Cyprus itself became a member of the European Union on the 1st May 2004. It has a lot to offer both the foreign resident and the holidaymaker. If you come to this island to make it your second home, knowing what to expect can help you to adjust and make the most of your new environment. Being fully aware of some matters that can affect your daily life, you can avoid unpleasant surprises and ensure that life in your new home in Cyprus will be a truly sunny experience.
Cyprus is the third largest Mediterranean island after Sicily and Sardinia.
It has a population of circa 750,000 with an area of 9.251 sq. km. The history of the island dates back to the Neolithic Age. Historical and Archaeologically valuable sites are only a few kilometres away from modern cities. Cyprus is a fascinating mosaic of time combining the old with the new.The islands landscape, with sandy beaches and rugged coves which border the central plain that rises up to the pine covered mountains with several attractive ski slopes in the winter.
Larnaca and the South East
Larnaca is fast becoming a very popular are to live and work or even retire. The area is flat and excellent for walking whereas Paphos is very hilly. Larnaca boasts a beautiful sea front marina and harbour and is home to Larnaca International Airport which is the main airport in Cyprus. It is perhaps less popular with tourists but does appeal to expatriates seeking a better lifestyle. The sea front promenade has recently be improved and is now a very pleasant area lined with cafes and tavern’s. There are a number of museums, theatres and cinemas and it is a very popular destination for water sports enthusiasts. As a result of its relative lack of tourists, renting or buying in Larnaca can be cheaper than other coastal resorts which could be a deciding factor when thinking about moving to this very welcoming town and its friendly people. The prices are rising though as more people look away from Paphos and its high property prices. There has been a noticeable increase in prices since 2002.
This is the only divided capital left in Europe and is separated by the “Green Line” which is the United Nations buffer zone separating Greek and Turkish area’s of Cyprus. There is only one crossing point near the Ledra Palace Hotel with a no-mans land on the other side. The old city stands within Venetian walls which date back more than 400 years, with many of the streets having been pedestrianised. Housed within these walls are a number of shops as well as the Cyprus Museum, St John’s Cathedral and some Byzantine churches. Beyond the walls is the new city, which is home to more shops, modern hotels and offices, schools and suburban districts. Nicosia is a cultural city and is host to a cultural centre, an arts centre, and a number of theatres and cinemas. An expatriate living here would rarely be short of things to do.
Limassol and the South West
Limassol is the second largest town in Cyprus and is the main industrial port for the island, with a constant stream of ships on the horizon. It is a very popular tourist destination having only recently been usurped by Ayia Napa as the most popular resort in Cyprus. The town is full of tavern’s and cafes and has a popular shopping area in the old town near the castle known as St Andrew’s Street. The main strip along the sea front stretches from the old port for over 15 klms along to Amathus and the large hotel complexes. Behind the lines of hotels lien apartments and schools with the main housing area’s being located further back again. Limassol has many amenities such as gardens, theatres, cinemas and a thriving night life. There are nearby historical attractions such as Kolossi Castle and the ancient Roman site of Kourion. Limassol is very much a working town which means there is something happening all year round.
Paphos and the West
Paphos is a town divided into two main area’s. Kato Paphos and Paphos. Both are part of a thriving, year round resort that combines the old and the new through its rich historical sites and modern hotels, bars and night-clubs. There a a number of excavated Roman villas which ensure a large number of tourists visiting the town throughout the year. Kato Paphos is the lower part and runs along the harbour and is home to many tourist attractions including bars, taverns and night spots, not forgetting the shops. Paphos itself is home to the more commercial side of the town with shops and offices. There is a large number of new housing developments in and around Paphos to cater for its growing popularity with expatriates. The airport is close to Paphos and is undergoing many improvements. Further west are the towns of Polis and Latchi. Smaller quieter resorts which are becoming more developed but still retain much of the original character.
The spectacular scenery is a particular enticement to those who choose to make the mountains their home. There is a great deal of peace and quiet to be found at 1400 metres above sea level and many Cypriots have weekend homes in the mountainous villages where they go and relax in their spare time. There are many tourist excursions which run in the Troodos mountains to area’s such as Omodos which is a restored conservation village and the Kykkos monastery, but it is not a tourist resort for those seeking sun and sea. Skiing is popular in the winter. For those expatriates wishing to live the simple life and experience the real Cypriot ways, living in a village such as Prodomos or Platres could be ideal. There is obviously less in the way of amenities and a car is essential. Many villages are only a short drive from urban area’s that provide more in the way of entertainment. Most villages will always have a tavern or two.