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Is Cyprus in Europe for travel insurance?
Though still a mediterranean idyll, remnants of Cyprus' turbulent past are evident, with the remaining division between North and South. With such a unique political situation, it can be a potentially confusing job for the would-be traveller to find valid travel insurance. Does European travel insurance cover Cyprus, or should you take out something entirely different?
Travel Insurance for South Cyprus
As the southern Greek portion of Cyprus is officially recognised as part of the European union, you'll find that most European travel insurance policies you take out with any reputable insurer should cover for travelling to southern Cyprus. This does mean however, that you will only be covered for travelling in southern Cyprus under most European travel insurance policies, as the northern portion of the country is not considered part of Europe.
Travel Insurance for North Cyprus
A trip to the Turkish populated North of Cyprus will usually require an altogether different kind of travel insurance policy. Although recognised by the international community as being part of the Republic of Cyprus, this doesn't mean that a standard European travel insurance policy will always cover you. This will depend largely on the insurer.
With Holiday Extras, both northern and southern Cyprus are covered under one European travel insurance policy. You will however need to take out a specific kind of european travel insurance policy that includes cover for Spain, Cyprus, Malta, Turkey and Greece. If you are unsure about how to do this, the best way to receive an accurate quote is to simply specify Cyprus as the travel destination in the booking engine.
EHIC Card in Cyprus
Although having a valid European Health insurance card can be a very useful thing if you remember to bring it, there are some points you should be aware of when using the card in Cyprus.
- Using your European Health insurance card in Cyprus will give you access to public health care usually at a reduced cost (in other words, you could still end up footing a huge medical bill should you need to make use of emergency services)
- If you decide to cross over to the north or Cyprus, your EHIC card will be completely useless as the northern portion of the island is not considered part of the EU. You should be sure to have in place a valid travel insurance policy for north Cyprus before setting off.
Holiday Extras travel insurance to Cyprus
Holiday Extras provide a range of policy options when it comes to holidaying in Cyprus. You will of course need to be a UK resident and have declared any pre-existing medical conditions for your cover to be valid.
† If you need to seek medical attention whilst abroad, please ensure that you contact the 24-hour Emergency Assistance Service for help and advice before treatment, where possible, full details can be found within the policy wording.
Local Laws and Customs
The capital of Nicosia remains divided to this day and as such, be aware that in certain areas close to military facilities it may not be possible to take pictures.
Greeting people - In most cases, it's customary to shake hands, smile and maintain direct eye contact throughout the greeting, though many Turkish Cypriots lower their eyes during the greeting as a sign of respect. Very religious Muslims may refuse to shake hands with women, though this is very rare.
During Ramadan, all Muslims must fast from dawn till dusk. Although as an holiday maker or expatriat you aren't required to fast as well, out of respect for the local custom, you are advised not to eat, drink, smoke or chew gum in public.
Popular foods in Cyprus
With all the variety, the best way to enjoy Cypriot food is by ordering a mezze. This way you can sample a large selection of local dishes.
Souvlaki Kebabs - Small chunks of tender meat rotisserie roasted over hot coals, traditionally served with warm pitta bread, salad and a squeeze of lemon. You could quite happily live off food like this!
Dolmas - Originating from the Turkish north, these sumptous little parcels of meat, herbs, rice and vegetables warpped in vine leaves have long been an essential part of the island's cuisine. This national dish comes in many varieties, served in different ways.
Baklava - This centuries old Turkish wonder of pistachios, walnuts, philo pastry and honey is a particular favourite amongst islander, who've added their own Cypriot twist to the legendary dessert.
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