Climate in North Cyprus
Northern Cyprus is blessed with the most pleasing climate in Europe. The winters are mild and rarely extend beyond February. With over 300 days of sunshine each year, the temperature can reach up to 20°C as early as the month of March. If you are interested in seeing beautiful flowers and orchids and bird watching at the same time we advise you to come between February and April. In May and June, Northern Cyprus starts to get hot as temperatures can reach the 30s in late May and early June. July and August are the hottest months and will easily bronze your skin. September and October are the most popular months, when the weather is still wonderfully warm (35°C) but the evenings are fresher and more comfortable.
Restaurants and Cuisine
There is a wealth of restaurants to choose from in Northern Cyprus, offering everything from simple local fare to gourmet French cuisine. Eating out is not expensive and many restaurants can arrange for you to be picked up from your hotel and dropped back off after your meal, usually without a charge (Especially restaurants in Bellapais). For traditionalists, the cuisine of Northern Cyprus owes its heritage to a mixture of Mediterranean and oriental influences. Local dishes are delicious and prepared from fresh ingredients. Meze is a particular treat. It is a Cypriot specialty consisting of a large number of hot and cold mezes such as different meats, vegetables, fish and different type of salads. It is served either as a starter or as part of the main course. Grilled helloumi cheese ( Cypriot cheese which doesn’t melt on a fire or in hot oil) and sigaraboregi (feta cheese rolled in filo pastry and deep fried) are two delectable dishes often served in a meze.
Other typical dishes of the region include yalanci dolma (stuffed wine leaves with rice), shish kebab (lamb skewered on hot charcoal), kleftico ( Piece of lamb cooked in a clay oven), mousakka (potato, aubergine, pieces of lamb with cheese topping) and lahmacun (minced beef with herbs on a thin bread). Fish is also very good and served grilled or as a kebab. Popular choices include sea bream, red snapper and sea bass.
Typical desserts are lokum (Turkish Delight), halva (extremely sweet slices of ground sesame seeds and sugar) and baklava (made from mille-feuille pastry, nuts, honey and syrup), and finally, the traditional thick Turkish coffee. Wine lovers will find lots of tastesto enjoy. Angora and Cankaya is very popular for a choice of dry white and Yakut for a choice of red.
Nowadays in North Cyprus shops are open all day long. They open around 8 o’clock in the morning through till to 19.00 evening time. Typical souvenirs of North Cyprus include hand made lace works, sheepskin rugs, hand made basketry and hand made fridge magnets. It’s better to make your shopping from lots of small shops instead of big shopping centres because of many price differences also when you do your shopping from small shops you are helping the locals too. Many times when you walk into the small shops, the owners offer you a hot or cold drink, chat with you for a while and later on you do your shopping! This is one of the cultural things to enjoy in North Cyprus.
The currency of North Cyprus is the same as in Turkey. We use Turkish Lira. The exchange rate is changing each day and it’s always better to change your money from the exchange offices. They always give better rates than the banks. While you are changing your cash there is no reason to carry your passport with you unless you are changing travellers cheques. For travellers cheques you will always get slightly lower rate than you can get for cash. Sterling or the Great British Pound is acceptable in all of North Cyprus for restaurants, markets, taxi drivers and almost everybody else. If you are paying your bill with Sterling / Pounds please beaware that you will get Turkish Lira back as your change. Also please note that pound coins are not accepted.
Credit cards are accepted in most places. Also in the towns and city centre there are lots of cash machines where you can get mostly Turkish Lira.
North Cyprus is a fast growing and developing economy. The relaxation of travel arrangements between the North and South of the island together with the possibility of re union of the country with the Annan plan in 2006 led to a visible growth in private holiday homes and villa building projects. In some areas in the centre of Kyrenia and around you will still see ongoing construction or development of new villas or apartments. The rapid change of these areas sometimes means there are road and infra structure works which could cause traffic jams on some days.
There are lots of Estate agents in Kyrenia, Famagusta, and Nicosia offering lots of choices of holiday homes or apartments in different parts of North Cyprus for every budget. If you are interested in buying a property in North Cyprus please take expert advice before you do anything because there are many procedures to be followed and checks to be made to ensure you buy safely and legally.
Driving in North Cyprus is very easy and good fun. Hiring a car is the only truly reliable way of getting about easily and enjoying the freedom of exploring many attractions of North Cyprus. The rules of the road are the same as in UK. You drive on the left. However, speed limits are expressed as kilometres and not as miles.
Hire cars in Northern Cyprus are in great demand and it is recommended that you book in advance especially during the summer high season. When you book your hire car through Arizona Rent a Car your hire car will be delivered on the requested day and time at the resort you’re staying in or in front of your holiday home or at the Ercan airport. All you need in order to hire a car in North Cyprus is a current British or International driving licence. The hire car rental period is a minimum of 3 days. All our hire cars are fully insured and the price that you will pay covers unlimited mileage, comprehensive insurance, local taxes and the collision damage waiver (CDW).
Some of our customers use Larnaca Airport which is located on the South side of the Island. To reach North Cyprus you have to cross the green line and there are certain check points where you can cross, either in Nicosia or Famagusta. While you are crossing the border to each side, usual border-crossing controls will apply. You will be asked to complete a small visa form where you write your name, nationality and your passport or id card number and after this has been stamped you can cross to North Cyprus. While you are crossing to South Cyprus the Greek custom services could stop your car and search your luggage. They are looking for tobacco and alcohol products from the North. This is because these two things are very cheap compared to other EU countries and they are very strict on this subject. If they do find anything they have a right to take it from you and at the same time give you a fine for smuggling. Any of these things could affect your check in process in Larnaca airport. Because of this we advise to our customers not to take any tobacco or alcohol products to South Cyprus from North Cyprus.
Visitors to North Cyprus do not require any medical treatments. However we recommend you consult your doctor prior to your departure and bring some sprays for mosquito bites.
Customs and Excise Allowance
Customers using Larnaca airport should be aware that when they enter the Repuplic of Cyprus, normal EU duty free allowances will apply. North Cyprus is not a member of EU and because of this there is no restriction between North Cyprus and UK.
Passports and Visas
People who have British passports or EU passports donot have to apply for a visa before their visit to North Cyprus. People who are not British or EU citizens should check their visa requirements with London Representative of the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus on tel : 020 7631 1920 . Everybody should have their passports or identy cards with them when entering into North Cyprus.