Cyprus, known as the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean. The earliest known human presence on the island dates to around the 10th millennium BC. Archaeological remains from this period include the well-preserved Neolithic village of Khirokitia. Here, you'll also find some of the oldest water wells in the world. In the 2nd millennium BC, Cyprus was settled by Mycenaean Greeks in two waves. It was subsequently occupied by several major powers, including the empires of the Assyrians, Egyptians and Persians, from whom the island was seized in 333 BC by Alexander the Great due to its strategic location in the Middle East. Following this period Cyprus was ruled by Ptolemaic Egypt, the Classical and Eastern Roman Empire, Arab caliphates for a short period, the French Lusignan dynasty and the Venetians. Between 1571 and 1878 Cyprus experienced over three centuries of Ottoman rule.
The legacy of this history has left a footprint of archaeology which makes Cyprus a fascinating destination.
UK: Not required for a stay of up to 3 months in duration.
USA: Not required for a stay of up to 90 days in duration.
Cyprus is warm all year round, but can be very hot in the summer so travel with light casual wear, a hat, comfortable lightweight shoes and sunscreen. For visiting Orthodox churches and mosques, long pants or skirts and a long-sleeved shirt or top should be worn. For mosques, women should also wear a scarf to cover their hair.
While Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities shared a long history up to 1974, they remain divided by culture, language and above all religion – Greek Orthodox and Islam. Regardless of ilk, Cypriot society revolves around family life. Families eat together, either at home or in a restaurant, especially on Sundays. There is widespread respect for the elderly, consideration for pregnant women, and indulgence towards children. When Cypriots ask about your children or grandchildren, they’re not just being polite, they really want to know, so respond them, and ask back.
In the south, the Greek Orthodox Church is widely revered. The church in general and local priests have significant political and social influence. Church attendance is high and Sunday visits to churches and monasteries are a popular day out. In the north, although the population is Muslim, the level of observance is not as high – a call to prayer is rarely heard, the Western Saturday/Sunday weekend is followed rather than the more usual Friday/Saturday, and alcohol is readily available.
Greek or Turkish.
While you are not expected to leave anything extra, if you feel that you would like to tip a little more for great service, 2 - 3 euros is a reasonable amount. Staff should always be attentive and respectful to customers. You are also not expected to leave a tip in bars and cafés. Andante Travels will take care of gratuities to restaurant staff, local guides and drivers.