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Cyprus Driving Guide 2023

Cyprus is a unique beautiful country. Explore all of it by driving when you get your International Driving Permit

2023-08-12 · 6 mins
Cyprus Driving Guide



Cyprus is an island country that is located in the middle of Europe and Asia, which is why it is called a Eurasian country, similar to Turkey. Thus, the culture in Cyprus is a blend of Asian, European, and even African influences. Cyprus is a member state of the European Union (EU), as with most countries around the Mediterranean. It lies east of Greece and the South of Turkey. South of Cyprus is Israel, and the western part of Cyprus looks out to the Mediterranean.

Cyprus is also in a historical area, as the Mediterranean is the venue of many historical and biblical events. With recorded events as far back as 1100 BC, Cyprus has had stopovers from the Egyptians, Persians, Assyrians, and Romans. Some disciples like St. Mark and St. Paul the Apostle have also left their mark on Cyprus.

Finally, Cyprus has amazing beaches. Cyprus has a rich coastline, and you’re never that far away from the water. Driving in Cyprus gives you that fresh air, and with just a couple of hours from any point of the island state, you will taste the saltwater with every breath.

How Can This Guide Help You?

This guide will give you the best overview of Cyprus as a tourist destination, but you will also be informed of pertinent facts that you need to know before you pack your bags. In this time of COVID-19, you need to be updated on the latest protocol for Cyprus. Also, you will be informed about whether you would need an international driver’s permit when you are driving in Cyprus as a tourist.

Who knows? You might end up hanging around longer and eventually seek driving work in Cyprus, or extend your stay and ask for the driving license requirements in Cyprus. This informative guide will offer answers to your queries, even those on car rental requirements and which side of the road to use when driving in Cyprus.


Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is in the Eastern part, so there is a lot of influence from the Asian culture compared to other islands like Malta. Cyprus’ beauty has been embedded in classical literature, since the legend of Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of beauty and love, was said to be in Cyprus. This is an indicator of just how fascinating Cyprus is in the eyes of their Greek neighbors, as the Mediterranean island became a paradise worth aspiring for.

Nowadays, the Cypriots are divided into those who have Greek roots and those who have Turkish roots. In 1974, Turkey invaded the north of Cyprus as they responded to a military coup in Cyprus which was supported by the Greek government. Nine years later, the Turkish occupants of the northern part of the island established the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

Current Border Status of Cyprus

Cyprus is an island country, so they do not have land borders. Entry into the island is only by air and sea travel. There are border officials on the coastlines and in the airports, and they have implemented various protocols and restrictions for the Coronavirus pandemic. As a member of the EU, they have followed most of the EU classifications, but Cyprus still updates their list weekly, based on the epidemiological situation of the passengers’ countries of origin. Most of the EU countries can travel to Cyprus as part of the European Union agreement.

Current Political Situation in Cyprus

The United Nations (UN) has effectively divided the island of Cyprus with the “Green Line” and the UN is also patrolling the division, which ensures that there would be no hostilities between the two sides. On this end, the EU and most of the international community recognizes the island of Cyprus as a single country. The only country that recognizes the governance of the TRNC is Turkey, but recently the EU eventually admitted that their jurisdiction is only in the Southern part of Cyprus.

From a tourism standpoint, a tourist who has a visa for Cyprus can cross the Green Line and their visa would still be recognized by the TRNC. You do not need a separate visa for the TRNC, but they do have restrictions for travelers from Armenia, Nigeria, and Syria.

Health Requirements for Travelers in Cyprus

In the latest update, Cyprus has classified countries into three: Category A, B, and C. For passengers from Category A countries, they are only required to provide a declaration and specific information.

In the latest update from the Ministry of Health, countries in Category A are Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand. Passengers from these countries can travel to Cyprus even for non-essential purposes. They only need a declaration that they have stayed in those countries for the last 14 days.

Can You Travel to Cyprus without a COVID-19 Test?

For travelers from a Category B country and have stayed there for the last 14 days, Cyprus requires that they provide a document showing a negative COVID-19 test (PCR), which was conducted within 72 hours before entering the country.

Category B countries include China, Estonia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Vatican City, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Rwanda, San Marino, Sweden, Serbia, United Kingdom, and Uruguay.

For travelers from a Category C country or who stayed in a Category C country 14 days before arriving in Cyprus, they need to provide a document showing a negative PCR result, but aside from that, they still need to undergo 14 days of self-isolation as instructed by the Ministry of Health. They would also need to take another PCR test, and if the results are negative, the self-isolation will end.

Are There Special Visas Needed?

Cyprus does not require any special visa. You only need to have a travel visa if you will only stay in the country for three months or less. If you intend to return multiple times, for example, if you have business dealings, you can avail of multiple entry visas. European Union Visas are also honored. Cyprus is not part of the Schengen area, so the Schengen visa is not a requirement, but it is recognized.

