Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean and is situated in the extreme north eastern corner of the Mediterranean.
One of the benefits of being a Mediterranean island is plentiful sunshine throughout the year and Cyprus in no exception. Cyprus experiences dry summers and variably rainy winters. July and August are the hottest months with temperatures exceeding 32’C. The winter months are mild with a maximum temperature of 17’C. The most beautiful months to visit Cyprus are from April to June and also from September to November.
Greek, English is widely spoken.
South African passport holders require a visa for Cyprus
WHAT THINGS COST *
Bottled water 1L EUR 2.50
Can of coke EUR 2.00
Bottle of local beer EUR 2.50
Take away lunch EUR 5.50
Dinner at a restaurant EUR 15.00
20 minute taxi journey EUR 30.00
*Purchase price will vary depending on point of sale.
Below are a few hints that may help you when planning for your trip to Cyprus:
For South African passport holders, a visa is required to enter Cyprus. This visa must be obtained prior to departure from South Africa.
The climate is Mediterranean, pleasant and healthy due to its distinctive dryness. Hot summers and mild to cool winters. Rain falls mainly during the winter months. Summer months range from April to end October, and winter starts in December through to March. Snow falls in the mountainous areas during winter.
Lightweight clothes in the summer, like shorts and t-shirts, and warmer clothes in winter. There are no fixed dress regulations in Cyprus, but “modest dress” is required when visiting monasteries and churches. Comfortable shoes are a must and sandals for the beach are required. Do bring your own beach towel and several swimming costumes, as these will be the most essential items on the island.
The unit of currency is the Euro. Some passengers have reported difficulties using American Express and Diners Cards to pay for their meals etc. in their hotels. These credit cards are not as widely accepted as Visa and Mastercards.
Working hours in summer is usually from 09.00 to 13.00 and from 16.00 to 19.00, Monday to Saturday. Try the local markets where you’ll find fresh produce as well as basketwork and national specialities. Alternatively, sophisticated shopping centres will also tempt with their selection of handbags, suitcases, gold and silver jewellery. Suits and jackets can be made to measure within one week. One of the island’s most famous handcrafts is the Lefkara embroidery.
FOOD AND DRINK
Cypriot food has much in common with Greek and Middle Eastern cuisine. Try Meze, a platter of about a dozen appetisers, it usually includes olives, tomatoes, tahini, hummus, and small portions of souvlakia and octopus. Kleftiko (lamb) and Kebab are both tasty dishes, Sheftalia (grilled ground meat with onions) likewise. Baklava is often served to end the meal, accompanied by the strong, sweet coffee (often mixed with cardamom).
Passengers should restrict themselves to one suitcase each, in addition to hand luggage. For the flight, take toiletries etc. in a holdall. Please pack necessary medication in your hand luggage, as well as a change of clothing in the event of any delays.
Taxis (and “service” taxis) are available throughout the island. Local buses are also recommended, but in winter the schedule may not be as frequent as in the summer months. We also recommending hiring a car in Cyprus, as it is the ideal “self-drive” destination. Driving is on the left side of the road, distances shown in kilometres, and road signs are in Greek as well as English.
You will generally find that the Cypriots are helpful therefore we urge on to conform to worldwide trends in this regard. Hotel porters should receive a small tip (approximately € 1), for carrying your luggage (unless travelling in a group in which case this may be included in the tour cost). Guides and drivers should also receive a gratuity and the customary 10 % is recommended for restaurant visits and room service.
Recommended average rates for passengers are:
Passengers on group tours:
Guide: € 4.- per passenger per day for a full day’s services
Driver: € 2.- per passenger per day for full day’s services.
Hotel staff: Usually 10 % of restaurant/room service bill.
Passengers not on group tours:
For passengers not travelling as part of a group but rather with individual services – please increase your tipping accordingly – we suggest doubling above rates for Guide and Driver.
We recommend that you bring some kind of washing soap to do your hand washing. It is also a good idea to bring a blow up hanger, as not all hotel hangers can be removed from the cupboards. Remember to take suntan oil and protection cream. Do not forget the hat for the beach. Most hotels have hair dryers in the room. However, if you do take yours along, make sure that you have an international adaptor set.
Cyprus has the same voltage as South Africa (220V). The majority of electrical sockets take a two-prong plug. An adaptor- set (multi plug) is recommended.
RE-CONFIRMATION OF RETURN FLIGHTS
Please remember that it is imperative to re-confirm your flight at least 72 hours prior to departure. Failure to do so will result in the automatic cancellation of your flight.
IF FLYING EGYPT AIR
If you are flying Egypt Air, please note that it is a “dry” airline, i.e. no alcohol is served on board.
A suggestion from several passengers: If you enjoy your tea/coffee, take a small immersion heater (plus international adaptor set to make sure the electrical plug will fit), a mug, tea/coffee bags, sugar and milk powder/Cremora. Ordering coffee/tea from room service is expensive!