Cyprus is the third largest Mediterranean island . For thousands of years it has been at the crossroads of history. Cypriots have survived through reigns of Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians, Romans, Venetians, Ottomans, and most recently the British who still maintain military bases. In present times, people flock to its beaches and antiquities while enjoying Cypriot hospitality. Visitors will delight in the natural beauty of the island as well as its moderate climate.
Travel: There are international airports at Larnaca and Pafos. One can rent a car easily or take public transport to destinations. If non-EU visitors wish to rent a car, they must have an International Driving Permit which is easily obtained through most travel agencies. Driving is on the left hand side of the road and does take some getting used to for those who are used to driving on the opposite side of the road. There are many tours readily available through hotels and tourists offices, so it might not be necessary to have a rental vehicle during a stay here.
Money: Since 2008 the euro has been the official currency of the Republic of Cyprus. In Northern Cyprus, the Turkish lira is the unit of currency. There are many locations available in the cities to exchange currencies. However, if one travels up into the Troodos region, it is advisable to carry cash and not rely upon finding an ATM on every corner. Also, this is not a bargaining country so prices are fixed. A Value Added Tax (VAT) of 8% will be added to most services.
Communications: Greek is the official language of the Republic of Cyprus. However, English is widely spoken everywhere. Signs are generally in English and Greek. There is some confusion over the names of places due to a 1995 conversion to the formal Greek transliteration system which uses Latin characters. Thus Nicosia is now officially Lefkosia, etc.
Health: As always in warm climates, one should take precautions for extreme temperatures. It is so easy when relaxing on the beach to over do it and pay the price later. Preventative measures include using sunscreen, head coverings, wearing light clothes and always drink lots of water. Dehydration can be a major problem due to the heat and tourist diarrhea. There is some rationing of water that does not seem to affect the hotels. Food requires travelers to exercise the same caution that is normal everywhere. Insects can be especially pesky in some places, so pack some repellent.
Security: As always, keep an eye on your personal belongings. It is said that the main source of potential theft will come from fellow travelers. So lock your valuables up when possible and do not leave your possessions unattended. Bring a copy of important papers and keep them in a separate place.
Activities: Besides beaches and scenery, Cyprus offers museums, antiquities, shopping and good restaurants.