NORTH CYPRUS - GENERAL FACTS
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
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
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
20 July Turkish Intervention
Aug 1 Establishment date of T.M.T (Social Resistance
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
Pubic Transport in North Cyprus
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.
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 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.
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.