of Turkish delights as gifts for those back home. You can find these in virtually every food and souvenir shop across the island (be aware that in the South they are called Cyprus Delights!). The best place to buy them is a restaurant called Petek’s in Famagusta as they come in many flavours and the staff will make up a box for you of whatever variety you like. It is also made in the village of Geriskipou.
For longer stays or self catering holidays, you can buy frsh food from local supermarkets and markets for good prices. In the south, check out chain stores like Orphanides and Metro, and in the north look out for the Lemar chain. In the last couple of years the budget supermarket Lidl has also opened in the south.
Buying Clothes in Cyprus
Cyprus definitely isn’t the best place in Europe to shop for clothes, although there are a few well known outlets on the island such as Zara, and you can pick up nice beach wear such as bikinis and sarongs in many souvenir shops around the coast.
You can buy real designer names in department stores, and there are some well known ones such as the Debenhams in Nicosia. There are a lot of Marks and Spencers around in the south for practical clothing and some brand names do have flagship stores. For example there is a Levi shop on Ledra street in Nicosia.
Fake designer clothes can be found in the North and in the Republic. The quality of the clothes varies and I wouldn’t recommend spending too much money on them. North Cyprus in particular is well known for selling fake designer goods such as Armani, Calvin Klein and Levi jeans especially in Kyrenia and Nicosia. You will also find a lot of fake sports brands but these are more obviously faked, so don’t be surprised if you come across trainers called ‘Mike’ complete with a backward tick!
Other Souvenirs and Holiday Essentials
All coastal regions have lots of souvenir shops where you can buy everything from keyrings and fridge magnets to plates and cutlery. Some pieces are tacky and some are surprisingly good quality, it just depends where you want to look and how much you want to spend.
These shops sell sun lotion and many sell other things that you may run out of like shampoo. They also cover fun holiday items like blow-up water beds. There are many pharmacies around for other essentials, especially in tourist areas.
Also look out for bookshops that may interest you. The Moufflon bookshop in Nicosia has a section of books all about Cyprus which are written in both Greek and English. Kohlia’s bookshop, also in Nicosia, stocks books published in Cyprus and has a good collection of art books while Kyriakou’s bookshop in Limassol offers English bestsellers and is perfect for picking up ‘beach reads’!
Shopping at Cyprus Markets
Visiting Cyprus markets is an enjoyable experience for any food lover as it gives you the opportunity to view the island’s fresh produce – most of which you will be familiar with, and a few items that you may not be.
The bigger markets often sell things such as clothes, crafts, electrical and household products and other goods. Almost all markets have hot and cold refreshments for sale.
The markets are often the cheapest place to buy food in Cyprus, so are a good option for grocery shopping and they are also a good way to get to know the locals.
When most people go to flea markets in Cyprus, they like to spend a few moments just taking in the aromas around them. The smell of the spices, cheeses and herbs along with all the bright colours and noise is a big part of the experience!
Finding Food in Cyprus Markets
You will find plenty of meat and fish on offer, and if it rains in the winter snails are usually on sale too. But don’t ignore the real gems of the markets – the fresh and vegetables of Cyprus! Watermelon is the star of the show in summer, as it is a refreshing snack to have in the heat. Alternatively take it home and try it the Cypriot way – with halloumi cheese.
Watermelon, like other locally produced fruit, is often a bit bigger than you would see in supermarkets in colder countries. Fruit such as oranges, strawberries and apricots are all very plump and tasty especially in the summer and lots of fruits are also available during other times of the year.
Figs and lemons are also local favourites, and you will find lots of different types of grapes and olives. The olives make great snacks but be careful when giving them to young children as they are usually sold the traditional way – with the pips still inside!
Finding Flea Markets in Cyprus
The majority of weekend flea markets and car boot sales close around 1 or 2 pm, but a few stay open as late as 7 or 8pm. Some of the most regular and popular markets in Cyprus include:
Limassol Flea Market (Asomatos, Saturdays and Sundays, closes at 7pm)
Limassol Sunday Market (near St Catherine’s Church, closes at 5pm)
Larnaca Sunday (Market (Oroklini)
Paphos Sunday Market (Timi)
Paralimni Saturday Market (Sotira Road)
Nicosia Saturday Market (Municipal Square)
Be sure to check out lesser known markets too, such as on Sundays by Apostelos Andreas Church up the Karpaz peninsula. You can often find ones such as these just by driving through rural areas at weekends. Have fun exploring and shopping!
