6 Reasons Why Cyprus Will Become The Next Trendy Destination For Travelers

6 Reasons Why Cyprus Will Become The Next Trendy Destination For Travelers

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Mediterranean islands are generally related to seashore getaways, translucent, teal waters and breathtaking sunsets, they usually normally compete with one another for the title of main summer time vacation spot yearly. There’s simply too many to call, and we’re positive you’ve heard all about Ibiza, Santorini, Mallorca, Malta and the like…

But what concerning the Eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus? Cyprus is gaining recognition quick and vacationers might wish to get there quickly earlier than everybody else has the very same concept.


Move over, Italy

We can already see our British and European readers rolling their eyes at this, with Cyprus having been a main vacay hotspot for years. We completely get it, it’s hardly Albania or a type of unheard-of, severely underrated international locations most individuals can’t even pinpoint on a map. It is, the truth is, certainly one of Europe’s favourite summer time islands.

Unfortunately, from our facet of the pond, Cyprus remains to be not almost as profitable as Greece or Spain: the U.S. didn’t rank wherever within the high ten of vacationer arrivals into this nation back in 2019, with fewer Americans visiting than Romanians, Poles, Ukrainians – and even the blacklisted Russians.

Panorama Of The City Of Limassol, Cyprus

After two years of Covid and strict border guidelines, which have solely lately been dropped completely, we’ll take a wild guess right here and presume U.S. arrivals have dropped even decrease on the record. While this can be attributed to a scarcity of nonstop flights between the 2 international locations, this has by no means discouraged Americans from touring to faraway places earlier than.

Thailand has been a serious Asian vacation spot for years, and direct flights have solely returned lately after 10 years of pause; to not point out the Pacific islands, the place connecting flights are the norm. No matter how far you go, you’ll find an American snoozing on the seashore, beer cup hanging from the basic neck strap, in locations as distant as Fiji.

Young Male Traveler Holding Up A US Passport And A Boarding Card At The Airport

So why have most Americans nonetheless not heard of Cyprus, one may marvel? On this text, you’ll find out why, as a U.S. citizen, chances are you’ll be one of many few within the Western World nonetheless sleeping on this Mediterranean jewel – and naturally, why it ought to undoubtedly be as huge a summer time vacation spot as other Southern European countries:

Where is Cyprus to start with?

Aerial View Of Paphos Castle, Paphos, Cyprus

That’s a difficult query, and there’s no easy reply. Let’s begin with just a few details: first, Cyprus is a Mediterranean island, and over the ten millennia it has been inhabited it has obtained a big inflow of immigration from neighboring kingdoms and Empires, corresponding to Greeks, Persians, Turks, Armenians and whatnot.

It is a member of the European Union, although it’s situated 226 miles from the closest Greek island. Regardless of the gap, Greece remains to be Cyprus’ nearest fellow EU member. Comparatively, Turkey’s southern coast is solely 50 miles away from the Northern Cypriot shore, and different nearer neighbors embody Lebanon, Syria and Israel.

Greece And Turkey Flags Flying Side By Side

While it’s indisputably culturally European, Cyprus could also be geographically positioned in both Europe or Western Asia, because of its distant location within the East Mediterranean, solely a stone’s throw away from a number of Middle Eastern nations. But then once more, the road that divides the continents is blurry and has modified over time.

Today, regardless of surviving quite a few invasions and being topic to the rule of each single superpower you’ll be able to title, Cyprus has remained loyal to its Ancient Greek origins. The overwhelming majority of Cypriots converse, and a few even establish purely as Greek, that means the island is Greek in (almost) all points – regardless of being its personal nation.

Limassol Old Town, Limassol, Cyprus

Some takeaways from this:

  • Cyprus is a Mediterranean island, and a rustic
  • Although it’s technically in Western Asia, it’s a undoubtedly a European nation and an EU member*
  • Its official forex is the Euro
  • 1.2 million folks stay there
  • The overwhelming majority of islanders converse Greek, though some converse Turkish (extra on that later)

*Think the Canary Islands, which can be an integral a part of Spain and have been for hundreds of years, however are geographically situated in Africa

Ok, however what precisely are Americans lacking out on?

1. First of all, Cyprus is hotter than most of Europe all-year spherical

St Nicolas Agios Nicolaos Church In Protaras, Cyprus

Cyprus is sizzling. And we imply scorching sizzling. In the phrases of the nation’s personal tourism board, it has an ‘intense’ Mediterranean local weather. The lengthy dry summer time extends from mid-May to mid-October, when temperatures can attain over 100 levels in lots of coastal cities. Luckily, the ocean isn’t too distant for a refreshing dip.

