The Island of Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean for centuries has been a crossroads of European civilisations. The rich legacies and colourful cultures were left by colonisers, travellers and traders who have all been attracted to its shores. Cyprus has beautiful landscapes where a traveller can find prehistoric settlements, Greek temples, traces of Ancient Rome and middle-age Venetian empire.
Not withstanding influences from the past, today’s Cyprus is a modern country which is a magnet for visitors as well as discerning buyers seeking a home in the sun.
- Location: South eastern part of Mediterranean sea, 71km south of Turkey, 105km west of Syria, and some 800km southeast of mainland Greece
- Capital: Nicosia (Leftkosia)
- Other main cities: Limassol, Paphos, Larnaca
- Currency: Euro €
- Population: 838,000
- EU Membership: Since 1st May 2004
Cyprus is blessed with a warm, sunny climate and enjoys as many as 340 days of the sunshine a year. The island’s hot dry summers and mild winters mean that sunshine is abundant all year round, with average temperatures of 12 °C in winter and 33 °C in summer.
People, Culture & Lifestyle
The people of Cyprus are highly educated and multilingual and friendly. The official languages of Cyprus are Greek and Turkish, however English is widely spoken and written and is the language of international business on the island. German, French and Russian speakers are commonly found due to the high number of Cypriot graduates from overseas university and the island’s commercial ties with the global business community. With the one of the youngest population in Europe, the government has made education a major priority and the island has an overall literacy rate of almost 98%.
The cost of living is roughly 25% lower then in the most Western European countries. The food is inexpensive and the cost of utilities low. For comparison, the cost of a meal in a restaurant ranges from 15 – 25 euros per person. The crime rate is very low, making Cyprus one of the safest countries to live in Europe.
Economy & Healthcare
Cyprus has an open, free-market economy characterised by light manufacturing and services, inclulding business, financial and banking services as well as maritime, shipping, tourism and real estate. The banks offer full services to their customers, including expatriate banking, financing and wealth management. Cyprus is also attractive from the taxation point of view, offering a low tax and has a double taxation agreements with over 45 countries worldwide.
Healthcare in Cyprus is of the highest standard and has well-equipped and modern hospitals with many doctors educated and trained in either Europe or USA. A private consultation fee is around €50 Cyprus making healthcare affordable and medical insurance policies are also avaliable.
The tourism and leisure infrastructure is well established and it is set to develop even further with plans for 11 golf courses, four marinas, theme parks and an international conference centre.
Cyprus Residency and Property Market in Cyprus
Cyprus offers some of the most favourable tax regulations in Europe, ensuring that buying a property in Cyprus is a sound financial and lifestyle investment. Both, EU and Non-EU citizens may become Cypriot residents and the government is encouraging property investment. Check our Buyer’s Guide section for more information on buying properties and property finances.
Driving in Cyprus
Driving is on the left as in the United Kingdom and all roadsigns are displayed in both, Greek and English. Short distances between towns and a well-developed network of roads and motorways make traveling on the island convenient and safe. For driving a valid driver’s license from visitor’s home country or an international driver’s license permits is required.
Getting to Cyprus
The island’s new international airports in Larnaca and Pafos and the ports of Larnaca and Limassol connect Cyprus to all the countries of the world. Over 30 airlines, led by the island’s national carrier, operate regular flights to more than 260 international destinations, while shipping services, including cruise lines and cargo, are provided by the island’s merchant fleet, the fifth largest in the world.
Close to Aphrodite Hills – Paphos and surroundings
The charming harbour town of Paphos offers lively coffee shops, tavernas, shops and markets. Located on the south western coast of Cyprus, it is rich in history and culture, and its fascinating archaeological sites have earned the town a place on UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage list. Climb to the roof of the castle, dating from 1391 and destroyed by the Venetians, and take in the delightful view over the harbour with its colourful fishing boats. The famous Roman mosaics of Paphos, which once decorated lavish villas, depict scenes from ancient mythology and offer a taste of the opulent lifestyle enjoyed in Paphos’s earlier days.
Further afield there is so much to explore and discover from prehistoric settlements, such as Choirokitia dating back to the seventh century BC, to the buildings and monuments left by the Greeks, Romans, Crusaders and Venetians. Charming villages and fishing ports are the perfect place to relax over drinks at a local bar or an al fresco meal of delectable local cuisine and fine wines from Cyprus’s vineyards. The contrast of this are the Troodos Mountains, rising to almost 2,000 metres with a landscape of cool decidious and pine forests, hospitable stone villages, Byzantine churches, and exhilarating mountain walks