Compare travel insurance for your holiday to Cyprus
A trip to Cyprus is a treat for the senses.
Swimming up to Aphrodite’s Rock, stepping through the doorway of the Tomb of the Kings, and wandering around the archaeological park in Kato Paphos, you could be mistaken for thinking you’ve stepped back in time.
Before you get your comfy sandals ready and think about all the delicious food you’ll be able to tuck into, have a quick read-up on everything you need to know before you go.
From travel insurance to local customs, our handy guide has it all.
If you’re lucky enough to be among the one million British folks heading to Cyprus this year, travel insurance should definitely be on your list of things to organise.
Although it’s not a legal requirement, it’s best to be covered in case you injure yourself abroad, or your flight gets cancelled.
Travel insurance can cover you financially for lots of potential circumstances.
A good travel insurance policy should always cover you for illness and injury while abroad, including expenses for treatment and getting you home if you need to cut your holiday short.
You’ll also typically find cover for things like:
Unless you seek out a specialist provider, it’s likely your travel insurance won’t cover pre-existing medical conditions or treatments that you’re travelling abroad to have.
If you’re pregnant, you might not be covered for childbirth while you’re away.
Standard travel insurance also won’t usually cover:
If you’re travelling while pregnant, or likely to take part in sports while you’re away, it’s worth seeking out a specialist policy, or chatting to your provider about adding extra cover.
With a free General Health Insurance Card (GHIC) or European Health Insurance card (EHIC), you’ll be able to access the same emergency medical care that Cypriot nationals receive. This means that you’ll still need to pay for treatment but at a reduced rate.
However, neither cards are accepted in Northern Cyprus, so it’s worth checking out what the situation is where you’re staying.
It’s well worth getting travel insurance alongside your EHIC or GHIC card (especially in Northern Cyprus) as they won’t provide cover for returning you home in an emergency, private healthcare, or for non-urgent treatment.
Before you travel to Cyprus, it’s important to be aware of Cypriot laws, culture, and language.
Here are a few things you’ll need to know before you go:
As an island, Cyprus is divided between Greece in the south, and Turkey in the north. If you arrive in the north into the self-declared ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ and cross the border into the south, the government of the Republic of Cyprus will class your entry to the island as illegal.
They may fine you for crossing into the south or deny you entry.
While the Republic of Cyprus is part of the European Union, Britain does not recognise the Turkish Republic in the north. This is important to bear in mind because it can make communications between authorities difficult if you get into trouble while you’re holidaying in the north.
Whenever you’re abroad, it’s important to have your wits about you, so you don’t fall victim to pickpocketing or drink spiking.
Keep an eye on your belongings and your drinks at all times, and stay with people you know.
Remember that your travel insurance might not cover you for any injuries you incur while you’re intoxicated.
It’s not essential to learn the language to travel to Cyprus, but a few key words can help you to interact with locals, order food in restaurants, and use public transport.
Although there aren’t any strict rules on clothing in Cyprus, there are exceptions when you’re visiting religious sites.
You’ll need to cover your shoulders and bare legs as a sign of respect. Some places will have a basket of shawls at the entrance that you can use to wrap around your shoulders if you need it.
It’s worth checking the weather before you pack too, to make sure you’re taking the right wardrobe with you.
Driving is on the left side of the road, and you’ll need a UK sticker to drive your car there.
Be sure to check over any vehicles you hire before you take them out, as you could be fined for any damage when you return it.
You can drive using your UK driving licence, but bear in mind that any insurance you’ve bought in the south probably won’t be valid in the north, but you may be able to purchase car insurance at a checkpoint along the border. Also, it’s worth noting that some hire car companies will request that you don’t take the car over the border.
If you’re planning a longer trip, bear in mind that you won’t be able to stay longer than 90 days in a 180-day period without a visa.
The Republic of Cyprus includes any time spent in the north towards your 90-day limit.
Although homosexuality has been decriminalised across the whole of Cyprus, unfortunately, it’s still not widely accepted in the north. Read the government’s travel advice before you go, so you’re aware of the general attitudes of the place you’re visiting.
While Covid-19 is still around, there are some extra precautions you’ll need to take when travelling to Cyprus.
No, and you won’t need to take a Covid-19 test either. Restrictions were lifted in early 2022.
No, the rules are the same for everyone, whether you’re vaccinated or not.
Not if you’re visiting for a short time, but if you’re planning on staying longer than 90 days within a 180-day period, you’ll need to get a visa. This applies whether you’re travelling for work, as a tourist, or you’re visiting friends and family.
Cyprus has a high standard of healthcare, but it is not free.
Their national health service is called the General Healthcare System (GHS). It’s paid for by the state and Cypriot residents through something called co-payments.
If you’re travelling to Cyprus for medical care, keep in mind that standard travel insurance is unlikely to cover you.
Generally claims that arise as a result of a terrorist attack aren’t covered. If you’re concerned about a lack of cover on a standard policy, it might be worth taking out a specialist one or you may be able to add it on to a policy.
You’ll need to check your car insurance documents to see whether you’re covered to drive abroad in your own vehicle.
If you’re hiring a car while you’re there, the rental company will usually provide a basic level of insurance as part of the deal. This may not provide the cover you need though so always check.