Today was the beginning of our 7 days in Cyprus. Holidays in Europe – actually relatively untypical for us, unless it’s a city trip. But that is also precisely why we once opted for a European holiday destination. Your own continent is far too beautiful to always travel far away! And besides, we really wanted to take a look at the underwater world of the Mediterranean and dive into one of the most famous wrecks in the world – the ferry Zenobia. Our travel reports gives you some information about Cyprus and the main Tourist Attractions U+263C
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Things to know about the divided island Cyprus
Cyprus has about 1.1 million inhabitants and is the third largest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily and Sardinia. Since 1974 the island is divided.
Cyprus had been under British administration since 1878 and was part of the United Kingdom until independence in 1960. As part of the Cyprus conflict, the northern part of the island was occupied by Turkish forces in 1974. The reason for this was that Greek coup plotters tried to enforce the annexation of Cyprus to Greece. In 1983, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was proclaimed, which is considered by the United Nations to be part of the Republic of Cyprus and is recognized only by Turkey as independent. The South is dominated by the Republic of Cyprus, which has been a member of the European Union since 2004. The euro is a means of payment here. In the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus it is the Turkish lira.
Between the northern and southern parts there is a buffer zone, which also divides the capital Nicosia as the “Green Line” and is monitored and administered by the United Nations.
The largest cities in the southern part of the island are the divided city of Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos. In the northern part of Turkey there are three major cities: Nicosia, Famagusta and Kyrenia.
The area around Nicosia and also the southeast of Cyprus are considered the hottest region in Europe in thesummer. Especially in Nicosia we found the heat during our sightseeing almost unbearable, because the heat in the alleys and the cobblestones has really jammed and no air has blown. The temperatures during our holiday during our holiday were usually between 35 and 40 degrees and rains are almost never in the summer months anyway. In winter it is a little milder: It can get a little cooler with 5 to 15 degrees.
Holidays in Southern Cyprus or Northern Cyprus?
Of course, at the beginning of our travel planning was the question whether we are looking for a hotel in Southern Cyprus or Northern Cyprus. The range of hotels in southern Cyprus is of course much larger. Here you can also find the big luxury hotel chains such as Hilton or the Four Seasons. Leaving out the political situation, however, you will also find some nice hotels and resorts in Northern Cyprus – and at much cheaper prices. Through a blogger collaboration with the Hotel Salamis Bay Conti in Famagusta, we decided to stay in Northern Cyprus. In our next articles we will report in detail about the hotel, the sights of the entire island (north and south), diving at the wreck Zenobia and the turtle watching in Alagadi.
Flights from Germany to Cyprus
There are three international airports in Cyprus: two in the Republic of Cyprus (Larnaca and Paphos) and one in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (Ercan), which can only be served by a stopover in Turkey.
Direct flights from Germany to Cyprus are available from several airports (e.g. Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich, Düsseldorf, Hannover) with Lufthansa, Condor, Easyjet, Eurowings, Germania and Germanwings. We decided on a direct flight with Lufthansa from Frankfurt to Larnaca, which lasted just under 3.5 hours.
Travelling by car in Cyprus
On the island, due to the British colonial period, left-hand trafficapplies. The signage (places and sights) in southern Cyprus we found quite good, in Northern Cyprus it could be a lot better. However, the roads are very well developed on both sides and we were able to drive all roads without any problems. One should pay attention to the many speed camerasthat can be found at almost every major junction of the expressway or on other roads. However, here always several signs warn that a speed camera is coming – after all, one is prepared 😉
How to cross the border in Cyprus?
There are a total of seven border crossings,five of which can be passed by car and two only on foot.
Border crossings that can be crossed by car:
• Agios Dometios (Metehan) in Nicosia
• Limnitis (Yeilérmak) near Kato Pyrgos
• Zodhia (Bostancia) at Astromeritis
• Pergamos (Beyarmudu) near Pyla
• Strovilia (Akyar) at Agios Nikolaos
Border crossings that can only be crossed on foot:
• Ledra Palace in Nicosia
• Ledra Street (Lokmaci) in Nicosia
With valid travel documents (passport or identity card) it is possible for EU citizens to move from the northern part to the southern part of the island – and vice versa – at the above-mentioned crossings without any problems, i.e. you can move freely on the island without any problems (see Foreign Office). By the way, the passport is not stamped by both sides – we were already worried that after the countless border crossings in Cyprus we will eventually have no place in the passport 😉
Driving across the border with a rental car is unfortunately not so easy, as most car rental companies in Cyprus exclude a border crossing in their contract terms. But we have found a very good provider in Northern Cyprus, with which you can explore the entire island by car. You can find more information in our article “Car Rental in Cyprus“.
