TIP 1: Save money phoning home.
Buy a Cyprus SIM CARD.
It only costs €15 to buy a pay as you go SIM CARD and use the Cytanet local network which is SO much cheaper than using your own mobile to dial home. You can buy a SIM card at the airport, most kiosks/mini supermarkets and from CYTA offices in major towns.
You get €5 worth of calls free with the card which will cover most of your calls home unless you like to talk for hours. You should be able to make all your calls for a fortnight.
TIP 2: Don’t pay more than you need for a hire car.
Unless you need a car to drive straight from the airport or you are visiting in the busiest months of July and August, don’t necessarily pre-book your hire car. You can nearly always get a rental car cheaper locally when you arrive.
TIP 3: Watch those air con units!
If you want air conditioning to get you through the hot summer nights, it will usually cost you an extra €4 to €5 per day for EACH air-con unit unless this is already included in the price of your holiday. You may want to follow the locals and sleep under the stars…
TIP 4: Pre-book if you want a decent hire bike.
Mountain bike Cyprus
Want to hire a bike whilst on holiday? If you want to be sure of a QUALITY bike, I recommend pre-booking your
hire bike with a specialist company that will also provide safety equipment.
TIP 5: Find cheaper food far from the madding crowd
Make sure you get into the mountains for at least one day out. There you will find small tavernas offering their own blend of local food at MUCH cheaper prices than in the main resorts and you will discover the REAL Cyprus, just as it was 30 years or more before.
Some of the older villagers have never even left their own village and many don’t speak a word of English! Psst – see no 8 of my travel tips below to help you out.
TIP 6: Jeep safari? Check the vehicle!
Jeep safari Cyprus
Jeep safaris are a very popular way to see the more remote parts of the island like the Akamas Peninsula, but check to see whether your jeep has air conditioning. Sitting in a sizzling jeep in August next to 10 other very sweaty bodies is NOT much fun without it.
Alternatively, opt for a self-drive jeep safari where you have the fun and comfort of driving your own hire jeep whilst following a lead driver to stop you getting lost.
TIP 7: Live dangerously and try the local cuisine!
DO try some of the local Cyprus specialities. My favourite travel tips for eating REAL Cypriot tasty dishes include the mouthwatering:
lamb kleftiko – slow roasted lamb in the clay “kleftiko” oven
afelia – marinated pork sauteed with coriander, red wine and spices
and stifado – beef stew with onions and spices
TIP 8: Speak a little Greek
Learn a few Cypriot Greek words to help you get to know the locals. Cypriot Greek is quite different from mainland Greek due to the strong dialect spoken by many of the locals especially in the more remote mountain villages. In other words, it’s not easy to understand, but the locals will LOVE you if you try and you mayeven get your meal or drinks for free if not half price!
TIP 9: Visit in the winter months.
Looking for an ideal winter get-away? Villa hire is REALLY cheap in the off season months (Nov-Feb) and you can stay in a fantastic 3 bedroom villa from only EUR€50 per day. BUT, before you rush to book, make sure that your villa has heating, either via air-con units in ALL rooms or via traditional radiators. Otherwise, believe me, you WILL be cold at night.