Cyprus, Nicosia

From Northern to Southern Cyprus: rules, peculiarities, secrets

Updated: 3 months ago

How to travel from South Cyprus to North Cyprus and vice versa, do you need visas for this, what are the rules for visiting each territory, will I be punished for illegal border crossing, where are the best vacation conditions - we answer these and other popular questions of travelers in this article.

Disputed territories often interest tourists but raise numerous questions, as no one wants to get into an unpleasant situation due to ignorance of local laws and features. Cyprus is undoubtedly a tasty morsel for tourists, the island is famous for its beautiful nature, and the service and hotels also leave no room for questions, making Cyprus an excellent place for relaxation.

However, many are afraid to travel around Cyprus due to a misunderstanding of the entry and stay rules, border crossing, the absence of a Russian embassy or consulate in the northern part of the island, and other similar 'horror stories'. The main confusion arises, primarily, from the situation in North Cyprus.

We tried to collect the most popular questions that Russians ask about the conditions of entry into the island territory and tourists' stay in the country and are ready to provide comprehensive information support to our readers. To get the most information, read the article to the end, and if you still have questions afterward, feel free to ask them through the contact section of our website.

The Essentials of Crossing the Border Between North and South Cyprus

Граница Северного Кипра

Can you enter South Cyprus through North Cyprus?

Officially, according to the authorities of the Republic of Cyprus, you definitely cannot. If you cross the border in this way, you will violate the law and, in the eyes of the authorities of the southern part of the island, you will become a criminal.

The authorities of the Republic of Cyprus have established the following regime for crossing the North Cyprus border: tourists are allowed to arrive at either of the two airports in South Cyprus (located in Larnaca and Paphos), after which you can go to one of the checkpoints and cross the border on foot or by car.

In practice, tourists can visit the southern part of the island with an open Schengen visa. You will have to listen to a lecture from the border guard about how you arrived on the island through an airport or port in the occupied part. There is a small risk, as theoretically, you can be denied entry, and there have been such cases.

Traveling in the opposite direction is easier: the authorities of the Republic of Cyprus turn a blind eye to visits to the northern part of the island.

Is it possible to travel from Turkey to South Cyprus?

You can travel from Turkey to South Cyprus, but only with a flight that includes a stopover in a third country, and for this, you need a Schengen or a national Cypriot visa, which can be obtained at the Consulate of the Republic of Cyprus. This does not apply to European Union passport holders – they do not need any visa to travel around the country, the only requirement is to enter the country through South Cyprus.

South Cyprus can also be reached from many other countries, primarily from Greece, not only by air but also by sea - several ferry companies operate flights to Cyprus ports, and there are also long cruises where the island is used as a transit point. Sometimes a visit to the island can be a great addition to a Mediterranean cruise, so we also recommend this option for those who prefer to vacation on cruise liners or yachts.

Where can you cross the border with North Cyprus?

Where can you cross the border with North Cyprus? The crossing of the border between North and South Cyprus is carried out through several checkpoints located in the buffer zone in the middle of the island. Some of them are less crowded, while others are more so; some operate around the clock, while others have specific working hours.

The choice of a specific checkpoint depends on which part of North Cyprus you want to reach - in the area of the neutral zone, the island is about 80 km wide, so a wrong choice can lead to a significant detour, while a smart use of the map can help avoid this.

How many days can you stay in North Cyprus without a visa?

By default, a stamp for 30 days is given at the border. If you provide documents for a long-term apartment rental, they may stamp for 60 days, but this is at the discretion of the border guard. If you wish to stay longer, you need to obtain a residence permit, which can be done either independently or with our assistance – just apply on our website.

What are the consequences of visiting North Cyprus?

There are no consequences if you enter directly from Turkey and also leave the island that way, without visiting South Cyprus. There is also no risk if you visit North Cyprus after entering from the South – if you arrive at one of the airports in South Cyprus and leave the island the same way.

Theoretically, problems may arise only in two cases:

  1. You initially entered North Cyprus and then crossed or attempted to cross the border with South Cyprus.
  2. You initially entered South Cyprus with the appropriate visa, crossed to the northern part of the island, and then flew out from Ercan Airport.

In these cases, there are violations of immigration law, but in the first scenario, you are most likely to be let through at the border, while in the second, there could be problems with subsequent entry into the Republic of Cyprus.

Граница Кипр

Other Questions About North Cyprus

How many airports are there in North Cyprus?

There is only one airport in North Cyprus, Ercan Airport, which only operates flights from Turkey. Only Turkish companies operate these flights. This monopolistic situation could lead to a significant increase in ticket prices, but in reality, this does not happen because tourism is one of the main sources of income for the unrecognized state, and the standard of living of the local population directly depends on the number of tourists on the island. Therefore, Turkish airlines try to keep reasonable prices for tickets on this route.

How to get to North Cyprus now?

Through Turkey, direct tickets to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus are only available from Turkish airports (Istanbul, Antalya, Izmir, Adana, Ankara). Also, there is a ferry from Tasucu to the city of Kyrenia (also known as Girne).

Why is Cyprus divided into two parts?

As a result of the ethnic conflict between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, the island was divided into two parts. Active actions took place in 1974, but since 1983, almost no changes have been made to the rules for tourists entering the island. Since then, Cyprus has been effectively governed by three countries - Greece, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. The latter is responsible for the maintenance of military facilities, which does not affect tourists. North Cyprus is not recognized by any country other than Turkey.

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