Cyprus is the ideal destination!!!
Cyprus, the third largest island in the Mediterranean. Cyprus’ total area is 9.251 sq.km. The island’s time zone is GMT+2. For thousands of years it was an important trading centre due to its location at the crossroads of Europe, Africa and Asia. It has become a leading travel destination, due to its excellent climate with very warm, dry summers and mild winters; consequently it has one of the longest holiday seasons in the Mediterranean. Cyprus joined the European Union in May 2004 which means it can offer unique opportunities for those wishing to safely acquire real estate at extremely favourable prices. The island is poised for future investment potential and is only in the infancy of its development. Combined with a wide variety of natural beauty, famous historical sights and archaeology, beautiful beaches, rich culture, and above all, friendly and welcoming local people, it offers the perfect location for the purchase of a property for holiday, permanent residence or future investment.
The Island benefits from over 300 days of sunshine per year making it one of the most reliable sunny climates in the Mediterranean! Within a 14 day period you are almost guaranteed a period of lovely warm sunshine, even in winter. There are seasonal variations and Cyprus weather rings the changes throughout the year: leaves fall from the trees in autumn, abundant flowers bloom in spring, the sun always shines in summer and even in winter, and snow falls on the mountains. Of course, there are the extremes of temperature with occasional storms and heat waves, but you can always be certain the weather in Cyprus will allow you to enjoy life to the full. It is often said that you can ski in the mountains in the morning and sunbathe on the beach in the afternoon during the winter months! Generally the warm summer weather in Cyprus stretches from mid-May to mid-October with long hot days with July, August and September displaying perpetual cloudless bright blue skies. Light summer clothing is a must when temperatures are in the early thirties â€“ but can soar towards 40 degrees. Mid October to mid-December may seem very much like a northern European summer with daytime temperatures in the early twenties although evenings are cooler and may call for a light jacket or woollen jumper and cardigan. Spring which appears in mid-March â€“ mid May will be very much the same, although the new green lush carpet of grass and flowers that cover the island will give it a freshness and vibrancy that must not be missed. The winter months of mid-December to mid-March can be changeable, although there will be glorious clear sunny days with temperatures ranging from 16-20 degrees â€“ and some quite chilly evenings falling to as low as 7 degrees on some nights. You will notice both Cypriots and expatriates wrapping up warmly during the winter, after a period of living here you do acclimatise to the lovely, warm Cyprus weather. If you are coming to live in Cyprus do not dispense with your warmer clothes â€“ as you will need them, but only from time to time! Rain is always a welcome visitor, but usually does not last long. January to March being the wettest months. Sometimes when it rains, it really pours! Thunderstorms are spectacular! There is no rain at all during June July and August.
Cyprus is an independent and sovereign republic with the elected president (5 year election cycle) as head of state. The legislation power lies with the elected House of Representatives and appointed council of ministers. The legal system is based on the British/European system with independent power exercised by the judiciary. Cyprus is a member of the U.N., the British Commonwealth, the European Union, the non-aligned movement, World Bank and I.M.F.
Obviously the main language to be spoken in Cyprus is Greek Cypriot, but over 85% of the population speak English, as Cyprus was once an English colony. Most of the shop signs, street signs and road markings are all in English.
The Cyprus banking system is very similar to the English system. You can open your own local bank account, offering you all privileges as at home, like cheque book, visa/master card, cash card, overdraft limit etc. There are many international banks throughout the Island. Most credit cards are accepted and used in Cyprus, such as Visa, American Express, Diners club and Master Card. It is also advisable after purchasing your property and opening a Bank Account to make arrangements to have all your bills paid by standing order, as this method of payment is especially convenient when not permanently residing in the country. The currency system is Euros (adopted 1st January 2008). The rate was fixed against the Cyprus pound at .585274. There are both domestic and foreign banks operational within Cyprus, to international standard offering a range of services, from investment, H.P. to mortgage facilities. Banks are normally open for public from 8.30 to 13.30, Monday-Friday.
In Cyprus, the weights and measures system used is metric (kilos, litres, kilometers and meters).