Temperatures can simply attain triple digits as early as late April, although, and winters stay fairly gentle, to say the least: the coldest it normally will get on the coast is a mean 16 degrees. We’re in fact not bearing in mind the island’s towering mountains, the place snow falls profusely and snowboarding actions are broadly promoted over winter.

Aerial View Of Beach In Cyprus

The level is: Cyprus is the final paradise island. For those that grew up going through the tough Northeastern American winter, even January in Cyprus will really feel like a summer time break. It enjoys between 300 to 340 sunny days per 12 months, and the ocean stays significantly hotter than most different Mediterranean hubs, even within the off-season.

If you’ll nonetheless fairly expertise that basic Mediterranean summer time, ensure you convey sufficient sunscreen to keep away from burns, restrict your time on the seashore, particularly throughout peak solar hours, and drink loads of water, possibly double the quantity you’ll usually at dwelling. Trust us, the Cypriot warmth is no joke.

2. 402 miles of shoreline with turquoise waters

Cape Greco, Cyprus

Unlike most Southern European international locations which can be solely partially on the Mediterranean – Spain, France, Croatia, Turkey and others – Cyprus is absolutely surrounded by it. More exactly, it has 402 miles of both sandy seashores or scenic coastal rides the place the turquoise glow of the ocean dominates the panorama for miles on finish.

This means Cyprus is likely one of the few European nations with simply sufficient seashores to counter overtourism. Don’t get us flawed, we’re undoubtedly not saying it doesn’t get crowded. Many of the most well-liked seashores within the nation like Ayia Napa and Protaras are completely packed in summer time, however in case you’re searching for quieter spots, it gained’t be too exhausting to seek out them.

Adonis Baths Waterfall In Cyprus

With so many seashores and different bathing areas inland accessible, together with calm water rivers and waterfalls, you may be shocked at what number of unblemished pure websites Cyprus nonetheless hides. Some of the very best ones are located on the island’s Northern coast, and they don’t obtain half as many vacationers because the South.

We will clarify why that’s additional under, however most of the seaside cities and sandy seashores on Cyprus’ Karpas Peninsula, that one crooked finger stretching out on the map that offers the island its distinct geography, are just about unspoiled by mass tourism. The identical can’t be stated about different Medi rivals like Italy.

Before merchandise No. 3, the shortest History lesson potential

Ancient Temple In Cyprus With Turquoise Blue Waters In The Background, Mediterranean Sea

So why is the North not as widespread amongst vacationers? In sum, Cyprus has been a divided island from 1974 onward, when an try to unite the island with Greece was violently hampered by a Turkish invasion. Due to its proximity to Turkey – the Cypriot coast may be seen from the Turkish mainland with the bare eye – the North was seized by the latter’s troops.

Prior to that, each of Cyprus’ Greek-speaking and Turkish-speaking populations lived considerably peacefully in blended communities. After the invasion, Turkish Cypriots had been compelled to maneuver to the North, and the Greeks residing within the North needed to flee South. Fast ahead just a few many years, and a second de facto nation now claims 36% of the island: the TRNC.

Flags Of Turkey And The Turkish Republic Of Northern Cyprus Strung Between The Minarets Of The Selimiye Mosque In North Nicosia, Northern Cyprus

TRNC is an acronym for Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, a ‘country’ whose independence has solely been acknowledged by – tee-hee – Turkey! The complete worldwide group, together with the United States, considers the North to be an integral a part of the Republic of Cyprus (the South) that has been beneath an unlawful occupation because the division befell.

For that motive, Turkish-speaking Cyprus has not loved the identical financial growth the Greek facet has, sustaining official diplomatic relations solely with Turkey and being beneath harsh financial sanctions. Even although guests are welcome, and the Northern Cypriot administration strongly encourages tourism, only a few really enterprise far North.

Off path journey, anybody?

3. Here you’ll find the final divided capital on the earth

Curiously, the UN-established Buffer Zone separating the internationally acknowledged Republic of Cyprus from the self-proclaimed TRNC runs alongside the center of Nicosia, the island’s capital, dividing it between each states. Greek Cypriots declare the whole metropolis – on the identical time, Turkish Cypriots contemplate Northern Nicosia their capital.

Due to this advanced state of affairs, checkpoints have been put in within the metropolis, together with on the primary avenue, successfully functioning like worldwide borders. Because of that, with a purpose to cross from the Greek half into the Turkish, you will have to current your passport, although the Cypriot Government considers the TRNC part of Cyprus.

Barricaded Street Along The Green Line In Nicosia, Cyprus

Much like Berlin within the Eighties, previous to fall of the wall, Nicosia is a metropolis affected by division. Sad because it may be, and we’re positive this isn’t simple for Cypriots raised there, it’s the barbed wire-protected streets, the political murals lining up the Buffer Zone, and the fixed conflict between the Greek and Turkish worlds that make it such a distinctive, fascinating metropolis break.

