From Northern to Southern Cyprus: rules, peculiarities, secrets

How to get from Southern Cyprus to Northern Cyprus and vice versa? Does one need a visa for this? What are the rules for visiting each territory? Will they punish for illegally crossing the border and where are the best conditions for recreation? We answer these and other popular questions from travelers in the article.


Disputed territories often interest tourists but raise numerous questions as none wants to get into an unpleasant situation for unknowing local laws and peculiar aspects. Cyprus is a tidbit for tourists - famous for its beautiful nature, good service, and hotels - a great place to relax.


However, many people are afraid to travel around Cyprusbecause of misunderstanding the rules of entry, staying and crossing the border, the absence of a Russian embassy or consulate in the northern part of the island, and other similar horror stories. The main misunderstanding is caused, first of all, by the situation in Northern Cyprus. One can find lots of information on the official website of Northern Cyprus, though it does not depict all the aspects enough. Also, the individual reports on visiting the unrecognized republic are ambiguous, and one should not believe them: the information may be outdated, or it may be just fantasies of people, never been on the island and know nothing about what they write.


Therefore, we have put together the most popular questions that Russians ask about the entry and stay conditions on the island for tourists and are ready to provide our readers with comprehensive information assistance. To find out the maximum of information, read the article to the end, and if you still have questions, ask them through the contacts section on our website.


Can I enter Cyprus through Northern Cyprus?


In Northern Cyprus, there is only one airport, Ercan, where you can fly only from the territory of Turkey. Only Turkish companies provide the flights there, so, one may say, the air travel market to Northern Cyprus does not exist.


Such a monopoly situation could cause a significant increase in ticket prices but did not because tourism is one of the sources of income for the unrecognized state, and the local standard of living depends on the number of tourists on the island. Therefore, Turkish airlines try to keep acceptable prices for tickets here.

How to get to Northern Cyprus now?


Through Turkey. Direct tickets to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus are available only at the Turkish airports of Izmir and Alanya. There is also a ferry from Alanya to Kyrenia (the second name of the city is Girne). Besides, yachtsmen can get into the country but should clarify under which flag they can call at the ports of the northern part of the island and under which not.


One can, of course, try to swim, but this is hardly a goodstrategy and is risky - after all, the island is located quite far from the mainland.


Can one enter Cyprus without a visa?


Yes, one can. Russians do not have to apply for a touristvisa for a holiday in Northern Cyprus, but, in this case, only the northern part of the island will be available to them. To visit the Republic of Cyprus, you must go to a third country and return to the island from it, having received the necessary papers.


Can one get a visa to Cyprus Now?


Until February, the Republic of Cyprus issued so-called pro-visas to Russians. It was possible to apply for it at the online visa center, and the list of required documents was small. In the case of a positive response, they sent the visa by e-mail.


Because of the cancellation of direct connection, Russians can no more obtain a pro-visa but can still apply for a national one, which they also issue with no trouble: one needs a foreign passport, an income statement, and a hotel reservation, also they may ask for a printout of the air tickets. A national visa of Cyprus for citizens of Russia is still free.


With a simplified visa, one had a right to enter Cyprus only once and stay in the country. If one needed to cross the border many times, one had to apply for a national visa, which they paste into the passport, like a Schengen one. Some categories of citizens in Cyprus need a transit visa, but our fellow citizens are not on this list.


Who does not need a visa to Cyprus?


In 2022, Ukrainian citizens may enter the territory of The Republic of Cyprus without a visa – but with a biometric passport. One also does not need it when having a multiple-entry Schengen one. Citizens of many other countries, for example, the entire Schengen area, also need no visa.


Why is Cyprus divided into two parts?


As a result of the ethnic conflict between Greek Cypriotsand Turkish Cypriots, the island was divided into two parts. Active actions took place in the 60s of the last century, but since 1983, there have been practically no changes in the rules for entering the island for tourists. Since then, three countries have ruled Cyprus - Greece, Turkey, and the UK. The latter is still in charge of servicing military facilities, which has nothing to do with tourists. No country recognizes Northern Cyprus but Turkey.