What Is the History Of Cyprus?

Cyprus had signs of life as early as 10,000 BC as there were discoveries of artifacts that were believed to be man-made at the perimeter of Akrotiri Aetokremnou, which is now the Akrotiri Peninsula on Cyprus’ southern coast. It was first conquered by the Assyrian Empire until they gained independence with the rule of the ten cities. However, they were conquered again by the Egyptians under Amasis II, until 525 BC when the kingdoms of Cyprus allied with the Persian Empire when they conquered Egypt under Achaemenid in the Battle of Pelusium.

Since then, Cyprus has been visited by Alexander and Ptolemy IX, sons of Cleopatra. It was placed under Roman rule and the 1st century BC. At this time, Paul the Apostle, Barnabas, and Mark planted the seeds of Christianity on the island. In modern times, the Ottoman Turks were usually the conquerors of Cyprus, until they were expelled by the British and the Greeks. Today’s Cypriots are either in favor of the Greeks or the Turks.

What Is the Culture In Cyprus?

The mix of cultures in Cyprus evokes inclusivity and openness, and you can see a diverse population of under 900,000. It is reflected in every aspect of their lives, including their cuisine, as you can have a gastronomical blend of Middle Eastern, Central Asian, and Southern European flavors on their food choices. Your holiday will be livened by traditional sweets from both the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots. Both influences offer sweet concoctions which consist of dipping walnuts and almonds.

The people of Cyprus are called Cypriots, and they are known for their laid back nature, and consistent with the island culture, the people maintain a very festive atmosphere. If you want to have a good time and celebrate on an island with sunshine almost the whole year, Cyprus is a great choice

The people of Cyprus are called Cypriots, and they are known for their laid back nature, and consistent with the island culture, the people maintain a very festive atmosphere. If you want to have a good time and celebrate on an island with sunshine almost the whole year, Cyprus is a great choice

Many Cypriots can speak English, so you can visit without learning the local languages, aside from a few important phrases. However, the official language in Cyprus is modern Greek, while in the Northern part of Cyprus, the Turkish Cypriots still wanted to implement Turkish as the official language. There is a local dialect that combines Ancient and modern Greek but also includes words from English, Latin, and Turkish.

What Is the State of Tourism in Cyprus?

Tourism is an integral income source for Cyprus. The country prides itself as the Jewel of the Mediterranean, and it plays a vital economic role in Cyprus. There are about 2 million visitors annually, and the past five years (2015-2019) have shown record-breaking numbers.

Europe relies heavily on tourism, and the Mediterranean island-states of Cyprus and Malta both have 14% owed to Tourism. For Cyprus, they have a valued 2.44 billion Euro tourism industry. You should visit Cyprus between May and June as this is the best time because it is the driest period of the year. The temperatures drift between 23 and 28 degrees. During these days, you have almost 13 hours of sunshine, which gives more time and opportunities for tourist spots to earn more.

International Driver’s Permit in Cyprus

Navigating through Cyprus would be much easier if you could travel in a rented car. You can spend more time in places and sights that mean more to you. This will give you more chances to have great memories and photos that you will relish for the rest of your life.

Is Your Local Driver’s License Valid in Cyprus?

The local driver’s licenses that are valid in Cyprus are those from the European Union. If you are a native of any EU country, then you can use your local driver’s license as long as it is not expired. When it does expire, you need to get a driving license in Cyprus. You have to prepare for this because driving without a license in Cyprus is punishable by law.

Aside from EU countries, Cyprus has treaties with other countries like Australia, Georgia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Ukraine, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, USA, and Zimbabwe.

Is a UK Driver’s License Valid in Cyprus?

As the United Kingdom has already made its exit from the European Union, British nationals need to exchange their driver’s license for a local EU driver’s license. Even if you renew your UK driver’s license, you’d still need to convert to an EU license post-Brexit.

The language in Cyprus is primarily Greek, and in the north, there is heavy Turkish influence. In this case, your English-written license may not be understood by every law-enforcer you encounter. When you have an International Driver’s Permit in Cyprus, you will have translations in every major language, including the languages that are relevant in the country you are in. You can order your International Driver’s Permit (IDP) from the International Driver’s Association website.

Does an IDP Replace a Native Driver’s License?

Since an IDP is a translation of your native driver’s license in twelve major languages, it cannot be considered a replacement for your native driver’s license. The rules that apply for your native driver’s license is still the regulation, even if you already have an International Driver’s Permit. However, it saves you from the hassle of multiple inquiries from police officers and any possible miscommunication regarding your driving limitations.

Who Can Apply for an IDP?

