If you’re looking for a holiday destination which offers year-round sunshine, some of Europe’s cleanest beaches (with more than 40 having Blue Flag status), plenty of ancient history to explore as well as excellent value food and drink, Cyprus could be the perfect choice.
Another great benefit for those looking to explore the glorious Cypriot coastline by car – everything will be familiar as Cypriots drive on the left-hand side, just like here in the UK. Cyprus’s currency is the Euro (EUR) and the Republic of Cyprus joined the Eurozone in 2008.
Dining out in Cyprus
Food is a huge part of the culture in Cyprus. With a cornucopia of culinary influences from neighbouring countries including Greece and Turkey, Cypriot food has freshness and vitality to it. A three-course meal for two will cost you between £25 to £40 in a mid-range restaurant.
Try halloumi – a flavoursome, waxy-textured cheese mixture of goat’s and sheep milk, either fried, grilled or served cold. Or stuffed vine leaves – an exquisite blend of meat, rice, onions, tomatoes and herbs wrapped in vine leaves. Souvlaki is a Cypriot spin-off of the Greek dish, usually consisting of charcoal-grilled meat served on a skewer, accompanied by a salad. Finally, check out the local stifado – slow-cooked meat prepared with onions and braised in red wine, served with rice. Mains will usually cost around £10 in a reasonably priced restaurant, more in a mid-range.
The price of drinks
A country blessed with year-round sunshine also offers year-round low prices for drinks. Ideal for beer lovers, you’ll find domestic beer priced from just £1.75-£2.65 for 500ml and imported varieties from £2.20 to £4.40 in restaurants. For wine lovers, be sure to try a 750ml bottle of large and juicy Mavro (black) or the pale and light Xynsteri (white) from £3.55 to £6.20 when purchased from a local supermarket.
For spirit lovers, try Zivania, a pomace brandy with a light aroma of raisins. Bottled water will cost between 25p to £1.75 for 1.5-litre bottle.
According to Visit Cyprus, drinking water is high quality and absolutely safe. But as the water is high in minerals, if you prefer to be safe, it’s prudent to buy bottled water as it’s inexpensive from local supermarkets.
Out and about
Perfect for those looking to be out and about, it’s definitely worth hiring a car to explore Cyprus – the island is renowned for being steeped in history and rich in scenic coastline. Try a trip to Kykkos Monastery, situated in the mountains. Many long-winding Cypriot roads will lead you to this fascinating building which was founded in the 12th century, and packed full of precious icons and relics. Price of entry is £4.40 (£2.60 each for groups).
Dating to the medieval times, Limassol Castle, a small castle with interesting architecture, located not far from Limassol Harbour. Entrance fee is £4.
Avakas Gorge in Paphos is ideal if you love the outdoors. Be sure to pay a visit to this dramatic canyon where you’ll find amazing rock formations, wildlife and rare plants. As an added bonus the views here are stunning, and the gorge is best accessed by hire car.
For those who enjoy a tipple, try Aphrodite’s Rock Brewery – a microbrewery set among the beautiful hills of Paphos on the west coast of Cyprus. There are a number different experiences are on offer, from craft beer and pizza through to Sunday brunch.
How much spending money should I take to Cyprus?
If you’re looking to travel to Cyprus on a self-catering basis, make sure you allocate around £45 per person per day to this if eating out for all meals, so around £315 per person per week. For better overall value, consider going all-inclusive. Try Mayfair Gardens, in Paphos from £476pp* all inclusive.
Tipping in Cyprus
Tipping isn’t common in Cyprus as Cypriots tend to be quite laid back. In restaurants, a 10% service charge is usually already included in your bill. So, if you feel inclined, you can top this up to thank your server. In bars, tipping isn’t commonplace, but 2-3 Euros will suffice and be appreciated. Taxi drivers do appreciate a tip, so either round up the amount or add 5% of the total to the bill as a tip. Most hotels in Cyprus already include a service charge of about 10%-15% so there’s no need to tip.
*Prices correct at the time blog was published and are subject to availability. T&C’s apply.