General Information for Visitors to Cyprus

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					General Information for Visitors to Cyprus

Business/Shopping Hours

Public Service Hours:

(September 1 - June 30)
Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri: 07:30 - 14:30
Wed: 07:30 - 14:30, 15:00 - 18:00

(July 1 - August 31)
Monday - Friday: 07:30 - 14:30

Shopping Hours:

(November 1 - March 31)
Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri: up to 18:00
Wed, Sat: up to 14:00

(April 1 - May 31) and (September 15 - October 31)
Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri: up to 19:00
Wed, Sat: up to 14:00

(June 1 - September 14)
Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri: up to 19:30, afternoon recess from 13:00 - 16:00
Wed, Sat: up to 14:00

Office Hours:

(September 15 - May 31)
Monday - Friday: 08:00 - 13:00, 15:00 - 18:00

(June 1 - September 14)
Monday - Friday: 08:00 - 13:00, 16:00 - 19:00

Banking Hours:

(September 1 - April 30)
Monday: 08:30 - 12:30, 15:15 - 16:45
Tuesday - Friday: 08:30 - 12:30

(May 1 - August 31)
Monday - Friday: 08:00 - 12:30

Centrally located Banks provide "afternoon tourist services".

Petrol Station Opening Hours:

(April 1 - September 30)
Monday - Friday: 06:00 - 19:00*
Saturday: 06:00 - 15:00

(October 1 - March 31)
Monday - Friday: 06:00 - 18:00*
Saturday: 06:00 - 15:00

   *Wednesday: 06:00 - 14:00 (Nicosia district)
    Tuesday: 06:00 - 14:00 (Lemesos, Larnaka, Pafos and Ammochostos districts)


Locally produced items, which are popular to visitors, include leather goods, woven goods
(curtains and tablecloths), ceramics, copperware, silverware (especially filigree), baskets,
and the famous traditional hand-made Lefkaritika lace. These can be purchased from the
many souvenir shops found throughout the island and the Cyprus Handicraft Centres.

Cyprus wines and spirits, which have been famous for centuries, are also high on visitors'
shopping lists, and can be purchased from supermarkets or grocery shops.

Shoes, shirts, imported textiles and spectacles are good value for money.

In most of the tourist areas, both souvenir shops and supermarkets remain open until late
in the evenings, and all day on Sunday. Supermarkets close one hour later on Friday
evening. Just before Christmas and Easter, shops usually remain open until late in the

Chemists Pharmacies/Drug Stores

They stay open during shopping hours. Names, addresses and telephone numbers of
chemists which stay open until late at night, on Public Holidays and on Sundays are listed
in the daily papers. They can also be traced through the following automatic telephones:

Nicosia              1412
Ammochostos          1413
Larnaka              1414
Lemesos              1415
Pafos                1416

Health and Safety/Inoculations

Medical Services and Hospitals

Medical care needs in Cyprus are met through Government General Hospitals and Private

Government General Hospitals and Private clinics/hospitals are mostly concentrated in
urban areas, while health centres, sub-centres, and dispensaries function in the rural
areas, providing a network to meet the medical needs of the whole population.

All Government General Hospitals as well as some private clinics have Accident and
Emergency Departments for emergency cases.

Medical treatment and assistance is offered free of charge to international tourists in case
of health emergencies at the Accident and Emergency Department of Government
Hospitals/Institutions. Out-patient and in-patient treatment is provided against payment of
the prescribed fees. Holiday-makers can also make use of their health insurance, which
covers medical expenses, provided that this insurance covers the length of their stay on
the island.

Almost all brands of manufactured medicines are available in Cyprus. Local newspapers list
pharmacies which are open during the night and on weekends/holidays, as well as the
names of doctors who are on call on weekends/holidays.

Information on private doctors on call on weekends/holidays is given by the following
telephone numbers:

Nicosia               1432
Ammochostos           1433
Larnaka               1434
Lemesos               1435
Pafos                 1436

Most hotels make arrangements for Medical services for their guests upon request.

The majority of doctors are English speaking.

Private doctors' visiting hours: Monday - Friday: 09:00-13:00, 16:00-19:00.

Food Safety and Drinking Water Quality

In Cyprus the safety of food and drinking water quality is monitored by the Health
Inspectors of the Medical and Public Services of the Ministry of Health and the Local
Authorities. Food and drinking water are of high quality, absolutely safe and no food- or
waterborne diseases occur.

Water is safe to drink in Cyprus, as water pollution is negligible and every home has fresh
running drinking-water.

All the District Water Boards are in constant collaboration with the Government Health
Services and the General Laboratory for the prevention of any toxicological and
bacteriological infection of water in Cyprus.