The local driver’s license is the basis of the IDP. You still need to comply with the static, universal rules of the country where you will use the IDP. For example, you need to follow the driving age and if you are above the maximum age limit to drive in Cyprus, then you would not be allowed to drive in the country even if you have an IDP.

When Should I Apply for an IDP?

The IDP is readily available from the International Driver’s Association website at any time. Thus, there is o right or wrong time to apply for the IDP. It depends on when you plan to travel and when you will actually be driving as a tourist in Cyprus. If you have the complete requirements, the International Driver’s Association will approve your IDP and promptly send it to your given address. It is then advisable to consider the delivery time, so you can apply in advance and drive right away once you arrive in Cyprus.

Do I Need an IDP to drive in Cyprus?

An IDP is not necessarily a requirement in Cyprus, but It would be advisable to have IDP especially since English is not an official language there. The translations can help the local authorities to understand your driving limitations, and it saves you time. Cyprus accepts driver’s licenses from different countries, but if you are from the United Kingdom, you could use the IDP for the three months to supplement your UK license.

Who Needs an IDP?

If you are a foreigner driving in Cyprus or other countries, then having an IDP can help you communicate with the local authorities and even the citizens. The language barrier can cause some form of disagreement, and if you need to save time, for any reason, having an IDP with translations almost any local can recognize can be very useful.

When Will I Use IDP?

The IDP can be used anytime in any place in the world. When you’re in a foreign country, there are situations when even if your local license is understandable for local authorities, an international driver’s permit is required. For instance, some car rental companies would look for an international driving permit to help facilitate the transaction. In Cyprus, there is a local language, and they have a different alphabet than the English one.

For the car rental companies, they need to know your exact limitations in the license before they allow you to drive their car. Having an IDP can help smoothen the transaction.

How Long Is an IDP Valid?

There are different terms for the IDP, so you can personalize it based on how long you are planning to travel. An IDP is valid for one, two, or three years. Cyprus allows you to use your local license along with your IDP for twelve months. If you intend to apply as a resident and drive in Cyprus beyond that time, you have to apply for a driver's license in Cyprus.

What Should I Do If I Lost or Misplaced My IDP?

The International Driver’s Association allows you to avail of the free replacement service free of charge. You will only shoulder the shipping costs of the physical copy. Just contact customer service, give them your IDP number and name, and your current location (address, zip code). Upon payment of the shipping amount, they will send your replacement IDP.

Renting A Car in Cyprus

Visiting a small, fascinating country like Cyprus can be more memorable with a rental car. While there is available public transport in Cyprus like in Nicosia and Paphos. Those are not intolerable options, but they are just sufficient to get from point A to point B. Once you see the sights, you will realize that you may want to take a closer look at a beautiful sight, but veer away from a disinteresting logjam from a popular place that doesn’t pique your interest.

The solution here is to rent a car. It is the best way to proceed at your own pace and explore the hidden shimmer of the “Jewel of the Mediterranean.” The beaches are just the starting point--there are small towns and mountains to drive around. Just make sure to check on these good tips on renting a car, so you can get the best deal.

Where to Rent a Car?

Traveling is much smoother and hassle-free if you plan ahead. Whenever you can take a sneak peek online, you should take the opportunity, especially when renting a car. Book a rental car in Cyprus even before your arrival. This way, you will lock on the vehicle that you wanted, while avoiding stress. Pre-booking will get you what you want at a lower price than when you walk up to a rental shop.

If you fail to book in advance, there are always options. Cyprus car rental shops rarely run out of vehicles available for the tourists to rent, even in the summer when the island is most crowded. However, be ready to fall in line and spend your first few hours in a rental office, and you’ll be surprised that the prices for the same car are remarkably higher than those on the website. Pro-tip is to book in advance at least 24 hours before you land.

What Documents Are Needed?

The basic documents to rent a car in Cyprus is your driver’s license. Rental car companies like Sixt would require your International Driver’s Permit if you do not have a Roman alphabet license. The IDP is also convenient, so you can transact faster with the Greek or Turkish (if you’re in north Cyprus) translation if you deal with a local car rental company.

You need another document for identification--usually, it’s the passport since you have to carry it with you. The other requirement is for payment. The best option is a credit or debit card, as many car rentals do not entertain other modes of payment.

What Vehicle Types Can You Rent?

There is a wide selection of vehicles since the island has coastlines, mountains, hills, sandy beaches, and rocky stretches. Cyprus has become a winter sports destination, so aside from the usual fare of compact passenger cars, sedans, and SUVs, scooters and All-terrain vehicles can now be rented.

