Cyprus is an island in the Eastern Mediterranean, situated at the crossroads of three continents and civilizations. The island is situated South-East of Europe, North of Africa and West of Asia. A member of the EU since 2004 and the Euro since 2008, Cyprus has three official languages: Greek, Turkish and English. The above, combined with average temperatures of 34° in summer and 13° in winter, make Cyprus a popular destination for both tourism and commerce. Home to more than 850,000 people, Cyprus is the most populated island in the Mediterranean.
Climate & Geography
Cyprus enjoys a Mediterranean climate, boasting 340 days of sunshine per year, and tourism is an important sector of the economy, accounting for over 13% of GDP. 57 Blue Flag beaches adorn the coast and water temperatures don’t drop below 17°, even in winter. Two mountain ranges, the Troodos Mountains and the Kyrenia Mountains, border the top and bottom of the central plain, known as the Mesaoria. The island’s inland capital, Nicosia, is located within the latter plain, and is generally hotter than the cities occupying Cyprus’ coastal lowlands; Paphos, Limassol and Larnaca.
As English is widely spoken throughout the island and listed on street signs and menus, communication is not a challenge. The cost of living does not differ hugely from other European countries, although those from stronger economies such as the UK or Ireland may find prices are lower than they are accustomed to at home.
Groceries - especially fresh fruit & vegetables, meat, alcohol and tobacco - will often be available more cheaply than in Northern European countries. Milk, by contrast, can be pricier since most of it must be imported. Dining out is also cheaper, although this will depend on your location. Overall, Nicosia is generally considered to have the highest cost of living.
Although still recovering from the global recession, the Cypriot economy is improving rapidly, having been upgraded to investment grade in 2018 by Moody’s, Fitch and S+P (Ba3, BBB- and BBB- respectively).
The Cypriot economy is heavily reliant on the services industry. Tourism, financial/professional services and real estate/construction provide 80% of employment. Its location provides a natural meeting point between Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East and the country has a strong maritime industry. A highly educated, English-speaking workforce, coupled with an accommodating business environment, have made Cyprus a popular destination for FDI.
The Republic of Cyprus has two international airports: Paphos Airport and Larnaca Airport. Most European airlines offer flights to Cyprus, though there may be limited direct flights available, depending on your location. The flight time from London is approximately 4.5 hours. Motorways make accessing any city from either airport straight-forward.
Travelling in Cyprus
Driving in Cyprus is on the left-hand side. Roads are well-maintained but disregard for the rules of the road can be an issue and care is advised.
Renting a car is easy, relatively inexpensive and is generally the most popular mode of transport. Numerous bus routes provide the main form of public transportation and bus travel is both safe and inexpensive.
Travelling in Cyprus is generally considered safe in all regards. Before travelling, you should check your own Government’s foreign travel advice for Cyprus to satisfy yourself.
A&E departments will provide free emergency treatment to international tourists. Those holding a European Health Insurance Card can avail of further free or reduced cost treatment. It is advisable to arrange medical cover for the full duration of your time in Cyprus.
The following websites may also be of interest:
The information provided relates to the Republic of Cyprus only. This information is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon; individuals are advised to make their own investigation before travelling to Cyprus.