Cyprus Holidays

Paphos Visitor Information.

Cyprus holidays

Cyprus holidays - Information concerning the small aspects of everyday living is important to the success of every holiday abroad and 'Rent A Villa In Paphos' understands how important it is.

Our reputation depends upon on the high standards of holiday and long term rental properties that we are able to offer to make your Cyprus holidays enjoyable.

In order that your leisure time during your holidays in Cyprus is not wasted on the small necessities, we have set out to share with you a little Cyprus tourist information on the history and culture in Cyprus and provide you with, hopefully, answers to many questions that you may have prior to your Cyprus holidays.

Please remember, that we are your 'Friends in Paphos' and have a wealth of knowledge and information about the Paphos area. Therefore, if you feel we can help with any other questions you may have regarding your Cyprus holidays, please contact us

We look forward to hearing from you and may your Cyprus villa holidays be memorable!

General Information on Cyprus Cyprus is the third largest island at the northeastern end of the Mediterranean basin, with an area of 3,572 square miles (9,250 square kilometres).

Population Of Main Towns (End 2000):
Pafos (Paphos):40,900
Lefkosia (Nicosia): 199,100
Lemesos (Limassol): 159,800
Larnaka (Larnaca): 70,500

The population of Cyprus at the end of 2000 was split roughly as follows:
Greek Cypriots: 84%
Turkish Cypriots: 12%
Other Minorities (Armenians and Latins): 1%
Foreign Residents: 3%

It is interesting to note that prior to the Turkish invasion in July 1974 the Greek and Turkish communities populated the island together in roughly the same proportions (4 Greek Cypriots: 1 Turkish Cypriot). Since the invasion however, over 50,000 Turkish Cypriots living in the occupied area have emigrated resulting in the diminished percentage figure of 12%, compared to 20% prior to July 1974.

History and Political Background Information

In July 1974 Turkey invaded Cyprus in violation of the UN Charter and all principles governing international relations. As a result 35% of the island was occupied. About a quarter of the Greek Cypriot population, approx 142,000, who were forcibly expelled from the now occupied area, became refugees in their own country and even today, do not have the right to return to their homes and properties. It is also reported information that around 1500 Greek Cypriots are still missing. Monuments, antiquities and Byzantine churches were looted or destroyed and many items have been taken abroad. It is a sad fact that the island's heritage and history that reaches back to the 9th millenium B.C. has been and continues to be destroyed.

A major problem has developed due to a large number of colonist settlers being illegally transplanted to the occupied area of Cyprus and given properties usurped from the Greek Cypriots that were expelled. A series of UN General Assembly and Security Council resolutions condemned the invasion of Cyprus and it's resulting occupation. Demands were made to return the Greek Cypriot refugees to their homes and called for the tracing of the missing persons. On 10th May 2001, the European Court of Human Rights found Turkey guilty of continuing gross violations of human rights in Cyprus.

In November 1983 the Turkish Cypriot leadership declared "an independant state" in occupied Cyprus with Turkey's support.The international community, through UN Security Council resolutions declared it both illegal and invalid and called for it's immediate withdrawal. No country in the world has recognised the illegal "state" except for Turkey. Negotioations for the solution of the Cyprus problem continue. In the meantime Cyprus has become a member of the Europian Union which supports a settlement based on the UN resolutions and full respect for the human rights of all Cypriots. It is widely believed that membership of the Europian Union holds out the best hope for the future of Cyprus and all it's citizens, Greek and Turkish Cypriots alike. Cyprus looks forward to increased security and prosperity and a union between the two communities on the island.

Cultural Information

Cyprus has become a country, where the 20th century still holds an stoic bridge to it's history and culture. During your Cyprus holidays you may enjoy customs, festivals and religious fairs, the origins of which stretch back into antiquity and on the same Cyprus holidays, enjoy performances of modern dance or theatre. The cultural diversity of the residents and holiday visitors in Paphos makes for an interesting mix of restaurants and although Greek and Turkish are the official languages of Cyprus, English is widely spoken and French and German are also spoken within the Cyprus tourism industry. For up to date information on local events in Paphos during your Cyprus holidays, we advise you to consult the Cyprus Tourism Organisation's "Monthly Events" information guide, available at the Tourist Information Office in Paphos and other major cities on the island.