Interactive map of Cyprus with all the sights
In Google MyMaps we have put together a map and entered all important points (sights, border crossings, our hotels). Perhaps this will help some people in their holiday planning a little further 🙂
Our travel reports of Cyprus
Our car rental for Northern Cyprus & Southern Cyprus
We wanted to explore the whole of Cyprus on our own with the rental car, because there are beautiful sights in the south as well as in the north of the island. However, it is unfortunately not so easy to find a rental car rental company that allows trips to northern and southern Cyprus. But we have found a way to do this and report on this in our article: Our rental car for Northern Cyprus & Southern Cyprus
The Salamis Bay Conti Resort Hotel & Casino
Salamis Bay Conti Resort Hotel & Casino is located right on a beautiful bay with a small offshore reef, very close to the ruins of Salamis in Northern Cyprus. The hotel is located about 8 kilometers north of Famagusta, a small town on the east coast of the island of Cyprus. Overall, we enjoyed the stay at Salamis Bay Conti Resort Hotel & Casino and you can recommend the hotel without hesitation. Our detailed review of the hotel can be found here: The Salamis Bay Conti Resort Hotel & Casino
The Tourist Attractions on the east coast of Northern Cyprus
The east coast of Cyprus has a lot to offer with the archaeological site of the ancient city of Salamis, the monastery of St. Barnabas, the old town of Famagusta and the medieval castle of Kantara: here you will find many pictures and our travel report: The sights on the east coast of Northern Cyprus
The port city of Kyrenia in Northern Cyprus
Kyrenia is a port city on the north coast of Cyprus with more than 33,000 inhabitants. Among the most famous sights of the city are the fortress and the monastery Bellapais, which we both of course also looked at: the port city of Kyrenia in Northern Cyprus
Diving at the shipwreck Zenobia in Larnaca
Since we are passionate divers, we also wanted to explore the underwater world of Cyprus. On the coast of Larnaca lies one of the most famous shipwrecks in the world – the wreck of the Zenobia. During the two dives we were able to dive various parts of the 172 meter long wreck, which lies on its port side at a depth of about 43 meters. On the starboard side, on the other hand, you can already meet a water depth of 18 metres. Here is our travelogue: Diving at the shipwreck Zenobia in Larnaca
The Alagadi Sea Turtles Project in Northern Cyprus
Do you like turtles as much as we do? 🙂 the beaches in Northern Cyprus are among the most important breeding areas for loggerhead turtles, where a social project was established in the early 1990s, for which numerous volunteers come every year: the Society for the Protection of Turtles. The project is aimed at protecting turtles on the one hand and collecting data on the other. For this purpose, the nests, eggs and the number of hatched baby turtles are counted in order to finally get an overview of the population of turtles in the Mediterranean region. Here you can find our impressions of the Turtle Night Watch: The Alagadi Sea Turtles Project in Northern Cyprus
The Tourist Attractions in Southern Cyprus
After our sightseeing stops in Northern Cyprus we wanted to explore some of the most important sights of Southern Cyprus, because also the south of the island has all sorts of interesting and interesting things to offer. Our travelogue shows the painted churches in the area of Troodos, the Kykkos Monastery & the monument of Makario, the monastery Of Stavrovouni, the mosque Hala-Sultan-Tekke and the Agia Napa sculpture park: sights in southern Cyprus
The Tourist Attractions of the divided city of Nicosia
For the visit of the Cypriot capital Nicosia, which is located right in the center of the island, we had planned a whole day. These include the Arif Pasha Aqueduct, Hala Sultan Camii Mosque, Kyrenia Gate, The British Colonial Law Courts, Büyük Han Caravansery, Selimiye Mosque, Ledra Street Pedestrian Street, Fortress Wall, Freedom Monument & Famagusta Gate, St. John’s Cathedral, Archdiocese Palace and Shacola Tower What to see from the divided city of Nicosia
Starbucks Global Icon City Mug of CyprusWe are collecting the Starbucks Mugs from the cities and islands we visit on our travels. Unfortunately, not every city that has a Starbucks store with an own mug. But if the city has an own mug we like to collect them as a souvenir. We only collect city mugs from the "Global Icon Series", which was released in 2008. You can see our complete collection here: Starbucks - Our collection of Mugs from the Global Icon Series
Cyprus has several Starbucks stores and also its own cup 🙂