Facts

  • Population: 1.1 million (combined)
  • Major languages: Greek, Turkish
  • Major religions: Christianity, Islam
  • Life expectancy: 78 years (men), 83 years (women) (UN)
  • Member of the European Union
  • Currency: Euro (EUR); Turkish lira (TRY) in the north
  • Emergency Service Numer: 112 or 199

Geography

  • Area: 9,251 sq km (3,572 sq miles)
  • Cyprus is an island nation in the Mediterranean

Notes

  • Since the Turkish occupation of Northern Cyprus in 1974 the island has been divided from Morphus Bay on the east coast to Famagusta on the west
  • The Republic of Cyprus to the south of the dividing line covers 60% of the islands geographical area

Tourism

  • Canadians do not require a visa to travel to Cyprus.
  • Cyprus is not yet a member of the Schengen area agreement
    • They are currently in the process of joining
  • Tourism forms a large part of the economy.
  • You can only legally enter Cyprus through airports and seaports in the Republic of Cyprus government-controlled areas. You can be refused entry if immigration officials have concerns about previous or planned travel to, accommodation or activities (including but not limited to commercial, academic or employment) in the Turkish-controlled north. (Source: Australian Department of Foreign Affairs – Apr 2019)

Overland

  • A Carnet de Passage may be required.
  • Cyprus is one of the few places in Europe that drive on the left side of the road (along with the UK, Ireland, and Malta)
  • Required to carry 2 warning triangles
  • Ferry Service:
    • Grimaldi operate a ferry/passenger service to Limassol, Cyprus.
    • Salamis Lines operate a weekly freight ferry service from Lavrio (Piraeus) in Greece to the islands main port of Limassol.
  • Speed limits:
    • 50 km/h applies in built up areas
    • 65 – 80 km/h on secondary roads
    • 80 – 100 on main roads and motorways
      • Motorways have a minimum speed requirement of 65 km/h
  • The use of mobile phones while driving is illegal
  • The transport system in the north is not as well-developed as that of the south.
  • Drivers frequently use their horns; particularly if you are slow off the mark at traffic lights.
  • Drive defensively. Expect poor safety practices, motorcycles, quad bikes, scooters, or beach buggies on the road.
  • Cypriot drivers can be aggressive, extremely slow, or very fast – there doesn’t seem to be much middle ground.
  • Traffic lights follow normal conventions – the Cypriots don’t.
    • Many will drive straight through a red light at speed. Take care when approaching intersections.
  • Cyprus road safety standards are below the EU average with 67 deaths per 1 million inhabitants (the EU average being 55). 65% of road deaths occur where a seat belt is not used.
  • All passengers must wear seat belts or face a fine.
  • You may not use your mobile phone while driving and can be fined for doing so. You will find that most locals ignore the rule.
  • Parking is fairly informal and in many places you will find cars parked just about anywhere, often double parked. Unless your vehicle is obstructing or parked dangerously, the police won’t normally bother you.
  • Cyprus Automobile Association
    P.O. Box 22279 1519 Nicosia, Cyprus
    Phone:+357 22 31 32 33 | Email: yc.mo1567953434c.aac1567953434@ofni1567953434 | Fax:(357) 22 31 34 82

Safety & Security

  • Member of the European Union since 1 May 2004
  • There are still tension between its Greek and Turkish inhabitants. The  the northern third is run by a Turkish Cypriot government while the southern two-thirds is governed by an internationally-recognized government led by Greek Cypriots. United Nations troops patrol the “Green Line” dividing the two parts,

News & Resources

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