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It’s not a sight you see very often in Cyprus – and it needed special approval from the authorities, but last week saw the arrival on the island of two red, open-top double-decker buses.

The Cyprus Mail reported the arrival of the buses and the enterprising activities of the Red Bus Company, which has plans to offer London-style travel for those who want to get a different view of the island when they travel around the Ayia Napa area.

The first open-top bus arrived in March 2008, after three British expats, David Williams and David and Alan Tutton came up with the idea of offering a more original version of the usual coach tours around the island. They teamed up with two Cypriots to form the Red Bus Company and put their ideas to work. The company operates in the Ayia Napa-Famagusta area offering guided tours of local sites and attractions.

The double-decker buses were not cheap – they cost around € 34,000 each and even once the company had decided to bring the open-top double deckers to Cyprus, they had to overcome a law that forbids the use of open-top buses on the island. That done, the buses arrived safe and sound last week and the Red Bus Company has high hopes that they will be worth every penny.

David Williams told the Cyprus Mail that the tours were quite popular last summer and they are hoping that the addition of two more original double-decker buses will make them more popular than ever this summer.  The bus tours take tourists and locals around the Famagusta area, the Ayia Napa coastal area, the uninhabited Achna village, Achna Dam, to Famagusta town, and along the Green Line.

Williams said, “We are getting the tourists away from the beach and the bars into the villages, to taste some of the authentic local culture. We make stops at local farms, where tourists can buy fresh fruit and vegetables, which has been helping local farmers as well. We try to support the local community.”

The double deck buses can seat up to 75 people, with 43 seats on the upper deck, but when they did their first tour, the company only had two passengers. “That didn’t deter us,” remembers Williams, “we did the whole guided tour just for them.” Since then they’ve had an increasing number of takers of this original way of travel around the island and if you’d like to join them, ticket prices are € 15 for adults, € 10 for children and € 45 for a family ticket. For more information visit www.redbuscyprus.com

Author: Anne Hall

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