The beaches of Northern Cyprus are among the cleanest and safest in the Mediterranean. The average water temperature is 24C between May and October. During the summer, hotel beaches offer food and drink, beach umbrellas and beach loungers. Some also offer activities such as water skiing, banana rides, jet ski, wind surfing and scuba diving. You can also find undeveloped, and often empty beaches, to the east and north-east.

Weather and Climate
North Cyprus has a typical Mediterranean climate, warm and rather dry, with rainfall mainly between November and March. In general, the island experiences mild wet winters and dry hot summers, separated by short autumn and spring seasons. The higher mountain areas are cooler and moister than the rest of the island.

The official language is Turkish. English is widely used and understood in official and commercial circles.

The TRNC is a secular state and welcomes all religions. Turkish Cypriots are Sunni Muslims but are very ‘European’ in their attitudes. Alcohol is widely -and cheaply- available and modern dress is the norm, but there are no topless beaches.

The New Turkish Lira (Yeni Türk Lirasi) is the legal tender of Turkey and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. At summer 2006, one lira (YTL) was worth 36p, or 2.75 to the £.

Most major credit and debit cards are accepted in northern Cyprus and there are cash machines in town centres. Sterling, US Dollars and Euros are also widely accepted.

Education standards in the TRNC is generally high, and the country has several international universities which attract students from across the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Bi-lingual education is available in many places, from infant through to university level.

Cyprus is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Clocks go forward one hour for summer time at 3 am on the last Sunday in March and back again at 3 am on the last Sunday in October, as in Britain.

Post & Communications
There are main post offices in Kyrenia, Famagusta and the capital, Lefkosa. Most villages have their own post offices where you can have a PO Box or they will organise delivery to your door. Postage stamps (Pul) in Northern Cyprus are 50 pence for a postcard or normal letter.

Several companies now offer internet connection via satellite and all towns are well served with internet cafes.

The phone code for the UK is 00 44 followed by the local number but omitting the first zero (0). From UK, the code is 00 90 392 followed by the local Cypriot number. All major mobile networks work in north Cyprus.

Television, Radio and Newspapers
Bayrak television (BRT) which was the first television station of North Cyprus, provides English-language programmes, including news bulletins, on radio and TV. British TV, such as BBC and Sky, and other English-language stations, are easy to access via satellite.

Northern Cyprus has its own weekly English-language newspaper, Cyprus Today published every Saturday. It is essential reading for all local events and information.

The 220/240 volts AC, system, with three-pin plugs, is used throughout Cyprus. Some domestic appliances and small items such as mosquito repellent plugs, are fitted with the continental 2-pin type of plug, so an adaptor is required.

Passports and Visas
A valid passport is necessary for entry and visa is granted at the point of entry.

Shopping and Dining Out
You can enjoy a three-course meal for two, with drinks, in a local taverna for about £15 . North Cyprus also offers top class cuisine in French, Italian and of course, Turkish style. The village store, or ‘bakal’ sells everything from goat’s cheese to a Turkish rug, while major supermarkets carry many international brands, including your favourites from home!
Particularly popular are low-cost wines and spirits, such as ‘Cyprus Brandy’ at just £1.30 a bottle.

Official Holidays
Jan 1 - New Year's Day
Feb 1-4* - Kurban Bayram (Feast of the Sacrifice)
Apr 23 - National Sovereignty and Children's Day
May 1- Labour and Spring Holiday
May 19 - Ataturk Commemoration and Youth & Sports Day
20 July Turkish Intervention
Aug 1 Establishment date of T.M.T (Social Resistance Day)
Aug 30 - Victory Day
Oct 29 - Republic Day
Nov 15 Republic Day of T.R.N.C
Nov 14-16* - (End of Ramadan) Ramazan or Seker Bayram

NB: Muslim festivals(*) are timed according to local sightings of various phases of the moon and the dates given above are approximations.

The recently refurbished Ercan Airport, (pronounced airjan), situated approx 25 minutes drive from Kyrenia, handles the bulk of the tourist traffic, whilst Gecitkale to the east, serves as a back-up airport. There are daily flights from mainland Turkey and Europe.

Various airlines, including tourist charters and British Airways, fly to Larnaca in the South. A taxi fare will cost approx £50 each way to and from Kyrenia.

By Sea, there are scheduled ferry boat services from Mersin to Famagusta three times a week. There are daily sea-bus and ferry services from Tasucu to Girne. Also from Alanya, Antalya, and Anamur services are organized during summer months to Girne by (Akgunler and Fergun shipping Companies)

Pubic Transport in North Cyprus

Bus Services
Almost all villages are connected with the nearest town by local buses. Bus operation is
limited to once or twice a day. Regional bus companies provide more routes. In the main cities the buses operate frequently during daytime and in certain tourist areas, during summer, their timetables are extended till midnight.

Taxi Services
Rural taxis are to be found at taxi stands only. The charges are reasonable, although there are no meters to display the fares. It is advisable to agree upon the fare with the driver before setting off. The system of sharing a taxi with another passenger travelling to the same destination (called Dolmus) also operates widely in North Cyprus.

You can find a taxi in town 24 hours a day. Taxis can be booked by phone or be hired from their base station. Urban taxis are fitted with meters.

Car Rental
Car hire is widely available. You will anything from a small hatchback to a four wheel drive or the most luxurious saloon. You may hire a car in the south and cross to the north with it, but not vice-versa, due to Greek Cypriot restrictions. Also, there is no public transport between Greek Cyprus and Turksih Cyprus.

Driving Licence
A valid British driving licence is recognised for a limited period, as is an International Driving Licence. Anyone owning a car in the TRNC is required to have, within a year, a TRNC driving licence.

Medical And Emergency in North Cyprus
The main hospitals in Northern Cyprus are situated in Lefkosa, Famagusta and Kyrenia. There are many doctors surgeries and clinics where groups of doctors are available. The standard of treatment is very good. One can expect to pay about £12 for a consultation, and drugs and medicines are generally cheaper than in the UK.

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