Family Fun in Cyprus
The tourism industry has made sure that family holidays in Cyprus are fun and diverse. There is lots of family fun in Cyprus to be had, in the numerous luna parks and crazy golf courses on the island or the several several bowling alleys. Here’s a detailed article on outdoor activities in Cyprus that you can plan your holiday around.
Modern Cyprus really does offer something for every one of all ages, not just couples, party-goers or history lovers. Family holidays in Cyprus have a lot of variety. Check out some of our favourite family attractions below:
Platres Chocolate Workshop
You won’t be able to resist temptation in this lovely family run chocolate factory which is a must do for any serious chocoholic! This place even holds the Guinness world record for the most expensive Easter egg ever made, so if you want a different type of eating out experience in Cyprus, you don’t really need to look any further! This is a good option for parents with older children, who can either enjoy a day by themselves or take the kids along.
The chocolates are unique in the world as they incorporate the flavours of Cyprus that cannot be found elsewhere. Different chocolates include Zivania flavour, Commandaria Wine flavour, Lemon Glyco flavour and Cyprus coffee flavour. Several of the chocolates include other Cyprus produce such as honey and almonds. The workshop also offers ‘Flava Chocolate’, made with Cyprus Royal Jelly, which has proven health benefits.
You can either come and sample Cyprus chocolates or learn the art of the the chocolatier for yourself at a chocolate workshop experience day. These can be booked for 2-6 people and must be booked in advance. Classes are €50 a person and you get to take home all the chocolates you make.
Platres Chocolate Workshop is located at 29 Archbishop Makarios Avenue, Pano Platres. Call John on 00357 99766446 for details.
Magic Dancing Waters, Protaras
Well this isn’t just for families, it’s for everyone but I’ve included it here anyway as children love it! You can find this light show next to McDonald’s in Protaras. Giant fountains “dance” in time to the music, which includes the famous Zorba’s dance.
There are also laser, smoke and light shows as well as volcano eruptions! I once stayed in the Kapetanios Bay Hotel next door and was lucky enough to be able to see the show every night from my balcony as I got ready to go out. It is really enjoyable and exhilarating, and I would definitely recommend going to see it!
Lucky Star Theme Park, Larnaca
This theme park is located at Aradippou, not far from Larnaca and the wide range of activities on offer make it perfect for all ages and is a great day out during family holidays in Cyprus.
Lucky Star definitely tries to do things a bit differently and offer a unique twist on common rides. For example, as well as the usual bumper cars, they also offer ‘bumper boats’. Same principle but just on water, and in the Cyprus heat it’s no bad thing to get splashed a bit! There are also special children’s motorbikes with a desgnated track.
Younger children can ride on the safari train and carousel or play on the bouncy castle, while older kids can enjoy the rollercoaster and arcades. Things that are suitable for all ages include the monorail which has a view of the whole park, snooker tables, antique car rides, go-karting and video games.
The Larnaca Go-Karting centre has the biggest go-karting course in Cyprus, and it offers tracks for all levels including a small track for younger children. The centre also offers birthday parties for children, which includes food and use of a bouncy castle.
Kids Kingdom, Paphos
This is an indoor play area for children, with a bar and restaurant for parents and so is ideal for family holidays in Cyprus. The play area has three floors and includes dodgem cars, arcade games and is for children aged 2-17 years.
Waterparks in Cyprus
From giant slides, to rafting, to lazy rivers, waterparks in Cyprus offer something for all tastes and ages. And lets face it, you are definitely going to want to be surrounded by water during a hot Cypriot summer!
Waterworld Ayia Napa
Waterworld is one of the most popular attractions in Cyprus, and one of the biggest theme parks of its kind in Europe. The theme of the water park is ancient Greek mythology, and the names of the rides include Apollo’s Plunge, the Fall of Icarus and Drop to Atlantis!
