Cyprus, an island located in the eastern Mediterranean, boasts a rich history and culture that spans thousands of years. Its strategic position at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa has made it a focal point for numerous civilizations, from the ancient Greeks and Romans to Byzantines and Ottomans.
Today, Cyprus is known for its stunning beaches, picturesque mountain villages, and flavorful Mediterranean cuisine.
Hiring a car in Cyprus is the best way to explore the island, we have put together this guide to help you on your way:
In Cyprus, you drive on the left-hand side of the road, and the steering wheel is on the right side of the car.
Road signs in Cyprus follow international standards and are usually clear and easy to understand. Signs are in both Greek and English, which is helpful for international travelers.
Speed limits are posted in kilometers per hour (km/h). In urban areas, the speed limit is typically 50 km/h, while on highways, it's 100 km/h.
Traffic congestion can be a concern in major cities like Nicosia, Limassol, and Paphos,
especially during rush hours. The highways connecting different parts of the island are typically less congested.
Larnaca International Airport (LCA)
: Located on the southeastern coast of Cyprus, Larnaca Airport is the island's primary international gateway and the largest airport.
Paphos International Airport (PFO):
Situated in the southwestern part of Cyprus, Paphos Airport is another major international airport, particularly popular with tourists heading to the western and southern regions.
Ercan International Airport (ECN): Ercan Airport is located in the northern part of Cyprus, but it operates mainly for flights to and from Turkey.
It is not internationally recognized by most countries due to the political situation on the island. Please note you are not permitted to take your hire car into the occupied area.
Here are some top recommendations for driving routes/visits:
Larnaca to Ayia Napa: Begin in Larnaca, where you can visit the St. Lazarus Church and the Salt Lake. Drive east along the coast to Ayia Napa, a popular tourist resort known for its beaches like Nissi Beach and cultural sites such as the Ayia Napa Monastery. Don't forget to stop by Cape Greco National Forest Park for breathtaking views and natural beauty.
Paphos to Akamas Peninsula: Start in Paphos and explore the Archaeological Park, Tombs of the Kings, and the old town. Head north along the coast to the Akamas Peninsula, where you can visit the Baths of Aphrodite and take a 4x4 adventure in the Akamas National Park.
Limassol to Troodos Mountains: From the coastal city of Limassol, with its lively marina and medieval castle, drive inland to the Troodos Mountains. Visit the charming villages such as Omodos and Platres, and explore the many Byzantine churches and monasteries, like the Kykkos Monastery.
Nicosia Exploration: As the last divided capital in Europe, Nicosia offers a blend of cultures and histories. Drive around the city, visiting the Cyprus Museum, the Old City Walls, and crossing the Ledra Street checkpoint into the northern part if you wish.
Famagusta and the East Coast: Start in Protaras and visit the Fig Tree Bay. Drive up to Famagusta, exploring the ghost town of Varosha from a distance. Continue to the ancient ruins of Salamis and the walled city of Famagusta with its Othello Castle and medieval architecture.
Remember to drive on the left side of the road.
Always have your driving license, car rental documents, and passport with you.
Roads are generally well-maintained, but mountain routes can be winding and narrow. Exercise caution, especially if unfamiliar with left-side driving.
Stay updated on local regulations and restrictions, especially when considering crossing into Northern Cyprus.
Whether you're seeking historical insights, natural beauty, or coastal charm, a driving tour of Cyprus provides the freedom to explore at your own pace.
Important: Car Hire and The Political Division:
Cyprus is Divided: Cyprus has been politically divided since 1974 and as a result, the island is split into two main areas:
The Republic of Cyprus (ROC): The internationally recognized government controls the southern part of the island, which is predominantly Greek Cypriot. This area includes the capital, Nicosia.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), know in Cyprus as `The Occupied Area` : The northern part of Cyprus is controlled by Turkish Cypriots and is recognized only by Turkey. This area is not internationally recognized, and crossing between the two regions may have restrictions.
There are several checkpoints along the Green Line, which is the United Nations-controlled buffer zone that separates the two parts of the island. Travelers can cross these checkpoints to move between the north and south, but as mentioned you cannot take your hire car across. If hiring a car you can park up and walk across the checkpoints. Make sure you have your passport with you!
*average daily rates based on 7 day rental, search for today's best prices.