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Tourism in Cyprus
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Business/Shopping Hours

Public Service Hours:

(September 1 - June 30)

Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri: 07:30 - 14:30

Thu: 07:30 - 14:30, 15:00 - 18:00

(July 1 - August 31)

Monday - Friday: 07:30 - 14:30

Shopping Hours:

(November 1 - March 31)

Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri: up to 18:00

Wed, Sat: up to 14:00

(April 1 - May 31) and (September 15 - October 31)

Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri: up to 19:00

Wed, Sat: up to 14:00

(June 1 - September 14)

Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri: up to 19:30, afternoon recess from 13:00 - 16:00

Wed, Sat: up to 14:00

Office Hours:

(September 15 - May 31)

Monday - Friday: 08:00 - 13:00, 15:00 - 18:00

(June 1 - September 14)

Monday - Friday: 08:00 - 13:00, 16:00 - 19:00

Banking Hours:

(September 1 - April 30)

Monday: 08:30 - 12:30, 15:15 - 16:45

Tuesday - Friday: 08:30 - 12:30

(May 1 - August 31)

Monday - Friday: 08:00 - 12:30

Centrally located Banks provide "afternoon tourist services".

Shopping

Locally produced items, which are popular to visitors, include leather goods, woven goods (curtains and tablecloths), ceramics, copperware, silverware (especially filigree), baskets, and the famous traditional hand-made Lefkaritika lace. These can be purchased from the many souvenir shops found throughout the island and the Cyprus Handicraft Centres.

Cyprus wines and spirits, which have been famous for centuries, are also high on visitors' shopping lists, and can be purchased from supermarkets or grocery shops.

Shoes, shirts, imported textiles and spectacles are good value for money.

In most of the tourist areas, both souvenir shops and supermarkets remain open until late in the evenings, and all day on Sunday. Supermarkets close one hour later on Friday evening. Just before Christmas and Easter, shops usually remain open until late in the evening.

Chemists Pharmacies/Drug Stores

They stay open during shopping hours. Names, addresses and telephone numbers of chemists which stay open until late at night, on Public Holidays and on Sundays are listed in the daily papers. They can also be traced through the following automatic telephones:

Nicosia1412
Ammochostos1413
Larnaka1414
Lemesos1415
Pafos1416

Health and Safety/Inoculations

Medical Services and Hospitals

Medical care needs in Cyprus are met through Government General Hospitals and Private Clinics/Hospitals.

Government General Hospitals and Private clinics/hospitals are mostly concentrated in urban areas, while health centres, sub-centres, and dispensaries function in the rural areas, providing a network to meet the medical needs of the whole population.

All Government General Hospitals as well as some private clinics have Accident and Emergency Departments for emergency cases.

Medical treatment and assistance is offered free of charge to international tourists in case of health emergencies at the Accident and Emergency Department of Government Hospitals/Institutions. Out-patient and in-patient treatment is provided against payment of the prescribed fees. Holiday-makers can also make use of their health insurance, which covers medical expenses, provided that this insurance covers the length of their stay on the island.

Almost all brands of manufactured medicines are available in Cyprus. Local newspapers list pharmacies which are open during the night and on weekends/holidays, as well as the names of doctors who are on call on weekends/holidays.

Information on private doctors on call on weekends/holidays is given by the following telephone numbers:

Nicosia1432
Ammochostos1433
Larnaka1434
Lemesos1435
Pafos1436

Most hotels make arrangements for Medical services for their guests upon request.

The majority of doctors are English speaking.

Private doctors' visiting hours: Monday - Friday: 09:00-13:00, 16:00-19:00.

Food Safety and Drinking Water Quality

In Cyprus the safety of food and drinking water quality is monitored by the Health Inspectors of the Medical and Public Services of the Ministry of Health and the Local Authorities. Food and drinking water are of high quality, absolutely safe and no food- or waterborne diseases occur.

Water is safe to drink in Cyprus, as water pollution is negligible and every home has fresh running drinking-water.

All the District Water Boards are in constant collaboration with the Government Health Services and the General Laboratory for the prevention of any toxicological and bacteriological infection of water in Cyprus.

Tap-water in hotels, restaurants, public premises, etc. is safe to drink.

Cyprus is also free from dangerous infectious diseases. No vaccination requirements for any International Traveller.

Climate

Climatic conditions in Cyprus can be termed as excellent from a health point of view. Therefore, the climate is ideal for holiday travellers throughout the year.

Drugs – Psychotropic Substances – Narcotics

According to Cypriot Law, the Importation, Possession and Use of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, is strictly prohibited.

Health Food

Health food stores with a wide range of high quality health food and health-care products and cosmetics are to be found in almost all towns. Furthermore various health food items and health-care products are found in pharmacies and also in large supermarkets, all over the island.

Banking/Credit Cards

Banking

The commercial banks in Cyprus have correspondents in most major cities around the world, and transactions can be negotiated in all leading currencies.

The Central Bank of Cyprus is independent and responsible for formulating and implementing monetary and credit policy. It also supervises banks, administers the foreign exchange reserves, issues currency, and acts as banker and financial agent of the Government.

Commercial Banking arrangements follow the British model, and the majority of Commercial Banks on the island are now full members of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (S.W.I.F.T.).

Banks at the Larnaka and Pafos International Airports provide services in the daytime, as well as a night service for most flights.

Banking facilities are also available at the Lemesos (Limassol) Harbour.

A number of Automatic Exchange Machines operate on a 24hrs basis in central places of all towns and the main tourist resorts Agia Napa and Paralimni. Most currencies and denominations are acceptable.

