Last updated: 21 Jun 2019



It’s easy to fall in love with Aphrodite's isle, where legend has it the goddess of love arose from the waves, and discover ancient sites, wonderful beaches and crystal clear waters.

The best holiday beaches are found around Ayia Napa and Protaras, where warm turquoise seas lap gently shelving sands. Water sports, including water skiing and even kite-surfing are offered at the main resorts along with fun-filled water parks and boat trips.

Celebrate the feast of Kataklysmos (the Greek Orthodox Whitsun); although celebrated throughout Cyprus, there is special enthusiasm in Larnaca, where crowds throng the shore for water sports, singing, dancing, eating and drinking.

Recommended beaches include Geroskipou, Dasoudi, Larnaca, Governor's, Dassoudi Beach and Germasogeia (the latter two are at Limassol).
Capital:  Nicosia (NIC)
Currency:  Euro (EUR)
Language:  Cypriot Greek and Turkish. English, German and French are spoken in tourist areas. 
Dialling code from SA:  + 357
Time Zones: UTC / GMT +2 (same time as South Africa)
Daylight Savings Time: From last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October: UTC / GMT +3 (1 hour ahead of South Africa)
Public Holidays 2019: 

Jan 1, 6; Mar 11, 25; Apr 1, 26, 29; May 1; Jun 17; Aug 15; Oct 1, 28; Dec 25, 26

Side of the Road: Left
Best Time to Go: April - May and September - October
Best for: Greco-Roman Architecture, Mosaics, UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Plugs: 230 volts AC, 50Hz. Square 13-amp three-pin plugs (UK-type) are used
Drinking Water: Mains water in hotels and towns is safe to drink. Bottled water is available. 
Health: There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities, however they are expensive and visitors are required to pay for these services. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended. If you require any medication on your travels it is best to bring it with you, in the original packaging, with a signed and dated letter from your doctor detailing exactly what it is and why you need it.
Customs: Normal social courtesies. Beachwear should be reserved for the beach / poolside. Respect to religious customs should also be shown during the month of Ramadan. If visiting a Muslim area, women should dress conservatively.
Local Offences / Laws: Do not photograph military installations or personnel. A licence is required to photograph museum artefacts (this can be purchased from the museum desk). No flash photography is allowed in buildings with murals. 
Travel Tips / Warnings: There may be limited acceptance of debit and credit cards outside of hotels, due to controls imposed on banks.  It is preferable to carry cash. 
Duty Free: Cyprus is within the European Union. If you are travelling from the UK, you are entitled to buy fragrance, skincare, cosmetics, Champagne, wine, selected spirits, fashion accessories, gifts and souvenirs - all at tax-free equivalent prices. There are no longer any allowance restrictions on these tax-free items.

If you are arriving from a non-EU country, the following goods may be imported into Cyprus by travellers over 17 years of age without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco.
• 1L of spirits (over 22% volume) or 2L of fortified wine or sparkling wine.
• 4L of still wine.
• 16L of beer.
• Goods in addition to the above up to the value of €430 (reduced to €175 for travellers under 15 years of age).
Prohibited Imports: Drugs, obscene materials, flick knives and daggers, counterfeit and pirated goods, goods used for illegal hunting of game, and firearms and ammunition. Restricted goods requiring authorisation include plants, animals and animal products, meat, fish, cheese, honey, precious metals, hunting guns and cartridges, sporting pistols and telecommunications equipment.
Prohibited Exports: All items prohibited from import are also prohibited from export.  Restricted exports include antiquities and wild flora and fauna.

Issuing Authorities

Cyprus High Commission
375 Marais Street,
Brooklyn, 0181
Tel: (012) 346 3329 
Fax: (012) 340 0024
 Consular section: Mon-Thur 0900-1000 collections and submissions

Visa Requirements

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SA Representative

Representation accredited from Athens, Greece.

Travel Health

Compulsory:  None
Recommended Travel Vaccines:  Hepatitis B, Tetanus, Polio