Weather & Climate
Cyprus is very hot and humid in the summer, especially inland where it can get over 100 degrees F, and the country is also quite cold in the winter (40-60 degrees F) though snow only falls in the mountains. The best times to visit would be in the Fall and Spring. Beach party life revolves around the months of June through August and the ski season takes place from November to February.
The Northern part of Cyprus is under a different administration largely funded by and overseen by the nation of Turkey. This northern area is known by residents as an independent nation called "The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus." No country except for Turkey recognizes the North's status as an independent country and no countries have official diplomatic relations with Northern Cyprus as a country. While the issue is a contentious one, particularly with Turkey seeking European Union membership you won't find Cyprus unstable by any means.
You can typically only visit Northern Cyprus via Turkey. Check with your embassy for details if you are interested in a visit to the North from the South or South to North.
Talks are underway for reunification and several important steps have been made in the right direction as even the capital of Nicosia has taken down a significant part of its dividing wall.
The majority of Cypriots are Greek Orthodox and most Cypriots are religious people, especially the elder population. There is a significant Muslim population as well. Churches are common throughout the country and most stores, restaurants, and other venues are closed completely on Sundays though not in the more tourist-oriented cities.
Most Cypriots speak Greek and outside the tourist areas you may have some trouble with English only. Cypriots are very patient with outsiders, however, and since they used to be an English protectorate many still speak some English. In Ayia Napa there is almost no Greek spoken at all as it has been replaced by English, Swedish, Norwegian, and other European languages.
Clothing is somewhat conservative in some areas of the country. The beaches of Cyprus and beach towns are more liberal in their dress codes. Most beaches are topless and there are several all-nude areas. Many tourist beach towns and cities do not have a dress code in their restaurants or clubs as most people wear beach wear the whole time in the country.
Passport holders from Britain, Australia, Canada, USA, Other EU, Japan do not need a visa if they are staying less than 90 days.
Passengers holding any valid passport may stay in Cyprus for a period of 24 hours if they have a connecting flight and plane or ship ticket.
All visitors will need a passport valid for at least six months except:
Please check with your local Cypriot consulate for more information if your country was not listed.
If you have a Turkish stamp in your passport you may be denied entrance to Cyprus, please check with your local Cypriot consulate or embassy before going.
You cannot enter Cyprus from the North or with any stamp in your passport from Northern Cyprus. You may, however, enter the North from the South if you have any EU, USA, or Australian passport but caution is needed while traveling in the North as there are no diplomatic relations at the moment.
Driving in Cyprus is on the left side of the road! If you are unfamiliar you may have to take it slow and easy at first!
Driving in Cyprus is fairly safe and you can easily rent a car or motorbike from the airport or whatever city your final destination in the country may be. Ayia Napa and Limassol are rife with scooter rentals who will rent to just about anyone, and there are many accidents due to drivers who cannot control their vehicles or who have had too much to drink, so exercise caution. Rent your vehicle from a legitimate place, as the more loose rental companies can hold you liable for any perceived damage that they want to make up.
International Driving Permit is not required (most rental agencies accept your home driving license), but can be welcome. Application and info for US drivers on AAA's website here: http://www.csaa.com/.
Drugs and Alcohol
Cyprus does not seem to have a drinking age. Alcohol is widely available in clubs, bars, pubs, and restaurants. Many Cypriots are able to hold their alcohol consumption and most places shun the overly drunk although there is a big drinking scene in many of the country's cities that includes discoteques and bars that stay open until very late in the evening.
Drugs are available, particularly ecstasy, in Ayia Napa and other nightclub related towns. Drug Laws in Cyprus are very serious, however, and you can be imprisoned for a long time just for having a small amount of illicit drugs. Do not, under any circumstances, take your chances, because your home embassy can do little more than visit you in jail to say hello.
MoneyCyprus is part of the EU and its currency is the Euro.
Cyprus is not a cheap country to visit though bargains are available, particularly if you book ahead.
Credit cards are widely accepted and most cities have money exchanges and some banks and ATMs.
Vaccinations Needed: None.
Depending on what you enjoy some cities in Cyprus, like Ayia Napa, can be a bit crowded with young (16-25 yr. old) drunk people dancing and carousing for all hours of the day and night. This is of course a big draw to many and a big turn-off to others. Cyprus does of course have a very mellow vibe outside the clubbing scene, particularly in the mountain and in Nicosia, Larnaka, Paphos and any number of smaller towns.
Women travelers should be aware that they will be talked to in sometimes annoying and bothersome ways. If you are harassed go to the nearest shop and ask for help and they will be more than glad to do so.
Crime in Cyprus is very low, and petty usually. You are in a very safe country. Avoid the UN Green Zones as they are patrolled by UN soldiers. These areas are very well-marked and you probably won't accidentally stumble into them.
Gay & Lesbian Travel
Cyprus is somewhat tolerant of homosexuality in public, though less so in the more traditional and "older" neighborhoods. In 1998 Cyprus cancelled laws banning homosexuality. While Ayia Napa is almost strictly heterosexual, most other cities have small but present gay scenes.
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