Getting Here

More than 37 Airlines operate scheduled flights for your Cyprus holidays to and from Paphos International Airport and Larnaca International Airport. Airports do not provide transport between the airports and the holiday town terminals. For more detailed information including airports, airlines and flights information please click on Cyprus holidays - Flights

Cyprus holidays - Boats/Ferry connections:

Passenger ships operate, mainly to and from the port of Limassol connecting Cyprus with various Greek and Middle East ports such as Piraeas and Haifa. Routes from and to the Greek islands are available in summer only. Please note that most of the boat services offer reduced services during the winter period.

Cyprus holidays - Time Differences

Algeria - GMT
Australia - GMT +9 Hours
Austria - GMT +1 Hour
Bahrain - GMT +3 Hours
Belgium - GMT +1 Hour
Canada - GMT -5 Hours
China - GMT +8 Hours
Cyprus - GMT +2 Hours
Denmark - GMT +1 Hour
France - GMT +1 Hour
Germany - GMT +1 Hour
Greece - GMT +2 Hours
Hong Kong - GMT +8 Hours
India - GMT +5 Hours
Iraq - GMT +3 Hours
Italy - GMT +1 Hour
Japan - GMT +9 Hours
Oman - GMT +4 Hours
Portugal - GMT +1 Hour
Russian Fed - GMT +3 Hours
Sweden - GMT +1 Hour
Switzerland - GMT +1 Hour
UAE - GMT +4 Hours
U.S.A. - GMT -5 Hours

Public Holidays Information

January 1: New Years Day
January 6: Epiphany Day
March 6: Green Monday
March 25: Greek National Day
April 1: Greek Cypriot National Day
April 21: Good Friday(Greek Orth.Church)
April 24: Easter Sunday (Greek Orth.Church)
May 1 : Labour Day
May 1: Easter Monday (Greek Orth.Church)
June 19: Monday of (Pentecost - Kataklysmos)
August 15: Assumption
October 1: Cyprus Independence Day
October 28: Greek National Day
December 24: Christmas Eve
December 25: Christmas Day
December 26: Boxing Day

All public services, private enterprises, banks and shops are closed on public holidays. In Paphos holiday resorts and coastal areas shops and certain services may remain open.

Cyprus holidays -Banking Information

The commercial banks in Paphos have correspondents in most major cities around the world, and transactions can be negotiated in all leading currencies.

Commercial Banking arrangements follow the British model, and all of the Commercial Banks on Cyprus island are now full member of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications i.e.(S.W.I.F.T).

We have found the banking staff to be extremely helpful, the only drawback being that even though you are on your Cyprus holidays, your banking has to be done first thing in the morning so you must make an effort to get out of bed!

Banking hours for the public: Monday: 08:30-12:30 and 15:15-16:45, Tuesday - Friday: 08:30-12:30 only.

Banks at the Paphos International and Larnaca International airports provide services in the daytime, as well as a night service for most flights. A number of Automatic Telling Machines operate on a 24 hour basis in most major towns and larger stores and restaurants accept travellers cheques and major credit cards.

Rates of exchange are published daily in the local press and outside the Paphos banks. Bank Holidays are the same as public holidays plus Easter Tuesday and Christmas Eve is a working day for Banks.

Our advise is to ensure you have a variety of payment methods available to you on your Cyprus holidays. Carry your credit card for any major purchases and restaurant bills and take along your debit card to withdraw your cash requirements directly from your own bank account. This method avoids carrying large sums of cash on your Cyprus holidays whilst you travel, and paying commission for travellers cheques before you leave your home country. However, remember that you will be charged commission by your bank for a withdrawal in Paphos, so make sure you make larger withdrawals rather than many small ones.

Post Office Information

Post Offices offer the normal air mail holiday services for letters, post items and parcels with all countries.

Post Offices are open as follows:
September - June:
Monday - Friday: 07:30 - 13:30 and Thursday Afternoons 15:00 - 18:00

July - August:
Monday - Friday: 07:30 - 13:30

For your information however,it must be said that Lyn and Roy from 'Rent A Villa In Paphos', cannot actually vouch for the 07:30 opening of the Post Office due to the fact that we have only seen this time of the morning when catching an early flight and cannot understand why anyone would want to leave their villa in Paphos to buy stamps for their postcards at such an unsociable hour whilst on their Cyprus holidays! Still, everyone to their own. We are sure that there are delights to be seen and information to be gained at this time of day that are probably worth getting up for once in a while. If you are an early riser and you think we are missing out on something, please feel free to share the information and contact us.