The most popular cars to rent are still compacts since they are cheaper and easier to park. For couples and smaller families, it would be better to get a smaller vehicle to get around. You should also consider how much luggage you will be carrying around. The best option is to take day-trips from your hotel or accommodation and travel light. Take note that most cars for hire are in manual transmission, and you have a limited selection for automatic.


The minimum age for renting a car in Cyprus is 21 years old, although some car rental companies would prefer to rent out to 25 year-olds, while they also place the maximum age at 75 years old. There is also a condition that your license must be at least 36 months.

If the driver does not meet the aforementioned conditions, there is a surcharge of approximately 8 Euros, and this is charged as additional insurance per day for those aged 21-24, and 71-75.

Can You Get Your Car Rental at the Airport?

You may arrange to have your rental car right at the airport, whether it’s at Larnaca International Airport or Paphos International Airport. There is usually an extra charge for this, which is approximately 10 Euros.

How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Car in Cyprus?

The price ranges from as low as $6-8 per day for economy cars like the Fiat 500 to $11 for an SUV. This is the minimum, though, and there are charges for any add-ons such as GPS, bike rack, etc. The prices may rise in the peak season due to higher demand. Some tourists claim to have paid as much as 25 Euro in the high season.

Check the fine print on the contract for any additional charges. Many of them will offer third party insurance, and some of them also charge extra if there is someone else who will drive the car aside from the one in the contract. If you are on a tight budget, you need to be mindful of these because they could add on to the rental cost.

Do I Need Insurance for My Rental Car?

Travelers advise that many US or international credit cards already carry insurance for collisions (collision damage waiver). Some rental companies would also have standard third-party liability insurance and collision coverage, and this would eventually add to the cost. The common advice is to just pay for what is required in the contract, as most other insurance offers are not as necessary.

What Are the Fuel Options in Cyprus?

The only fuel options in Cyprus are Diesel and Unleaded. You need to make sure of what your car uses since they are not interchangeable. Also, car rental companies usually require you to return the car with as much fuel as when you took it out. If the car has a full tank when you drive off with it, then it should also have a full tank when you return. There is a surcharge if you fail to comply, usually about $15 or 10 Euros.

There are ample gas stations all around the cities, but make sure to gas up if you will drive up to a hill or mountain. You might get stuck in the boondocks without gas, and LPG is not an option. Most gas stations have service personnel, but there are also self-service stations outside the cities.

The Road Rules in Cyprus

Road in Cyprus

Cyprus has a lot to offer for drivers. It would definitely be an adventure since it has variations of topography and road conditions. The Cypriots are usually not like city drivers, and there would be numerous driver errors to encounter. There is hardly a dull moment, and as you keep your eyes open for beautiful sights, you will also experience the thrill of the Cypriot driving experience.

Can a Foreigner or Tourist Drive in Cyprus?

The legal driving age in Cyprus is 18 years old. For travelers, you will be allowed to drive in Cyprus if you have an EU driving license. These will be honored for 12 months as long as they don’t expire. In Cyprus, driving with a UK license may not be given the same privilege after Brexit. If you do not have an EU driver’s license, your local license can work along with an International Driving Permit (IDP). Authorities will let you drive until the IDP expires, provided that your own domestic driver’s license does not expire first.

Cyprus has agreements with other countries wherein they would honor their driver’s license, but only for six months. Australia, Georgia, New Zealand, the USA, Russia, and Serbia are some of these countries. If you exceed six months, or 12 months for those in the category above, you would need to take a driving test in Cyprus and apply for a driver’s license.

What Are the Drink Driving Laws in Cyprus?

The laws on drunk driving prohibit anyone to drive a car, motorcycle, or even a bicycle if they are under the influence of alcohol. By law, the definition is as follows: breath/alcohol level equals or exceeds 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood (0.5 grams per liter). These are strict standards, but the authorities need to be stricter with the implementation.

For Cypriot driver’s license holders, they will get points deducted in their penalty system, but for foreign driver’s license holders who are not residents of Cyprus, they can be fined on the spot or even imprisoned. Cyprus has recently become stricter with its driving regulations after being known as a free-wheeling island nation that is lenient to tourists’ driving.

What Are the Speed Limits in Cyprus?

In Cyprus, the standard speed limit is 50 km/h in urban areas and 80 km/h outside built-up areas. Speed limit signs are not as frequently posted compared with other countries. They use Kph, and they have a sign indicating the speed limit on a given area. This sign will only be on your side of the road since the “speed zone” starts there. You are expected to follow that speed limit until a new sign indicating a different speed limit signals the start of a different speed zone. This could be found at the next municipal boundary.

In general, the speed limit in Cyprus is lower than that of the UK, so you may find yourself itching on the gas pedal. However, the speed limits, even those on hazards and bends, are mandatory and if you get caught driving in Cyprus faster than the signs dictate, you will get a hefty fine.

