Driving, Car Hire and Taxis
Cyprus is ideal for driving, with good roads and signposts in English along the way. Being easy to find your way around, renting a car is a great idea and is often the most convenient option. The laws in Cyprus are similar to those in the rest of Europe- you are obliged to stick to the speed limits indicated while the driver and all passengers must wear seat belts. Driving is on the left, and drink driving is strictly prohibited. Helmets must be worn when riding motorcycles.
Cyprus’ main towns and villages are well served by petrol stations. However, if you are heading further afield it is advisable to fill up beforehand. Almost all stations have Bank Note Acceptors (BNA’s) and a self-service system for use when stations are closed, usually in the evenings and at weekends, which accept both credit cards and cash.
If hiring a car is not an option for you, don’t worry, there are other ways to get around. Intercity buses are a good option when planning a journey between towns, with regular services connecting all the main urban hot spots. For more information visit www.intercity-buses.com. Service taxi companies also offer intercity door-to-door pick-up and drop-off services with Travel Express popular with locals and visitors alike. Visit: www.travelexpress.com.cy
Riding and Cycling
For those who prefer two wheels, the major towns all have plenty of places you can hire motorcycles and bicycles. A regular hybrid is good for getting around town, whereas mountain bikes make an excellent option if you wish to head to the hills. Cyprus has many kilometres of specially designed scenic biking trails, ranging from very easy to extremely difficult. You can get hold of details from Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) offices in all main towns or at www.visitcyprus.com.
Operating all day and into the night, timetables for buses within each of the island’s major towns can be found online with easy-to-use websites.
Getting To and From the Airport
There are regular bus services to and from both Larnaca and Paphos airports at specified intervals which you can book in advance with timetables available online.
Limassol Airport Express
Handy Info & Services
Public Banking Hours
May – September: Monday – Friday 8.30am to 1.30pm
October – April: Monday – Friday 8.15am to 1.30pm
Banks are also open on Monday afternoons between October- April, 3.15pm and 4.45pm
Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO)
Staff at the CTO offices will be happy to answer any queries you may have, while also providing useful leaflets, maps and brochures completely free of charge. They also organise free guided walks in all of the island’s towns.
Nicosia: (+357) 22-691100
Limassol: (+357) 25-362756
Limassol Port: (+357) 25-343868
Larnaca: (+357) 24-654322
Larnaca International Airport: (+357) 24-008368
Paphos: (+357) 26-932841
Paphos International Airport: (+357) 26-007368
Ayia Napa: (+357) 23-721796
Post offices are open from 8am-3pm, Monday to Friday. Main post offices in all towns are open until 5.30pm.
Local time is 2 hours ahead of GMT. The international dialing code for Cyprus is +357.
220/240 Volts AC 50Hz. 13amp, UK standard square pin sockets.
Cyprus tap water is clean and perfectly safe for consumption. However, due to Cyprus’ dry climate it is important not to waste water. Local and imported bottled mineral water can be bought at reasonable prices from kiosks and supermarkets.
Currently, there are three English-language newspapers published: Cyprus Mail, Cyprus Weekly and the Financial Mirror. There are also Russian-language papers published: Vestnik Kipra and Europa Kipra.
Television programmes are mainly in Greek but a variety of imported European and American films and soaps are shown with Greek subtitles. There is also a daily news bulletin in English on the CYBC station, PIK 2. In addition to the BBC World Service and British Forces Radio, there are also local stations broadcasting in English including Radio Napa 106.3FM and 91.4 Coast FM.
UK dailies, as well as French and German newspapers, are widely available in all the major tourist resorts.
Shopping and Retail
In the main hub of all major towns, shops are usually open on Monday through to Saturday. Many are also open on Sundays, including malls and shops in the tourist areas. Some shops opt to close on Wednesday and Saturday afternoon.
In the summer months, a siesta period is observed from mid-June until the end of September. Opening hours during this time are approximately 8am-1pm and 4pm-8pm. Keep in mind that you will usually find a whole range of useful items at the local kiosk known as ‘periptero’. They often stay open late into the night and stock anything from milk and ice cream to cosmetics, stationery and reading material.
Banks and Currency
Cyprus uses the euro. Banks exchange all major currencies and there are plenty of ATMs in towns around the island where you can withdraw cash. Most restaurants, shops and entertainment centres accept all major credit cards.
Emergency Phone Numbers
Police Headquarters (Lefkosia): (+357) 22-802020
Forest Department (fires report): 1407
Major hospitals (inquiries): 1400
Poison and drug information centre: 1401
Larnaca & Paphos Airports Flight Information: 77778833
Directory inquiries: 11892, 11800, 11833
New Year’s Day: January 1
Epiphany: January 6
Green Monday: First day of Lent
Greek Independence Day: March 25
Greek Cypriot National Day: April 1
Orthodox Good Friday
Orthodox Easter Sunday
Kataklysmos Flood Festival: 50 days after Orthodox Easter
Assumption Day: August 15
Cyprus Independence Day: October 1
Greek National Day: October 28
Christmas Eve: December 24
Christmas Day: December 25
Boxing Day: December 26