You may very well be having a luxurious Turkish breakfast within the morning on the Northern facet, as you take heed to the Quran being recited out of the closest minaret, after which cross to the South within the afternoon to strive some conventional Greek pastries and go to museums the place you’ll study concerning the island’s Greek origins. Quite actually, Nicosia presents the very best of each worlds.

4. Wine excursions. Yes, in Cyprus.

Glass Of Rose Wine Pictured Against The Backdrop Of The Troodos Mountain Range In Central Cyprus, Eastern Mediterranean

Those coming to Europe with their hearts set on a vineyard tour will hardly consider Cyprus as their first choose. After all, how might Cyprus even compete when France has Bordeaux, Champagne and the Loire Valley, proper? That’s when Cyprus turns into massively underestimated – even amongst Europeans which were visiting for years.

It has the best local weather for rising grapes, and Cypriot wine is among the many highest quality wine in the entire of Europe, rating 50th in the world when it comes to complete manufacturing. A majority of holiday makers might wish to head straight to the closest seashore straight out of the airplane, however little do they know Cyprus has a complete wine business that’s but to be found.

Traditional Stone Houses And Cobblestone Streets In The Village Of Lofou, Inland Cyprus

An off the trail factor to do within the nation – we love these – goes wine tasting in any of the inland villages, notably these on the slopes of Troodos Mountains. This vary sits on the precise heart of the island and options the best Cypriot peak: the aptly titled Mount Olympus, evocative of the Ancient Greek mythology.

As for the wine produced right here… It is the drink of the gods. Among among the greatest wine-producing villages, we now have Lofou, the place the busy seaside life is changed by mountainside city views, with cobblestone streets and a extra laid-back really feel. Other obligatory stops embody the picturesque Omodos and Pera Pedi, only some miles north of town of Limassol.

5. Cyprus is rather more reasonably priced than different Medi holidays

Couple Of Tourists Riding A Vespa On The Promenade At Larnaca, BEside Larnaca Castle, Cyprus

Minimum wages are a powerful indication of a rustic’s buy energy and how costly issues are. In Spain, the minimum wage is roughly $1,068.84, crushed by France’s whopping $1,566.62, and each of those international locations anticipate vacationers to provide proof of at the least $101 in spending cash per day throughout their keep.

Even although Cyprus does not have a minimal wage, the typical Cypriot makes about $940 a month, proving residing prices are far much less exorbitant than France’s, the place the naked minimal a employee is paid remains to be 60% increased. Naturally, these figures have a direct affect on the worth of primary objects (meals, a bottle of nonetheless water, sunblock, insect repellent and so on).

Aerial View Of Old Marine In Girne/Kyrenia Cyprus

We gained’t mislead you: Cyprus just isn’t an extremely low cost summer time vacation spot. It is definitely no obscure Balkan nation the place vacationers can go by with $`100 {dollars} a complete week, or the budget-friendly Central America, that has even overtaken Europe currently in complete hostel bookings. But it is cheaper than the Western Mediterranean.

Paphos, a metropolis on the nation’s West Coast, has been named this 12 months the fourth most affordable summer time vacation spot in Europe, the place vacationers can stay comfortably off of $72.78 on common per day. Needless to say, Paphos beats outdated summer time favorites like Italy’s Amalfi Coast, Spain’s Costa del Sol and France’s Côte d’Azur when it comes to affordability.

6. Oh, and Cyprus just isn’t that distant

Young Female Traveler Using Phone And Laptop While Flying

There could also be no direct flight connections between the U.S./Canada and Cyprus, however North Americans can simply attain this summer time dreamland through brief stopovers in a lot of European international locations. An Austrian Airlines flight leaving from JFK, closing vacation spot Larnaca (Cyprus), with an air-side transit in Vienna solely takes about 12 hours.

In addition to Austrian Airlines, different European carriers like AirSerbia (Serbia), Swiss Airlines (Switzerland), and Lufthansa (Germany) provide non-direct hyperlinks to Cyprus, with transfers normally lasting lower than two hours. But hey, even you probably have a protracted layover forward, this isn’t essentially a nasty factor, at the least on certain routes.

Happy Young Couple Wearing Summer Clothes Leaving The Airport Following International Travel

Plus, Cyprus simply wants that much-needed U.S. tourism enhance. Prior to HBO’s Game of Thrones, that launched Croatia to a wider American public, there have been no direct flights between the Balkan nation and the States. Now, United has a successful summer route connecting Newark and Dubrovnik. Who is aware of… Maybe Cyprus will comply with go well with at some point?

