A general Introduction to North Cyprus
Why Buy in North Cyprus
The cost of living is low in North Cyprus; property is considerably cheaper than in comparable locations and mainly managed in GBP. The Mediterranean weather is glorious and the beaches uncrowded and superb. Local people are friendly and welcoming, and there is a diverse landscape to explore.
Cyprus is the third largest Mediterranean island and lies about 40 miles (65 km) south of Turkey and is 480 miles (770 km) from the Greek mainland. The island is 140 miles (225 km) long and 60 miles (100 km) wide equalling 3572 sq miles. Cyprus enjoys typical Mediterranean weather of hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters separated by short spring and autumn intermissions.
The island is situated on a migration route for birds. During the short spring and autumn, millions of different birds fly over, and many different species also overwinter on Cyprus.
The stunning northern coastline is backed by the Kyrenia Mountains, which are also known as the Five Finger Mountains. They run about 100 miles along the northern coast. The Kyrenia Mountains date to the Mesozoic period and are mainly limestone with dolomite and marble.
A trip into the mountains is worthwhile to see the ruins of three ancient medieval castles. The mountain area has many small villages enjoying wonderful views of the coastline, beaches and out to sea. They offer many vantage points of the settlements below and provide the opportunity to choose places you’d like to visit or maybe buy a home. On clear days you can see the Turkish coast.
The upper area of the mountains is a cooler and moister area. The mountain tops have heavy rainfall and even frosts in the early months of the year. Due to the way that the rain filters through the limestone and is preserved in natural aquifers the rainfall from winter irrigates the plain below the mountain making it lush and green during the spring months.
The northern slopes have cypress and pine forests interspersed with deciduous trees including Fig, Olive, Orange, Harnup and Walnut. In contrast, the southern slopes look sparse with stunted wild olive trees, thorn, fennel and myrtle.
Because Cyprus is in the Eastern European Time Zone, the local time is two hours ahead of GMT.
Sailing and Water Sports
As you would expect from an island in the Mediterranean, there are plenty of opportunities to partake in water sports, with many options on offer. There are three main harbours, marinas and additional anchorage points for those wishing to sail to North Cyprus.
There are plenty of outdoor recreation options such as sightseeing, bird-watching and exploring the various aspects of whichever region you choose.
Feel at Home
For those planning to relocate to North Cyprus from the UK there is an active expat community with clubs and societies, bookshops, cafes and bars should you wish to get involved.
There are many benefits of moving to North Cyprus
Here are just some of them:
- The very low crime rate
- Friendly locals many of who speak English
- Low cost of living
- Property transactions are in GBP
- Property procedure follows the British legal system
- Lovely Mediterranean climate
- Some lush green areas to remind you of home
- No taxes on pension income
- Low-cost education
- Beautiful sandy beaches, including “secret” coves
North Cyprus is divided into six districts and smaller sub-districts. The main towns are Lefkosa the capital and therefore the main administration and centre for business. There is a British Consulate in Lefkosa should expats require any official help such as passport renewal. Girne/Kyrenia is the main tourist area with a picturesque harbour and cobbled streets. The main port is at Magosa/Famagusta. Guzelyurt is the centre of the agricultural area. Karpaz is an unspoilt paradise of beautiful beaches, tree-covered hills and nature in a region that takes you back in time. North Cyprus has a rich variety of historical and heritage sites, Lefke is where you will find ancient tombs and copper mines as a testament to the area’s industrial past.
Although the main religion in North Cyprus is a Sunni Muslim, it is a secular state. There are Christian churches, Orthodox Christian monasteries and churches, a Synagogue in Kyrenia for those of other religions.
The primary language is Turkish, and most Turkish Cypriots also speak English. A few small groups speak German, Russian and Arabic; generally, though many people will have some English due to high education standards and English being on the school curriculum.
Motoring in North Cyprus
Those flying into South Cyprus are able to use their South Cyprus hire car for their travel in North Cyprus. However, if you hire a North Cyprus vehicle, the South does not allow you to use that car on their side of the island.
Of particular interest to those planning to relocate to North Cyprus, the driving position on the road is on the left, the same as the UK. If you have a full UK driving license, you may drive in North Cyprus for up to three months before you need to obtain a TRNC driving license.
The MOT system for vehicles is also similar to the UK system, although the vehicle inspections are undertaken at police stations. Motorcycles and Quad bicycles require inspection every year from new. Cars are required to be inspected every three years. Owners must arrange the MOT within a specific inspection timeframe.
Car Tax is paid annually and is due on the anniversary of the vehicle registration. The amount depends on the weight category of the vehicle and whether it runs on petrol or diesel.
In 2020 a streamlined system for buying used vehicles came into force. The system requires the buyer and seller to attend a tax office with the car’s relevant documentation and their identification to re-register the car in the new keeper’s name.
North Cyprus has so much to offer, you’ll wish you’d found it sooner!