Hotels, large shops, restaurants, etc. usually accept traveller's cheques and major credit cards. Rates of exchange are published daily in the local press, and are also broadcast at the 10:00 o'clock News Bulletins by the CBC (except Sundays) on Second Radio Channel on 91.1 FM.

Centrally located Banks provide "afternoon tourist services".

Bank holidays are the same as Public Holidays plus Easter Tuesday. Christmas Eve is a working day for banks.

Credit Cards

Visitors in possession of any of the following international credit cards may contact the appropriate bank for the withdrawal of cash.

VISA CARD: Bank of Cyprus Ltd., Cyprus Popular Bank Ltd., Hellenic Bank, Alpha Bank Limited, National Bank of Greece and Arab Bank.

DINERS CLUB, CARTE BLANCHE: Bank of Cyprus Ltd.

MASTERCARD: Bank of Cyprus Ltd., Cyprus Popular Bank Ltd., National Bank of Greece, Hellenic Bank and Alpha Bank Limited.

AMERICAN EXPRESS: Cyprus Popular Bank Ltd.

More than 11 000 shops, restaurants and hotels accept at least one of the above credit cards. Establishments with P.O.S. accept also VISA ELECTRON and MAESTRO. Usually the card symbol is displayed in the shop window or at the reception.

Euro cheques and traveller's cheques are also accepted by all banks, shops, restaurants etc.

Lost Credit Cards

In case of loss of credit card, please call JCC Payment Systems Ltd. and at the same time contact your bank either in Cyprus or in your country.

For further information please apply directly to:

JCC Payment Systems Ltd.

Stasikratous 16

P.O.Box 21043

1500 Nicosia

Tel: +357 22 868100 (24 hours service)

Fax: +357 22 868591, 868111

Driving in Cyprus

Be careful: In Cyprus we drive on the left hand side of the road! Thus, all vehicles are of a right hand drive system (RHD).

Driving in Cyprus is most advisable as regular transport service is not available to all remote areas where many places of interest are to be found.

Fairly good surfaced roads complying with international traffic requirements link the towns and the various villages.

Four-lane motorways connect the capital, Nicosia with the coastal towns of Lemesos, Larnaka, Pafos and Ayia Napa.

Minor roads and forest roads are still largely unsurfaced but in good to fair condition. Appropriate care should be taken when using these roads, especially during wet weather.

Visitors wishing to bring their car to Cyprus can do so, for a period up to 3 months provided the car has a valid registration licence of its country of origin. The period may be extended accordingly, provided the person is considered a visitor by the Department of Customs & Excise.

Hands Free During Driving is Mandatory

During driving, the driver should take all necessary measures, so that his/her hands are free at all times in order to have full control of the vehicle. Therefore the use of a mobile phone is strictly prohibited.

Driving Licence

Visitors in Cyprus can drive using a valid International driving licence, or their National driving licence, provided it is valid for the class of vehicle they wish to drive.

Car Insurance

Cyprus has become a member of the Green Card System and has signed the Uniform Agreement with all Countries of the European Economic Area and Switzerland, with effect from 7 August 1997. The Agreement is also in force with all other members of the Green Card System, with the exception of Turkey, Morocco, Tunisia and Iraq (suspended).

Petrol

Motor fuel and unleaded petrol may be bought in unlimited quantities at petrol stations. Petrol is sold by the litre.

Petrol stations in Nicosia and all seaside areas are equipped with petrol vending machines, accepting bank notes and credit cards. Vending machines operate during non-working hours, on weekends and on holidays. Petrol stations in rural areas may be found open on Weekends and on Holidays. A list of petrol stations can be found in the yellow pages of the Telephone Directory.

Parking Facilities

Parking places (municipal and private) are found in town centres, charging approximately CY£ 1,00-2,00 for a half day's parking.

Parking metres in the centre of towns may be used on payment of one 20–cents coin per hour, on weekdays, during office hours. Parking metres do not operate on Saturday afternoons, Sundays and Public Holidays.

Parking and waiting is prohibited along a double yellow line.

Along a single yellow line, loading and unloading is allowed but parking is prohibited at all times.

Mini Guide to Drivers

Traffic moves on the LEFT hand-side of the road, NOT on the right.

International road traffic signs are in use, and placed along the roads and highways, on the left hand side.

Distances and road speed limits are posted in kilometres (km) and kilometres per hour (km/h) respectively.

The maximum speed limit on the motorways is 100 km/h and the lower speed limit is 65 km/h. On all other roads the general speed limit is 80 km/h, unless a lower one is indicated. In built-up areas generally the speed limit is 50km/h, unless a different one is indicated.

The use of front and rear seat belts is compulsory.

Children under the age of five MUST NOT, under any circumstances, sit in the front passenger seat.

Children from five to ten years old may occupy the front passenger seat only if an appropriate child's seat belt has been fitted.

Rush hours in the towns are approximately between 07:30-08:00, 13:00-13:30 and in late afternoon 17:00-18:00 in winter, or 18:00-19:00 in summer.

It is advisable to avoid, if possible, driving due west in the late afternoon, as the glare of the setting sun can be unpleasant and potentially dangerous.

Because of the sometimes intense brightness drivers are advised to wear sunglasses.

Driving with Alcohol Concentration Above the Prescribed Limit

Driving or being in charge of a motor vehicle or pedal cycle with alcohol concentration in breath or blood above the prescribed limit, is an offence.

The prescribed limit in breath is 39 ìg of alcohol per 100 ml of breath. The prescribed limit in blood is 90 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood.

For more information please visit the:

Cyprus Tourism Organization website


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