Definitely try out Poseidon’s Wave Pool with its background of Greek ruins. Sirens go off round the park when the wave machine is about to begin, but look at the schedule and get there a few minutes early so that you have time to get to the back of the pool where the biggest waves are.
The two big red and white kamikaze slides are named Mount Olympus (white) and Zeus Zenith (red). A warning to girls wearing tie-up halter neck bikinis – learn from my mistake and hold onto your bikini top as you go down these slides or you will be red faced at the bottom of them! Or better still don’t wear tie up bikinis to the park full stop!
For people who don’t want to go on the rides, there is the lazy river (River Odyssey) or the Jacuzzi (Aphrodite’s Bath), as well as sun loungers and cafes to relax. Visit the website for more information click here.
Wet n’ Wild Limassol
Wet n’ Wild has been based on the famous waterpark in Orlando, Florida and the rides attract all ages, and not just children. There is a wave pool, a lazy river, speed slides and rafting. Wet n’ Wild is located near Akrotiri Bay.
Fasouri Watermania Limassol
Watermania has an exotic South Pacific theme, complete with palm trees and thatched roof huts! There are also separate pools for toddlers and older children. Highlights include rafting, and be sure to look out for the ‘big orange bubble’!
Aphrodite Waterpark Paphos
This park has some great twister slides, and differs from the other waterparks in Cyprus in that it also offers scuba diving lessons. Some of the other memorable attractions in the park are the Free Fall, the Black Hole and the Fast River.
You are given wristbands at the entrance, and these are scanned when you buy food and drink in the park so that you do not have to carry cash around (there are lockers available).
Cyprus Animal Attractions
Taking time out to enjoy the various Cyprus animal attractions is a great way to have fun on your family holidays in Cyprus!
Mazotos Camel Park, Larnaca
The camel park can be found in Mazotos village which is about 15 minutes drive from Larnaca airport. As well as the brilliantly trained camels, other animals include kangaroos, ostriches, horses and donkeys.
Camel safari rides are a great experience for both children and adults and are a really cheap way to do something different in Cyprus. Both the entrance fee and the camel rides are under 10€, and the entrance fee is deducted from the price of a ride.
There is also a souvenir shop and a restaurant which serves a great mix of Cypriot food and international dishes. Other facilities at the park include a swimming pool, bouncy castle, play area and flight simulator. Visit the website to plan your trip further here.
Cyprus Donkey Sanctuary, Limassol
You can find this sanctuary just outside of Limassol in a village called Vouni. It is home to over 120 rescue donkeys and visitors are able to help groom and walk the donkeys. It is free to enter.
Ocean Aquarium, Protaras
This is quite a small aquarium and didn’t take us long to get through, but it is a nice place to spend a couple of hours. There are over 400 species of marine life here and highlights include piranhas, eels, the penguin house and sharks. There are also nice outdoor gardens with turtles, ducks, swans and different crocodiles to spot.
Paphos Bird Park
The park has an amazing collection of birds where you will find everything from emus to pheasants to owls and many species of parrots. All the enclosures have fact sheets outside with information in English about the animals, and there are bird shows held a few times a day in the amphitheatre where you can see owls and parrots close up.
As well as the birds, the park also has a range of mammals (including a petting zoo) and a reptile house. The park is only a short drive from Coral Bay and has nice views of the sea. It is open all year round.
The only Zoo on the island is home to over 300 animals including favourites like lions, tigers and monkeys, as well as a range of birds. It can be found in the Municipal Gardens and is open all year round from 9am daily and in summer it stays open until 7pm. There is a mini-train which takes visitors on a tour of the gardens and special events for children are held throughout the year.
Marine Life Museum, Ayia Napa
This museum is in Ayia Napa’s town hall and is open from Monday-Saturday. The museum was the first of its kind in Cyprus, and has some fantastic exhibits which show off the diversity of life in the Mediterranean Sea.
The most popular is the reconstruction of a prehistoric seabed. All Cyprus animal attractions are educational as well as fun, but the Marine Life Museum is probably the leader in this area. It is very active in the study and research of life below the sea, and promotes the protection of marine life.