What Are the Seatbelt Laws in Cyprus?

In Cyprus, all passengers are required to wear seatbelts, even those in the rear seats. They also approved specific directives for child seats. A child should be seated in a specified child seat, but for vehicles with a maximum of eight seats, they can place the child in any back seat as long as it has a seat belt for children taller than 135 cm.

The exception was made since many large groups are driving in Cyprus as tourists in a van. Cyprus also allows children over 150 cm to sit in the front seat as long they wear a seat belt, as part of the new provisions.

What Are Their Driving Directions?

Cyprus is an island state and does not share a border with any other country by land, except for North Cyprus. You can cross the UN Buffer Zone, also called the “Green Line” from the capital of Nicosia. Even if there is tension between the North and the rest of Cyprus, tourists report that traveling around the area is completely safe. Driving in North Cyprus is on the left side of the road, just like the rest of Cyprus.

What Are the Traffic Road Signs?

Cyprus is a part of the European Union, but they also have their own set of traffic road signs as dictated by the Highway Code. There are four categories of road signs based on their function: warning signs, regulatory signs, informative signs, and prohibitive signs.

Warning signs are made to notify the drivers of changes in the road structure, pedestrian presence, and possible hazards that could lie on the road ahead. This will give you time to anticipate them and take appropriate action.

Warning Signs:

  • Dangerous Bend to the left/right
  • Slippery Road
  • Falling Rocks
  • Double bend\
  • Steep hill ahead (some signs have slope angle in degrees)
  • Road narrows on the left/right/both sides
  • Moving bridge
  • Hump bridge
  • Tunnel ahead

Regulatory signs inform drivers of what actions or directions they can or cannot take on the road they are traversing. Many of these regulations concern tourism activities that can affect traffic like “no entry to vehicles except motorcycles” on the narrow roads and roads near the coastline.

  • To the left
  • To the right
  • School Zone
  • Humped Crossing
  • Humped Pelican Crossing
  • Home Zone Entry (equal priority for all users)
  • End of Home Zone

Informative signs provide information on the road situation on the horizon. It also informs you of where important structures are located, such as hospitals.

  • Dead End Road
  • Highway
  • End of Highway
  • One Way
  • Stop for Public Rural Bus
  • Airport
  • Pedestrian Crossing

Prohibitive Signs instruct drivers on what they can and cannot do on the road, and also what non-motorists (pedestrians, cyclists, and animal-riders) can do on the road/area as well.

  • No Entry
  • Road Closed in both directions
  • No Vehicles aside from two-wheeled vehicles
  • Pedestrian Crossing/No Pedestrians Allowed
  • No entry to Pedal Cycles/Motorcycles/Auto Cycles
  • No Animal-Driven Vehicles
  • Overtaking Prohibition/End of Overtaking Prohibition

Driving in Cyprus: Which Side Of the Road Should You Take?

You need to be aware of who has the right of way in any driving situation, and in Cyprus, traffic is on the left-hand side of the road, as part of their UK influence. It will take some time to get used to, so it is best to drive slowly. After a while, it would seem normal again, and you can put on some speed. Most road signs are in both English and Greek, with Turkish translation in the TRNC.

When you’re approaching a roundabout, you need to be cautious since it is not often regulated by actual road signs. Vehicles that are already inside the roundabout have the right of way, so you need to use your right turn signal when entering a roundabout. Use your left turn signal when you exit the roundabout.

Cyprus allows its citizens to apply for a driving test in Cyprus at 17.5 years old, but they cannot apply for a driver’s license until they are 18 years old. Also, if you have had a license in other countries like the UK and US, they still would not let you drive in Cyprus unless you are 18 years of age.

Is There a Law About Overtaking in Cyprus?

In Cyprus, you can only overtake on the right side, unless the vehicle in front is already signaling his intention to turn right, then there would be ample space on the left to overtake. Be aware, when driving in Cyprus, of which side of the road you should take. If you are on a road with three lanes and the cars on the right side are slower than those on the left lane, then you may overtake on the left lane, but this is always a risk.

You are not allowed to overtake under any circumstances if there is/are:

  • A continuous white line in the middle of the road,
  • A prohibitive traffic sign,
  • A turn with less than 100-meter visibility,
  • A junction within urban areas or communities,
  • An arcade bridge,
  • Pedestrian crossings
  • Ascending points
  • A vehicle approaching from the opposite direction

What Are Other Rules to Remember When Driving in Cyprus?

In Cyprus, you are not allowed to take calls or use your smartphone while driving unless you have a hands-free device. You are also not allowed to eat or drink while driving, and you must turn on your lights from the half-hour before sunset and until the half-hour after sunrise. Also, you can’t use your horn at the hours between 10 pm and 6 am and any time you’re near a hospital.

