Living in North Cyprus

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Climate

Climate

The climate of the island is of an extreme hot dry summers and relatively cold winters. Most of the rainfall is concentrated between December and January. Spring and autumn are short, typified by changeable weather. From mid-May to mid-September the sun shines on a daily average of around 11 hours. Temperatures can reach 40º C. The skies are cloudless with a low humidity.

Travel

Travel

Either fly direct to South Cyprus and then cross over to North Cyprus, or fly to North Cyprus via Turkey.There are 2 airports in South which is Larnaca & Paphos and 1 in the Northern part of the island which is Ercan airport. You can hire a car or get a taxi across to the North.

Passport and Visas

Passport and Visas

No visa is required for British or EU (European Union) citizens wishing to visit North Cyprus. The only requirement is a valid passport at the time of travel to North Cyprus. If you prefer not to have your passport stamped on arrival, you can ask at passport control for a separate piece of paper, which will be stamped instead. The only nationalities which currently require visas for North Cyprus are Armenians and Nigerians.

Border Crossing

Border Crossing

EU citizens are free to cross and spend as much time as they wish on either side of the border by producing their ID cards or passports at crossing points any time of the day. At present, there are six crossing points which are, Ledra Palace, Lokmacı, Metehan (Kermia), Beyarmudu (Pile), Akyar (Dekelia) and Bostancı.

Car Hire

Car Hire

Visitors to North Cyprus can drive using a valid international driving license or a valid British driving license for an initial 12 month period. Car rental is relatively inexpensive and is widely available through tour operators, hotels or car hire companies across North Cyprus. Please note driving is on the left and all North Cyprus rental cars carry a distinctive red licence plate. Driving is on the left and traffic and road signs are international. Maximum speed is 100 km/hr.

Public Transport

Public Transport

An inexpensive network of buses and minibuses operates between all the main towns. There are no formal timetables in operation, but the services are frequent. In addition, there is a dolmuş service (Shared taxis) operating on the same routes.

Language

Language

The official language is Turkish, but English is also widely spoken as a second language.

Cost of Living

Cost of Living

For a standard family (four persons) the monthly utility bills (electricity, water, telephone, municipal) would be approximately £150 - £200. (Figures will vary depending on the property size and standard of living that the family has acquired.) Yearly property tax is around £80.

Importing your car

Importing your car

Legally, you are permitted to import any right-hand drive car provided it is less than 5 years old with current road fund licence and valid MOT certificate. A car cannot be sold for 2 years following importation. The import duty is charged according to engine size and age and this can be quite expensive. It is advised to obtain a price for import duty in advance so that you are aware of the costs involved.

Driving Licences

Driving Licences

You can use your European driving license during your 90 days visa entry, but after this you have to apply for an TRNC license which requires you to have taken residency in North Cyprus.

Currency and Banking

Currency and Banking

Banks are open from Monday to Friday, except public holidays, between 08.00-12.00 and 14.00-16.00. If you are visiting North Cyprus you can change your pounds to Turkish Lira before you go, or whilst you are there. The exchange rate is favourable so you will find that eating out; sightseeing and shopping all represent excellent value for money. If you want to withdraw money there are plenty of cash-point machines, and Credit cards are widely accepted throughout North Cyprus in hotels, shops and restaurants.

Telephone

Telephone

Mobile phone costs are reasonable. There are two main mobile suppliers Turkcell and Telsim. The international dialling code 00 90 392 should precede the seven digit local telephone numbers when calling landlines from abroad. Mobile numbers are simply preceded by 00 90 and then the mobile number with the code, taking off the first zero. Public telephone booths are available and telephone cards can be purchased from the Telecommunications Office.

Electricity

Electricity

Supply and sockets are 3 pin European style (220/240v). Electricity is supplied by Kibtek, a nationalised company. Bills can be paid at the electricity office or by direct debit. Power cuts are not uncommon and many choose to have a back-up generator. It is advisable to use power surge protectors for your sensitive electrical goods like computers and TVs. New style electric meters have been introduced this year (2015). Connection and fees are arranged with Kibtek, you should consult the electricity board for connection charges and meter installation.

Water

Water

Houses outside of the main cities have water delivery by tanker. Prices vary according to quantity. Swimming pools can only be filled with tanker water. Caution is generally advised when drinking mains water, with bottled water recommended. Bills are paid at the local water offices or by direct debit. You will receive a monthly bill which will include water, sewage, refuse and lighting. An underwater pipline is under construction that will bring water from Turkey. The local council will also send you a annual council tax bill which is dependant on your property size but approximately £80 a year.

Gas

Gas

There is no piped gas in the TRNC, gas bottles are used for cooking. For central heating purposes gas will be delivered to a tank outside. Typically you will pay 100 to 200 sterling a month.

Refuse

Refuse

Refuse collection is cheap with twice-weekly collections. Recycling has yet to reach North Cyprus.

