Planning your trip
Your specialist is here to help you with the logistical side of your visit to Cyprus and tailor your getaway to your preferences. We can help you find the resort or hotel which best fits your style of travel, while also giving you the know-how to see more of the island beyond the confines of your resort. Our local partners will be there for you during your stay.
Visa & passport requirements
Visitors from the USA and Canada don’t require a visa for travel to Greece.
US passport holders are required to have at least six months’ validity remaining on their passports. Canadian passport holders must have at least three months’ validity remaining on their passports. Both require two blank pages for the entry stamp.
Under EU rules, anyone arriving from countries outside the EU must have at least six months left on their passport on the day of outward travel.
Your doctor will be able to provide the latest immunisation advice for Cyprus, but you should be up to date with the recommended vaccinations for your home country.
Please also check Travel Health Pro https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/ and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/ prior to travel for the latest health advice.
Visitors to Cyprus who aren’t residents of the EU are not entitled to reduced-cost health care and must pay the full cost of care upon receiving treatment. For this reason, we recommend taking out adequate travel insurance prior to your trip.
Tap water in Cyprus is safe to drink.
We’ll always pass on information about nut allergies and other serious dietary restrictions to our partners in your destination, but recommend that you also travel with information written in the local language, describing in detail what the allergy is, to show to hotel and restaurant staff. Your specialist can assist with this.
What to pack
What you pack for your trip depends on when you’re visiting. Cyprus is very hot in the summer, so we recommend bringing light, cool clothing and plenty of sun protection. In cooler months, temperatures are still mild, and packing layers is a convenient option to ensure comfort both during warmer midday temperatures and cooler mornings and evenings.
If you plan to visit monasteries or churches, men should wear long trousers. Women are asked to wear long skirts, but monasteries provide long wrap skirts if you’re wearing shorts or trousers. Both men and women should cover their shoulders.
Power sockets in Cyprus are the standard European 230V and use the UK-style, three-prong, G-type plug.
Greek and Turkish are both official languages of Cyprus, but the vast majority of the population speak Greek as a mother tongue, which is written using the Greek alphabet. As a result of the history of British control on the island, English is very widely spoken, particularly in areas used to visitors.
Turkish is spoken by Turkish Cypriots in Northern Cyprus, but this represents only a very small percentage of the population. Street signs, as well as signage in the airports and in most public places, are mostly written in Greek and English.
Money & tipping
Cyprus uses the Euro, which you can buy easily before you travel. Northern Cyprus uses Turkish Lira as the official currency, but also accepts Euros. Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted, American Express less so, and Discover cards rarely so. In smaller shops or for small purchases, you might be asked to pay in cash. You’ll find banks and ATMs in all areas, and exchange bureaus are common throughout the main visitor areas of the country.
Tipping is common in restaurants and for taxi drivers or hotel porters. Some restaurants add a small service charge to the bill. Otherwise, a tip of roughly 10% is the norm. Taxi fares can be rounded up. A Euro or two is usual when tipping a hotel porter in the cities.
Cyprus has two main international airports for arrivals into the country — Paphos and Lanarca. We can arrange for you to travel around the island by private vehicle and driver, but self-driving is also an option.
Cyprus is a relatively small island, and you can drive across it in about two to three hours. While many resorts are self-contained, others are located within walking distance of towns. Taxis are readily available throughout the main coastal areas and are generally safe and reliable.
Keeping in touch
The international dialling code for Cyprus is +357. It can be very expensive to call internationally from hotel phones, but almost all hotels and most restaurants and cafés offer complimentary Wi-Fi.
Equally, it’s worth checking with your phone provider to understand any costs for making and receiving calls abroad. If you wish to use your phone’s mobile data during your trip, you could arrange a data roaming package, as ad-hoc internet browsing can be very expensive.
Customs & etiquette
Locals in Cyprus are both welcoming of visitors and understanding of the occasional deviance from Cypriot social norms, though we encourage you to respect the cultural customs and etiquette commonly practiced wherever possible.
