Cyprus Car Hire

 

The island tourist hub that's nearest neighbours are Turkey and Lebanon, the birthplace of the great Aphrodite, the home of beaches, ruins, water adventures.

  • The population of Cyprus as of 2019 is estimated to be in the region of 1.2 million people. This doesn't include the close to 2 million tourists this island receives every year.
  • The island sits in the Mediterranean south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, below it to the east is are the lands of Israel and Palestine, it sits directly north of Egypt.
  • Cyprus' lands, much like other islands in this area, have had their rule contested by most of its neighbouring countries before gaining its independence around 1960, there were still many different nationalities there afterwards that fought for parts of the island too, the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots both have a heavy presence there. The suburb of Varosha is now a ghost town due to these issues.
  • Cyprus holds the spot of the third largest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily and Sardinia.
  • There are two official languages used in the country Greek and Turkish then there are also less common languages i.e. Armenian and Cypriot Maronite Arabic. English is widely spoken in Cyprus and is shown on public notices, road signs and advertisements.
  • The two main religions are Greek Orthodox and Sunni Muslim.
  • Despite being a relatively small island Cyprus boasts 43 universities, with influential alumni like Costas Montis, poet, novelist, playwright, who said(translated to English) Without me what is light?
  • Visas are a requirement to enter the country if you are from outside of the EU or your home country is listed here
  • There are 8 airports in total on the island of these 3 are for the public to enter and exit the country the rest are military controlled.
  • The electrical conversion in Cyprus is the same as the three pin system, with 240 standard voltage, in the UK.
  • Lanarca is the larger of the two main tourist airports, the other is Paphos.
  • The capital of Cyprus is Nicosia which is located in the North of the island.

 

Car hire in Cypriot airports

 

There are two main commercial airports in Cyprus, Lanarca and Paphos. Lanarca processes around 7 million passengers per year and Paphos just under 3 million. Paphos is located in the South West of the island and Lanarca is in the South East of the island. Paphos airport has numerous car companies operating out of it with the big names having physical desks Avis, Hertz, Sixt and Europcar then the more local Petsas car rental and Astra car rental. Some companies do operate a 'Full to Empty' policy which means they provide you with a full tank and if you return without a full tank of petrol then they will charge you for one.

 

The single terminal airport of Larnaca is the larger and generally more popular of the two. It was built hastily in the 1970s after Nicosia airport was taken. The airport has around 5 million passengers travelling through it every year, there is also a separate private terminal that is used for political leaders and other high priority guests. The companies that operate out of Larnaca airport are Thrifty, Europcar, Alamo, Hertz, Global, Budget, Ace, Kem, Dollar, Economy, Avis and 7777. The airport facilities include 1 VIP room and 2 CIP(Commercially Important Person) lounges, many refreshment options for the stomach and the body, assistance for people with reduced mobility, all very handy for when you go to hire a car and want to wait somewhere comfortable.

 

History of Cyprus

 

Such a long and drawn out existence this island has had, with it's ownership being fought over for so many years, it's borders being constantly changed and even it's airports being taken hostage(a long time ago), it really is a country filled with a complex and fascinating past.

 

The earliest inhabitants of Cyprus are thought to have lived there around 12,000 years ago, although similar to other islands in the Mediterranean, this may have been passers-by who used the island for a bit of R and R. The majority of those people probably being hunter gatherers of the sea, however this is up for debate, similar to the rest of the history on the island. The first established historical point that has had some agreeance is about 9,000 years ago where archaeologists found the presence of Obsidian, a volcanic rock that is not native to the island. Khirokitia is the archeologic site where this portion of the Neolithic history of Cyprus can be viewed.

 

Skip forward to the late Bronze age when the first signs of Greek life came to the island, in the forms of traders who arrived around 1400 BC to check out what the island had to offer. The role of Cyprus is imperative to Greek Mythology with some of the very structures of culture being birthed here, Aphrodite the Goddess of love, passion and procreation, Adonis her mortal lover and son, Teucer the founder of the city of Salamis and brave soldier in the Trojan war, the list goes on to make this island an intricate tapestry of myth and legend that can be seen even today.