Medical and Health Services

Medical and Health Services

Useful contact numbers are: Ambulance - 112 Fire - 199 Police - 155 Kyrenia Hospital - +90 392 815 2266 Nicosia Hospital - +90 392 228 5441 Famagusta Hospital - +90 392 366 2876 Güzelyurt Hospital - +90 392 714 2125

Pets

Pets

You can bring your pets into the country from Europe with little hassle. It is advisable to contact the veterinary office as soon as you decide to bring your pet to North Cyprus. For more information about pets in North Cyprus contact the Kyrenia Animal Rescue Society (KARS) - KARS Helpline/Fax: (0) 392 815 3390, Website: http://www.kartrnc.org. Email: kar@kyreniaanimalrescue.org

Education

Education

If you are thinking of living in North Cyprus and have children, there are a number of options for schools here. EMU (Eastern Mediterranean University) located in Famagusta (email: info@emu.edu.tr, tel: 0090392 365 4444) NEU (Near East University) located in Nicosia (email: info@neu.edu.tr, tel: 0090 392 223 6464) CIU (Cyprus International University) located in Nicosia (email: info@ciu.edu.tr, tel: 0090392 671 1111) GAU (Girne American University) located in Kyrenia (email: info@gau.edu.tr, tel: 0090392 650 2000) LEU (Lefke European University) located in Lefke (email: webmaster@lefke.edu.tr, tel: 0090392 660 2000)

Jeep Safari

Jeep Safari

No promise of lions or tigers but you can have a fantastic family day out on a off road adventure exploring the scenic Kyrenia mountain range enjoying the informative, friendly and cultural experience.

Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking

A perfect country to explore on 2 wheels, so many places to enjoy from quiet roads to small mountain tracks. Cycle clubs have now set up in Kyrenia and Nicosia for locals however if you just wish to try for the day the bikes are available to hire and self guided tours available around the reservoir near Karsiyaka. An area of outstanding natural beauty and popular with for migratory birds, more than 110 species have been spotted here alone.

Horse Riding

Horse Riding

With a couple of horse riding schools on the island you can enjoy a scenic forests ride with a qualified instructor. Tours to mountains, historical sights and local villages can be arranged.

Paragliding

Paragliding

If you are looking for something with a little more adrenalin then why not jump from the mountain and fly down to the sea. This dare-devil sport is a fantastic way to see the Island from the air and take in the magnificent North Cyprus scenery. The experience is unforgettable and one you may wish to repeat again and again.

Scuba-Diving and snorkelling

Scuba-Diving and snorkelling

North Cyprus is the perfect place to swim. The waters are clean, safe and warm so whether you like to snorkel, dive or just relax in the sea all along the coast line you can find places to dip your feet. With a number of professional dive schools the island is a perfect place to learn to dive and even take your qualifications. If you are an experienced diver you will enjoy the marine life and interesting topography and trips can be arranged to dive The Zenobia a famous wreck dive.

Boat Trips

Boat Trips

When you walk around the old harbour in Kyrenia you will see the traditional wooden boats known locally as Gulets. You can arrange a fun day out on these boats where you will be taken along the coast and can enjoy swimming from the boat in safe bays and a fantastic lunch on board. For special occasions you can hire a boat for the day and invite all your friends along a great way to spend a summer birthday.

Fishing Trip

Fishing Trip

Fishing trips can be arranged for small groups up to 8 people with a chance to catch Albacore Tuna, Bluefin Tuna, Skipjack Tuna, Bonito and Mediterranean Spearfish. All fishing tackle, safety equipment and refreshments are provided.

Orchid walks

Orchid walks

If you are in Cyprus in spring time you don’t have to walk far in the mountains to spot some of the islands special orchids. With more than 30 different species of Cypriot orchids, you may wish to take a guided day tour or join one of the walking groups who meet weekly to enjoy and discover the beautiful scenery and flora and fauna the island has to offer

Go-Karting

Go-Karting

If you are looking for thrill seeking sports you may wish to visit ZET International Karting Circuit in North Cyprus. The circuit is 1200 metres long and 7 metres wide with 5 different racing distances. Similarly in the Famagusta area, you can visit the Maxmile Power track in Tuzla off the Salamis Road.

Bowling

Bowling

There are a number of bowling alleys in North Cyprus. A new leisure centre opened in Kyrenia with modern facilities, cafes, restaurants, electronic games room and ten pin bowling alley. In Famagusta the new City Mall will offer similar facilities. The bowling facilities are very modern and offer great entertainment at very reasonable prices.

Golf

Golf

Korenium Golf and country club is located along the North coast road just 15 minutes East of Kyrenia and offers an International 18 hole golf course. With stunning scenery the greens are scattered with carob and olive trees and the sea can be seen from all points of the course. An academy and putting green is available and you can be a member or at time of writing can pay and play. The country club is a place to visit even if you are not playing golf with its top class restaurant and spa centre.

Sports

Sports

If you want to play football, tennis or shoot some basketball hoops then you can a variety of sports facilities and clubs available on the island. The local council has ball courts and football stadiums where you are welcome to join and you will find many facilities in the hotels and university campus where you often don’t even have to book you can just turn up. All ages are accommodated for and you will find children’s football clubs, toddlers gym and tennis classes.