Population: 1.172 million
Capital city: Nicosia population 398, 000+ It is the world’s only divided capital. The northern part is Turkish and the southern is Greek Cypriot. The capital is divided by the green line which is a kind of no man’s land. I walked across the Green Line to get into Northern Cyprus and it has a rather eerie, lonely feel to it.
Major airports: Turkish side – Ercan International (ECN), Greek side – Larnaca International (LCA) and Paphos International (PFO) Nicosia International was abandoned inside the buffer zone, so Ercan is the only airport on the Turkish side.
Main tourist draws: beaches of Paphos, resorts, and ruins in the south, Kyrenia fort, beaches, resorts in the north
Exchange rate: south 1USD = .93 euro, north 1USD = 3.62 TRY (lira) (March 2017) Great time to go to Turkey or northern Cyprus!
Local cuisine: In the south you will find traditional Greek food, and in the north you will find traditional Turkish food. Unfortunately, you will also find a lot of pricey English breakfast as both side cater to British tastes and tour groups. Steer clear of tourist traps catering to the British in northern Cyprus. They are expensive. Go where the locals go and you will get better food, actual Turkish food, and your wallet will be much happier.
Best time to visit: The best time to visit Cyprus is from May to September because of the beautiful weather, but July and August are likely to be very crowded with Europeans who are on school holidays. Turks from the mainland like to holiday in Northern Cyprus during this time as well, but it will generally be less crowded than the south. Winter in Cyprus is colder than you might think, as my trip one January proved.
Beer: Kao (average), Aprodite (better), lots of craft beers there now but when I went, the craft beer scene was just starting.
I can’t seem to find my pictures of Northern Cyprus but here are a few from the south near Paphos. Most of Cyprus is beautiful and touristy, but Paphos is where it’s at in terms of accommodation, restaurants, and nightlife. There are beautiful beaches all over the island though, so I recommend renting a car and checking them out. They drive on the left, and it’s easy to get around.