Most holiday visitors arrive at Larnaca International Airport which is located about 7km south-west of the city centre. There are regular bus services into the resort , plenty of taxi cabs outside the main arrivals hall and car rental desks inside the teminal. Roads a generally good, if a little congested, and motorways meet nearby taking traffic west to Paphos on the A5 and A6 , east to Ayia Napa on the A3 and the A2 north to Nicosia
The main bus station is in Leoforos Athinon Avenue and there are urban buses running local routes and and inter-city buses to all the main resorts such as Limassol, Paphos, Nicosia, Ayia Napa and Protaras. Bus timetable and fares are found at the bus station and in tourist information offices.
There are plenty of taxis available in Larnaca and they can be hailed on the street or booked by telephone. There are also dozens of car, moped and bicycle rental outfits.
There's the wide range of hotels, apartments and villas as you would expect to find in any large holiday resort in Cyprus. A few hotels are high end but most are middle range family apartments. There are plenty of budget apartments too, with a hostel near St Lazaros Church and beach camping about 8km to the east.
Larnaca restaurants bars and clubs
Larnaka is a family-type resort with a sedate air and with any number of restaurants bars and cafes to suit all tastes. Most clubs are clustered along Agiou Antoniou, known locally as Bar Street. Most are noisy and raucous, catering for the younger tourist crowd.
There are at least 10 clubs dotted around the town, for those seeking a livelier time with The Corridor considered the best, though the music is mostly Greek pop. Others in the frame include Club Prime, Memphis and Venue. There are the usual British style pubs and eight clubs, some specialising in UK music while others opt for a more pan-European taste.
Holidaymakers don't really go to Ayia Napa for its history and heritage, but for the sun, sea and night-life. Ayia Napa is in the Famagusta district and has a population of around 3,000 although that number swells by a factor of ten in the summer season.
Famed for its beaches and celebrated night clubs it was only after 1974 and the Turkish takeover of nearby resort at Famagusta was closed down that tourists in large numbers headed to neighbouring Ayia Napa.
In recent years has changed from a family holiday destination to a party hotspot, like Ibiza attracting youngsters from all over Europe for the climate, beaches and the club culture that has developed.
Accommodation in Ayia Napa
Hotels of all shapes and sizes abound in and around Ayia Napa and its outskirts. At the top end are the five star hotels for best quality and facilities. Most five star hotels open all year round. Many hotels are block booked with travel companies and the summer season usually starts March/April and goes through to late October.
Many hotels have 24 hour reception service so no matter what time you arrive someone will all ways be there to meet you when you eventually arrive, even if your flight is delayed. All hotels have regular room service and at least twice-weekly change of linen.
Hotels and restaurants levy a 10 per cent service charge on all bills, so tipping is not necessary but will be appreciated.
Ayia Napa restaurants, night-life and clubbing
There is a huge number of restaurants and cafes in Ayia Napa, most turning out tourist fodder. They can be found tightly packed around the newly revamped harbour and all along the seashore with tables spilling out onto the streets. Expect high prices for indifferent food.
The night-life and entertainment in Ayia Napa is like no other. There are clubs and bars with music to suit most tastes for anyone under 30 years. Bars are not for the faint-hearted or those looking for a quiet drink. The resort is always busy. Not really the place for children.
Noted Ayia Napa bars include the Bedrock Inn, with its Flintstones theme and staff dressed as cavemen, and the Castel Club,- the biggest in Ayia Napa with three rooms playing different music.
Visitors cannot travel directly to the city of Famagusta from south Cyprus as it is under Turkish occupation. To get there visitors must cross the Green Line buffer zone into the north (or the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus). The nearest place to do this is at the Strovilia crossing, near Agios Nikolaos, found just inside the British sovereign military base area.
Most visitors tend to stay in the resort hotels that line the bay and these are booked up by charter flights and tour operators. There are a few hotels inside the city walls and some have aircon and TV. Five star luxury hotels include the Palm Beach and Salamis Bay Conti Resort. There are hotels in surrounding resorts for those who prefer to be out of the city, notably at Bogaz and on the Karpas peninsula at Golden Beach and Turtle Bay
Most tourists in Famagusta opt for full board at the hotels fringing the shore but there is a wide selection of restaurants and bars along the sea front that are worth a visit. Cypriot, Arab and French cuisine is on offer and the further you venture inland the cheaper and better they get. Most of the larger casinos have restaurants and usually serve the best food. Food in Northern Cyprus may not be prepared to the same standards of cleanliness or hygiene as the south and the tap water is probably best avoided.
