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About Cyprus

Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean, covers an area of 9.251 square kilometers and has a population of approximately one million. Here you can find quality and inexpensive Cyprus Properties! Buy real estates in Cyprus, and live at the crossroads of Western and Eastern civilizations, experiencing the best of what the two worlds have to offer.

The capital of the island is Nicosia. Other major cities are Paphos, Limassol and Larnaca.

Whether a holidaymaker or a foreign resident, can offer you whatever you will ever need. Sandy beaches, luxurious hotels, bars and night clubs, traditional taverns, ancient monuments, small villages untouched by time and mountain tops and covered with pine woods, also less than 60 minute drive from any point on the island.

Cyprus has 10,000 years of history, and a lot of historical monuments to visit. In mythology, it is known as the island of Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty. Cyprus has a lot of historic sites and Cyprus is a country with character and traditions.

Cyprus is also an island of great scenic beauty and a great variety of landscapes that vary from sandy beaches to charming unspoiled villages with many traditions.

Geography of Cyprus 

Cyprus is situated at the north East of the Mediterranean Sea, at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa. This strategic location of Cyprus has played an important role in the development of the island into a financial and tourist centre.

Cyprus covers an area of 9251m², being the largest island in the Mediterranean, after Sicily and Sardinia. Its area is 9,250 square kilometres, stretching 240 km, from west to east and 96 km from north to south.  Cyprus covers an area of fertile citrus and olive groves to lofty forests of pine and cedar. Cyprus is famous for its sandy beaches and lukewarm waters.

Population of Cyprus

The population of Cyprus at the end of 2001 was 793.100 with 80% of the population being Greek Cypriots, 11% Turkish Cypriots, 8% Foreign residents and 1% other small minorities. The population of Cyprus today is approximately 818,200. Almost 2.7 million tourists visit the island each year.    

Population in Cyprus towns:

 · Nicosia       190.000 [Cyprus capital]

 · Limassol     149.000 [Cyprus main commercial port]

 · Larnaca      66.000 [Cyprus commercial port and Cyprus main international airport]

 · Paphos       37.000 [Cyprus second international airport]

Cyprus has two more towns, Ammochostos (Famagusta) and Kyrenia. Ammochostos lies in the eastern part of the island and Kyrenia lies at the northern part of the island. Both cities are currently under the illegal occupation of the Turkish army.

Cyprus Symbols

Cyprus Official name in Greek: Κυπριακή Δημοκρατία 

Cyprus Official name in Latin: Kypriakí Dimokratía (Greek)

Cyprus Official name in Turkish: Kıbrıs Cumhuriyeti (Turkish)

Cyprus Official name in English: Republic of Cyprus

Climate

Cyprus enjoys a mild Mediterranean type climate, short mild winters and long warm summers. It is for its excellent climate and for the hospitality of its people, that Cyprus has become such a popular destination for Europeans who come to Cyprus as tourists at first and after a couple of visits they decide buy a house and live here permanently.

Quality of life  

A short visit will convince you that enjoys a high European standard of living. According to Interpol statistics, the crime rate is only 1/6 of the average crime rate in Europe, which makes an ideal place to live and raise a family.

Cost of living

The cost of living in is relatively low compared to that of other European countries and to the high quality of life. A social couple living in, can easily have a comfortable lifestyle from Cy £6,000 to Cy £8,000 per year.

Language

The official language of is Greek, but due to the facts that was once a British colony, more than 90% of the population speak   English. As a result all street signs, direction signs, shop signs, restaurant menus, etc are written in English.

Telecommunications

Cyprus is among the most developed countries in the world with an automatic telephone connection with over 200 countries. The national network uses high technology such as digital switching and transmission systems and fiber optic cables and ranks third in the world regarding quality and technology.  

A telephone call within any of the districts in Cyprus costs 0,72 cent/minute. International calls start from 3 cent/minute (ex.UK) depending on the country and the time of the call. The islands postage rate is 20 cent for a letter up to 20gr, whilst air mail rates for letters are 50 cent to neighboring countries, Europe, most of the Middle East and North- East Africa. In addition to the normal postage rate, a 1 cent "refugee stamp" must be affixed to all letters, postcards and printed matter, irrespective of their destination. 

