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 seaside getaways, translucent, teal waters and breathtaking sunsets, and so they normally compete with one another for the title of main summer season vacation spot yearly. There’s simply too many to call, and we’re certain 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 could wish to get there quickly earlier than everybody else has the very same concept.

(*6*)

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 kind of unheard-of, severely underrated international locations most individuals can’t even pinpoint on a map. It is, in actual fact, one among Europe’s favourite summer season islands.

Unfortunately, from our facet of the pond, Cyprus continues to be not practically as profitable as Greece or Spain: the U.S. didn’t rank anyplace 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 are going to take a wild guess right here and presume U.S. arrivals have dropped even decrease on the record. While this can be attributed to an absence 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, one can find an American snoozing on the seaside, beer cup hanging from the traditional 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 surprise? On this text, one can find out why, as a U.S. citizen, it’s possible 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 season 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 acquired a big inflow of immigration from neighboring kingdoms and Empires, reminiscent of Greeks, Persians, Turks, Armenians and whatnot.

It is a member of the European Union, although it’s positioned 226 miles from the closest Greek island. Regardless of the space, Greece continues 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 embrace 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, on account 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 possibly can identify, Cyprus has remained loyal to its Ancient Greek origins. The overwhelming majority of Cypriots communicate, and a few even establish purely as Greek, which means the island is Greek in (practically) all features – 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 dwell there
  • The overwhelming majority of islanders communicate Greek, though some communicate Turkish (extra on that later)

*Think the Canary Islands, which might be an integral a part of Spain and have been for hundreds of years, however are geographically positioned 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 scorching. And we imply scorching scorching. In the phrases of the nation’s personal tourism board, it has an ‘intense’ Mediterranean local weather. The lengthy dry summer season 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 far-off for a refreshing dip.

Temperatures can simply attain triple digits as early as late April, although, and winters stay fairly delicate, to say the least: the coldest it normally will get on the coast is a median 16 degrees. We’re after all 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 dealing with the tough Northeastern American winter, even January in Cyprus will really feel like a summer season break. It enjoys between 300 to 340 sunny days per yr, and the ocean stays significantly hotter than most different Mediterranean hubs, even within the off-season.

If you’ll nonetheless moderately expertise that traditional Mediterranean summer season, ensure you deliver sufficient sunscreen to keep away from burns, restrict your time on the seaside, particularly throughout peak solar hours, and drink loads of water, perhaps 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 might 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 mistaken, we’re undoubtedly not saying it doesn’t get crowded. Many of the preferred seashores within the nation like Ayia Napa and Protaras are completely packed in summer season, however when you’re in search of quieter spots, it received’t be too onerous to search out them.

Adonis Baths Waterfall In Cyprus

With so many seashores and different bathing areas inland out there, 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 similar can’t be mentioned about different Medi rivals like Italy.

Before merchandise No. 3, the shortest History lesson doable

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

So why is the North not as well-liked 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 combined communities. After the invasion, Turkish Cypriots have been pressured 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 total 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 underneath an unlawful occupation for the reason that division befell.

For that cause, Turkish-speaking Cyprus has not loved the identical financial increase the Greek facet has, sustaining official diplomatic relations solely with Turkey and being underneath 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 one can 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 guts of Nicosia, the island’s capital, dividing it between each states. Greek Cypriots declare your entire metropolis – on the similar time, Turkish Cypriots think about Northern Nicosia their capital.

Due to this complicated state of affairs, checkpoints have been put in within the metropolis, together with on the principle avenue, successfully functioning like worldwide borders. Because of that, with a view to cross from the Greek half into the Turkish, you’ll need 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 suffering from division. Sad because it may be, and we’re certain this isn’t straightforward 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 might be having a luxurious Turkish breakfast within the morning on the Northern facet, as you hearken 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 affords 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 may 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 have been visiting for years.

It has the ideally suited local weather for rising grapes, and Cypriot wine is among the many very best quality wine in the entire of Europe, rating 50th in the world when it comes to complete manufacturing. A majority of holiday makers could wish to head straight to the closest seaside 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, significantly these on the slopes of Troodos Mountains. This vary sits on the precise heart of the island and options the very 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 a number of the finest wine-producing villages, now we 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 necessary stops embrace the picturesque Omodos and Pera Pedi, just a few miles north of the town of Limassol.

5. Cyprus is far more inexpensive than different Medi holidays

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

Minimum wages are a robust indication of a rustic’s buy energy and how costly issues are. In Spain, the minimum wage is roughly $1,068.84, overwhelmed by France’s whopping $1,566.62, and each of those international locations count on vacationers to provide proof of not less than $101 in spending cash per day at some stage in their keep.

Even although Cyprus does not have a minimal wage, the common 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 continues to be 60% greater. Naturally, these figures have a direct affect on the worth of primary gadgets (meals, a bottle of nonetheless water, sunblock, insect repellent and so forth).

Aerial View Of Old Marine In Girne/Kyrenia Cyprus

We received’t misinform you: Cyprus will not be an extremely low cost summer season 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 recently 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 yr the fourth most affordable summer season vacation spot in Europe, the place vacationers can dwell comfortably off of $72.78 on common per day. Needless to say, Paphos beats previous summer season 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 will not be that far-off

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 season dreamland through quick stopovers in various European international locations. An Austrian Airlines flight leaving from JFK, last 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 when you’ve got a protracted layover forward, this isn’t essentially a foul factor, not less than 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 increase. 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 observe swimsuit in the future?

Now that you understand all about Cyprus, and what makes it a critical contender for the very best Mediterranean summer season ever, how about reserving these tickets straight away? Just just be sure you 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 very last thing… and that is VERY essential

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 have got 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 underneath 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 underneath 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 impartial state. If you might be planning on visiting Nicosia in your journey to Cyprus, make a psychological notice to NEVER e book flights by Ercan.

Foreigners arriving within the island through the North can 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 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 view to keep away from issues, simply fly into Larnaca or Paphos as an alternative. 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, regardless of what number of instances they cross in a single journey. Just bear in mind to all the time hold your passport on you when 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 relationship 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 a number of the clearest waters within the island may be discovered
  • Nicosia, the final divided capital metropolis on the earth
  • The Kyrenia medieval fortress 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 historic 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, reminiscent of indoor masks carrying as soon as contained in the nation, could 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 will not be but a member of Europe’s Schengen Area, any visits to different EU international locations, or Schengen-associated states, don’t depend in the direction of your visa restrict in Cyprus.

Read More:

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