Cheap Car Hire in Cyprus
Finding cheap car hire in Cyprus is pretty easy and if you want to see as much of the island as possible, the best way to do so is by car. The only thing you need to hire a car in Cyprus is a driver’s licence so it really is a very quick and simple process. You must be 21 to legally rent a car in Cyprus and if you are under 25 you will need to take out extra insurance.
Local companies are often cheaper but holiday hire cars in Cyprus can sometimes be in a dreadful state, so it is always a good idea to think about taking a test drive before signing anything. Especially look out for problems with the brakes and indicators.
For this reason, and especially if you are in a hurry, you may want to go with one of the bigger internationally-recognised rental companies. This way you can usually book from home before flying out for your stay too, but this option is only available for south Cyprus.
How to Find Cheap Car Hire in Cyprus
If you are staying in a hotel, the best place to look is at your hotel reception, where you will find access to reliable local hire companies. To get cheap car hire in Cyprus bear remember that the longer you book the car for, the cheaper the rates will be generally. It is quite rare for Cyprus holiday car hire vehicles to be rented out for just one day, and not without a scowl!
There are also local rental agencies looking for business outside all the Cyprus airports – Larnaca, Paphos and Ercan, and with many of them you can haggle for the best deal.
Drive in Cyprus
To be able to drive in Cyprus, you will need to have a valid national or international license. Thanks to the British colonial history on the island, driving in Cyprus is always on the left hand side of the road unlike most European countries.
Road signs in the south are all written in both Greek and English and use the same symbols as the UK. In the north you will notice that most place names are written in Turkish. If you are trying to reach Kyrenia, look out for road signs to Girne, and to go to Famagusta, follow signs to Magusa. To get to the capital Nicosia, don’t forget that it is called Lefkosia in the south and Lefkosa in the north.
It’s a tradition to use your horn to signal to oncoming cars when you are going around sharp ends. This is especially necessary when driving on Cyprus mountain roads where it is very difficult to see oncoming vehicles.
Weather in Cyprus
The weather in Cyprus makes it well known for being a year round destination with its hot summers and mild winters. Cyprus weather is far from unpredictable, so it is easy to choose the time of year that will suit you best.
When to visit Cyprus
If you’re a sun worshipper then you will love the summer months between June and September. The temperatures during this time are usually around 40 Degrees Celsius in the daytime, and often reach the late 20’s and 30’s even at night.
Cyprus is busy throughout the summer, but the peak month for tourists is August when the temperatures are high, the beaches are rammed and the nightlife is as hot as the sun! Summer is also the most expensive time to visit. Night time in summer are great because you can relax outdoors without so much as a cardigan!
But if you don’t handle heat well avoid the summer months! Even in the shade, the heat will get to you. Be prepared to SWEAT during the day! And at night if you are sleeping in a place without air conditioning, such as a rural house, it can be too hot to sleep comfortably.
Those who don’t like big crowds will probably prefer springtime weather in Cyprus. These months are warm enough to enjoy and tan comfortably without being too harsh, but be aware of prices rising around the time of Greek Orthodox Easter.
Autumn is a nice time to visit Cyprus, especially around October. Autumn is not as hot as the summer but it is still warm enough during the day to go to the beach and walk around in summer clothes. I usually find that from October that I have to put on a cardigan or jumper in the evenings as it gets much cooler and a bit windy. The beaches are a lot emptier at this time of year which is a plus.
Winter months like November and December can be pleasant times to go to Cyprus. Again, the days are reasonably warm without being harsh, and the nights are cool. You should still find it ok to swim, but it is unlikely that you will come across any available water sports. Winter also sees the most rainfall. Although a lot of modern attractions may be closed, it is a good time to visit historical and religious sights and you are unlikely to come across any crowds.
Where to Stay in Cyprus
It is important to bear in mind that the weather in Cyprus varies slightly throughout different regions. Away from the coast, the capital city Nicosia lacks the breeze from the sea and can be pretty unbearable in the height of summer.
The mountain ranges such as Troodos are the coolest and airiest parts of the island, providing some relief in summer. Troodos also experiences snow in winter and skiing and snowboarding is available. The best month for snow sports in the mountains is usually January, although it often lasts into March in this area.