Cyprus is strict, and they require you to bring two warning triangles when you are driving. These should be standard in your rental car, but you should also ask to make sure before you drive off. Always carry your driving license and a copy of your insurance contract at all times. Police can sometimes stop cars at random to check this, and they know if you are driving a rental car since their license plates are red with black letters.

Driving Etiquette in Cyprus

You might be worried since you are a foreigner driving in Cyprus, but if you familiarize yourself with the driving etiquette, then you can calm down. Just be aware of what you need to do, whom to contact in an emergency, then you can drive in peace. As long as you’re not driving in Cyprus without a license or anything against the law, then you should be fine.

The rules of preparing your vehicle and keeping your cool apply in any country and Cyprus is no different. There are challenges in the changing terrain and Cypriots have gained quite a reputation for their driving, but that will be discussed further on. In the meantime, here are some pointers you need to remember.

What if the Car Breaks Down?

We cannot anticipate a car breaking down even if we have checked everything before we leave. In that event, the first step is to turn on your hazard lights to let other motorists know that your vehicle is unable to run. Since you have the triangle reflectors, set them up so that incoming traffic would know that there is a stalled vehicle.

Turn on all your lights if your car breaks down in an area with low visibility and make sure you stay on the side of the road where you do not obstruct these lights. Call your rental car company since most of them have 24-hour assistance (double-check if they carry this service before you rent). Finally, call on emergency assistance which can be 112 (European emergency number) or 199 which is the emergency number in Cyprus.

What if the Police Stop You?

Local police can have random checks in Cyprus, and they would know that you are driving a rental car. They can check for your driving license, insurance, and even your passport, which is why it is common advice for tourists to always bring their documents, even though Cyprus is not much of a haven for undocumented migrants. If you are driving in Cyprus with a UK license, you may need to have an international driver’s permit because they do not consider the UK as an EU license anymore.

Always stop and cooperate with the officer since they are not always looking for a violation. At times, they would only check if you have the complete safety prerequisites in your car, like the early warning devices and fire extinguishers. Do not attempt to bribe because this can only lead to more costs and maybe even more trouble. If the police officer has questions regarding your rental car, call the car company to assist you with police matters.

What if You Ask for Driving Directions?

English is not an official language of Cyprus, but they do have English translations in their traffic and road signs, even those for establishments. It is likely that people on the road could understand you when you ask for directions. The only caveat is that you may have some difficulty understanding their response when they try to give directions.

The Cypriots are mostly welcoming towards tourists. They understand that tourism plays a big role in their country’s economy, and they also have a hospitable culture. Try to open with a smile and say, Ya su which is “hello” in modern Greek, and more often than not, you will get favorable and helpful responses. A helpful tip for driving in Cyprus is to make sure to brush up on modern Greek (or Turkish) terms regarding directions and distance, so you can understand the locals when they point you to your destination.

What if There Are Checkpoints?

In Cyprus, there are checkpoints established for summer and other holidays like Easter or Christmas. The first thing you need to do is verify if the checkpoint is legal. The people manning the checkpoint should be visible and there should be adequate lighting. They should not be in the middle of the road, but they should also not be in a secluded area. Police or military personnel should be in uniform with identifiable nameplates.

For the most part, they are looking out for roadside safety, but they could also be checking for drunk drivers and other illegal activities. At the checkpoint, address each question directly but politely. This person may have been manning the checkpoint for hours, so they can get irritated if you do not cooperate. When driving in Cyprus as a tourist, you should know your rights and let them know respectfully. Avoid making brisk movements since they might think you are reaching for a concealed weapon.

What if I Get Involved in an Accident?

Unless there is someone in dire need of medical attention, you should not panic even when you get involved in an accident. First thing is to check on the physical and medical safety of everyone involved in the accident. This means you, your passengers, passengers of the other car, or the pedestrians. Once you are all safe and secure, you must call the police. You can call 112 which is directed straight to the police.

One important thing to remember is that you must not move your vehicle in a collision since the police need to see the accident in its actual, unaltered state. This is their basis to determine liability in case of a dispute. If you move your vehicle, you risk being charged with the full liability amount. You should also wait for the insurance representatives or the car rental agents, as they need to chronicle the incident before they allow you to go.

Driving Situations and Conditions

Cyprus has improved as a country to drive on, and this change is evident with the local drivers’ habits. Strict implementation of the rules has led to a significant reduction in minor infractions such as failing to use their turn signal to incidents of driving under the influence, Cypriots are now more mild-mannered, so in general, you can drive peacefully from the coastal streets to the rugged hilly terrain.

How Frequent Are Vehicle Accidents in Cyprus?

