General tourist information about Cyprus, including all the things you need to know before leaving for a trip or vacation to this island in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
Cyprus in short
- Capital: Nicosia
- Area in sq km: 9,251 sq km
- Population: 854,673 (first half 2007)
- Religion: over 80% Orthodox, approx. 18% Muslims as well as minorities of Armenian and Maronite Catholics.
Where is it
Located in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, south of the Anatolian peninsula, Cyprus is geographically located in Asia, but from the historical and cultural point of view it can be considered a European state.
About two thirds of the surface is occupied by the Republic of Cyprus, which has been part of the European Union since 2004, while in the remaining part, north of the island, is the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, self-proclaimed after the military intervention of the Turkish army in 1974.
The island is crossed to the north and south by two mountain ranges, to the north that of Kyrenia, arranged parallel to the coast, up to the Karpaso peninsula, and to the south that of Troodos, which reaches the highest altitude with Mount Olympus.
The plain of Mesaria stretches from the west to the east between the two relief chains.
The rivers of Cyprus are torrential. The only ones that have a regular flow regime are the Yalias and Peidos rivers.
The climate is Mediterranean with hot and dry summers and temperate winters.
Rain falls mainly in winter.
The population is made up of: about 80% Greek-speaking Cypriots, who live in the center and south of the island, about 18% of Turkish origin (in the northern part of the island), the rest is made up of Armenians and other minorities ethnic.
In Cyprus it is necessary to move the clock hands one hour ahead of Italy.
The official languages are Greek and Turkish. Turkish is mainly spoken in the northern part of the island and Greek is mainly spoken in the central and southern part of the island.Recommended readings
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The economy of Cyprus, before the division of the island, was mainly based on agriculture.
After the separation, the Greek community of the Republic of Cyprus tried to orient the economy towards western models, joining the European Union and adopting reforms in this direction.
Despite being a small country, with its strategic position, Cyprus is a meeting point between the European Union, the Middle East and North Africa, the Russian Federation and Eastern Europe.
The driving forces of the economy are tourism, financial services and construction.
Cyprus depends on foreign countries for manufacturing products and energy supply, has few natural resources and imports fuel, machinery, means of transport and raw materials for its light industry.
When to go
From the climatic point of view, in order to avoid the hottest period, the preferred months are April / May and September / October.
To enter the Republic of Cyprus, citizens of European Union countries need a passport or identity card valid for expatriation.
A visa is not required for up to three months of stay.
Due to the political situation, the best solution is to enter from a port or an airport of the Republic of Cyprus, avoiding to go from the north, as the passport stamp of the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, can cause problems to the moment of entry to the south, in the Republic of Cyprus.
In any case, it is better to get the visa issued on a sheet of paper separate from the passport, commonly used forerunner.
A passport is officially required to enter Northern Cyprus.
- The international prefix for telephoning from Italy to Cyprus is: 00357
- The international prefix for making calls from Cyprus to Italy is: 0039
The cellular network is active
The electric current is at 240 V 50 Hz. Sockets type C, G.
Money and credit cards
The official currency of Cyprus is the euro. In the northern part of Cyprus the official currency is the new Turkish lira (YTL).
The main credit cards are accepted. ATMs are present (they are not very common in Northern Cyprus).
How to get
Northern Cyprus (territory politically recognized only by Turkey) has air connections only with Turkey and a few other destinations.
As for the Republic of Cyprus, Cyprus Airways (the Cypriot flag carrier) directly connects Milan Malpensa and Rome Fiumicino to Lanarca Cyprus.
Aegean Airlines, Tarom Romanian Air Transport, Czech Airlines and other airlines offer flights from Italy to Cyprus with an intermediate stop.
Cyprus can be reached via maritime connections with Turkey, Greece and Israel
No vaccination is mandatory.
It is recommended to drink only bottled water and not to add ice to drinks.
In addition, it is good to take out a health insurance before departure, which includes any medical costs and air repatriation.