My experience with the Euro in Cyprus

I went to Ayia Napa at the end of April and was looking forward to experiencing spending the Euro there for the first time, at the time the exchange rate was at it’s lowest, at the airport I exchanged some English Pounds and got a rate of 1.18, which was terrible, so already I knew it would ‘seem’ more expensive than previous, the other change was going to be seeing if places were profiteering from the change.

I’d read beforehand that places had to show dual pricing, Cypriot Pounds and the new Euro rate so I didn’t think they would be able to profiteer.

It appeared though that instead of converting the old Cypriot pound to the new Euro amount, it was the other way round, deciding on a euro rate and working backwards to give the Cyprus pound figure.

A pint of local beer, KEO, Carlsberg or Leon was around 3 euros at most places in Napa which at the 1.18 rate worked out at £2.54 a pint, compared to last year when a lot of places were charging CYP1.50, approx £1.80.

I think the main influence on it seeming expensive is the fact the euro rate is rubbish at the moment, the same time in April 2007 the rate was 1.47, so there you see that lovely local pint would have still been more expensive (£2.04) but not as much as 40%!

It will be interesting to see how the euro affects Cyprus by way of Tourism considering over 3m people visit the island from the UK alone, I can imagine those living on a UK pension in Cyprus are feeling the pinch a bit with the rate as it is.

It could be that it’s just expensive like this in Ayia Napa, I will be visiting again in September so will have to venture out and see.

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