Now that you recognize all about Cyprus, and what makes it a critical contender for the very best Mediterranean summer time ever, how about reserving these tickets instantly? Just just remember to additionally get insured for flight delays and cancellations: in case you haven’t heard, U.S. travel is in turmoil and we don’t need your dreamy Cyprus journey to show nightmarish.

One last item… and that is VERY vital

Female Traveler Looking Shocked Or Upset As She Checks Her Phone At The Airport

In case this piece of data has already slipped your thoughts – we forgive you, because the wonders of Cyprus do take priority over the rest – the island is break up in two. To the South, you’ve the Greek-speaking Republic of Cyprus, a UN member. To the North, lies the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), which occupies the territory illegally.

The island of Cyprus has three airports, although solely two of these are beneath the management of the Republic of Cyprus. Those are the airports within the cities of Larnaca (Southeast Coast) and Paphos (West Coast), the place most worldwide flights arrive. The third airport, Ercan, served the capital of Nicosia till it was break up in half.

Airplane Flying Over Tropical Sea At Sunset

Now, it’s beneath the management of the TRNC. As a results of a global embargo, all flights to Ercan have a layover in Turkey, the one different UN member that has acknowledged the TRNC as an unbiased state. If you’re planning on visiting Nicosia in your journey to Cyprus, make a psychological observe to NEVER e book flights by way of Ercan.

Foreigners arriving within the island through the North will probably be turned away on the border when trying to cross into the South afterwards, because the Republic of Cyprus considers any entry into the territory by way of Ercan, or any of the ocean ports within the Turkish-controlled North, to be unlawful. Cypriot and European residents are exempt from this restriction.

Young Female Traveler Sat On A Rock As She Stares At The Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus

If you’re an American, with a purpose to keep away from issues, simply fly into Larnaca or Paphos as a substitute. There are a number of shuttle buses, in addition to public transport, linking the capital to the Republic’s airports, although Larnaca is the closest hub to Nicosia (33.6 miles away). Oh, and please: don’t let this discourage you from visiting the North!

This rule doesn’t go each methods: Americans who land within the South, after which enter the North are allowed again within the South any time, with none points, irrespective of what number of instances they cross in a single journey. Just keep in mind to at all times hold your passport on you in case you’re visiting the TRNC – or, within the case of Europeans touring with out their passports, a nationwide ID card.

A Quick Recap

Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque In Famagusta, Northern Cyprus
  • Always use Larnaca or Paphos as your level of entry into Cyprus
  • The Euro is the official forex within the South
  • The Turkish Lira is the forex in use within the North*
  • Never enter navy, no-go zones with out permission

*Euros could also be accepted in North Nicosia, however not different cities within the Turkish-controlled North

Main Sights In Cyprus

Cypriot Mountain Village, Cyprus
  • The Church of St. Lazarus in Larnaca, the oldest in all of Cyprus courting again to the ninth century
  • Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque, on the shores of the Larnaca Salt Lake, one of many holiest websites in Islam
  • Cape Greco for scenic views of the Mediterranean and sea caves
  • Ayia Napa and Protaras, the place among the clearest waters within the island may be discovered
  • Nicosia, the final divided capital metropolis on the earth
  • The Kyrenia medieval citadel in Kyrenia/Girne (Northern Cyprus)
  • The Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque in Famagusta (Northern Cyprus)
  • Varosha, a ghosttown within the North left in ruins within the aftermath of the Turkish Invasion (Northern Cyprus)
  • Limassol, Cyprus’ second largest and most trendy metropolis
  • Lofou, a standard inland Cypriot village
  • Mount Olympus
  • Nea Paphos, an archaeological web site housing the ruins of an historical Greek metropolis in Paphos
  • The Tombs of the Kings in Paphos
  • The Akamas National Park
  • The Adonis Baths
  • The Blue Lagoon

What Are Cyprus’ Entry Requirements?

Young Female Traveler Holding An US Passport, Another Passport Colored Red, And A Boarding Pass

Since May 28, 2022, Cyprus has no Covid entry requirements. In different phrases, Americans can enter the nation no matter vaccination standing, with out testing and quarantine. Visiting is so simple as it was previous to the pandemic, although different necessities, corresponding to indoor masks sporting as soon as contained in the nation, might still apply.

Americans (and Canadians) can keep in Cyprus – each the South and the Turkish-occupied North – as much as 90 days out of each 180 day interval. As the nation just isn’t but a member of Europe’s Schengen Area, any visits to different EU international locations, or Schengen-associated states, don’t rely in direction of your visa restrict in Cyprus.

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Disclaimer: Current journey guidelines and restrictions can change with out discover. The determination to journey is in the end your accountability. Contact your consulate and/or native authorities to substantiate your nationality’s entry and/or any modifications to journey necessities earlier than touring.  Travel Off Path doesn’t endorse touring in opposition to authorities advisories

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