In 2019, road fatalities in Cyprus increased by 6.1% increase in road fatalities, which elevated Cyprus to 18th in the EU in road fatalities per one million inhabitants. This record from the 14th Road Safety Performance Index Report published by the European Transport Safety Council is indicative of the current road safety situation in Cyprus.

In contrast, the EU, as a whole, decreased road fatalities by 3% per one million inhabitants. Ranking 18th of 32 countries places them in the middle, but the sad part is that the fatalities are trending upwards, opposite the direction of their neighbors.

There was a decrease in road injuries, though, which means there could be even fewer cases of collisions and accidents. Still, the Cyprus government needs to address the fatalities and they do so with stricter implementations of DUI (driving under influence of drugs or alcohol) and seatbelt implementation. Overall, bad driving habits need to be corrected, and they should address it when applicants are renewing their driving license in Cyprus.

What Are the Common Vehicles Used in Cyprus?

In Cyprus, passenger cars are still the primary mode of transport with compacts and economy cars being the top choice for their fuel economy. There are still SUVs for those who want to drive up the slopes, but for the average Cypriot family, they get by with sedans. Passenger car sales have decreased in the last two years before the pandemic with Toyota being the number one brand.

Commercial car sales have slightly increased, and pricing is a probable factor. Buying a car in Cyprus is even more expensive in the UK, so most Cypriots have shifted to buying vehicles that can produce income.

Are They Using Kph or Mph?

In Cyprus, the car speedometers display both Kph and Mph. Thus, changing your car is not needed when driving in Cyprus. The country has adopted the metric system with the rest of the world, and note that it appears much higher than Mph. You don’t need to panic when the speedometer reaches 80, since that is still within the maximum speed limit.

What Are the Roads Like in Cyprus?

The public transport situation in Cyprus does not cater to all areas at all times, so renting a car and driving is actually a necessity. There are well-maintained roads so driving in Cyprus does not need rugged sports utility vehicles unless you plan on going uphill. There are clear and wide roads that connect the villages of the main towns of Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca, Ayia Napa, and Paphos.

There are minor roads that stretch through the forest, but they are also in good condition, even if they are not paved. Some mountain roads may not be passable in the winter, but the Cyprus Police are usually on top of that, and they post announcements promptly on Facebook and Twitter. If you plan to ski on the Troodos Mountains, make sure to check first on the Cyprus Ski Federation website, so you can be sure that your mountain trip is not wasted.

Are the Cypriots Safe Drivers?

There has been a lot of comments going around claiming that drivers in Cyprus have a bad reputation. However, actual travel bloggers have debunked this claim. They note that the Cypriot drivers were not as unruly or irresponsible as drivers in their previous destinations (Lebanon, in this case). There are always bad, inconsiderate drivers, but as a whole, they do not see the Cypriots standing out collectively based on their experience.

Bloggers note that strict imposition of the speed limit and anti-drunk driving rules have contributed to the discipline of the Cypriots and also foreigners. Many visitors see the island as a getaway place--which it is. However, driving is always a responsibility, and you have to commit to your safety and those of everyone around you. Cypriots have already embraced this concept, and so should the tourists.

Is It Safe to Drive at Night?

The lively and vibrant nightlife of Cyprus, specifically in Ayia Napa which is one of the most famous party places in the world, has made driving in Cyprus at night safe. Road signs and streets are well lit unless you veer away from the main roads and the towns, and you drive along the hills and forests--which is not advisable for the nighttime.

Things To Do in Cyprus

Staying in Cyprus can be a real option, but what is the process to get a working visa? Before you can even try to work as a driver, you would need to get a Cyprus driver’s license. The island getaway could use your driving skills, not to mention your instincts as a world traveler.

Many foreigners have fallen in love with the “Jewel of the Mediterranean.” As a summer destination with sunshine all-year-round, it’s a better and possibly healthier place if you have been living in the cold. First up, you need a driving test in Cyprus.

What Are the Requirements for a Cyprus Driver’s License?

The initial requirements before they let you take a driving test in Cyprus are your documents. Since you are already driving in Cyprus, whether it’s with a UK license or an International Driver’s Permit, then you have most of the documents. Then, you have to enroll in a driving school in Cyprus.

A filled-out TOM 7 application form is the first basic requirement. This form is in Greek, but there are English translations downloadable online. The photograph will be taken at the District Offices of Transport, but if you have two recent photographs, with height at 45 mm and width at 35 mm, you can submit it as long as the quality is as good as a passport photo.

You need to submit your Alien Registration or Residence Permit along with copies, and also proof that you have been living in Cyprus for six months. This can be a utility bill or a lease contract. If you do not have those, you need to consult with the District Offices of the Department of Transport. The cost of a Cyprus license is pierced at 40 Euro, but if you are 65 or above but still below the maximum driving age limit in Cyprus, the fee is waived.

