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Explore Cyprus in a Car

30 August 2012

Cyprus is one of the best holiday destinations in the whole of Europe, and it has been welcoming tourists from all over the world for many decades. Whether you’re looking to visit some of the ancient monuments and historic buildings or you simply want to relax on a sun-kissed beach, you’ll find exactly what you need on this beautiful island.

Located in the picturesque Eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus is a land of contrasts. Close to the areas of architectural interest you’ll also find state of the art hotels offering visitors the most modern facilities in which to savour a truly spectacular holiday, so it’s always worth doing a little exploring while you’re on vacation.

The best option for those who want to see as much of the island as possible is to hire a car. Driving is easy in Cyprus, although every motorist needs to be aware of the rules of the road. In the towns and cities, traffic congestion can be an issue at certain times of the day, so if you’re able to avoid the rush hours you will miss the worst periods.

That’s right – keep left!

They drive on the left hand side in Cyprus, the same as in the UK but on the opposite side from most continental European countries. Roads are generally well sign-posted, but it’s important to note that speed limits are listed in kilometers per hour, not miles. Most signs are in Greek and English, although they may be in Turkish in some regions.

There are very low drink driving limits in Cyprus, and severe punishments for those who transgress. The best advice is, if you’re planning to get behind the wheel, to avoid alcohol altogether on that day. Mobile phone use while driving is against the law, it’s compulsory to wear seat-belts and if you’re using a moped or motorcycle you have to wear a helmet.

Because of the warm climate, especially in the height of summer, it’s a good idea to have a pair of sunglasses with you at all times. When the sun is low in the sky, or perhaps you’re driving up steep mountainous climbs, there will be times when your eyes need a little help. And even if you’re going on a short journey, taking bottled water with you is sensible.

Throughout the island you’ll find plenty of petrol stations for when you need to fill up. Many of them have attendants who will pump the gas for you, although these are often closed on Sundays and Tuesday. A significant number of them are still usable, however, because they have automated machines that accept cards and, in some cases, cash.

David Showell lives in southern England and works for a company that provides cheap ferry tickets to tourists.

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