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Latest update: 08/06/2009 18:17 +0300

Practical Guide to CYPRUS 2009:
CYPRUS | HISTORY | GEOGRAPHY & ORIENTATION | PRACTICAL GUIDE

Entry Requirements: A valid passport is required for a stay of up to 90 days for all bonafide tourists except citizens of European Union countries, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, who may enter Cyprus with their national identity card provided it bears a photo. Some non-EU third country nationals require a visa. Further detailed information can be obtained from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Getting There: The main gateway to Cyprus is Larnaca International Airport, 50 kilometres south of the capital, Nicosia, and 70 kilometres east of Limassol. Cyprus is well-connected by air to most major centres of Europe and the Middle East. In addition to regular flights, dozens of daily holiday flights connect Cyprus with the rest of the world throughout the year.
A second international airport operates in Paphos, but caters mostly to charter flights, with limited destinations on scheduled frequencies.

Getting Around: All major cities of Cyprus are connected with an extensive motorway system that runs along the southern coast between Aghia Nappa in the east and Paphos in the west (via Larnaca, Larnaca International Airport, Limassol and Paphos International Airport), as well as inland to Nicosia.
Public transportation is limited to a few intercity buses serving the major centres. Taxis are widely available and can be hailed on the street, or ordered by phone or online.
Numerous car-hire outlets, including all the major international chains, operate in Cyprus and most have desks at the airports. Driving is on the left.

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

Money: As of 1 January 2008, the official currency of Cyprus is the euro (replacing the Cyprus Pound), divided into 100 cents. The euro comes in banknotes of 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5, and coins of 2, 1, 0.50, 0.20, 0.10, 0.05, 0.02, 0.01. Most major currencies may be exchanged at banks (open Monday to Friday 08:30-13:00), as well as at the larger hotels. Round-the-clock exchange facilities are available at both Larnaca and Paphos International Airports. Outside most bank branches, ATMs dispense local currency.
Most major credit cards are widely accepted at almost every tourist-oriented establishment.
In mid-April 2008 1=1.59540 Swiss Francs and 1=118.975 Iceland Krona.

Time: Cyprus time is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. Summer time, as in the rest of the European Union, is in effect from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October, bringing Cyprus three hours ahead of GMT.
Shop opening hours vary depending on type and location, but are generally open from between 07:00 and 09:00 until between 19:00 and 20:00 Monday to Saturday. Wednesday is generally early-closing day. Most regular shops are closed on Sundays. Mini Markets and Kiosks keep longer hours and 24-hour service is available in all major cities.

Electricity: Electricity in Cyprus is 230V, 50 cycles, with UK-style, square-pin plugs. More than one low current rating appliance may be operated from the same supply point by using an adaptor (i.e. radios, electric clocks etc.). The use of adaptors for operating high current rating appliances is not recommended (i.e. electric heaters, toasters, irons etc.). Adaptors are widely available at supermarkets, grocery stores, kiosks etc. Hotel receptions may also be able to provide assistance.

Weights & Measures: Cyprus uses the metric system of weights and measures. Temperatures are reported in degrees Celsius, petrol is sold by the litre, grocery items are in grams and kilograms, fabric lengths in metres, and road speeds and distances posted in kilometres.

Telephones: Direct dial phone service is available between Cyprus and all countries of the world. International calls may be placed from any private or public phone. Public payphones come in three types: Coinphones, outdoor cardphones and indoor cardphones. All public phones have instructions posted in English and other languages. Telephone cards are widely available at kiosks and newsagents. To call overseas, dial 00 + country code + area code + local number. The international code for Cyprus (when calling from abroad) is 357.
Mobile phone networks in Cyprus are compatible with the European-wide GSM 900/1800 standards, but not with the systems available in the USA and Japan. Cytamobile-Vodafone and MTN are the two mobile phone service providers in Cyprus. Both offer roaming in cooperation with foreign providers, as well as cheap PAYG (Pay-As-You-Go) local phone numbers and pre-paid cards.

Internet: Broadband Internet is available practically everywhere in Cyprus. Internet cafs provide access and other computer-related services to visitors. Internet cafs can be found in all cities and towns of Cyprus. Most hotels also offer either wired or wireless access.
 Internet access will be provided by the organisers at all Press facilities of the venues of CYPRUS 2009.

Languages and Religions: Greek and Turkish are the official languages of Cyprus, but English is very widely spoken. German and French are also spoken within the tourism industry. English-language newspapers, magazines and TV and radio shows, either local or imported, are widely available throughout the island. 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.

Media: Several newspapers are published in Cyprus daily in the Greek language. Additionally, Cyprus Mail is published daily in English. All newspapers are widely available at kiosks throughout the country. Seven national TV channels broadcast to all of the island, in addition to several local TV stations in Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos. News in English are broadcast on RIK2 of the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation very evening. The CyBC is the state-owned TV and radio company of Cyprus. Numerous talk and music radio stations are available throughout the island.
 


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