Cypriots are hospitable, and it’s not uncommon to be offered food or drink by locals. If this happens, it’s always polite to accept. The elderly are well respected in Cyprus and treated with a high degree of reverence both in familial situations as well as in public.
It’s not unusual for Cypriots to ask about personal information such as your family life and career, but this comes from a place of genuine interest, and you’re welcome to ask about their situation in return.
Conversely, the political situation surrounding the division of the country can be a delicate topic, and while it’s likely to be discussed with guides in the context of tours, it’s best to broach the subject with a degree of caution so as to avoid any statements which may be interpreted as casting judgement.
Food & drink
Traditional Cypriot cuisine shares many similarities with Greek cuisine. Popular dishes include souvlaki, seasoned meat chunks grilled on skewers and served in pitta bread, as well as stuffed vine leaves and vegetables, rabbit stew called stifado and a meat stew called kleftiko. One of the best-known local foods is halloumi cheese, which is native to Cyprus but popular throughout the world.
A great way to try a number of local dishes in one meal is to order meze style, which is common in Cyprus. This practice of ordering a number of sharing dishes among the table and eating family style means you never have to pick just one main dish.
Strong, rich coffee is common in Cyprus and can be served sweetened, with milk or black. The country has roots in wine making, and while the wine is not widely exported, you’ll find locally produced options in many restaurants. For something stronger, the traditional anise-based spirit, ouzo, is a popular choice.
Events, holidays & festivals
Public holidays in Cyprus focus on both religious and secular celebrations, with many originating from the Greek Orthodox Church or as commemoration of days of historical significance for both Cyprus and Greece.
Traditional celebrations include festive meals, family gatherings and parades. The biggest holiday of the year is the Orthodox Easter, which falls in April or May. It includes two days of national holiday, as well as a week of religious days which concludes with Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.
Cyprus also celebrates a number of vibrant festivals throughout the year. Of particular note are the carnival celebrations throughout the country in the lead up to Lent, which involve parades and feasts, the largest and most popular being the Limassol Carnival.
The Anthestiria, or Festival of Flowers, is celebrated in Limassol in May with an elaborate parade featuring floats made entirely of flowers. The Kataklysmos, or Water Festival, is celebrated in early summer and celebrates the biblical salvation of Noah and his arc from the flood with a variety of water-based activities.
- 1st January – New Year’s Day
- 6th January – Epiphany
- February/March – Clean Monday (beginning of Lent)
- 25th March – Greek Independence Day
- 1st April – Cyprus National Day
- April/May – Good Friday
- April/May – Orthodox Easter Sunday
- 1st May – Labour Day
- 15th August – Dormition of the Mother of God
- 1st October – Cyprus Independence Day
- 28th October – Ochi Day (or Ohi Day)
- 24th December – Christmas Eve
- 25th December – Christmas Day
- 26th December – Boxing Day
The majority of hotels in Cyprus are medium to large resorts offering plentiful facilities, spacious grounds, multiple restaurants and a wide variety of room types. Coastal locations are the most popular as you can take advantage of sea views and beach access from your resort. Other options include staying in more characterful properties in the island’s mountainous interior, where you’re more likely to experience authentic Cypriot culture.
We select resorts that offer a high degree of service and personal attention, despite their larger size. Many visitors to Cyprus opt to stay in one location rather than hopping around the island to different hotels, so we work to ensure properties offer plenty of comfort and conveniences for longer stays.
Many hotels cater especially well to families, with dedicated facilities and services for children. Others are adults-only and focus on providing rest and relaxation.
Our certified country specialists can advise on any safety concerns you may have. For current information, please refer to the State Department website.
When to go to Cyprus
You'll find temperature and rainfall information, together with a month-by-month guide on visiting, on our guide for when to go to Cyprus.
11 hours 30 minutes (New York to Larnaca)