 

19th century

 

Into the more modern times of the island around the late 1800s Cyprus was proffered out to the British who took over the running of the place, turning it into a military base, although it was still under Ottoman rule until the British decided in  November of 1914 that as the Ottoman's had joined the opposing side, the British now would take Cyprus under its own protectorate.

 

On August 6th 1960 independence was granted to Cyprus after the Zurich and London agreement between the UK, Greece and Turkey. This was to protect all three of the countries interest they had in the island however because of the complicated system in place there was much upset from all camps, 14 years later this upset boiled over into a coup d'etat with Greece wanting to unite the island with its lands, Turkey stepped in a few days later wanting to restore the balance, this didn't happen and so now the island is split into the Turkish Cypriot portion and the Greek Cypriot portion, all of this and more makes for a long trail of history that the island boasts as many of its attractions.

 

This is a truncated history and there is so much more to be learned about this desperately desired paradise.

 

Guide to Cyprus

 

It's not all wars and dissidence, although that part is wonderful for a history buff or someone who wants to see the ruins of great civilisations, there's also Ayia Napa which plays host to some of the worlds most renowned clubbing locations. If there's a desire to hit the dance floor till your old or the want to get in on the action and feel young again then Castle Club can provide with its' five arenas, that range from Commercial dance, Hip hop and R&B to the Luxury VIP where for a couple hundred euro you can have your own lounge with up to 12 guests and table service to party the night away. If that seems a little too rich for your tastes and you just want to get down to the partying like they do in those American road movies then Starsky's is the place for you, there its all about fuelling the fun and dancing on the bar for the female contingent, they hit you with mostly classic dance tracks here and chart toppers to keep the poles filled and the shots...shotted. If you're after something with a little more of an underground vibe, a place where the serious clubber can go and listen till the sun comes up then don't you dare go past Klubd all your dj dreams will come true. The thing to remember about the island is that the nightlife is seasonal, from around April the clubs start to open with the majority bursting by May, the price of entry is usually between 10 – 25 Euros although this may have gone up, there is no dress code so expect to be surprised and shocked by the personality that comes out of people's wardrobes.

 

Clubbing is not for you, the locals hear you as does the island, there are so many attractions, ruins, things to do aside from clubbing like the Tombs of the Kings, this is situated in Paphos on the west of the island and is thought to have been built for the Paphitic Aristocrats and their high ranking partners. There's quite a lot to see there as although it is a UNESCO heritage site like most of the island, you can venture down inside the tombs and decide whether you accept they were actually used as they are believed to have been or if possibly you can come up with the new discovery, solve the mystery. People long gone or holes where they once were, doesn't interest you? Then take the journey over to Kolossi Castle in the south of the island set in amongst the modernity of today, it was once a place where the soldiers of the crusades would hang their tunics and where the Knights Templar, supposedly the world's first multinational corporation formed by guardians of the church, held for 6 years, probably burying their treasure which is yet to be found. No more graves and battlegrounds but please more treasure hunting? So then hop back in your reasonably priced car and head over to Palaipafos which is linked to the great and powerful goddess of fertility 'Aphrodite', here you can see where the myth was born and close by is the Kouklia Museum which houses all of the antiquities that made life possible during that time. This little selection of what the island has to offer from a historical standpoint is very much the beginning of the breadcrumb trail, just a start.

