4 disadvantages of living in Cyprus, because of which people leave the island after the first summer

4 минуса жизни на Кипре, из-за которых люди покидают остров после первого же лета

What is it like to live among ancient ruins, in a humid tropical climate, among people who are never in a hurry, when doctors and officials go on vacation for the whole summer, and the local police ignore calls? Especially if earlier all the services and services of a large Russian city were at hand. About your experience of living in Cyprus to the portal Vokrugsveta.ru Ekaterina Romanovskaya, the operational head of the network of partner studios FMART by flowwow, told us. Then the text is in the first person.

I consider myself a person spoiled by life in a megalopolis with a developed infrastructure, a transport system and round-the-clock supermarkets. Life in Cyprus is completely different, but I like it: this is a great way to “reset” and try something new. Why can you fall in love with Cyprus?

The advantages of living in Cyprus

The sea and the expanse

My main feeling from Cyprus is that wherever you look, there is sky, mountains, and sea all around. If you used to live in a megalopolis, the difference in the perception of space will be very noticeable, since in most settlements there are no tall houses at all (the exception is a number of skyscrapers in Limassol along the coast). The rest of the buildings in Cyprus are low, with a maximum of three floors. There are always either low, moist clouds above you, or the deep blue of the sky, where huge stars are visible at night.

Since we live in Paphos, the sea also stretches in front of us, exceptionally clean, as well as the beaches. By the way, locals in the off-season do not pay attention to the sea at all, preferring to sit in their favorite coffee shops, and swim only from July to September, when the water warms up as much as possible.

Ekaterina Romanovskaya

Head of the network of partner studios FMART by flowwow

A comfortable winter

Climatologists claim that Cyprus is the sunniest country in Europe. It is indeed almost always clear here, but from November to April the weather is milder: you can put on hoodies, sneakers and walk along the beach, exposing your face to the sun. By the way, it is very likely that hoodies and sneakers are the warmest clothes you will need. You can wear shorts here for nine months of the year, and on the coldest days of January the temperature does not drop below 14-16 °C. Of course, there are rains, but not prolonged ones: only once I caught a moment when it rained for two days in a row and the sun did not show at all.

It must be said that in such a winter, heating in apartments is not provided. But if you live in a private house with a stove, it is possible that from December to March you will want to heat it from time to time. Apartments can be cool in winter, around +14 °C, and very humid: in Russia in winter we always used a humidifier, and in Cyprus we had to buy a dehumidifier. To make the house more comfortable, you need to ventilate the rooms regularly, and to get a good sleep, you need to buy electric blankets.

If you miss the “real” winter, you can get behind the wheel and go to Troodos, the Cypriot mountains (the road from anywhere on the island takes no more than an hour and a half). It snows here for several weeks in winter, and the daytime temperature drops to +7 °C.

Inexhaustible places to walk

Cyprus is an amazing nature. The island is small (Slightly larger than North Ossetia and half the size of Chuvashia. — Ed.), but in two years we have not yet fully explored it. But there are already favorite places! For example, the village of Lachi is on the southernmost side of the island, where you can rent a yacht and go to the Blue Lagoon of Akamas Park: the water there is crystal clear, bright turquoise color.

Of the mountain attractions, our favorites are the hiking trails “Artemis” and “Persephone”, which offer breathtaking views. A huge plus is that many tracks are suitable for families with children. For example, we go to the mountains with our five—year-old daughter, our record is ten kilometers in one walk.

Most likely, in addition to hiking, you will want to make small family trips by car. Most roads in Cyprus — from the coast to the upper points of the mountains — are in perfect condition.

Living History

Many people know that Cyprus is an island with a rich history. Living here, we began to realize what this means: cities literally stand on the excavations and debris of different centuries, everywhere you find the remains of ancient civilizations. For example, along the coast of Paphos there are a lot of preserved tombs dating back to the I–VI centuries AD.

However, most of the monuments of ancient culture are in disrepair: for Cypriots, this is a familiar part of the landscape, there is no desire to protect and protect something. There are few museums in our usual sense, but we can say that the “museum” is right under our feet.

