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Beach and Swimming Tips
Cyprus has some of the best beaches in the Mediterranean for swimming. Here are a few useful tips to maximize your enjoyment.
It is prohibited to operate jet-skis, power boats, or to ski at a distance less than 200 m (0.12 miles) from the beach.
It is illegal for a speed boat/power boat to sail at a distance of less than 100 m (0.062 miles) from the beach at a speed of over three knots. This applies to all beaches. It is also prohibited for pleasure boats to have their loudspeakers at full blast.
Bathers are advised not to go beyond bathing areas, to avoid swimming at or near entrances to marinas or harbours. Not only is this unsafe, this is prohibited by law. If you do venture into non-bathing areas, you should make your presence known by toeing a buoy. Keep away from ship lanes.
If a lifeguard should raise the red flag, you should exit the sea immediately. The presence of warning buoys in the sea does not necessarily indicate the presence of lifeguards on shore. The presence of lifeguards onshore is denoted by two rectangular flags with two horizontal bands: the upper band is red and the lower band yellow.
Playing football or racquets on the beach is prohibited, unless where specifically designated by local authorities.
Bringing pets to the beach is not allowed, unless the beach is clearly marked otherwise. Currently, the only beach where bringing animals is Loumata beach of Ayia Napa, located west of Makronisos.
No motorised vehicles are allowed on any beach. Lighting fires, for example for the purpose of preparing souvla (BBQ), is also strictly prohibited, unless special permission is secured from local municipal authorities.
Tips for Bathers
Never take a swim right after eating. Allow at least two to three hours after a meal. Swim parallel to the coastline. Avoid alcohol.
If you find yourself being sucked in by a current, do not try to swim against the current, unless the shore is very close. Do not panic, conserve your energy, and take deep breaths to increase your buoyancy. Avoid swimming too close to wave-breakers. When on the beach, make sure your mobile phone has good reception, or that a landline is close by, in case of emergencies.
If you are into deep-sea diving, be prepared. You should know that a proper training programme lasts six months to a year. For pleasure diving, never use bottles containing helium or oxygen, only pure atmospheric air. Never dive alone, and before diving make sure you schedule your time underwater.
If you are stung by a jellyfish (although quite rare), get out of the sea and pour lots of sea water (never fresh water) on the sore. Do not rub the sore. Then apply vinegar for about 15 to 30 minutes, to neutralise the toxins. Meat tenderiser or soda bicarbonate also works. If none of these are available, try pouring some wine. Urine also does the job.
Know Your Rights as a Consumer
The maximum charge for renting an umbrella or sea bed is €2.50 per day, per item. If someone tries to overcharge you, report this immediately to local municipality authorities or the police. You can also contact the Central Beaches Committee at 22 445170, or the Cyprus Tourism Organization (CTO) at 22691212.
By law, each umbrella on the beach must cover an area no less than 16 square metres. Each sea bed should occupy an area no less than eight square metres. In addition, no more than 50% of a beach area should be occupied by for-rent umbrellas and sea beds; the remaining 50% is available for people to bring their own umbrellas and sea beds.