Tap-water in hotels, restaurants, public premises, etc. is safe to drink.

Cyprus is also free from dangerous infectious diseases. No vaccination requirements for
any International Traveller.


Climatic conditions in Cyprus can be termed as excellent from a health point of view.
Therefore, the climate is ideal for holiday travellers throughout the year.

Drugs – Psychotropic Substances – Narcotics

According to Cypriot Law, the Importation, Possession and Use of Narcotic Drugs and
Psychotropic Substances, is strictly prohibited.

Health Food

Health food stores with a wide range of high quality health food and health-care products
and cosmetics are to be found in almost all towns. Furthermore various health food items
and health-care products are found in pharmacies and also in large supermarkets, all over
the island.
Currency/Banking/Credit Cards

Currency - Exchange Rates

The currency of the Republic is the Cyprus Euro - €, which is divided into 100 cents.

Notes and coins currently in circulation are as follows:

Bank Notes: €500, €200, €100, €50, €20, €10, €5

Coins: 1 cent, 2 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, €1, €2

For up to date exchange rates please go to the website of the Central Bank of Cyprus


The commercial banks in Cyprus have correspondents in most major cities around the
world, and transactions can be negotiated in all leading currencies.

The Central Bank of Cyprus is independent and responsible for formulating and
implementing monetary and credit policy. It also supervises banks, administers the foreign
exchange reserves, issues currency, and acts as banker and financial agent of the

Commercial Banking arrangements follow the British model, and the majority of
Commercial Banks on the island are now full members of the Society for Worldwide
Interbank Financial Telecommunication (S.W.I.F.T.).

Banks at the Larnaka and Pafos International Airports provide services in the daytime, as
well as a night service for most flights.

Banking facilities are also available at the Lemesos (Limassol) Harbour.

A number of Automatic Exchange Machines operate on a 24hrs basis in central places of all
towns and the main tourist resorts Agia Napa and Paralimni. Most currencies and
denominations are acceptable.

Hotels, large shops, restaurants, etc. usually accept traveller's cheques and major credit
cards. Rates of exchange are published daily in the local press, and are also broadcast at
the 10:00 o'clock News Bulletins by the CBC (except Sundays) on Second Radio Channel on
91.1 FM.

Centrally located Banks provide "afternoon tourist services".

Bank holidays are the same as Public Holidays plus Easter Tuesday. Christmas Eve is a
working day for banks.

Credit Cards

Visitors in possession of any of the following international credit cards may contact the
appropriate bank for the withdrawal of cash.

VISA CARD: Bank of Cyprus Ltd., Cyprus Popular Bank Ltd., Hellenic Bank, Alpha Bank
Limited, National Bank of Greece and Arab Bank.

MASTERCARD: Bank of Cyprus Ltd., Cyprus Popular Bank Ltd., National Bank of Greece,
Hellenic Bank and Alpha Bank Limited.

AMERICAN EXPRESS: Cyprus Popular Bank Ltd.

More than 11 000 shops, restaurants and hotels accept at least one of the above credit
cards. Establishments with P.O.S. accept also VISA ELECTRON and MAESTRO. Usually the
card symbol is displayed in the shop window or at the reception.

Euro cheques and traveller's cheques are also accepted by all banks, shops, restaurants

Lost Credit Cards

In case of loss of credit card, please call JCC Payment Systems Ltd. and at the same time
contact your bank either in Cyprus or in your country.

For further information please apply directly to:

JCC Payment Systems Ltd.
Stasikratous 16
P.O.Box 21043
1500 Nicosia
Tel: +357 22 868100 (24 hours service)
Fax: +357 22 868591, 868111

What to pack

General information and suggestions on what to wear and do, according to season.

April – May
Days are pleasantly warm, but temperatures may fall a bit at night.
Medium-weight and summer apparel: Light woollies or long sleeved cotton for the
Excellent season for those who prefer to enjoy nature, as the countryside is green and
flowers are in blossom.

June – July – August
Warmest months.
Very light weight summer clothing.
Ideal for swimming and all beach/water activities.

September – October
Warm days, cool October evenings.
Light weight apparel for the day and medium-weight for the evenings in October.
Swimming and water-sports are still at their best.

Pleasantly warm days.
Medium-weight apparel. Light Woollies.
Ideal weather for autumn travel. Lunches in the open-air still a delight.
Sunbathing and even swimming can still be enjoyed, as well as most outdoor sports.

December – January
Winter time for Cypriots...
Autumn for our foreign visitors! It may rain occasionally yet the promise of glorious
sunshine is still there.
Winter clothing; not heavy coats though!
Outdoor activities and excursions can be enjoyed.