Cyprus offers an excellent variety of fresh and inexpensive fruit, vegetables meat and fish. The large hypermarkets offer a wide selection of imported commodities. The combination of warm Paphos climate and its fertile soil means it ideal for growing most things! An abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables is available throughout the year such as bananas, oranges, mandarins, apples, melons, avocados, tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, grapes, lettuce etc. Produce in season is normally freshly picked and finds its way onto the shelves of the shops and markets within a very short space of time, therefore offers a range of health benefits, not to mention a wonderful taste.
Cyprus offers an excellent selection of local and vintage wines and spirits and they are very reasonably priced. A good bottle of red wine (for example Othello) can be purchased in supermarkets for 3.50 euros. Another speciality of Cyprus is the brandy. You can buy a good quality brandy for 6.50 Euros. Cigarettes and tobacco are cheaper than the UK or other European countries, a packet of cigarettes being 3.50 euros.
Most clothes can be bought at reasonable prices. Leather goods such as coats, jackets handbags and wallets are extremely good value for money. Children’s and baby clothes are reasonably priced too. Men and women’s leather shoes and sandals are of good quality and start from around EUR 25 euros a pair.
A wide variety of electrical appliances with leading brand names are available and for the last few years have become very competitive in price for example a washing machine from 350.00 euros, tumble dryer from 300 euros and a fridge freezer from 350 euros. All reputable companies offer from one to three years warranty, on their electrical products.
Medical Health Care in Cyprus is at very high standard and the doctors, physicians and surgeons are very highly qualified. Private medical clinics cover every field in medicine, and private health care insurance is relatively inexpensive and can be arranged through an Insurance company or through your bank. The Paphos General Hospital offers health care to foreigners once you have become a permanent resident for a small annual fee. Pharmacists are very well informed and may save you a trip to the doctor. Most pharmaceutical products in Cyprus can be brought directly over the counter.
In Cyprus there are two International Airports at Larnaca and Paphos. Paphos International Airport is only 20 minutes from the town centre, the transfer journey being much less stressful â€“ therefore it is an ideal place for permanent or holiday purposes. Following the next link you can find a detailed list of Airways flying into Cyprus and information about cheap flights to Cyprus.
Cyprus has one of the most advanced telecommunications systems in Europe, so keeping in touch with home is never a problem. The cost of ringing internationally via mobile telephone is extremely good value. Most tourists and ex-patriates purchase a local sim card and telephone cards and use a â€˜pay as you goâ€™ system. Broadband Internet is possible via landline and wireless router connection. There are a number of local companies that offer a fixed monthly rate for unlimited internet access. Postal communication is efficient (normally 4/5 days to UK via letter post) and is reasonably priced at 51 eurocents. International calls cheap rate period is after 8 pm and all day Sunday from a landline (Cyta).
In Cyprus ADSL is the most widespread broadband technology with multiple providers offering packages that range from 256Kbps to 8Mbps.
- I-choice Adsl (www.i-choice.cyta.com.cy)
- PrimeTel Adsl (www.prime-tel.com)
- Cablenet (www.cablenet.com.cy)
You can find more information, reviews, updated news and tests regarding ADSL at CyprusBroadband.net.
Cyprus is mainly a Greek Orthodox Country, but other religions such as Anglican and Catholic hold regular Sunday services and special Religious services at Christmas and Easter.
In Cyprus there are Kindergarten Schools, Junior and Secondary Schools catering for Cypriot and foreign students, but if you want your child to attend a Government School then a comprehensible knowledge of the Cypriot language is essential. The International School in Paphos is a very well established School with excellent results of achievement, which follows the English curriculum.
If you wish to bring your pet dog or cat from a European country, then they must have had all the necessary vaccinations. Your pet will require a Pet Passport – a system of vaccinations pet tagging, with a computer microchip placed in the animal’s ear which can only be carried and verified by a qualified veterinary surgeon. This system is enforced by the EEC and allows animal owners to travel freely around Europe with their pets. Your local veterinary practice in the UK should be able to give you all the information that you need.
Cyprus has a unique treaty when it comes to tax. Take advantage of the Double Taxation Treaty. This enables United Kingdom citizens to receive their pensions and investment income in Cyprus free of UK withholding tax. So whether you have a private or public pension this includes both. Insurance pensions can also be paid the same tax-free system basis, and these are index linked by Reciprocal Agreement. Savings interest is taxed at a much lower than the UK. For those of you who suspect that tax may be an issue, it is advisable that you seek the advice of a tax specialist here in Cyprus.