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Home -> Life - Living in Cyprus - Children Family

Life - Living in Cyprus - Children Family

 Cyprus Our Home - Living In Cyprus

Written by Andrew Sharpe in 1998 - Updated Continuously - 28.3.2013

My first recollection of life - living in Cyprus, and it had nothing to do with Cyprus property, was the extreme heat hitting me as I stepped off the airplane at Larnaca airport in 1977 (September the 3rd!). I'd been holding hands with a young Cypriot lady in London through our college years together. Effortlessly and almost instinctively, we decided to share the rest of our lives together. For some unknown reason I was very late coming out of the airport to meet my good lady on that eventful day. It was something like a Mr. Bean sketch where I was obviously trying to find my passport, suitcases, and senses as to why I'd boarded the flight in the first place! On the other side of arrivals my parents-in-law, to be, thinking..........Cyprus has had enough invaders over the centuries and they really didn't want another one running off with their daughter... Whilst......... their daughter was obviously saying ''Well!! He did say he would fly to Cyprus....... he promised... Mama,'' as the night watchman was about to lock up the airport for the evening. Some 36 years and four wonderful children later, we are still holding hands, living in Cyprus and loving every minute. Except........... when the bills come in. Nuff said.

Expatriate Life - Living in Cyprus

Cyprus history dates back 9000 years with a glorious all year round climate accommodating all ages, pastimes, sports, holidays and offers both winter and summer seasons. Springtime brings the beautiful fragrances of trees and flowers in full bloom with the land changing into its all green coat, with the warmth of spring combined with the rain and snow of winter. It's too cold to swim in the sea, but walking and climbing are especially grand pastimes all over the island with many planned walks such as Caledonian in the Troodos mountains or the Smiyles trails in the Akamas plus many more. May and early June bring summer to Cyprus with its heat burning off much of spring's added greenery. Swimming is the most preferred pastime along with most sea pastimes such as diving, fishing, paragliding, water skiing, etc., although the Mediterranean can still be chilly. The best areas for swimming are in Protaras and Ayia Napa in the east with brilliant clear waters, although all locations are good.

Autumn brings its own beauty as Cyprus does have a glorious Indian summer. The day seems longer with temperatures through September and October just about perfect for all occasions, including swimming. Winter brings snow to the mountains at 6000 feet with the chance to wear jumpers and coats. 

Limassol Life...................

Limassol is wall-to-wall tourism and rocks until 6am every morning. We particularly enjoy, in the tourist Area, the "Horseshoe" opposite the Mediterranean Hotel, where Georgina is a very special host during the day, hubby, and sons during the night. In addition, walking along the sea edge has recently become very popular, especially in the evening, by a new footpath that hugs the seashore. You could always stop at the many restaurants, hotels, and pubs along the path, which runs for miles. Visit Limassol Castle in town and the castle in Kolossi, both are filled with history. We prefer to be away from the tourist Area and head for Lady's Mile or Curium beaches. Lady's Mile is near Akrotiri with no buildings near by. The water is very clear and shallow for young tots and the sand runs for miles. There are small restaurants next to the beach where all your needs will be fulfilled. Curium is a place where words are not enough to express its beauty. The sea is rough and wild yet sandy beaches are easy and gentle to have great fun on or behind the beach, there are small restaurants. Our favourite is Chris's Blue. You will also see hang-gliders riding the thermals above the Curium cliffs. Curium is an ancient Roman Amphitheatre, which has been rebuilt and sits directly above the Curium beach. Please visit the Curium Amphitheatre at night to watch a live concert, play or reading, do not miss out. Whilst you are sitting in the Amphitheatre listening to the specially created natural sound of Curium you may gaze up and see a million stars shining brightly whilst listening to the gentle crashing of the waves below on Curium beach. Take a cushion to sit on; it's a must, as the Amphitheatre is made of stone.

Nicosia Living..............

The two sides (North & South) of Cyprus tried to reach an agreement to join Cyprus as One Island through the United Nations, The Annan Plan in May 2004, unfortunately this failed. Cyprus is still divided. New talks between Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias are underway with great hope of a solution - March 2009.

The only divided capital in the world due to the Turkish invasion in 1974; Berlin was the only other divided capital!

Famagusta gate, once the main entrance to Nicosia, now a cultural centre for plays, exhibitions and the beautifully restored vaults of the original gates are worth seeing for themselves. The Cyprus museum built as a memorial to Queen Victoria is a major stopping place. Across the road, you'll find the municipal theatre in constant use. Eleftheria square is a historical main gathering place leading to Ledra Street and shopping in the Laike Yitonyia, "popular neighbourhood" where restored houses of the 1920s recreate that era with busy boutiques, workshops, taverns and cafes. For handicrafts, visit the Cyprus Handicrafts Centre. We enjoy Nicosia very much as it is clean, tidy and well organized, although tourism is limited.

