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Cyprus

Cyprus

Languages and Religions

Languages

Greek and Turkish are the main languages spoken by the Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot communities respectively. English is widely spoken. French and German are also well spoken within the tourist industry.

Religions

Cyprus enjoys an exceedingly high level of freedom of worship. While the majority of Greek-Cypriots are Greek-Orthodox Christians, other denominations are represented on the island, including Armenians, Maronites and Roman Catholics.The Turkish-Cypriot community is predominantly Muslim.

Money and Currency

Currency

The currency of the Republic used to be the Cyprus pound - CY£. As from 1st January 2008 the Cyprus pound has been replaced by the Euro as the legal tender money of Cyprus at the irrevocable fixed exchange rate € 1 = CY£ 0,585274.

There are seven denominations in Euro banknotes: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euro. They all have different colour and size, the higher the denomination, the bigger the size. One euro is divided into 100 cent. There are eight euro coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent, €1 and €2. The designs on one side of the coins are common to all the countries of the euro area, while the other side reflects national identities. All euro coins can be used in all euro area countries, irrespective of their national side.

Time, Working Hours and Holidays

Local Time

Cyprus Time is GMT +2.

Working Hours

Public service operating hours are flexible all year round. Operating days are from Monday to Friday starting between 07:30 - 08:30 and closing between 15:00 - 16:00. Private sector working hours are 08:00 - 13:00, 15:00 - 18:00 Monday to Friday for the period September 15th - May 31st and 08:00 - 13:00, 16:00 - 19:00 Monday to Friday, for the period June 1st - September 14th .

Shop opening times vary depending on their type and location, though shops normally open between 07:00 and 09:00. During the period November 1st - March 31st shops close at 19:30 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, at 15:00 on Wednesday, and at 19:00 on Saturday. For the period April 1st – October 31st shops close at 20:00 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, at 15:00 on Wednesday and, at 19:30 on Saturday. During the period June 15th – August 31st there is an optional three hour afternoon break from14:00 - 17:00.

Special shopping hours apply for Christmas and Easter. From December 1st to December 31st , shops may remain open until 20:00 throughout the week, but must close by 18:00 on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Shops can also remain open until 20:00 10 days before Easter Sunday, but must close by 18:00 on Good Friday.

Eating Hours

Breakfast is usually served between 07:00 and 10:00 in the morning. Lunch is served in restaurants between 12:00 and 15:00. Dinner is served from 19:00 till late in the evening.

Public Holidays

The days listed below are public holidays in Cyprus. All public services, private enterprises, banks and shops are closed on public holidays though many shops and certain services remain open in resorts and coastal areas. Banks are closed on Easter Tuesday but not on Christmas Eve.

- January 1st - New Year's Day

- January 6th - Epiphany Day

- March 25th - Greek National Day

- April 1st - National Anniversary Day

- May 1st - Labour Day

- August 15th - Assumption of the Virgin Mary

- October 1st - Cyprus Independence Day

- October 28th - Greek National Anniversary Day

- December 24th - Christmas Eve

- December 25th - Christmas Day

- December 26th - Boxing Day

- Variable - Green Monday (50 Days before Greek Orthodox Easter)

- Variable - Good Friday (Greek Orthodox Church)

- Variable - Easter Monday (Greek Orthodox Church)

- Variable - Pentecost - Kataklysmos (Festival of the Flood)

Health and Safety

Health Care System

Medical treatment and assistance in Cyprus is offered free of charge to international tourists in cases of emergency at the Accident and Emergency Department of Government Hospitals and Health Institutions.  EU citizens must produce an E111 form or a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) issued by their country's health care authorities to obtain additional health care.  Holiday makers can also use their health insurance towards their medical expenses, provided the policy covers the length of their stay on the island. More detailed information can be obtained from the Cyprus Ministry of Health

Vaccinations

Cyprus has no dangerous infectious diseases. Visitors do not require any vaccinations to travel to Cyprus.

Transportation

Buses

There are four types of buses in Cyprus that can help you move around:

- Transurban buses that link all towns on a daily basis and with frequent routes
- Rural buses that link almost all villages with the nearest city but with limited frequency once or twice daily except Sundays.
- Urban buses that link different areas within the cities and operate frequently during daytime. In certain tourist areas, during summer period, their routes are extended till late in the evening.
- Buses for airport transfers.

Taxis

There are three types of taxi services available, covering the entire island:

- Transurban service which offers the opportunity to share a taxi with 4 - 7 other passengers. It provides connection between all major cities of Cyprus, every half an hour, from Monday to Friday starting at 06:00 in the morning until 18:00 in the evening. On Saturdays and Sundays the service finishes an hour earlier at 17:00. Seats can be booked by phone or online from the providing companies.

- Rural service operates in village areas and can only be hired from and to their base station. These taxis are not equipped with taximeters and charging is based on kilometre/tariff rate.

