At a Glance
Situated at the north-eastern end of the Mediterranean basin, Cyprus (Κύπρος) is the third largest island in the region, with an area of 9,251 square kilometres (3,572 square miles). Cyprus is at the crossroads of Europe, the Middle-East, Asia and Africa, situated at a distance of 300 km north of Egypt, 90 km west of Syria and 60 km south of Turkey. The Greek mainland is located some 800 km to the west. According to the preliminary results of the 2021 Census, the population in the Government-controlled areas of Cyprus was 918.100, recording an increase of 9,2% compared to the results of the 2011 Census. The total number of foreign nationals amounts to 193.300 and corresponds to 21,1% of the total population. Its capital and largest city is Lefkosia (Λευκωσία) or Nicosia.
The Republic of Cyprus has de jure sovereignty over the entire island, including its territorial waters and exclusive economic zone, with the exception of the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, which remain under the UK's control according to the London and Zürich Agreements. However, the Republic of Cyprus is de facto partitioned into two main parts: the area under the effective control of the Republic, located in the south and comprising about 59% of the island's area, and the north, administered by the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, covering about 36% of the island's area. Another nearly 4% of the island's area is covered by the UN buffer zone. The international community considers the northern part of the island to be territory of the Republic of Cyprus occupied by Turkish forces. The occupation is viewed as illegal under international law and amounting to illegal occupation of EU territory since Cyprus became a member of the European Union.
Cyprus has a long history and a rich culture that spans 11.000 years, making it one of the oldest civilisations in the Mediterranean. It also has one of the warmest climates in the Mediterranean part of the European Union, with very mild winters and hot summers. These contribute to Cyprus being a major tourist destination in Europe. With an advanced, high-income economy and a very high Human Development Index, the Republic of Cyprus has been a member of the Commonwealth since 1961 and joined the European Union on 1 May 2004. On 1 January 2008, the Republic of Cyprus joined the eurozone.
For more information you may visit the Portal of the Deputy Ministry of Tourism here.
Cyprus has two official languages, Greek and Turkish. Armenian and Cypriot Maronite Arabic are recognised as minority languages. Although without official status, English is widely spoken and it features widely on road signs, public notices, advertisements, etc.
Despite English being widely used, learning Greek could be an important factor in a Researcher's professional and social integration in Cyprus. Greek language courses are offered by the following Institutions:
The School of Modern Greek was founded in 1998 and currently operates within the Faculty of Letters of the University of Cyprus.
The School provides Greek language courses to non-native speakers, both nationals and foreigners, as well as those who wish to perfect their knowledge of Greek. Its students include members of the academic community, immigrants residing in Cyprus, Turkish Cypriots, non Greek-speaking residents of Cyprus, asylum seekers and members of foreign diplomat missions.
The School of Modern Greek is currently the leading provider of Greek language courses in Cyprus and awards Greek language competence certificates, which have been officially accredited and recognized by the Republic of Cyprus.
Registrations in State Institutes of Further Education take place during June, while some more might take place in September, if places are available. Lessons are available on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday. Adult classes usually take place in the evenings. On special occasions lessons may also take place on Wednesday afternoon or Saturday morning.
Each lesson lasts for 90 minutes and takes place twice per week.
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The Adult Education Centres of the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus offer Greek language courses for repatriated Cypriots, foreigners, asylum seekers and illiterates.
The Adult Education Centres offer adult classes focused on lifelong learning opportunities, personal development and on social, financial and cultural development of citizens for their successful integration in the Cypriot and European society.
The local currency in Cyprus is EURO (€).
Cyprus is in the Eastern European Time Zone (EET). It is two (2) hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and one (1) hour ahead of Central European Time (CET).
Cyprus enjoys an intense Mediterranean climate, with long dry summers from mid–May to mid–October, and mild winters from December to February, which are separated by short autumn and spring seasons.
Summer is a season of high temperatures with cloudless skies, but the sea breeze creates a pleasant atmosphere in the coastal areas. Isolated thunder showers are possible mainly over the mountains during early afternoons.
Winters are mild with rain and snow on the Troodos Mountains (usually starting before Christmas).
The island enjoys abundant sunshine, and even in December and January, there is an average of six hours of bright sunshine per day, whilst over the six "summer months", there is an average of 11.5 hours of bright sunshine per day.