Is My License Also Valid in North Cyprus?

In their efforts for reunification, there is already an initiated movement for the EU to recognize North Cyprus and also to integrate EU laws in North Cyprus. Even before that, North Cyprus already recognizes driver’s licenses from Cyprus, but there could be slight differences in the driving rules in Cyprus.

Can I Apply as a Tour Guide in Cyprus?

Cyprus is strict with their tour guides, and they usually require one to be a citizen of an EU state to be a tour guide. They are also required to speak Greek and one other European language (English can be considered). The main requirement is a knowledge of Cyprus geography and history, specifically the events that relate to the country’s top tourist destinations.

The Top Road Destinations in Cyprus

One way to navigate through Cyprus is to establish a home base and drive from that base on day trips. That way, you don’t have to bring too much and rent a huge car for driving in Cyprus. You can drive around the perimeter of Cyprus in just a day, but then, you won’t be able to savor much of your stay.

Aside from driving on the left-hand side of the road, you don’t really need to enroll in a driving school in Cyprus if you’ve been driving in the States. That being said, you can start with a destination that’s an hour’s drive from Paphos International Airport.

Baths of Aphrodite

This is a good starting point with many restaurants serving breakfast in the backdrop of a place plucked from the pages of classical literature. The Baths of Aphrodite is where the goddess found her Adonis, and the place lives up to the legend.

There are a shallow natural pool and a fig tree that has gained fame, but there is also the Aphrodite Trail. Climb up to see the most scenic points on the island--where the Greek goddess used to ascend after her bath.

Avakas Gorge

Avakas Gorge

The Avakas Gorge offers spectacular undisturbed natural landscapes. Step out of the car after 50 minutes of driving in Cyprus. It will be a picturesque and memorable hiking trip with the highlight being the 100-foot gorge. Stand in awe of limerick rock with the chiseled remains of a river full of life that once flowed through the area.

Driving Directions:

From the Baths of Aphrodite, take this route to Avakas Gorge.

  1. Continue to Akamantos Avenue.
  2. Continue to PĂ©geia.
  3. Continue on VIA Påfou-Akåma Drive to Pros Farångi Ávaka.

Omodos Village Houses

Omodos Village Houses

In Omodos, you will see a charming traditional village in the hills which also houses the best vineyards in Cyprus. These villages have preserved the age-old traditional winemaking that has gained a reputation for Cyprus. Dine-in and savor a variety of local wines, like Xynisteri, Mavro, and the Zivania spirit, a famous Cypriot brandy.

The ambiance is a perfect place to relax, take a stroll and gaze at the houses of red roofs and white stone bricks which are traditional in Omodo, to show a stark contrast to the green backdrop of the vines. They also have cobbled laneways for a visually pleasing, refreshing afternoon. There are hotels in Omodos, so you can settle there and head for Limassol city proper on the next day. You should know what are the drink-driving laws in Cyprus from this guide already.

Driving Directions:

After two hikes, it may be time to relax a bit and visit the dreamy village of Omodos.

  1. Take White River Avenue to AgĂ­ou GeorgĂ­ou or George St./E701.
  2. Continue on E701 to Omodos.
  3. Drive to your destination.



Limassol is a coastal city, so there is already the allure of the sand and beach. However, there are some sites worth visiting like the Municipal Market in Saripolou Square. For a gastronomic festival, visit Ta Piatakia, which is translated as “small plates.” This does not mean small servings but a nod to the mezze food culture where you have small servings of different types of food. They have numerous beaches, and there you can find the Sculpture Park and Kolossi Castle.

Driving Directions:

From Omodos, which is already a part of Limassol, you can take this route to get into the heart of the city.

  1. Get on the ramp in SkarĂ­nou.
  2. Drive to your destination in Yukarı Lefkara.



Highlights of a Nicosia trip should include the Cyprus Museum, Selimiye Mosque, the Old Town, and Mesaoria Region. Castles like Buffavento and St. Hilarion will give you a medieval flavor that will make you feel like you were transported about to a storybook world. Nicosia stretches to the Northern coast of Kyrenia. Kyrenia is a sparkling seaside hub, from which you can see a Byzantine-era castle, which also houses the Shipwreck Museum.

Driving Directions:

From Limassol, proceed to the capital of Nicosia. One of the driving license requirements in Cyprus is to have an idea of the capital city.

  1. Get on Limassol Avenue in Strovolos.
  2. Continue on Limassol Avenue. Take Archiepiscopus Michail Ave./Archiepiscopus Michail III, Salamis and Archiepiscopus Michail III to Zappeiou in LefkoƟa.


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