Cyprus holidays - Blue Flag Campaign

During the European Year for the Environment in 1987, the Blue Flag Campaign was launched. It is supported by the European Union and coordinated by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) in 21 European countries.

"Blue Flag" is awarded to Cyprus holiday beaches that fulfil certain criteria relating to Environmental Education and Information, Beach Area Management, Quality of the Bathing Water according to the relevant E.U. Directive and Safety. Cyprus has introduced the Blue Flag Campaign and became a full member in 1995. By 2001 the European Jury had awarded the "European Blue Flag" to 34 beaches in Cyprus. These beaches can be reached from all our villas and apartments in Paphos and are clearly marked.

Cyprus holidays - Shopping Information

Cyprus has many locally produced items including leather goods, woven goods (tablecloths and linen),ceramics, baskets, handmade silverware and jewellery and hand made lace. These can be purchased locally at the markets during your Cyprus holidays, in Paphos and souvenir shops and market places throughout the island.

Cyprus wines and spirits are also usually high on the buy list for everyone on their Cyprus holidays and are available from supermarkets and grocery shops. Look out for the shops offering special offers at very reasonable prices around the harbour area in Paphos.

Shoes, shirts, watches and especially spectacles are very good value for money. There are many, very good spectacle and jewellery outlets and therefore the competition is beneficial from a purchasers point of view.

Most of the tourist areas, souvenir shops and supermarkets stay open late in the evenings. In Paphos town many shops remain open up to 19:00 hrs during winter and 20:30 in summer but be aware that during summer there is an afternoon break when shops are closed between 14:00 and 17:00 and most stores close on Wednesdays at 14:00hrs.

Cyprus holidays - Hair-Dressing salons

Hair-dressing salons are open on weekdays from 08:00-17:30 except Thursdays and Sundays and many in the tourist areas remain open until 19:00 in summer. Many of the salons have English-speaking stylists. It is advisable to make appointments to avoid disappointment, but this is not always necessary. A small tip is always appreciated.

Driving a Car whilst on your Cyprus holidays

Visitors to Cyprus can drive using their National Driving Licence or a valid International Driving licence, provided it is valid for the class of vehicle you wish to drive. Due to the locations of most of our Villas in Paphos, and the fact that regular transport is not always available to all remote areas in Cyprus, 'Rent A Villa In Paphos' recommend hiring a vehicle if you wish to visit many of the places of interest.

Motorways connect all major Cyprus holiday towns. Roads are perported to comply with international traffic requirements and fairly good surfaced roads link most of the towns and villages. However, if you are more adventurous and wish to go off road or onto the Akamas peninsula during your holiday, a four wheeled drive is recommended for comfort and peace of mind. For information, minor roads and forest roads are still largely unsurfaced and pass as being in a good to fair condition. Also do not be suprised whilst driving on your Cyprus holidays to find that an (A) or (B) road suddenly develops the characteristics of a farm yard track. This is usually because a detour has been made, 'out of nothing' while they carry out maintenance to the main thoroughfare. Please also be vigilant and aware that pot holes can develop on all Paphos roads after heavy rainfall.

PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING IMPORTANT INFORMATION: The use of a hand held mobile phone is strictly prohibited whilst driving on your Cyprus holidays.

Distances between Paphos and other Major Cities

Paphos to Nicosia - 146km
Paphos to Limassol - 68km
Paphos to Larnaca - 135km
Paphos to Larnaca Airport 140km
Paphos to Troodos - 113km
Paphos to Polis - 35km
Paphos to Paphos Airport - 15km

Petrol & Petrol Stations

Motor fuel and unleaded petrol is available in Paphos and is sold by the litre. Most petrol stations are attendant service and are open from 06:00-18:00 Monday to Friday and 06:00-15:00 Saturday. Whilst on your Cyprus holidays you will find that during non-working hours, on weekend and public holidays petrol stations are equipped with petrol vending machines with information and instructions in Greek and English and they accept bank notes and credit cards. These vending machines are not a nightmare to use and if you do find you are having a little trouble, be assured that there will always be some kind soul waiting in the queue who will be willing to lend a helping hand to any visitor.

Short Information Guide To Safe Driving during your Cyprus holidays

Traffic moves on the LEFT hand-side of the road, Not on the right.

International road traffic signs are in use and will be seen on the left hand-side of the road.

Speed limits are posted in kilometres and kilometres per hour respectively.