Travelers, who move between the parts of Cyprus legally, may have difficulty crossing the border if they carry alcohol, cigarettes, or other goods in industrial quantities. The reason is that in Northern Cyprus, prices for most goods are significantly lower than in the southern part, and northern shopping is quite popular among the locals. Though there is little control over their fellow citizens, tourists may have serious problems. Thus, we do not recommend bringing more than one bottle of alcohol and one pack of cigarettes from Northern Cyprus to the southern part. Also, you should not indicate shopping as the

purpose of your trip to Northern Cyprus, as it may end badly. When the visa officer asks about the aim of the visit, it is better to say you are just traveling - in this case, they will most likely have no questions for you.


Which part of Cyprus is Greek? Whose is the Southern Part of Cyprus?


Southern Cyprus formally belongs to Greece. The Turksofficially call the territory of Northern Cyprus the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. However, no country other than Turkey recognizes Northern Cyprus in this status. But all this information is purely encyclopedic for tourists and does not affect the cost of travel or other nuances anordinary person may encounter when traveling to Cyprus. The only thing to remember is that entry into the country is possible either through the airports (ports) of the southern part - in this case, one will observe all formalities - or through the airport (ports) of Northern Cyprus. In the second case, you violate the rules of the migration legislation of theRepublic of Cyprus, but none can prove it without a Northern Cyprus entry stamp.


Where is the best place to live in Cyprus?


Nikosia, the capital of the Republic of Cyprus, is an acknowledged business life center on the island. But this applies to the northern part of the city to a lesser extent. Besides, of all the major cities in Northern Cyprus, Nikosiais the farthest from the sea. Any major city in Cyprus leads a business lifestyle - foremost Kyrenia or Famagusta - while they stand right on the sea, often you can see it right from the bedroom.


For those who love peace and solitude, some quiet city ismore suitable - for example, Lapithos. Life here is much slower and steady, and hotels or apartments will cost a little cheaper on average.


There are attractive real estate offers in the central region of the republic - for example, in the cities of Lefke andMorphou, which are more suitable for those who want to connect their lives with agriculture. Moreover, with a car, the sea is accessible from almost any part of the country - the total area of ​​​​Northern Cyprus is only 3355 square kilometers, and it will unlikely take more than an hour to get to the coast from anywhere in the country. But the tourist fuss is much less here.


And for those, who want to be lost in the tourist life of the country and feel at home in the epicenter of beaches, ancient monasteries, and tourist attractions, we would advise looking for a villa or apartment on the coast near Famagusta, just steps from the main resort of South Cyprus - Ayia Napa. The Long Beach region is here, and the beach is one of the most popular in Northern Cyprus, so it makes sense to start looking for beach-type accommodation right from here.


What are the after-effects of visiting Northern Cyprus?


None, if you entered directly from Turkey and will leave theisland in the same way, without visiting Southern Cyprus. Also, visiting Northern Cyprus will not have any effects if you enter the island from its southern part - if you arrive at one of the airports in the Republic of Cyprus and leave the island there. Problems can arise only in two cases: 1) You initially entered Northern Cyprus and crossed or tried to cross the border with The Republic of Cyprus, and 2) You initially entered The Republic of Cyprus, received the appropriate visa, crossed to the northern part of the island, and flew out of Ercan airport there.


In this case, there is a violation of the migration legislation, but only the meticulous visa officers will decide whether to apply any sanctions to you or not. In any case, it will be better if your passport has no entry stamp for Northern Cyprus.


There is also one nuance you should know about inadvance. The authorities of southern, that is, official Cyprus, may refuse entry to a tourist if it turns out at passport control that he plans to spend most of his vacation on Turkish territory. Therefore, travel agencies almost do not sell ready-made tours to Famagusta or Kyrenia. It is impossible to make an official tour through Ercan Airport due to the international status of the TRNC, and when planning a trip through an official route, the risk of a U-turn at the border is too high. Therefore, guides prefer to visit Northern Cyprus with excursions, which does not exclude independent booking of hotels and flights. In this case, you need to leave no traces of your long-term stay in the northern territory in official documents. It is not difficult to hide the length of your stay in Northern Cyprus, as the authorities of Southern Cyprus consider the island a single state and do not put any stamps on the passport, and the Northern Cyprus authorities are sympathetic to the problems of tourists and put entry and exit stamps on a special insert. But you should carefully watch this information is not revealed at any border crossing. 


