Cyprus Car Hire
Explore the island with a rental car
Cyprus is the ideal holiday destination to explore by car. It only takes three hours to drive from east to west, and since public transport is in short supply, car hire is indispensable. To make life even easier, our branches can be found in most large cities and airports across the island.
A jewel in the East Mediterranean Sea
Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, just across the water from Turkey, Syria and Lebanon. A turbulent history involving Greece and Turkey led to the effective partitioning of the island into the Turkish north and Greek south in 1974. A distinct influence from both cultures can be seen in the country’s arts, music and cuisine. The island also occupies an important role in Greek mythology, being the birthplace of Aphrodite and Adonis and home to King Cinyras, Teucer and Pygmalion.
Things to see and do
This is an island with a little bit of everything: historical sites infused with Greek mythology, beautiful beaches, mountain trails and vineyards. If that’s not enough, it even has its very own party capital, Ayia Napa, a lively resort famous for its sandy beaches and active nightlife. Get to the places you want to see and the things you want to do in comfort with a car rental from Avis.
The big cities
Nicosia: Like the whole island, the capital city and main business centre is also divided into north and south. Access between the two parts has often been restricted in the past but in recent years has become generally problem free so you can roam where you like. North Nicosia has many old, narrow streets interspersed with fabulous architecture. There are plenty of fine museums and the old city also has a covered market called Belediye Pazari.
Limassol: During Byzantine times, this city was known as Neapolis (new town). Today, Limassol is Cyprus’s second largest city, located on Akrotiri Bay on the southern coast. It has a long cultural tradition but also a growing technological profile as home to the University of Technology. The town has a number of interesting museums and archaeological sites, plus no fewer than nine mediaeval castles to explore. There are also some lovely public gardens and sculptures.
Paphos and Polis: On the southwest coast, Paphos is just over 30 miles from Limassol and has its own international airport. It was the capital during Greco-Roman times and the entire city is like an open museum. The remains of a Roman governor’s palace and extensive fine mosaics explain why it is on the World Cultural Heritage List for UNESCO. A key attraction is the Petra tou Romiou, or Aphrodite’s Rock, a sea stack said to be the birthplace of the Greek goddess of love. If you need a break after all that culture, why not book a weekend car hire and head to Coral Bay, just four miles north of Paphos? The resort is popular with locals and tourists alike, boasting a soft, white sandy beach forming a crescent shape along the 600-metre coast.
The quieter resort of Polis is situated on the northwestern part of the island close to the Akamas Peninsula, a beautiful nature reserve where the renowned baths of Aphrodite can be seen. Walk the nature trails and take in the panoramic view of Polis bay.
The various festivals and events throughout the year are well worth timing your visit around. Limassol hosts the Carnival Festival, a masquerading event harking back to old pagan rituals, for the ten days before Lent. During the summer there’s an International Music Festival at the Kourion Theatre in mid-July and the Paphos Aphrodite Festival, an open-air opera festival that usually takes place in late August. These are followed by a wine festival in the first week of September celebrating Cyprus as one of the oldest wine-making countries in the world.
Drive and explore
Public transport is limited so a car rental is the best way to reach some of the more out-of-the-way places like the Karpaz National Park or the Troodos Mountains. These form the biggest mountain range right in the middle of the island, with Mount Olympus the highest peak at 1952 metres.
Unlike in most of Europe, you drive on the left-hand side here as you do in the UK. Roads are well-signposted and crossing the border between north and south at the designated check points is relatively easy.