Do you have cars in Cyprus?

Cyprus - intersection of cultures

Bellapais Abbey in Northern Cyprus - © Dieter Schütz / Pixelio.de

Is Cyprus a car travel destination? Yes and no. Hardly anyone visits the sunny island in the eastern Mediterranean by car. In contrast, a rental car is ideal to be flexible in the 9251 square kilometer, two-part island nation. Most of the tourists come because of the approximately 650 kilometers long coast, which offers excellent bathing opportunities well into November.

Places like Paphos, Limassol and Ayia Napa promise sun, sand and sea. Often only a short drive from the beaches, holidaymakers can expect historical evidence of numerous cultures: For example, the remains of Phoenician, Hellenic, Byzantine, Roman, Venetian and Ottoman history. Among other things, the ancient city of Salamis on the east coast is famous.

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Cyprus has always been at the intersection of different cultural spheres and claims to power. That shaped the country - and has remained so to this day: In 1974 Turkey occupied the island, which was under Greek influence, and established the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in the northern part. But at the latest since the two parts joined the EU in 2004, the once feared border has become much more permeable to tourists. The less visited north is considered by connoisseurs as an insider tip with a very good price-performance ratio.

getting there: As I said, it is possible to get there in my own car, but it is very time-consuming. Only Northern Cyprus can be reached from Turkey. Ferries operate between the southern Turkish towns of Alanya and Tasucu on the one hand and the Cypriot port city of Girne on the other. However, travelers should note that the southern part of the country, the Republic of Cyprus, classifies the use of ports in the north as illegal. Therefore auto-reise-welt.de advises against entering the south via this route.

Rental car: The typical Cyprus vacationer comes by plane. He can then rent a car in all of the larger holiday resorts in the south to explore the island further. Your rental company will decide whether you can drive your rental car from the southern part to the northern part. In principle, this route is permitted, but you must take out vehicle liability insurance at the border crossing for the duration of your stay. In contrast, it is forbidden to enter the south with a rental car from the northern part of Turkey.

Entry requirements: Despite the political controversy between the two parts of Cyprus, entry into the country is quite tourist-friendly. In the south a valid passport or identity card is allowed, the north requires a passport. This means that you can stay for a maximum of three months. Up to the age of 16, the usual children's passport is sufficient for German citizens.

Top speed: Deviating from the German regulations, Tempo 80 applies on country roads (in Northern Cyprus 100). On the autobahn it is already over at 100 km / h. By the way, the south coast is astonishingly well developed by motorways. Tolls are not charged.

Special traffic rules: As in Great Britain, Ireland and Malta, Cyprus is driving on the left. Whether with a rental car or your own car, this requires some changes even from an experienced driver. Another special feature: cars parked on country roads must have parking lights switched on in the dark. In addition, horns are not used on the island from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Until 2006, South Cyprus had the most liberal alcohol limit in all of Europe. Since then, the permitted blood alcohol level has been reduced from 0.9 to 0.5 per mille. It now applies uniformly across the island.

Travel times: From mid-May to mid-October, Cyprus is warm in summer. Peak values ​​of 30 degrees and more are not uncommon. In November the nights get a little fresher, but there is still good bathing weather. The sea is around 20 degrees. This makes Cyprus one of the European regions where summer can hold its own longest.

From December to February the visitor has to expect more rain showers. Now nature draws strength for the long dry period. In the almost 2000 meter high Troodos Mountains, it snows from January to March, so that even skiing is possible. (In summer the mountains are an ideal hiking area.) The almond trees are already in bloom in mid-February and herald the colorful spring, which unfolds to its full splendor in April.

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