A calm pace of life

It’s worth living in Cyprus to slow down thoroughly. Like residents of many coastal countries, Cypriots are very leisurely. In a dialogue with the locals, you often hear the exclamation “whitefish, whitefish!”, which means that there is no need to hurry anywhere. This is the local equivalent of the famous Balkan “polaco”.

Over time, I began to understand them: the summer heat really makes you slow down, and swimming in the warm sea at the same time helps you relax and energizes you. You feel full of vital energy, but you don’t want to waste it on fuss.

In addition, Cyprus is very compact, and this affects your habits. In the city, you can get to any point in five to ten minutes by car, so when you need to go to another city on business, you feel annoyed: you don’t want to drag yourself to such a “distance”, although the distance is about the same as from one end of Moscow to the other.

Delicious homemade food

Here we began to cook more at home. This is a justified decision when fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and seafood are available all year round. Grilled octopus has become our favorite homemade dish. It sounds pretentious, but such food is in the order of things here.

Several harvests of vegetables and fruits are harvested in Cyprus per year, primarily citrus fruits: tangerines, lemons, grapefruits and oranges grow everywhere. But there is no shortage of other delicacies either: from May to November, you can even get real raspberries grown in the mountains, and they taste like at your grandmother’s cottage. During the first year of our life in Cyprus, we completely switched to a healthy diet: we make various smoothies from vegetables and fruits, adding herbs, ice and coconut milk.

Disadvantages of living in Cyprus

As always, there are two sides to the coin. If there are things in Cyprus that conquer at first sight, then there are also moments that are initially alarming and even frightening. I had four of them.

Summer heat

This is one of the main reasons why people leave the island after the first summer season. It’s hot everywhere from May to September, but it varies from city to city. In Nicosia, which is located in the interior of the island, the temperature in summer can reach +40 ° C with fairly dry air: a real red-hot frying pan! And here, in Paphos, it is 5-6 ° C cooler, the humidity is high, a breeze blows from the sea.

In August, due to the heat on the island, the off-season begins. The sea is so warm that the water and air temperatures practically do not differ. You feel cool only if you swim in the early morning or after sunset, and the humidity reaches 92% even indoors.

Due to such weather conditions, many government agencies simply close for the summer: most employees go on vacation before the start of the school year (September 11). During this period, it is impossible to issue any documents or find the necessary specialist doctor.

Annoying fauna

What’s missing here are insects: from ants to giant cockroaches. You’ll have to get used to the idea that you and them are full—fledged neighbors. More rare, but also likely guests are snakes, geckos and exotic creatures so unprecedented that they can only be identified by sending photos to special telegram chats about the Cypriot fauna.

Fortunately, almost all insects are safe here. Some species (for example, large flying cockroaches) appear only in August. When we first encountered this invasion, we were confused, but quickly found a suitable insecticide on sale, which is used by tourists and locals.

Driving culture

They say that many years ago in Cyprus, a driver’s license was issued just like that, on request, without any courses, schools and exams. Apparently, this affected the local driving style. To the credit of the Cypriots, they cannot be accused of being reckless: usually the problems are more related to a slow, relaxed driving style.

Like many residents of southern European countries, Cypriots like to park on pedestrian sidewalks, oncoming lanes, wherever they have to. Parking right in front of pedestrians is the order of the day.

Meanwhile, it is difficult to live without a car in Cyprus: only buses and taxis are available from public transport, so when moving to the island it is worth taking a car for a long-term lease or budgeting carsharing.

Features of the local police

Both locals and visitors know that the police in Cyprus exists only on paper. This is an absolutely ineffective, nominal body. They will arrive at the exit only if there is an armed attack. During the tourist season, there are many thefts in houses and apartments on the island, and it is almost impossible to get the application reviewed and even more so to find the perpetrator.

We had a creepy case: in the middle of the night, an unknown drunk woman began knocking on the apartment door. We couldn’t calm her down and called the police. They asked me if she had a gun with her, and when I said I didn’t know, they lost interest in me and didn’t come to the call.

These are not all the nuances of life in Cyprus: many will be attracted by water sports, will be pleased with fun holidays and seasonal carnivals, will be enchanted by local sweets — or, conversely, will want pickles or lamb (which, by the way, can also be found here). There are many reasons to be surprised on a small sunny island!

For more stories of Russians who have started a new life in another country, look for the tag #emigration.


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