country code: CY
languages: Greek, Turkish
EU membership: yes
NATO membership: no
GPS: 35 00 N, 33 00 E
European Union Euro: EUR
1EUR = 1.2656 USD
Travel advices and warnings Cyprus
||Tourism occupies a dominant position in the economy of Cyprus.
In 2006 it was expected to contribute 10. 7% of GDP.
in real terms it generated CYP£2, 598. 2 mn (US$5, 445. 0 mn) (annual-2006).
total employment was estimated at 113, 000 jobs (29. 7% of total employment = 1 in every 3. 4 jobs).
With over 2 million tourist arrivals per year, it is the 40th most popular destination in the world. However, per capita of local population it ranks 6th.
Cyprus became a full member of the UNWTO when the organisation was created in 1975.
According to the World Economic Forum's 2011 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index, Cyprus' tourism industry ranks 24th in the world in terms of overall competitiveness. In terms of Tourism Infrastructure, in relation to the tourism industry) Cyprus ranks 1st in the world.
||Cyprus customs and traditions - Apart from the many religious customs and traditions that can be traced back to the origins of Greek Orthodoxy and are evident during Easter, Christmas, the festival of the flood (kataklysmos), Saint Paul's feast and other religious celebrations, there are many more relating to music dancing and wine.
For example the Wine Festival of Limassol taking place every year during the month of September, where wine is free flowing for ten to twelve days. Where music and dance are concerned, Cyprus has quite distinct traditions from those of Greece. Traditional Cypriot costumes, dancing face to face or in a group, accompanied by violin or flute music, is the norm.
||Most visitors to Cyprus arrive by air and many of them come on charter flights. Tickets on scheduled flights to Cyprus tend to be expensive, but Europe-based travellers may be able to pick up cheap last-minute tickets with charter companies if they shop around. This applies in practice only to travellers to the Republic of Cyprus, as charter tickets to Northern Cyprus are rarely available. If you’re already in Greece, you can pick up reasonably priced one-way or return tickets to the South from travel agents in Athens, Thessaloniki or Iraklio. The only way to arrive in the South by sea is by a cruise boat; there are no longer any passenger ferries, but vehicles may travel unaccompanied. However, there are fast and slower passenger ferries and car-ferry services linking the Turkish mainland with Northern Cyprus.
Travelling between the South and North is easy nowadays, since the restrictions on crossing the border have been eased. However, you are only allowed to cross at designated checkpoints.
Flights, tours and rail tickets can be booked at www. lonelyplanet. com/travel_services.
||Cyprus has a Subtropical climate - Mediterranean and Semi-arid type (in the north-eastern part of island) - according to Köppen climate classification signes Csa and Bsh, with very mild winters (on the coast) and warm to hot summers. Snow is possible only in the Troodos mountains in the central part of island. Rain occurs mainly in winter, with summer being generally dry.
||Cypriot cuisine is the cuisine of Cyprus and can be described as a blend of Greek and Turkish cuisines. Greek Cypriot cuisine is another regional Greek cuisine along with Cretan, Ionian, or Attic. Turkish Cypriot cuisine is also another regional Turkish cuisine. Generally Greek and Turkish cuisines have some evident issues in common with the neighboring Levant countries. Modern western cuisine (especially fast food) has an increasing influence on the day-to-day diet on the island. The names given to the foods of the Cypriot cuisine are different amongst the two dominant populations (Greeks and Turks).
||However, they speak Greek Cypriot, which is a dialect of Greek that reflects the influence of the myriad of nations that have ruled Cyprus over the years. Although it observes the grammar and syntax of the Greek language, it contains certain non-standard words, including some from Ancient Greek, and some words are pronounced in a different way.
If many local words and pronunciations are used, it can be difficult for a Standard Modern Greek speaker (e. g. from mainland Greece) to understand. Nevertheless, if you speak Standard Modern Greek well, you will have little difficulty being understood, and Cypriots will happily ‘standardise’ their Greek so that you can understand them.
||Shop opening hours are different in winter and summer. In the winter period from 1 November to 31 March they open at 09:00 and close, in accordance with the law, at 19:00, except on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays when they close at 14:00, 20:00 and 15:00, respectively. Sunday is not a working day. The supermarkets usually open between 07:00 and 08:00.
In the summer period from 1 April to 31 October the shops open at 09:00 and close, in accordance with the law, at 20:30, except on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays when they close at 10:00, 21:30 and 17:00 respectively. From 15 June to 31 August the afternoon rest measure applies, and the shops are usually closed between 14:00 and 17:00 Sunday is not a working day. The supermarkets usually open between 07:00 and 20:00.
||The cost of living in Cyprus is ultimately lower compared to the United Kingdom although the difference is not that great. There are a number of taxation benefits provided to citizens but homeowners generally have to spend around 100 euro every year for council tax and another 120 for refuse tax.
||The pound, also known as the lira (Greek: λίρα / plural λίρες and Turkish: lira, from the Latin libra through the Italian lira), was the currency of Cyprus, including the Sovereign Base Areas in Akrotiri and Dhekelia, until 31 December 2007, when the Republic of Cyprus (and Malta) adopted the euro. However, the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus used and still uses on the official level the Turkish lira.