Villa in Cyprus

Travel Guides: Cyprus

 

About the island

Cyprus is an island in the Eastern Mediterranean sea divided into two parts: the North and the South. The northern part is the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the southern part is the Independent Republic of Cyprus or more commonly Greek Cyprus and dependent on which part of the country a person lives they are known as Greek Cypriots or Turkish Cypriots. 

Language

Turkish is spoken in the north of the island and Greek in the southern region but English is the universal language and is spoken by the majority of island residents.

Currency

The Cypriot Pound was once the currency of Cyprus but in 2008 it was replaced by the Euro. 

Climate

Cyprus is only one of four countries in the EU that drives on the left so you’ll feel right at home but with on average over 300 days of sunshine a year you’ll know you’re not in the UK! The island typically enjoys hot, dry summers and cooler but mild winters and yes it does snow but generally only in the mountainous regions of the island. The Troodos Mountains are a good place for skiing in winter!

Spring can arrive as early as February with the heat starting to kick in around May and rising throughout the summer months and the sun usually lasts until October with temperatures dropping away towards the end of the year. The wettest months are December and January but can continue until late March.

Weather chart of cyprusReligion

image of a church in cyprus
(Image credit By Claus Ableiter )

Cyprus is a multi-faith island including Catholic, Jewish, Protestant (including Anglican), Apostolic, Maronite, Armenian and Sunni Muslims etc. The largest and most predominate religion is the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus making up 73% of island residents.

Towns

If you’re a party animal then Ayia Napa is the place to be, especially in the summer months. 

Destination Weddings

Legend says Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of love, was born here so where better for a destination wedding then this beautiful island.

Wedding couple on a rock overlooking the sea

If you’re a British national getting married or having a civil partnership abroad in some countries you need to obtain a certificate of no impediment (CNI) but Cyprus, as part of the Commonwealth does not require this document.

Cyprus does not recognise gay marriage but same sex civil unions and registered partnerships are legally recognised. Civil ceremonies must take place in a town hall or other authorised venue. Religious weddings are equally popular with Catholic marriages preceded by a civil ceremony and if an Anglican wedding a civil wedding ceremony is not required.

How to apply

  • You must apply in person for a civil marriage or civil partnership to the marriage officer in the municipality of your choice. The Union of Cyprus Municipalities provides further information.
  • For religious weddings you must contact the registered officiant at the place of worship where you would like to marry.
  • You must be in Cyprus a minimum of three business days BEFORE your wedding day.
  • You will need two witnesses for the ceremony.
  • You need to both have a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months.
  • A photocopy of the photo page of both your passports.
  • Both birth certificates.
  • If you plan to change your name you’ll need a name change deed poll certificate.
  • A sworn affidavit or statutory declaration from a solicitor for oaths or notary public.
  • If you or your partner is divorced you’ll need to provide a decree of the absolution of the previous marriage.
  • If your partner is widowed you’ll need a death certificate of your prior spouse.
  •  You must get married within 15 days at the earliest and three months at the latest from the date you apply, if you wait until after three months your application will be void. If time is critical you can submit an urgency application which allows your ceremony to take place within three days.
  • The marriage officer will routinely send a certified copy of the marriage certificate to your home country’s embassy in Cyprus.

What fees are involved?

  • €128 (113) for the civil ceremony
  • €281 (£247) for the urgency application. 

Wedding Traditions

You’ve travelled to Cyprus for your dream wedding so when in Rome, or Cyprus, you may wish to incorporate some of the many traditions which are common in Cypriot weddings.

  • Food – It’s all about the food in Cypriot weddings. Glistarkes are often baked and handed out by the bride’s family as invitations. Kouloruia is often served at the reception and koufetta or sugared almonds are given to guests by the happy couple as they leave the ceremony as man and woman.
  • Wrapping red scarves around the couple – When the bride is ready to leave for the wedding ceremony her parents, bridesmaids gather around her and wrap a red scarf around her waist in order to symbolise her virginity, this often happens while musicians play traditional wedding songs.   Not to be left out the best man or koumbaro, gives the groom his last shave as a single man and then dresses the groom and then a red scarf is wrapped around his waist to declare his fertility.
  • Bouquet – In traditional heterosexual weddings a groom may wait outside the church with his bride’s bouquet until her father walks her to him. Both bride and groom walk up the aisle together and when they reach the alter both sets of parents join them and stand by their side throughout the ceremony.
  • First Dance – When the couple take to the floor to carry out their first dance this is an opportunity for guests to pin money to the couple’s clothes to help them pay for their wedding expense and start their marriage debt-free! 