Cruises

A number of short cruises sail from Cyprus with trips lasting typically between two-to-five days on board large and comfortable ships. You can either book while on holiday in Cyprus or through tour operators abroad who feature the cruises in their holiday brochures.There are also many short boat trips from and to various destinations around the island sailing from almost all marinas and fishing shelters.

Communications

Making Phone Calls

In order to make a phone call to Cyprus from abroad, dial 00357 and then the eight-digit phone number.
If you wish to make a phone call abroad while in Cyprus , dial 00, followed by the country code and the telephone number. International calls can be made from public telephones available at various central locations in all cities and villages, as well as at international airports, harbours and elsewhere. There are three types of public telephones – coin phones, outdoor card phones and indoor card phones. Public payphones can be used for both national and international calls. Dialling instructions as well as rates are displayed in all payphones.
Calling within Cyprus simply requires dialling the eight-digit telephone number.

Sending Letters, Parcels Telegrams

You can send your letters from post offices located throughout the island and at the airports, or using the yellow mailboxes on the street. Stamps may be purchased from all Post Offices, Postal Agencies, as well as from many hotels, news stands, kiosks, etc. Post offices offer other services, including courier service (data post), money orders,parcel post, etc. Telegrams can be sent through the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CYTA), which has offices in all towns.

Internet Connection

Many establishments including phone centres, internet cafes and hotels offer internet connection services of various speeds and types. Depending on the establishment, the service offered is wired or wireless and is usually charged by the hour.

Climate and Weather

General Overview

Cyprus enjoys an intense Mediterranean climate of hot dry summers starting in mid-May and lasting until mid-September and rainy, quite mild winters from November to mid-March. Spring and autumn are effectively short intervals in between, characterised by smooth weather. With almost year-round clear skies and sunshine, daylight length ranges from 9.8 hours in December to 14.5 hours in June.

Average Temperatures

In broad lines, Cyprus's climate is characterised by hot summers and mild winters. There is a significant seasonal difference between mid-summer and mid-winter temperatures that ranges from 18° C inland to about 14° C on the coast. The difference in daily maximum and night minimum temperatures is also quite significant. In winter they range from 8° to 10° C on the lowlands and 5°to 6° C on the mountains and in summer from 16° C on the central plain and 9°to 12° C elsewhere. 

Daily temperatures during the hottest months of July and August,range between 29° C on the central plain and 22° C on the Troodos Mountains .  The average maximum temperatures for these two months range between 36° C and 27° C. In January, the coolest month, the indicative daily temperature is 10° C on the central plain and 3° C on the higher parts of the Troodos Mountains while the average minimum temperatures are 5° C and 0° C.

Sea Temperatures

The temperature in the open sea hovers above 22° C from June to November, climbing to 27° C in August. Even during the three coolest months of January to March, average sea temperature are an acceptable 16° or 17° C. Near the coast, the temperature of water three or four metres deep is similar to that of the open sea, ranging from 15° to 17°C in February and from 23° to 28° C in August. There are no significant daily fluctuations in sea water temperatures, except in very shallow waters less than one metre deep.

Air Humidity

During the days in winter and at night throughout the year, humidity ranges from average to slightly low (65% - 95%). During summer it is very low near midday, ranging from 15% to 30% on the central plain. Fog is rare and typically occurs in early morning. Visibility is normally very good or excellent. There is an exception over a few days in spring when the atmosphere is very hazy due to dust from the Arabian and African deserts.

Sunshine

Cyprus enjoys a very sunny climate compared with most countries with 11.5 hours of bright sunshine per day over the six summer months. Even during the months of December and January, there is 5.5 hours of sunshine.

Winds

Winds over the island are relatively variable in direction and strength depending on the elevation of the land and local temperatures.

Clothing During Different Seasons

Clothing requirements vary, depending on the length and the period of your visit. During April and May, days are pleasantly warm, but temperatures may drop at night. Spring and summer apparel and long sleeved tops or light jackets for the evenings are recommended. From June to the end of August, very light summer clothing is a must. September to October see quite a few warm days andcool evenings. Light apparel for the day and long sleeves for the evenings in October is recommended. November has pleasantly warm days that can be enjoyed in jumpers and light jackets.

December and January will be the only winter you will get, even though it feels more like autumn for most visitors. It may rain occasionally, yet the promise of glorious sunshine is still there. Winter clothing is necessary, but not heavy coats. The possibility of fairly warm days is always there during February, as is the occasional rainfall. Milddaytime temperatures are the harbingers of spring but it can get quite cold inthe evenings and winter apparel will beneeded. Winter wear will also be appropriate during March with its moderate but sometimes unpredictable weather inviting you to enjoy Cyprus nature at its best.

Information Courtesy Of Cyprus Tourism

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