Ayia Napa............

Young fast and full of tourists, restaurants, hotels, apartments, pubs, etc. all squashed into one hectic square mile and is not for those looking to lay back and take it easy. There is a fabulous Water World just outside Ayia Napa for the family to visit. Protaras is close by with an excellent horse riding school as you enter and is more laid back than Ayia Napa. The entire Area of Ayia Napa is blessed with the most beautiful crystal clear sparkling seas made for all those water sports, especially diving.  

Larnaca...............

Relaxed, slower and has kept much of its natural beauty and charm. The promenade front has just had a major face-lift and merits a stroll along with the kids to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and if you're really desperate a McDonald's. We like Larnaca because it has maintained its heritage and culture. Visit the harbour and dream of sailing the high seas, it's open, just walk in and browse around, if you like sailing boats. 

Paphos & Pissouri..............

Paphos has retained its natural beauty, with carefully planned pavements to walk on, unlike Limassol where you end up walking on the road. Paphos does keep good hours and closes its restaurants quite early at about 11pm. The harbour restaurant should not be missed. Ask for swordfish fillet, great taste. Paphos is the place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Cyprus especially the unspoiled environmental protected areas of the Akamas. Further north The Baths of Aphrodite, Latsi, Polis & Pyrgos areas are unspoiled really very quiet and peaceful. The whole area of Paphos is our favourite. The greenery reminds me of my parents home in the Lake District, England, where the mountains, sea and forests all combine to produce a unique peaceful atmosphere. Tsada (now called Minthis Hills Golf Club) and Secret Valley 18 hole golf courses are in this Area. Both are well worth a visit with all the necessary tees, clubs, drivers, and carts and out of bounds your heart may desire. It costs €48 in the summer period and €65 per round in the winter season. The Pope visited Paphos tis week, June 2010, never seen so more police cars and police folk in my life. Odd.

Pissouri outside of Limassol going towards Paphos is well worth a visit for its rolling seas and pure beauty. Visit the Bay or Jetty as it is called. The village square is charming too, pass by and enjoy a Cypriot meal in one of the many restaurants, chill out whilst observing a typical Cypriot village in action.

Mountains.................

The mountains of Cyprus hold a different beauty with many excellent hotels available from which to explore the true Cypriot hospitality and way of life in unspoiled villages. We enjoy Platres and Argros, both with pleasant hotels. Please visit the villages to see the real Cyprus and before your eyes, you will see the old ways, methods, and tools in everyday use.

History...........................

There is just too much history in Cyprus to mention in detail. Therefore, I'll give a quick run down, but for further information please check for yourself. 5800-3000 BC, Neolithic Age, 3000-1000 BC Achaens ruled, 700-350 BC Egyptians, Persians, 333 BC Alexander the Great ruled, 323 BC Alexander died, Egyptians took control.  58 BC Roman invasion, 45 AD Paul and Barnabas, visited to spread Christianity, AD 395 Byzantine empire, 7 to 10 centuries noted for Arab raids, 1184 AD Richard Coeur de Lions and wife Berengaria, 1489-1570 AD Venetians ruled. 1571-1878 AD Turkish rule. 1878 AD Great Britain, Turkey 1914, Turkey fought against Britain in the Great War, Britain annexed Cyprus from Turkey, 1960 declared independent. July 1974, Turkish invasion of Northern Cyprus and settlement until date of only Turkish residents. The president of Cyprus is Demetris Christofias, negoiations are underway with great hope of a solution to the Cyprus problem - March 2009.

From the 1st of May 2004 Cyprus became a member of the European Union and from the 1st January 2008 the Cyprus currency changed from the Cyprus pound to the Euro. All monies and financial transactions are now only carried out in € Euros.

Education & English Language.........................

Our eldest daughter studied through an English private school in Limassol, our two sons studied through the Government run schools in the Greek language. The private English schools require entrance exams, which are strict. 

The standard is very high, although the fees are low and boarding is available. We also have great regard for the Government run schools as their standards and commitment to our children is highly enthusiastic and commendable. 

English is spoken throughout the island and you will soon feel very comfortable approaching anyone for advice, help, or directions.

Real Estate..................

Purchasing Cyprus property is quite popular as the prices are lower than mainland Europe. Real estate offices are located throughout the island offering a variety of services for those considering buying or selling; villas, houses, bungalow's, townhouses, maisonettes, apartments, flats, village stone houses, beach front property, off plan, under construction, golf, design/build, land or a resale property for either investment, rental, holiday homes or permanent living. Expatriates are allowed to buy one house, one flat, or a building plot or land up to three donums (4014m2) under Cypriot law. 4014m2 is one acre.