Crime Rate
  
Cyprus enjoys a very low crime rate in comparison with other competitive Mediterranean countries such as Spain and Italy. According to Interpol Statistics, Cyprus' crime rate is only at the rate of 6% to that of the UK, 8% of Germany, 30% of Portugal and Spain, 5% of Sweden, 12% of Norway, etc.

Residence Permit

Foreign Persons (other than E.U. citizens) who have purchased property and are retiring in Cyprus can apply to obtain a residence permit. The granting of the permit is based upon the living level of foreign income available to support oneself and this includes pensions and income from investments or otherwise. A proof of an annual income of CY£12,000 is usually considered satisfactory for two retired persons. A foreigner can apply for a Cyprus Passport after 7 years in Cyprus, (E.U. directive for foreign personnel). After five years of permanent stay and/or working in Cyprus the Directive states that a foreigner cannot be expelled but has the right to stay in Cyprus and on the end of the 7th year can apply for the Cyprus nationality.

Banking Standards 

The banking system in Cyprus as well as main other standards follows the British System.  Banks have branches everywhere in the island and are very efficient, modern and well equipped. Foreign persons retiring to Cyprus may open a local and or an external deposit account without any problem.

International banks have branches throughout the island and furthermore, major credit cards, such as those within the Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Euro pay networks, are widely used in Cyprus.

Most local Banks provide will finance for foreigners in any currency for acquiring real estate. The usual requirement is 25% own contribution and up to 25 years repayment.

Property Finance 

Property loans (in a number of currencies) can be obtained for the following purposes:

- Purchase of a house
- Land for Housing Purposes
- Renovation / Restoration / additions to property
- Holiday Homes
- Professional Property (offices / shops)

The loans are usually guaranteed by:

- Mortgage on property.
- Insurance on property
- Life insurance on the client
- Personal guarantees

· Insurance on the property can be based on the reducing balance of loan balance so that the premium is reduced as the loan is paid
· The loan period is up to 25 years (could be extended to 30 years)
· The interest rate is based on the basic rate of interest, which is set up by the Central Bank of Cyprus (present rate 4.50%) plus 1.50%-2% placed by the Bank.
· The loan can be based on a fixed rate for certain years (2-4 years) or on a floating rate which changes every time the Cyprus Central Bank changes the rate downwards or upwards.
· The loan can be free from installments (payment of the interest only) for a period of two years (in some cases for up to 10 years).
· The loan is payable within the stated period (up to 25 years) or when the client reaches the age of 65 years old, whichever comes first. Further details can be obtained from all the banks but our Office can arrange property finance as well.

Legal System

The legal system in Cyprus is mainly based upon the British Legal System. The Cyprus Land Registry is probably one of the most advanced and reliable systems in the world. Purchasers of property in Cyprus will therefore be far more secure, with regard to their title deeds, than they might be in another country. Furthermore, legal fees/costs are very reasonable and are way lower than in other European countries. 

Education

In Cyprus there are both public Greek schools and private schools. There are both junior and secondary schools of high standards catering for English, Armenian, French and Arabic speaking pupils. There is a Greek speaking Cyprus University and a number of English speaking private Universities of high standards covering a wide spectrum of professions. Fees in such universities are in the range of €3.000 - €5.000 per annum depending on the college and the course attended. 

Car Driving  

All Visitors in Cyprus that wish to drive can do so by using a valid international driving license or their National driving license, provided that it is valid for the particular period to be used and for the particular class of vehicle they want to drive. If a visitor wishes to get a Cyprus driving license then he/she can fiil an application to try and convert his/her national license to a Cypriot license. Another way to get a Cyprus license is to take the driving test. A Cyprus driving license usually costs €60 for a lifetime.

In Cyprus there is a four lane motorway that connects all towns, harbors and airports. There are two lane good surfaced roads that connect all towns and villages. Visitors can bring their cars to Cyprus for a period of three months provided the car has a valid registration in their country. Attention must be paid to the fact that driving in Cyprus is on the left side of the road with cars being right-wheeled. Hiring a car in Cyprus is the easiest option, since there are a lot of Cyprus car Hiring services. Hiring an ordinary saloon car would cost about €35-50 per day including full cover insurance during the summer season and €25-30 /day during the rest of the year.  

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