How to get to Northern Cyprus in 2022? Is it possible to fly to Cyprus now? How to get to Cyprus in 2022? How to get to Cyprus on the cheap?


The easiest way is through Turkish airports. There are direct flights from Istanbul, Antalya, and Adana. The only obstacle is expensive tickets, the cost of which exceeds the usual one two to three times. Besides, lovers of marine exotics can get to the ports of Kyrenia and Famagusta by ferry.Unfortunately, it is difficult to get to any island on the cheap - hitchhiking does not work here, there is no cheap bus or train service, and one will not swim on a small boat either, so you have to look at the prices set by carriers and travel companies. However, there are, of course, always ways to save money. The island's geographical features are such that the season here lasts almost all year round, so you can choose the least busy time and look for the most budget options for tours and flights.


Can Russians visit Northern Cyprus?


Yes, they can, as no visas are necessary for a direct trip toNorthern Cyprus. Entry to Northern Cyprus is free for citizens of most countries, and Russians use it more often than residents of any other country.


Official statistics about this island are conventional, but one can definitely say before the pandemic, more than two million tourists visited the island annually and that Cyprus is popular among Russians not only as a tourist route but as a destination for emigration. So the chance to meet a compatriot here is quite large.


How much does a visa to North Cyprus cost?


Nothing - if we talk about a visa for Russian tourists. Getting a business or working visa to work or do business in Northern Cyprus will require effort and expenses.


When will the borders to Cyprus be opened?


Borders closed due to the pandemic are now open. Upon arrival on the island, you do not need to take a PCR test and fulfill any additional requirements to register your border crossing. PCR tests are also not obligatory for check-in hotels and crossing the border with Northern Cyprus.


Can Russians enter Cyprus? How to get from Russia to Cyprus?


For Russians, there are no restrictions on entry to either Northern or Southern Cyprus. They canceled a mandatory PCR test last year, one can obtain the visa via e-mail, and its cost has remained the same, as well as the list of documents.


One should remember the consulate of our country is only on the territory of Southern Cyprus. However, in some cases, the consul can cross the border on foot in Nikosia(for example, to issue a birth certificate to a Russian child born in Northern Cyprus - we found a review on the Internet describing such a situation). Therefore, even if you are not going anywhere from Northern Cyprus, it is better to write down the phone number of the consul because, in disputable situations, such a call can help you, and the consul will provide all possible assistance.


However, as a rule, situations that require the intervention of official authorities do not occur - for something serious to happen, you need to screw it up hard. Cyprus has a minimum level of street crime, the island - both its southern and northern parts - is considered one of the safest places in the world, and the local population is very friendly. Apart from the actions punished in a civilized world, one should mind in Cyprus two more things - one should not violate migration laws and take pictures or enter the closed area of ​​​​the former resort of Varosha in Northern Cyprus, near the city of Famagusta.


How to get from Minsk to Cyprus?


The easiest way is by plane through the airports of Turkey or the United Arab Emirates. To travel to Cyprus, Belarusians need the same list of documents as Russians and residents of almost all other countries. To obtain a visa, you need to submit an electronic application on the website of the visa center and receive a letter from the visa center to your e-mail address. In 2022, they cancel the PCR test so you can cross the border without it now, and hotels also do not require additional documents when registering. Medical insurance is obligatory when entering the Republic of Cyprus, but not in Northern Cyprus.


A visit to Northern Cyprus is possible either officially through the border with Southern Cyprus or Turkey, the only country recognizing Northern Cyprus. In the first case, you also do not need a visa to travel to Cyprus but make sure that the border guards do not put an entry stamp on your passport.However, usually, the border guards of this state know everything themselves and stamp a migration card.


The cost of a visa for Belarusians (and other foreigners) in a Russian visa center will be at least 30 euros. They will also require health insurance. You can check the list of documents for application on the website of the Visa Application Center of the Republic of Cyprus.

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