Living in Cyprus

 

 

The Republic of Cyprus is a country that borders Turkey, Sicily and Sardinia. It is the third-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea with a total land area of 3,569 square miles and also the most populous country in the region with an estimated population of 1.183 million as of January 2017.

Just one look at Cyprus will prove everybody why it is one of the most beautiful and popular destinations in Europe. This country boasts beautiful, vast archaeological landscapes as well as miles of picturesque coastlines and white-sand beaches. Though the British and the Ottoman Turks have undeniably left an impact on this country, it is the Greeks that significantly influenced the local culture. As a matter of fact, the settlement of Greeks in Cyprus dates back 4,000 years ago and to this day, 77% of its total population is comprised of Greek Cypriots. Cyprus is not just a sub-tropical island with a pleasant year-long climate it is also a highly diverse nation that serves as the second-home of hundreds of expats who chose to start a life in the ever mesmerising Mediterranean.

Exciting Attractions for Kids

Aside from the number of good international schools where learning goes hand in hand with fun, expat parents will also be glad to know that Cyprus has an impressive list of attractions to keep their kids far from bored. One of the top places for families is the Waterworld Water Park, the largest water-themed park in Europe that houses a variety of pools such as the famous Aeolos Whirlpool, Kamikaze Slides and Poseidon's Wave Pool. There is also the Lucky Star Park which is the largest amusement centre in Cyprus where kids can enjoy bump cars, safari trains, monorails, roller coasters and go-karts.

Natural thrills such as bird watching can also be enjoyed, especially in North Cyprus where numerous birds migrate throughout the year. Kids can go donkey-watching at the Cyprus Donkey Sanctuary at Vouni Village or even ride on the animals at the Oroklini Donkey Park, both in Limassol. Magic Dancing Waters in Protaras will also enthral children for hours as rainbow-lighted fountains change in colour and dance to the beat of the classical or popular music. In Reptile House in Limassol, the kids will have an unforgettable time watching snakes, lizards, scorpions and other stars of the class Reptilians.

Getting Around Cyprus

Cyprus has one of the highest car ownerships per capita in the world which is why expats will soon notice why driving is the most common mode of transportation by the locals. Road signs in this country are also written in Greek and English which makes it easier for expats to get around. Cyprus also prides itself for having well-maintained roads, sufficient number of petrol stations and minimal traffic even during peak hours. Expats should know that cars in this country drive on the left-hand side and the speed limit on most major roads and highways is 60mph or 100 kilometres per hour.

When it comes to public transportation, newcomers should be prepared that there is no operational railway service between some of the towns. However, most major cities particularly Nicosia, the capital, has buses and taxis that residents can ride to and from their destinations. There are two types of buses in Cyprus: the rural buses that connect the cities and surrounding villages and the trans-urban buses that have routes within the city centre. The latter is the considered as the more reliable mode of public transport since it arrives more frequently than the rural buses. Taxis are also common in Cyprus, and the most common are the urban taxis that operate 24 by seven across all major cities.

Dealing with Culture Shock

Expats that are about to relocate to Cyprus should know that the locals speak two main languages, Greek and Turkish, which are both considered central to the Cypriot culture. People are innately humble and respectful with the family at the centre of society. Elders, in particular, are treated like royalty.

There are several cultural habits and etiquettes in Cyprus that expats would be wise to observe. Cordiality is another one of the locals' noteworthy traits. Shaking hands and maintaining eye contact, especially during introductions, is very important, as well as saying goodbye to each person as one leaves a group. When invited to a local's house, it is expected that one bring food or drinks, but none of it must be eaten until the host initiates partaking of the meal. When passing food across the table, only the right hand must be used.

They are also very punctual workers, and while eternally conscious about performance, they do not hesitate to hold their opinions to save a colleague from embarrassment during business functions.

 

See more

Continue reading:

Expat Living Guide

Expat Finance Services in Cyprus

Education Services in Cyprus