Gambling and prostitution are both legal in Famagusta and are the main forms of entertainment (if you can call either that). Famagusta largely looks like a war zone, with a bombed out buildings and fenced off streets which obviously limit your sightseeing. There are several casinos and brothels and other similar places. The casinos serve free drinks as long as you're gambling and many of the brothels have bars too. Illegal drugs are also said to be plentiful in Famagusta.
There are no buses in the city centre but this is not a problem as sights are all easily walkable provided you stick to the main routes and don't get lost in the maze of alleyways. Long distance buses use the Octobus Terminus on Gazi Mustafa Kemal Bulvan to the west of the centre with services to Nicosia and Kyrenia. Minibuses and service taxis use the alternative Itimat Bus Station near the large landmark statue of Ataturk to the south at Land Gate. There are regular minibuses to Nicosia and to Kyrenia. Ferries to Turkey dock at the port to the east and sail to Mersin on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. The trip takes about 12hrs. A few private taxi firms operate in Famagusta and fares are fixed. The taxi stand is near the Sea Gate.
The best way to explore Kyrenia is with a rental car as public transport is not at all good in the Kyrenia area. Those staying in central hotels can catch the "Lapta Dolmus," buses that make daily runs to the most popular beaches to the west side of Kyrenia. There are inter-city bus services to Nicosia and Famagusta.
Kyrenia accommodation — rooms and hotels
When it comes to accommodation in Kyrenia visitors are pretty well spoilt for choice. There are several large hotels that offer excellent accommodation. There are around 40 in the city ranging from luxury five star to family, family-run hotels — all known for their warm hospitality.
The biggest and best hotels tend to be in the centre of Kyrenia but there are plenty of good ones, cheaper too, on the outskirts. There are hotels that back onto local beaches and hotels nestled in the mountains just inland.
Kyrenia restaurants — eating out
As the most visited town in North Cyprus it is hardly surprising that there is no lack of restaurants and cafes. They spring up mainly around the harbour offering Turkish and international menus.
Many of the best restaurants though are found away from the honey trap of the harbour and in the old town which is packed with cafes, restaurants and bars tucked away down the old side streets between the harbour and the mosque areas. There is Italian, Indian and Turkish as well as fast food take-aways — even British pub grub in places like The Swallow or The Marlborough.
Kyrenia's nightclubs tend to be tamer and more friendly than their commercial cousins in the south. Favourites include the revamped C'est la Vie club and Night Jar while Cherenis Gardens offers a cool open-air venue. Most clubs open about 9pm. Several of the big hotels also have nightclubs and many bars and pubs have live music.
The main currency is Turkish Lira but UK pounds are accepted in most places and credit cards are welcome almost everywhere. There are half a dozen banks in the town centre with cash machines.
Visitors arrive at the international airport which has regular shuttles along the 8km highway to Paphos Town. The main bus station is in upper town at Ano Pafos (Ktima) with daily buses to Kato Pafos, every 15 minutes or so, and to Coral Bay every 20 minutes. Other daily buses go to Polis and villages nearby. There are three services a day to Limassol and to Nicosia.
The main mode of transport is taxis which line up along the promenade in the lower town of Kato Pafos or near the bus station in Ano Pafos (Ktima) . Service taxis can be called from your hotel and are cheaper than normal taxis for longer journeys. They will pick you up and drop you off at your hotel.
Paphos accommodation — rooms and hotels
There's the wide range of hotels and apartments, although most are designed for the package tour market and the independent traveller may have difficulty finding rooms, especially in the high season. The holiday hotels are found along the coast in Kato Pafos and the independent vsitor will head to Ano Pafos (Ktima) where rooms are much more readily available. The only decent camping is at Coral Bay, about 11km north of Pafos.
Paphos restaurants and eating out
There is a huge number of restaurants and bars in Kato Pafos, notably around the attractive harbour where tables spill out onto the promenade. Visitors pay top prices in the tourist hotspots and better and cheaper meals can be found in side street tavernas strip. Restaurants are thinner on the ground in Ano Pafos (Ktima).