The maximum speed limit on the motorways is 100 km/h and the lower speed limit is 65 km/h. On all other roads the general speed limit is 80 km/h, unless a lesser one is indicated. In built up areas the speed limit is generally 50 km/h.

The use of seat-belts is compulsory front and back.

Be aware whilst on your Cyprus holidays that rush hours in the towns are approximately between 07:30-08:30/13:00-13:30 and 17:00-18:00.

Driving with alcohol concentration above the prescribed limit on your Cyprus holidays is an offence.


Crime in Cyprus is, when compared to other European countries, at a very low level. The Police are always ready to assist any visitor who needs help or information and are favourably approachable. All members of the police force speak good English.

Cyprus holidays - Emergency Services Information

In case of emergency, immediate response is given by the following telephone numbers, where English is spoken:
Ambulance: 199, 112
Fire Service: 199, 112
Police: 199, 112
Night Pharmacy: Paphos 1406
Hospital: Paphos General Hospital 26 803 100/26 803 265

Medical Services

Medical needs in Cyprus are met through the Government General Hospitals or Private Clinics/Hospitals. All Government General Hospitals, as well as some private clinics have Accident and Emergency Departments for emergency cases. Medical treatment and assistance is offered free of charge to international tourists in case of health emergencies at the Accident and Emergency Department of Government Hospitals. Out patient and In patient treatment is provided against payment of the prescribed fees. Holiday makers can also make use of their travel insurance , which covers medical expenses, provided that this insurance covers the length of their holiday stay on the island.

Local newspapers list information on the pharmacies which are open during the night and on weekends, as well as the names of Doctors who are on call over the weekend/holiday period. The majority of Doctors are English speaking.

Electric current/Voltage

The electricity supply in Paphos is 240 volts, a.c.50Hz. Sockets are usually 13 amp, square pin in most buildings. The use of adaptors is acceptable for low current rating appliances but not recommended for high current rating appliances, such as electric heaters or irons.

Food and Drinking Water Quality and Safety

The safety of food and drinking water quality in Paphos is monitored by the Health Inspectors of the Medical and Public Health Services of the Ministry of Health and the Local Authorities. Food and drinking water are of a high quality and absolutely safe. The water tends to be hard and scale will be seen from time to time in kettles etc, therefore if you feel slightly squeemish about what effect this may have on your insides or your holiday, bottled water can be obtained from all supermarkets and kiosks.

Food and Wine

Gourmets will be pleasantly suprised by what Cyprus has to offer. Cyprus dishes are fairly unique in taste and three favourites in Paphos are:
"Meze" - a rich collection of more than 20 different appetizers and savouries.
"Tava" - a lamb stew with plenty of onions and tomatoes.
"Stifado" - a stew of beef or hare, cooked with wine, vinegar, onions and spices.
Seabream (Tsipoura) and seabass (Lavraki) are local fish that are very popular and when cooked simply are quite fantastically delicious in our opinion. If you try a fish "Meze" the Taverna will give you information on what fresh fish is available and you can agree a price for a selection of the different delicacies you wish to try. If you are a lover of squid or octopus we promise you will not be disappointed during your Paphos hoiday.

Cyprus wines are becoming increasingly competitive in the international market. The quality of Cyprus table-wines ranks with the best in the world and a great variety provides a match for every kind of food you wish to try. A favourite with us is a red table-wine served at the 'Coral King' in Coral Bay. It is a Sodap wine and is bottled under their own restaurant label. A scrumptious drop and good value for money. The approximate cost for a bottle of Cyprus wine in a Paphos restaurant or taverna averages from EU€10.00 - EU€15.00 Once again, if you come across a tempting tipple during your villa/apartment stay, let us know.

Tipping Information

Tipping is always a subject much spoken about and mulled over in any country. Because of the service charge levied in hotels and restaurants, a tip is not obligatory on this holiday, but small change is always welcome. Taxi-drivers, porters, hairdressers etc, always appreciate a small tip and in our personal opinion, if someone has gone out of their way to make you feel welcome and ensure that you are looked after and have a good time then it's really up to you!

Rent A Villa in Paphos hope the above holiday information is of some help to all of you in some way. We trust you will all have an excellent holiday and thoroughly enjoy what Paphos and Cyprus as a whole has to offer. Your "Friends in Paphos" are here to help and as always look forward to contact from you.

The following reading material is recommended for your pleasure. Alternatively visit our BOOK SHOP for further titles.


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