About North CyprusThe following things may be of help to visitors when arriving in North Cyprus.
Climate: North Cyprus has a typical Mediterranean Climate with over 300 days of sunshine and temperatures regularly reaching up to 40 degrees in the months of July and August. Winter is normally very short and rain generally falls in the months of January, February and part of March with temperatures not falling much below 20 degrees during the daytime. The average annual rainfall is around 500mm.
Currency: The currency used in North Cyprus is Turkish Lira, however Sterling, US Dollars, Euros and Cypriot Pounds are widely accepted in banks, hotels, restaurants and shops. Furthermore most credit cards are widely accepted in most places, but be warned that retailers may charge a handling fee for the privilege.
Electricity: Electricity is 240 volts and standard UK three pin plugs are widely used in hotels, villas and apartments located in North Cyprus.
Government: The Turkish Republic of North Cyprus is a democratic, secular government.
Health: There are good health centres, hospitals, medical clinics in North Cyprus both state owned and private.
Language: Turkish is the official language in North Cyprus, however English is widely spoken throughout the island.
Cost of Living: The cost of living in North Cyprus is very low compared to the rest of Europe, but it should be noted that European imported goods are sold at a premium due to the high import duty which has to be paid. Local produce such as fruit and vegetables are very cheap and have in general not been Generically Modified.
Media: There is a government operated TV channel in North Cyprus known as BRT (Bayrak Radyo Televizyonu) based in Nicosia, which broadcasts in three languages Turkish, English and Greek. Its programs include World news in all three languages, current affairs, music, movies and documentaries. There are also daily newspapers and monthly magazines in both English and Turkish.
Population: The population of North Cyprus is 264,172 according to the 2006 census. The main income in North Cyprus is from tourism although Citrus fruits, olives and other crops are widely exported.
Postage: When relocating to North Cyprus it is wise to apply for a PO Box number as there is no regular delivery service to the door and post should always be addressed to Mersin 10, Turkey and not North Cyprus. Outbound overseas post takes approximately five working days to reach its destination.
Public Holidays: Public Holidays in North Cyprus are as follows
1 January New Year’s Day
23 April Children’s Festival
1 May Youth and Sports Day
20 July Peace and Freedom Day
1 August TMT Day
30 August Victory Day
29 October Turkish Republic Day
15 November Proclamation of TRNC
There are 2 religious holidays according to the lunar calendar; Ramazan and Kurban Bayram; Ramazan Bayram which celebrates the end of Ramazan is 3 days; Kurban Bayram which the feast of sacrifice is 4 days.
Time: North Cyprus is GMT + 2.
Traffic and Driving: Driving in North Cyprus is easy as we follow the same laws as in the UK, we drive on the left and the traffic signs are again as in the UK. It should be noted that you must carry your current valid driving licence with you at all times. Speed limits should be adhered to as there are now many speed cameras around the island.
Transportation: Public transportation is provided by taxis, local Dolmus buses and rental cars. Taxi prices are very reasonable but it is better to negotiate the price to your destination before setting off. The Local Dolmus buses which service nearly all the local routes stop operating around 7pm at night. Rental cars are very reasonable with most companies charging around 15 to 20 Sterling per day including Insurance. The reliability of rental cars varies and it is advisable to check the age and type of car you will be renting prior to booking and parting with any monies.
Importation of Pets: We would recommend you check with the Quarantine unit in Lefkosa the legal requirements and documentation needed to import your pet. They can be contacted on 0090 392 2253751.
Telephone:The telephone dialling code for North Cyprus is 0090. If you are relocating to North Cyprus then we recommend you register with the local telephone board in either Kyrenia or Lefkosa for a home connection as soon as possible as the waiting list tends to be quite long and can take a while for your connection to be made.
Shopping: North Cyprus is a ‘Shopoholics paradise’ it is possible to purchase high quality imported brands of clothing at a fraction of the cost in the UK. Locally produced alcohol and cigarettes are also known to be cheaper than anywhere else in the Mediterranean. There are an abundance of tourist shops located throughout the island and locally produced items can normally be found at very reasonable costs. In the summer period the shops normally open until at least 7pm, although some will close for long lunch breaks. During the winter shops close around 6pm. Supermarkets open at 8am and close at 10pm throughout the year, seven days a week.
Arts: There are many museums which include antiques, ceramic, painting, caricatures around Kyrenia, Nicosia, Famagusta, Iskele and Lefke in North Cyprus. Opening and closing hours of museums change according to seasons. During summer, opening hours vary, but in winter; opening hours are 9am-2pm and 2pm-4.25pm.
Cypriot Handicraft: North Cyprus has different handicrafts which are peculiar to their culture. Lefkara lace-work is a handcraft belonging to both Turkish and Greek people. This handcraft is usually created in the villages by women to decorate borders of the mirrors and tables. Sheep skin rugs, hand-woven kilims and genuine leather jackets, hand-painted poetry such as candle sticks, Mediterranean village basketry and coffee pots are among handcrafts which can be found in North Cyprus. The Blue Bead or as more commonly known as the ‘Evil Eye’is a traditional bead said to keep the holder safe from danger.
Education: There are five universities situated around the North of Cyprus. Many students from 64 different countries come to North Cyprus in order to receive a better education. So indirectly these students aid the local economy.
Hamam (Turkish Bath): Turks had many public baths built in Cyprus. Two of those baths are still working in Nicosia and there are separate baths for both men and women
Location: North Cyprus is the third island in the East Mediterranean and it is located south of Turkey and north of Egypt.
Mountains: North Cyprus mountain range is more commonly known as the Kyrenia Mountains.
Plains: Mesaoria and Morphou are plains of North Cyprus. Mesaoria is arid and Morphou is watery.
Religion: 98% of the population in North Cyprus is Muslim.
Resources: copper, asbestos, gypsum, tiber, salt, marble, clay earth, pyrites and pigment
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