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Getting Around in Cyprus
Distances in Cyprus are relatively small, making transportation from one place to another a trivial issue. There are however a few things you should know in order to take advantage of both public and private transportation options.
Most visitors explore Cyprus via rental car, taxi, or bus. Cypriots drive on the left and vehicles are right-hand drive. The roads throughout the island are in good condition, and signposting is relatively clear, although Cypriot drivers are not exactly the most careful or courteous.
Bus tickets are not expensive, but service is somewhat infrequent. There are usually only six services daily between the four main cities. During the weekends, there are reduced services.
For bus timetables you can call the following numbers:
- Nicosia: 22 665814
- Limassol: 25 370592
- Larnaca: 24 650477
- Paphos: 26 934410
- Ayia Napa: 23 721321
Metered taxis operate in all the main towns in Cyprus. Fares are reasonable, especially when you take a larger car and share the cost between several people.
There are also service taxis or mini-buses which take passengers from door to door between towns. They operate between all the major towns half-hourly between 6am and 6pm, Monday-Friday, and 7am to 5pm on weekends.
It can be a bit expensive to rent a car in Cyprus during the main tourist season, from April through October. It is however the most efficient way to get around as the road network is great.
The price usually includes full insurance, a certain mileage allowance and VAT (value-added tax). Drivers under the age of 25 require additional insurance.
Cypriot authorities recognize international driving licences, as well as foreign licenses.
Both manual and automatic cars are available for hire, as are motorcycles and scooters.
Driving in Cyprus
Driving is the easiest way to get around Cyprus. Road conditions are good and distances are short – it is less than 160 km (100 miles) from Paphos to Nicosia.
Distances and speed limits are in kilometres – 100 kmph (60 mph) on motorways, 80 kmph (50 mph) on most other roads, and 50 kmph (30 mph) in built-up areas. There are roundabouts (traffic islands) at certain intersections; the right of way goes to drivers approaching from the right.
Finding your way to the major historic sites is easy given all of the road signs. The difficult part is getting around the narrow streets on small towns where there are no signs.
It is important to note that since there was a new nomenclature and transliteration system introduced a few years ago for all place names, there are many instances where places are spelled to in two different ways. For example, you will find the capital city spelled as Nicosia or as Lefkosia.
These are some other examples of names you might find spelt different in a map and on a road sign, or in different road signs but that refer to exactly the same place:
- Nicosia – Lefkosia
- Limassol – Lemesos
- Larnaca – Larnaka
- Paphos – Pafos
- Agia Napa – Ayia Napa
As in most countries, seatbelt use is mandatory, young children may not occupy the front seat of a car, using mobile phones while driving is forbidden and the drunk-driving law is strict with random checks done by the police regularly late in the evening.
Motorcyclists are required to wear helmets.
Petrol stations are normally open Monday to Saturday and are closed on Sundays, though most of the stations offer a 24-hour automated service that accepts both cash and credit cards.