 

Food, drink & nightclubs

 

Well you have made it this far through dancing to music in the clubs of now to listening out for the chatty whispers of the clubs of yesteryear, now it's time to eat. Quite a number of the restaurants on the island provide classic Greek dishes with what can only be described as a unique Cypriot twist or as the Cypriots may say a 'better version', take something like stuffed vine leaves, marinated vine leaves filled with seasoned rice known to all as Dolmades, the Cypriots take this snack and make a meal out of it by adding either ground pork or veal then naming it Koupepia. Where can you get one of these on the island, well there is the breathtakingly romantic The Last Castle the food here is traditional, open coal barbecue, the place sits atop of a hill almost cliff side and stares out over the Mediterranean with an umbrella of grapevines to cherry the top of this quaint sundae. On an island the one thing that most people crave is fresh fish right off the back of the boat and there is an old favourite near the St George's island/rock aptly named St George's Fish Tavern, here they get the catch from the day, toss it through the fryer then onto your plate with a side of chips, tasty stuff. This is a staple for tourists so the quality can vary however a less frequented place a little further back from the coast will suffice all your gastro desires, the place known as The Seven St Georges, here you can find organically grown and locally sourced food like tsamarella (Salami made from goat) wild asparagus, pickled cauliflower, the list goes on with this Cypriot eatery.

 

If you do make it down to St George's Beach and would like to dive into the crystal clear water to see the sites of the underworld then the island will not falter, best to dive between March and November which is one of the longest dive seasons in the whole of the Mediterranean.

 

Most of these are just one portion of an island that is almost over flowing with attractions and restaurants, don't try and see it all at once, pick a region and start there....unless you have a two month holiday then see it all...but you still won't have seen it all.

 

Cyprus Car hire FAQ's

 

Cost of hiring a car in Cyprus?

 

Although the island has only two commercially operating airports, with a third much smaller, there is still plenty of competitive choice with prices from as low as €4.74 / £4.02 per day for a Suzuki Alto or similar with a pickup and drop off from Paphos airport. The price is the same from Larnaca airport.

 

What's the cheapest car hire in Cyprus?

 

Considering that the two airports are reasonably close to each other this doesn't fair well for a large amount of competition. The cheapest price for a car hire in Cyprus at either Paphos or Larnaca is €4.74 / £4.02 per day in the off peak period. That is through Sur Price car rentals who operate out of most of the islands in the Mediterranean and is for a Suzuki Alto or similar.

 

How much does it cost for an economy car hire in Cyprus?

 

Economy car hire is from as little as €4.87 / £4.13 per day for a Chevrolet Spark or similar.

 

Which car companies operate out of Paphos and Larnaca Airports?

 

All the major large companies operate from both of the airports around the country those being Hertz, Europcar, Sixt, Budget, Thrifty, Alamo, Enterprise then you have the lesser known but offering sometimes a better price companies like SurPrice, Global, Get Your Car, Keddy.

 

What's the best way to get around Cyprus?

 

Cyprus does have a dedicated bus service and this runs about every half hour from Lanarca airport and then from Paphos airport about every hour, the cost is 1.50 euro and the journey time ranges from 25 minutes to the centre to 40 minutes to the centre. For more detailed information about buses and the local routes try Cyprus by Bus. Buses can be fiddly so taking a car is best to get into all the different parts of the island, the drive across from Ayia Napa to Paphos is around 2 hours. There is the option to cycle all over and may be the most rewarding, although proper equipment is a necessity, if you get a flat you might be pushing that bike home.

 

Do I need an international Licence for car hire in Cyprus?

 

Cyprus does not require you to have an IDP(International Driving Permit) unless the UK leaves the EU without a deal. For other travellers the adaptation of the EU laws will suffice.

 

What's the best type of car for getting around Cyprus?

 

It's a mountainous island with numerous beaches and small streets so for comfort and enjoyment the best car for getting through tight spots would be the Nissan Micra at around €4.95 / £4.20 per day.

 

What if I have an accident?

 

Contact the local authorities first then the car company that you hired the rental from.

 

Which side of the road do the Cypriots drive on?

 

The right hand side. Overtake on the left.

 

SPEED LIMIT
  • 100 kph/62mph (Motorways)
  • 40 kph/25 mph (School Roads)
  • 50 kph/31 mph (Built up Areas)
  • 90 kph/55 mph (Outside Built up Areas)
DRINK LIMIT 0.05
EMERGENCY NO'S
  • 112 (Emergency Services)
  • 119 (Alternative)
TOLLS There are no tolls in Cyprus

 

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