Wedding suppliers

Close up of lady with a cameraMany of the venues we feature have inclusive wedding packages or have their preferred suppliers but if required we can provide information on businesses in resort who can provide a whole range of wedding essentials. Equally if you’d prefer to approach a UK company we have a comprehensive database of Recommended Suppliers who provide destination-wedding services and we’d be happy to provide details. 

Bellissimo Travel can take care of all your travel arrangements for you both and all your guests, we’ll help you every step of the way with your wedding planning and with so many gorgeous hotels and venues in Cyprus to choose from the hardest decision will be choosing where to go!

Things to do in Cyprus

 Cyprus is a jewel in the Eastern Mediterranean crown, it has a wealth of variety of things to do and experience whether you’re a culture vulture soaking up the archaeological sites and history, an outdoor activity seeker or a sun-worshiping beach lover there’s something for everyone. The suggestions below are only the tiniest tip of the iceberg, you’ll be spoilt for choice on this beautiful island.

Wildlife

The best places to spot the tiny turtles are along the sandy beaches in North Cyprus. You should be able to see both Loggerhead and Green Turtle nest on Algadi beach near Esentepe, east of Kyrenia. The Algadi Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Centre provides information and volunteers can talk you through their preservation activities.

The cooler months from November to March may bring rain but also brings thousands of migrating birds to Cyprus and the annual winter stop of the pink flamingos at Larnarca Salt Lake is a sight to behold!

Culture

Tombs of the Kings a World Heritage site and is just north of Paphos Harbour.

Kato Paphos Archaeological Park near Pathos gives an insight into the lives of the early inhabitants of the island, well worth a visit.

Aphrodite’s Rock – Legend says if you swim around the rock you will get a year young, my advice if you want to do that then go early in the morning, it’s a popular activity and can get really busy especially in summer.   Just before you get to Aphrodite’s Rock there is a small picnic area with access to a different beach, if you head there early evening and take a picnic and maybe a bottle of something fizzy if that’s your preference you can watch the sunset, delightful! 

Beaches

Fig Tree Bay at Proteras is a Blue Flag holder with clear waters and golden sands, with shallow waters it’s a perfect beach for families with young children.

The Blue Flag Nissi Beach at Ayia Napa is the place to be for all you water babies with water skiing, windsurfing, beach volleyball and foam parties!

Algadi Turtle Beach – The clue’s in the title!

Lara Beach – Generally less crowded then the other beaches

Blue Lagoon – One of the most isolated beaches in Cyprus but well worth a visit!

Eating Out

Restaurants, particularly in the main tourist locations, can be a bit chips and but if you walk a little further you’ll discover a little gem of a restaurant which is more typically Cypriot and cheaper, look and see where the locals are eating and eat there! 

Stay Safe

  • Cyprus is considered to be a safe country with around one million British nationals visiting every year and most visits are trouble-free.
  • Emergency dial 112
  • Avoid taking photographs near sensitive areas like military establishments.
  • Cyprus has a strictly enforced zero tolerance towards drugs and if you are caught with any type of narcotic you WILL receive either a prison sentence or a hefty fine.
  • You can use ATM’s debit and credit cards as normal.
  • Although not as widely accepted as in the UK, homosexuality is legal in the Republic of Cyprus but still not widely accepted in the northern part of Cyprus and some discretion is advised.
  • For further information see the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

We’ve got some great holidays to Cyprus so make sure you have a search on the website and check out the offers page or telephone 01733 834435 and we’ll be happy to find something for you.

Stephanie

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Stephanie in Kos

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