Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily and Sardinia. It is divided into a Turkish and a Greek side. The Turkish side is called the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Lefkoşa (Nicosia) is the capital of both sides.
Located at the heart of the island, Nicosia is the most populous city and the capital of culture, arts and industry in Cyprus. The city, like the island, is divided into a Turkish and Greek side. It is the only capital city in the world that is divided into two. It is now possible for citizens of Cyprus to travel easily from one side to the other crossing the United Nations-controlled Green Line.
Conquered in 1571 by the Ottomans, Cyprus was leased for 92,000 gold coins by Britain in 1878, who promised to help against the Russians, and then annexed the island. Two separate states now reside on the island, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the Republic of Cyprus, since the military conflict on the island in 1974.
The climate in Cyprus, and its capital Lefkoşa is temperate. You can go to Magosa (Famagusta) or Girne (Kyrenia), both nearby, for a swim. With its port, restaurants, hotels and shopping centers, Girne is a major touristic attraction.
There are flights from Istanbul and other European and Middle Eastern cities to Lefkoşa. The island is home to the Near East University, University of Mediterranean Karpasia, University of Nicosia, and European University of Cyprus. Traffic on the island flows from the right as it stayed under British rule for some time. Ercan Airport, 23 km to Lefkoşa, serves the territory. There are shuttles between the airport and the city.
Ercan Airport is 23 kilometers from the capital Lefkoşa (Nicosia), 44 km from Girne, 50 km from Magosa and 62 km from Güzelyurt. You can benefit from KIBHAS airport shuttle service, which has been serving for 6 years, to reach the city center from the airport because there is not a developed transportation system in the island. You can also choose from taxi, airport transfer companies and car rental option.
If you have booked your accommodation in advance, it would be useful to ask if your hotel can arrange airport transfer or not. There are some hotels that provide free airport transfer according to the number of passengers.
These shuttle buses, which have been serving since February 2009, take the airport passengers to the bus stations in Nicosia, Girne, Magosa, Güzelyurt and Lefke from morning till midnight. Once you arrive at the bus station, you can go wherever you will be staying by taxi or minibus departing from there. This shuttle service is the cheapest way to get to the city center or wherever you want from the airport.
KIBHAS shuttle services officially serve only between the airport and bus terminals, but they can also drop you off at a point on the route on your request. Before getting on the shuttle, you can ask the shuttle driver about this detail or you can find out about it during your reservation. You can book by phone before you arrive at the airport.
KIBHAS suttles departing from Ercan Airport to Girne and Nicosia run for 12 times from 08.10 till 00.30. The number of the shuttles to other destinations is less frequent. KIPHAS shuttles to Güzelyurt and Lefke serve 7 times a day between 09.30 and 00.30 and the shuttles to Magosa serve 9 times a day from 08:10 to 00:30. Departure times may vary and the waiting times between the shuttle services are different for each service. You can easily see the KIPHAS building when you go out the incoming passenger terminal.
Taxi fares at Ercan Airport might be a bit more expensive compared to the fares in Turkey. However, if you want to take a taxi, do not forget to bargain with the driver and make a comparison. With KIBHAS shuttles coming into service, demand for taxi has decreased and so, taxi drivers may reduce taxi fares considerably. You can be prepared by online searching for the offers of the companies for taxi fares to reach your destination. Also, if you are traveling with a few people and when you compare the per passenger shuttle charges, taking a taxi may be a more practical and convenient option, though the same advantage does not apply to taxi fare. Please note that the TRNC taxis can take up to 3 passengers as required by law.
You can also benefit from the vehicles of the companies that provide airport transfer service to reach the city center or the hotels from the airport by making a reservation in advance. Especially if you are traveling in groups, the transportation service provided by these may also be more suitable for you in terms of price. These vehicles meet you at the airport upon your arrival and ensure you to reach your destination without waiting. Before boarding the plane, you can make a quick online search and make a reservation in advance or you can ask your hotel to arrange such a service.
Car rental prices in Cyprus are particularly convenient if you are going to rent a car for 3 or more days compared to Turkey. So are the fuel prices! Moreover, you can find many parking places which you don’t have to pay for. For this reason, renting a car is one of the preferred options for sightseeing in Cyprus. By renting a car, you can be more flexible during your trip and you can travel all over the island, which is not already very big. However, the traffic flows in the reverse direction (left) compared to Turkey and there are the right hand drive cars. For some people, this requires an adaptation process, especially at first. It would be useful to rent a car keeping this in mind. It is also important to remember that the automatic cars make it easier to get used to this adaptation process.
If you plan to travel from the airport by renting a car, we advise you to book in advance. As it is a common and preferred method in the island, you may have difficulty in finding a convenient car at the airport. To rent a car, you must be over 25 years old and have a Turkish Republic driving license. Ercan Airport has a car park reserved for rental cars. Many car rental companies use this car park. You can pick up and deliver your car at the same parking area. The car rental companies in Cyprus are usually local enterprises.Last Updated: February 09, 2017