Newspapers, Television & Radio.....................

Check out ‘The Cyprus Weekly' & 'The Cyprus Mail,' these newspaper are a gems, full of information, late night chemists, sales, offers, buying houses, cars, ships, land and gives you a clear insight, as you can read for yourself in English, into the heart of Cypriot life. Most satellite stations are available with the National PIK II T.V, broadcasting in English, plus - Sigma, Antenna, Capital and many more. Tune your radio to FM 89.9 for the British Forces Broadcasting Corporation in the Limassol area, FM 91-7 in the Nicosia area and Fm 95.3 in the Larnaca area. Or Coast FM on 91.4 FM in Limassol. All the major towns have their own local radio station, checking the Cyprus Mail Newspaper daily for details.

Transport...........................

Dual carriageways run between most towns, all are safe and you can drive on the proper side of the road, which is on the left. There are no trains in Cyprus. To travel from town to town take the local taxi line ‘grame'. The taxis will pick you up and drop you off with other passengers as per your requests on a share basis. These Taxis are stretch-limos or people carriers carrying eight people. Tel Taxi 333333. There is a bus service from town to town although you need to check well on the schedule before making a journey, within the towns, buses run to all areas. Ask your hotel for details; don't pay over the top. Car Rental is widely available throughout the island. Petrol stations are open 24 hours with auto-cashier; petrol is about €1.44 cents per litre.

Banks..................

Are only open until 1.30 p.m., although there are tourist banks, which stay open in the afternoon, but you have to find them. ATM machines are widely available. Check bank times as you may be caught out. Banks are closed on Saturdays and Sundays. The Cyprus currency is the € - Euro since 1.1.2008 and presently has a banking crisis due to mainly the Greek Hirecut and the non-action of the previouse Government to deal with the problem. Shame on former president Demitris Christofias who single handed brought Cyprus to this very poor position. Banks have been closed for 10 days and re-open today in 2 and a half hours time at 12 noon.

Food & Drink....................

I've always struggled to enjoy the local falling down water (wine), although I've had my moments. For red, I'd recommend Othello, Packna, Tsiakka (all good wines) and our favourite is Ayios Neuphrios from Kathikas, for white, Alina, (dry) and Arsinoe. 

Souvla

Souvla is the most popular meat dish, cut from lamb shoulder or chicken, the size of your fist and cooked outside slowly over a charcoal fire on a spit and rotisserie for 90 minutes. The beauty of Souvla is in the watching and waiting for the lamb or chicken to cook, whilst you chat and cut off small outer slithers of the cooked lamb or chicken, which are extremely hot and juicy, to sample how the cooking is going. Of course, the odd drink may be consumed along with the whole process. Greek salad is very famous and I am a great fan. Salads are served with most dishes. Ask for Glisterreda and Rocka in the salad. To really enjoy these most delicious foods of Cyprus you need to eat them in a Cypriot house.  Hotels and restaurants cook all of these beautiful dishes and more, but there is nothing like home cooking. If you are asked to join a local family for food, please take the opportunity, as souvla and salad, homemade, are the essences of Cypriot food. Sheftalia, short thick sausages with parsley is another great favourite cooked deliciously in kebab restaurants all over the island, distinguished by their tin chimneys climbing high up the side of buildings with bellows of smoke pouring out. Ask for Sheftalia in pitta bread and sample the other delights on the menu.

Cyprus Our Home

We really love the island, its beauty, and the way of life in Cyprus. A typical summer day with the family could be late out of bed, to an outside breakfast. Head to Curium beach by 2pm, swim, relax, lunch and a little of the falling down water, home by 6pm and off to Scottie's for steaks till late, or, back to the Curium Amphitheatre for numb bums, bright stars, crashing waves, and glorious live music. On the other hand, I may spend two weeks continuously painting the house, doing the washing-up, changing nappies and never see the sunshine or sea. The beauty of life and living in Cyprus is in your senses; its warmth, beauty and magic are to be taken in, by all the senses, to fill your soul, mind and body with the history, culture and charm of Cyprus, so allowing your spirit to run free.................................................................................... 



See Also: Cyprus Our Home | Cyprus Residence Permit | Cyprus Income Tax | Work Permit Cyprus | Emergency Numbers Cyprus | Doctors & Chemists Cyprus | Cyprus Hospitals | Cyprus Health Care | Cyprus Medical Insurance | Cyprus Medical Card | Common Ownership Law