Most bars and clubs are clustered along Agiou Antoniou, known locally as Bar Street. Most cater for the younger crowd. There are several British-style pubs and at least eight nightclubs.There are plenty of banks and ATMs in both Ano Pafos (Ktima) and Kato Pafos. Exchange services are dotted everywhere and many places will accept UK money if a small tip is thrown in.
Visitors arrive at Larnaca International airport which lies 65 minutes west by road from Ayia Napa. Bus routes 3 and 4 run to Ayia Napa.
Protaras can easily be explored on foot but also has a fairly comprehensive local bus service, although the frequency of buses can vary. A handy local route runs from Ayia Napa to Paralimi via Protaras. Longer distance buses link the resort to Larnaca, Limassol and Nicosia.
Hire cars are the best way to explore the holiday island. Taxis are readily available.
Protaras accommodation — rooms and hotels
Protaras has developed rapidly in the last few years and now the whole area of Paralimni Municipality is more often referred to as Protaras and stretches from Kapparis, in the north, to Konnos in the south.
Other areas along the coast such as Ayia Triada, Vrysoythkia and Pernera have been similarly swallowed up by Protaras. Accommodation is almost wholly large tourist hotels and apartments designed and built for the package holiday trade. Those looking for more traditional Cypriot accommdation in small hotels and studios will find most around Paralimni.
Protaras restaurants — eating out
The restaurants in Protaras are firmly pitched at the tourist market with anything on the menu — from Thai, Italian, British, Indian, American and even the odd Cypriot dish of fresh seafood. Most restaurants have outdoor dining terraces and many overlook the beach and the sea. Those who prefer more traditional meals will head for Paralimni where there are many good tavernas offering local food.
Protaras has a wealth of bars and clubs to keep the resort buzzing into the early hours, with ever more opening as the main season gets under way. For a seriously wild night out, however, many head for nearby Ayia Napa which has an international reputation for clubbing.
The Turkish invasion of Cyprus, in 1974, followed a coup that was intended to annex the island to Greece. The invasion ended with Turkey occupying much of northern Cyprus and setting up a government that only Turkey recognizes. It is a situation that remains in plac today
Until relatively recently North Cyprus was a no-go area for tourists to the island. The situation has now improved byt the political deadlock remains unresolved. The border between north and south Cyprus now runs right through the heart of Nicosia.
A UN buffer zone, only a few yards wide, separates the Greek and Turkish Cypriots. The narrow streets of the old city can end in cement walls, gun emplacements, sandbags and razor wire. There is free mobility across the divide however through border checkpoints. Armed armed guards patrol and these are still the only places you can legally cross.
Nicosia is still a fascinating city. Little visited by tourists, except those crossing to the north, it has an impressive old city encircled by an imposing city wall that is in good repair, in the south at least.
Much quieter than its noisier southern half, North Nicosia city centre offers the visitor a glimpse into the past. Here little has changed since the Turkish invasion, although new estates have sprung up lately on the outskirts. You can easily see the Old City (and there's not much else you'd want to see) in a single day and that's what most visitors do.
Visitors arrive at Larnaca International airport and there are buses and taxis into the city. The main Larnaca bus station is on Georgiou Gennadiou, near the municipal market, where there are buses to the port, to Kolossi and to the main tourist strip. There are also daily buses from Larnaca castle to Kourion and to Governor's Beach. As for visiting local sights you are best hiring a car.
There are daily inter-city bus services to all the main resorts and an urban bus network but most visitors use one of the many taxis found throughout Larnaca. Inter-city Service Taxis are also common with regular runs to Nicosia, Larnaka and Pafos. your hotel will have the details and taxis will usually pick you up from the hotel.
Limassol accommodation — rooms and hotels
There's the wide range of hotels and apartments available in Limassol but almost all of them are spread along the 9km coastal tourist strip and almost all cater mainly for package holiday bookings. There are a few independent small hotels in the old town with the cheapest to be found to the east of the castle.
Although many independent hotels only offerbasic facilities they are still good value. More upmarket independent hotels can be found in the northeast of Limassol at the end of the tourist strip.
Limassol restaurants — eating out
Limassol has a huge number of restaurants. The main beach tourist strip is jammed with burger and chip restaurants and bars while the old town has more authentic Cypriot cuisine at more reasonable prices. Cypriot food is similar to Greek and Turkish.
Limassol boasts of being a city that never sleeps and visitors can take a pick of a different bar every night, even on a month-long holiday. The same goes for the clubs catering for the younger tourist crowd. There are the usual British style pubs for those missing home.