Temperatures and Weather Conditions
Daily temperatures during the hottest months of July and August range between 30° C on the central plain, and 24° C on the Troodos Mountains. The average maximum temperatures for these two months range between 38° C and 27° C. In January, the coolest month, the indicative daily temperature is 10° C on the central plain, and 3° C on the higher parts of the Troodos Mountains, while the average minimum temperatures are 5° C and 0° C.
Aside from moving around on foot and by bike, you can also travel around the island by bus or taxi. Cyprus does not have a train or underground transport system.
Visitors are advised to always confirm itineraries and prices with the appropriate company before travelling, as these are subject to alterations.
There are four types of public bus services in Cyprus:
- Airport Transfer Buses: linking all the towns to the island’s two airports of Larnaka (Larnaca) and Pafos (Paphos).
- Interurban buses: linking all major towns on a daily basis, and with frequent routes.
- Urban buses: linking different areas within the towns and operating frequently during daytime. In certain tourist areas, during the summer period, their routes are extended till late in the evening.
- Rural buses: linking almost all villages with the nearest town, but with limited frequency.
Website for Public Transport Service by Bus in Cyprus (Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works): http://motionbuscard.org.cy/
Kapnos & Sons Transport Ltd
Tel: (+357) 77 771 477 / (+357) 24 008 718
- Lefkosia-Larnaka Airport, Larnaka Airport-Lefkosia
- Lefkosia-Pafos Airport, Pafos Airport-Lefkosia
- Larnaka-Pafos Airport, Pafos Airport-Larnaka
- Ammochostos-Larnaka Airport, Larnaka Airport-Ammochostos
Cars and motorcycles can be easily hired on the island, which is serviced by fairly good surfaced roads that comply with international traffic requirements, and link the towns and the various villages.
Four-lane motorways connect the capital, Lefkosia, with the coastal towns of Lemesos, Larnaka, Pafos and Agia Napa.
Minor roads and forest roads are still largely not surfaced, but in good to fair condition. Appropriate care should be taken when using these roads, especially during wet weather.
Please note: Traffic moves on the LEFT hand-side of the road, NOT on the right.
Expenses for Water, Electricity, Heating, Air-Conditioning, etc, are usually not included in the rental price, thus you will have to take them into account for your budget considerations.
Water maybe typically paid by the owner/ landlord but in other cases may need to be covered by the tenant/ renter, so this should be agreed in advance when renting accomodation. You may contact the local Municipal Offices for registration if this is required. Each Municipality has its own water authority, however the public water supply countrywide is managed by the Cyprus Water Development Department.
Electricity is domestically used at 240 V AC, 50Hz. Plugs used are the British-type 13 amp 3 flat pin. Registration with the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) at local Customer Service Centres is necessary to trasfer the electricity account to your name and switch on electricity provision. In some cases, the owner/ landlord may prefer to keep the account to their name and charge the tenant according to meter usage. The EAC offers direct online bill payment.
Gas is not available through a countrywide network, but natural gas (LPG gas) in canisters is frequently used for cooking or heating. Canisters of 10 Kg are sold at supermarkets and convenience stores, while larger quantity canisters are available through delivery.
A variety of payment plans/contracts are available for Mobile/Cellular. If you need to buy a new device, major electric/electronic stores and mobile phone stores sell all major cellular phone brands. In order to use a device purchase abroad in Cyprus, the phone must be "unlocked", i.e. not tied to a particular provider's network. If the phone is locked, it may be possible to unlock the phone at mobile phone stores in the originating country or Cyprus.
It may be possible to use your own mobile phone plan in Cyprus, especially if you are moving from an EU Country (see new EU Roaming regulation). However, the most economical way to make and receive calls will most likely be to purchase a SIM card in Cyprus. All incoming calls are free and local calls are charged at a local rate. There is also the possibility of “pay-as-you-go” usage, where no contract is necessary. In this case, you will need a new “pay-as-you-go” SIM card, which can be topped-up with time-credits by phone, online, or using top-up cards (usually available at mobile phone stores and convenience stores).
To obtain internet service, your accomodation must be connected to the DSL or fiber network. You will have to consider a monthly connection fee, which will be payable to the Internet service provider.
The total population on the island is around 1.2 million. The majority of the Greek Cypriot population are Greek Orthodox; the Turkish Cypriot community follows Islam. In addition, Cypriot Armenians, Maronites and Latins make up linguistic and religious minorities. Furthermore, approximately one fifth of the population is made up of diverse groups of foreign nationals living and working in Cyprus.