The possibility of exceptionally warm days.
Almond trees in bloom, occasional rain, and mild daytime temperatures are the harbingers
of spring.
It can be quite cold however in the evenings.
Winter apparel.
Conditions are ideal for snow skiing on Troodos Mountains.

Moderate weather with nature at its best.
Winter apparel with medium-weight wear.
Most outdoor activities can be enjoyed, and March is an excellent period for long country

Driving in Cyprus

Be careful: In Cyprus we drive on the left hand side of the road! Thus, all vehicles are of a
right hand drive system (RHD).

Driving in Cyprus is most advisable as regular transport service is not available to all
remote areas where many places of interest are to be found.

Fairly good surfaced roads complying with international traffic requirements link the towns
and the various villages.

Four-lane motorways connect the capital, Nicosia with the coastal towns of Lemesos,
Larnaka, Pafos and Ayia Napa.

Minor roads and forest roads are still largely unsurfaced but in good to fair condition.
Appropriate care should be taken when using these roads, especially during wet weather.

Visitors wishing to bring their car to Cyprus can do so, for a period up to 3 months provided
the car has a valid registration licence of its country of origin. The period may be extended
accordingly, provided the person is considered a visitor by the Department of Customs &

Hands Free During Driving is Mandatory

During driving, the driver should take all necessary measures, so that his/her hands are
free at all times in order to have full control of the vehicle. Therefore the use of a mobile
phone is strictly prohibited.

Driving Licence

Visitors in Cyprus can drive using a valid International driving licence, or their National
driving licence, provided it is valid for the class of vehicle they wish to drive.

Car Insurance

Cyprus has become a member of the Green Card System and has signed the Uniform
Agreement with all Countries of the European Economic Area and Switzerland, with effect
from 7 August 1997. The Agreement is also in force with all other members of the Green
Card System, with the exception of Turkey, Morocco, Tunisia and Iraq (suspended).


Motor fuel and unleaded petrol may be bought in unlimited quantities at petrol stations.
Petrol is sold by the litre.

Petrol stations in Nicosia and all seaside areas are equipped with petrol vending machines,
accepting bank notes and credit cards. Vending machines operate during non-working
hours, on weekends and on holidays. Petrol stations in rural areas may be found open on
Weekends and on Holidays. A list of petrol stations can be found in the yellow pages of the
Telephone Directory.

Parking Facilities

Parking places (municipal and private) are found in town centres, charging approximately
€2 - €5 for a half day's parking.

Parking metres in the centre of towns may be used on payment of one 50–cents coin per
hour or €1, on weekdays, during office hours. Parking metres do not operate on Saturday
afternoons, Sundays and Public Holidays.

Parking and waiting is prohibited along a double yellow line.

Along a single yellow line, loading and unloading is allowed but parking is prohibited at all

Mini Guide to Drivers

Traffic moves on the LEFT hand-side of the road, NOT on the right.

International road traffic signs are in use, and placed along the roads and highways, on the
left hand side.

Distances and road speed limits are posted in kilometers (km) and kilometers per hour
(km/h) respectively.

The maximum speed limit on the motorways is 100 km/h and the lower speed limit is 65
km/h. On all other roads the general speed limit is 80 km/h, unless a lower one is
indicated. In built-up areas generally the speed limit is 50km/h, unless a different one is

The use of front and rear seat belts is compulsory.

Children under the age of five MUST NOT, under any circumstances, sit in the front
passenger seat.

Children from five to ten years old may occupy the front passenger seat only if an
appropriate child's seat belt has been fitted.

Rush hours in the towns are approximately between 07:30-08:00, 13:00-13:30 and in late
afternoon 17:00-18:00 in winter, or 18:00-19:00 in summer.

It is advisable to avoid, if possible, driving due west in the late afternoon, as the glare of
the setting sun can be unpleasant and potentially dangerous.
Because of the sometimes intense brightness drivers are advised to wear sunglasses.

Driving with Alcohol Concentration Above the Prescribed Limit

Driving or being in charge of a motor vehicle or pedal cycle with alcohol concentration in
breath or blood above the prescribed limit, is an offence.

The prescribed limit in breath is 22 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of breath. The prescribed limit
in blood is 50 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood.

Honorary Consulate of Iceland in Cyprus


Mr. Michael Psomas, Honorary Consul-General of the Republic of Iceland
24, Arch. Makarios III Ave.
1020 Nicosia

P.O.Box 21820
1513 Nicosia
Tel: +357 22 344334, 99 664464 (Mob.)
Fax: +357 22 347870