Cyprus is a divided country: It has a North and a South part, where Turkish Cypriots live in the North, and Greek Cypriots live in the South. There is an actual border (since 1974), which can be crossed by civilians at designated gates in various cities (since 2004). At these gates, you are stopped to show your passport at both sides of the border.
After the British pulled back out of their colony, a lot happened including a long war. The political challenges in the island is a regular dinner table conversation in many houses in Cyprus. Depending on where you look for information about Cyprus, you will find many biased, even hateful, descriptions. We recommend taking information in with a hint of doubt. The following documentary seems to be the only ‘unbiased’ account of what happened.
If you enjoy political reading, the following book is also very informative: David Hannay: Cyprus: The Search for a Solution.
In short, what this means practically is that you should consider the North and the South of Cyprus as separate countries with separate rules.
The wedding is on the North side of the island, in the city of Kyrenia. This means that if you are flying to the South side (to Larnaca International Airport or to smaller Paphos Airport), you will need to cross the border to go to the wedding location.
Not if you are an EU national. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on both sides, EU nationals do not need a visa to travel to the North or to the South of the island. Please check for yourself at:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the North:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the South:
ps: When checking websites for the north (Turkish) and the south (Greek) side of Cyprus, double check which side of the island that the website refers to. The logos of governmental institutions from either side look deceivingly similar (perhaps the result of a long-time rivalry between the two communities).
Yes, many tourists do that. In Particular, walking-crossing in old Nicosia is very popular.
Yes, many tourists do that. However, tourist information sources will discourage you to not to cross to the North as the North of the island is not considered a legitimate country. See: https://mfa.gov.cy/important-information-concerning-travel-to-occupied-area.html
People often speak basic English, but even if you come across someone who doesn’t, they will still try to help you as much as they can (often by speaking very loudly in Turkish / Greek in the hope that you understand them).
You can fly to the North side through Ercan Airport, which is a 30-40 min taxi ride to Acapulco Resort Hotel (where the wedding is). Note that there are no direct flights to Ercan Airport from Europe (or any other country since it is not a recognized republic). You would need to stop and transfer in Turkey. To fly to Ercan Airport, you can check flight tickets through Turkish Airlines or other Turkey-based airline companies.
You can fly to the South side through Larnaca International Airport, which is a 60-90 min taxi ride to Acapulco Resort Hotel (where the wedding is). The taxi from the south will take you to the border, and after crossing the border check, you would need to get a different taxi to the hotel. This is because taxis from the South do not cross to the North (and vice versa). There are taxi stops at both sides of the border crossing - which is called Metehan Border Gate.
There is a smaller airport in the South in the city of Paphos, which is further away from the border, but it is also a possibility.
People still do wear a face-mask in closed public spaces on both sides of the island. For the latest updates, you can get in touch with us and we will help you find out what the regulations are.
At the seaside resort hotel Acapulco in the city of Kyrenia in North Cyprus:
Address: Çatalköy Kyrenia Mersin 10 - Turkey
Tel: +90 392 650 45 00
For making a reservation at the Acapulco Resort Hotel, you can contact the following number on Whatsapp: 0090 533 850 4500 (only via text messages) Also see the website of the hotel: https://www.acapulco.com.tr/en/offline-reservation. If you experience any problems, please let us know.
If you mention that you are staying there for a wedding on 30 July, they will give you a discount for the day of the wedding (1200TL discounted rate). If you are staying longer, you will receive the regular rate for the other days. If you want a specific room (e.g. with a sea view…etc), you can mention it and they will note it down. There may be a price difference - they said.
Here is the instagram account of the wedding organization company, which can give you a feel of what a wedding in the location that we chose looks like: https://instagram.com/3organization?utm_medium=copy_link
Summer is a busy wedding season in Cyprus and Cypriots enjoy weddings - especially if it’s of a close relative. Most take it as an opportunity to dress up and wear make-up. You can usually tell the closest family members of the couple by what they are wearing: The more sophisticated one looks, the closer they are to the couple (e.g. parents). Değer’s mother will likely wear something shiny 🙂 In short, dressing up is not mandatory, but if you miss prettying up (since there aren’t so many occasions to do this in NL), this is your chance!
Unfortunately, public transportation is not very common or reliable in Cyprus. You can rent a car. This can be arranged online, at the airport, or through the hotel. But remember: Cyprus was a British colony and people drive on the left side of the road :O
Yes. But you cannot wave them down like you would in big cities, such as in London or New York. In Kyrenia and Nicosia, there are taxi stops in the city center. Everywhere else, you will need to call a taxi company and wait for the taxi to arrive. The hotel also offers transportation services (including airport transfers). On the positive side, taxis are (black) mercedes’ and they are very comfortable.
If you are a city person, Kyrenia is hip and happening. It has the best shopping and best food (but it is also very crowded and touristy). If you are a nature person, we recommend the peninsula (Dip Karpaz) - you will see the best beaches and wild donkeys there. At the very tip of the peninsula, you will find the famous Apostolos Andreas Monastery. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostolos_Andreas_Monastery
However, be warned: The roads to the monastery are very very rough, which requires you to drive at max 20-30 km/hr. Due to a conflict between the north and the south, they have been fighting over who should pay for the repair-work of the monastery and the roads leading there.
Değer’s family lives in Nicosia, which is the capital city on both sides of the island, and the only divided capital in the world. The old town of Nicosia is amazing and, thanks to EU funding, many historical attractions are being renovated: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicosia
If you are into castles, there are plenty to see hidden among the mountains. We have recently been to Saint Hilarion Castle. Don’t expect too much since the government does not have the money to restore these attractions. We found it still amazing, but definitely do not bring your kids as many parts seemed very unsafe for children to walk through.
Değer does not have many experiences in the south side of Cyprus since the border re-opened in 2004, when she was already abroad. However, the birth-town of her father - Paphos - is very beautiful. Limassol is a large, hip and happening city. If you are into partying hard, Agia Napa is the place where young tourists (mostly the British) get drunk. The Troodos mountains in the south are taller and slightly more exciting than Besparmak Mountains in the north, so a drive through the Troodos will probably be exhilarating for the Dutch flat-landers.
Yes, if you go out between 11:00 and 15:00 in summer, you will melt. It is seriously dangerous to be in the sun during those hours. Enjoy an air-conditioned room in the hotel or take a nap (that’s what we'd do).
Değer (g with a breve) is pronounced as if there is no g - De’er. It means ‘value’ in Turkish.