Want to Travel Cyprus Independently?
The fastest and easiest way to travel Cyprus is of course by car. This is the best way to get around to the hidden places most tourists never see and discover the secrets of Cyprus for yourself. Blare some Cypriot music from the CD player or radio and enjoy cruising the island! But if that’s not an option, or you are on a tight budget, it is very possible to get around Cyprus without a vehicle.
Here is our guide to getting around Cyprus:
Transport in Cyprus
Public transport in Cyprus ranges in efficiency but is generally a cheap and good way of getting around. There are no trains in either the north or south of the island, so although transport can be time consuming, it can be a nice way of seeing what the countryside has to offer.
Buses run frequently through all the larger cities, from around 5am to 7pm, and later in the summer. They also link across long distance routes to different cities, but these services are less frequent and depart roughly every hour.
It is easy to get to different resorts which are close by to each other, for example buses between Protaras and Ayia Napa leave every half an hour or so and because of the popularity of these areas, bus services can be available as late as 10pm during peak tourist season.
Bear in mind that buses in the south are very infrequent on Sundays, if they are even running at all. Buses and minibuses in the north often run until around 8pm during summer peak times and often do not visit the major tourist attractions, as they serve mainly to link the cities and big villages. Bus services in rural areas of North Cyprus like the Karpaz Peninsula are very scarce.
Cyprus Taxi Services
Communal taxis in Cyprus (known as service taxis in the south or dolmus in the north) carry between 4-7 people and are a cost effective way to travel Cyprus. Private taxis can be expensive and being able to speak a few words of the local language can often help you get a discounted fare.
You can also arrange sightseeing tours with private taxis. Always arrange a price before a tour and don’t visit any extra destinations unless you are willing to go above that price. After 10.30pm and before 6am, cabs charge an additional night-rate.
Fancy skiing in Cyprus? – Head to the Troodos mountains
Skiing in Cyprus?! Because it’s so famous for being a beach resort, very few people know that it’s possible to ski here! That’s the wonderful thing about this island; it has the ability to just keep on surprising you!
In fact, the sport was actually introduced to Cyprus in the 1930s and has now become so prominent that the nation is represented in the World Championships and at the Olympics. The Cypriot team in the 2005 Special Olympic winter games in Japan won seven gold medals as well as several silver and bronze.
In 1992, the Cyprus Ski Federation was founded, which represents Cyprus in the International Ski Federation. Its members are the four ski clubs of Cyprus – Troodos, Limassol, Famagusta and Nicosia. The Troodos Ski School offers cheap group or private ski lessons to adults and beginners. There are also ski passes available to buy on a full or half day basis.
Where/when can I ski in Cyprus?
The best place for skiing in Cyprus is the Troodos Mountains, with the main trails centred around Mount Olympus. Two ski lifts are installed on Mount Olympus itself, aptly named Zeus and Hera.
There are a further two ski lifts, named after Aphrodite and Hermes, located at the Sun Valley Centre. Zeus, being the king of the Gods, leads to the highest and most advanced trail. Hermes will take you to an intermediate track, while the two goddesses lead you to beginners’ slopes.
The winter sports season in the Troodos lasts from December to April and the best snow for skiing usually falls in January. Because winters are so mild in Cyprus, it is even possible to ski and swim on the beach on the same day! Talk about having your cake and eating it too!
If you plan to ski for most of your trip it is advisable to stay in one of the lodgings within the Troodos Mountains, as the slippery mountain roads can be hazardous at this time of year.
Cyprus Ski Equipment
It is possible to rent ski equipment at the centres on Sun Valley and Mount Olympus, but it’s important to know that these are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
It’s worth arriving early, especially on busy weekends, if you are planning to rent in order to get the more up-to-date equipment. Leave it too late and you may well end up with stuff that should probably be confined to a museum!
If you want to snowboard or go skiing in Cyprus, you may also wish to visit one of the four snow equipment shops in Nicosia, such as Mavros Sports in Ledra Street, or Force 8 Sports located in Limassol on Roosevelt Avenue. Read on to plan an enchanting Limassol holiday when you visit Cyprus.