To many, the island of Cyprus is only known because of Shakespeare’s Othello. To many it is the birthplace of Aphrodite. To many others, it is where Halloumi comes from.
The relationship between India and Cyprus dates back to the British empire and Cyprus was one of the main channels connecting Suez to India.
Now — reinvented as a Mediterranean must-see destination — Cyprus is reopening post covid.
Although India is still on the “grey list” on account of the spread of the pandemic, we believe that for many reasons it ought to float on the top of every Indian’s bucket list.
First, the weather. It varies between 13°C and 24°C the whole year — “salubrious” would be how most Indians would describe it.
And it’s budget friendly, for the luxury of what one enjoys, another important consideration.
And there are museums, hikes, beaches, including blue flag (basically meeting standards of environmental management) beaches, and great nightlife.
Most of all, Cypriots are great, hospitable people. Educated, environmentally aware, European in much of their demeanour and cultured to a fault, their society embraces traditional family values; and arranged marriages are not an alien concept to them. Does that sound comfortably familiar?
“This island is in the crossroads of three continents – Southern Europe, Middle East and Central Asia. So the food for one comprises vegetables, meat and fish. With 340 days of sunshine a year and some of the most welcoming people in the world, we Cypriots have a modern and well-functioning environment,” Nasos Hadjigeorgiou, Executive Manager, Pafos Regional Board of Tourism, told Explocity Executive Traveller.
As such, the island is an open-air museum of prehistoric settlements, classical Greek temples, Roman theatres and villas, Early Christian basilicas, Byzantine churches and monasteries, Crusader castles, Gothic cathedrals, Venetian fortifications, Moslem mosques, and British colonial-style buildings. And then there are the myths and legends. Cyprus, also known as the playground of the gods in mythology, is a land of plenty. Birthplace of Aphrodite goddess of love and beauty, where St. Paul spread Christianity and where Kings and Queens left their mark on culture and destiny.
The old ways of life, customs and traditions are still beautifully preserved in the rural villages, and interesting elements of the island are captured in the many museums and galleries.
It is not surprising then that UNESCO includes a number of the island’s sights on its list of World Heritage Sites.
From hosting some of the world’s most historic sites to the vibrant Mediterranean culture, the many charms of Cyprus make it an irresistible destination.
Here are 10 reasons why people ought to find themselves in Cyprus.
The sea. Cyprus is known for its beautiful beaches with clean waters – the European Environment Agency recognises Cyprus’s beaches as the cleanest in Europe. For swimming and other water sports, the island boasts over 65 official blue flag beaches.The Pafos region holds the gold quality coast award since 2013 and boasts 16 blue flag beaches.
The peace. Cyprus is a peaceful place, with rugged mountains and picturesque countryside. Additionally, it is a safe haven. The friendliness of the locals is admirable. Cypriots are known for their laidback and warm nature.
The food. It is a mix of Mediterranean cuisines. Cyprus is situated at a crossroad of three continents – as a result, its cuisine is a mixture and refinement of a variety of Southern European, Middle Eastern, and Central Asian influences. Locals are known to love vegetables, meat and fish and this is reflected in the number of dishes served.
Its history. Cyprus has one of the oldest histories dating as far back as 1100 BC. Combine your relaxed vacations with some time to discover some unique ancient history
Its blue skies and perfect weather. Cyprus enjoys mild winters, longer summers and short autumn and spring periods. This typical Mediterranean climate is attractive, especially to the ones wishing to escape too-hot and too-cold weather at home.
The rural. Rural tourism holiday options offer visitors a chance to enjoy the Cypriot culture and rural life like a local. If you wish, you can also learn a craft or observe locals as they create artefacts from scratch.
The luxury. For visitors who wish to appreciate a life of luxury in Cyprus, there are a number of options – from family-run luxury hotels to five star resorts, you are guaranteed the allure of the traditional Cypriot hospitality combined with modern sophistication.
You miss nothing. Cyprus is relatively a small island – most distances from one city to another can be covered by car, giving visitors the chance to see the island in a short time.
HOW TO MOVE TO CYPRUS
Much as Cyprus is a great destination to visit, it is a great place to live in.
In recent years, Cyprus opened up its borders to those interested in settling there and making a life for themselves — sometimes a second home, sometimes home.
The ripple effects of a global economy gives mobility to people and not only for their money. But immigration being what it is, several countries have blurred the lines between people and their money.
Among the different countries that provide people with the opportunity to move there, Cyprus ranks as not the least expensive but one of the most credible places to move to.
There are countries that are cheap in terms of upfront investment but are not great places in which to live or invest. There are others, like the United States, that have options for investment-based immigration but are impractical to move into and live unless possessed of the urge to pull 80-hour workweeks in a high-pressure environment and not counting the frequently un-considered costs of living including taxes and insurance, especially medical insurance.
Cyprus is at the junction of easy living and good company.
According to Hadjigeorgiou, Cyprus offers products and services tailored to all budget ranges. Cost of living in Cyprus is, on average, 11.26% lower than in the United States. Prices in Cyprus are more or less on par with other mid-range European destinations and it is entirely possible to visit the country on a budget. Accommodation, transport and food prices in Cyprus aren’t high, but it just isn’t necessarily the ultra-budget destination many believe it might be, either.
On top of it, Cyprus is located well for running one’s business in a laid-back environment with a life that is tailored to fit.
The requirements for moving in are fairly simple. To become a permanent resident of Cyprus, the investment is about 300,000 Euro (a little over Rs 2.60 cr on May 18, 2021.) Investment means buying a property for that price. So the investment is not a fee but an acquisition of a property. In some time, investors may sell a good part of the investment barring a component of the investment. Of course, investors can earn rental income on their properties, too.
Leptos — a local developer — is one of the better known and reputable companies that have made it easy for prospective investors. Their website describes the requirements for investment.
At the helm of marketing of Leptos is Sanjay Sachdev, who would know about life in Cyprus, having moved there and made it his home. Sachdev, has had a rich international working history in advertising and marketing, his work having taken him from Delhi to Bangalore, his present home city to Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Cyprus.
We asked Sachdev to present his views on living in Cyprus. In short, he loves it there.
Explocity: As an Indian living and working in Cyprus, did you adjust easily?
Sachdev: Very much so as Cyprus was part of the Commonwealth, English is widely spoken. In fact Cyprus and India drive on the same side of the road too. On top of that Cyprus offers both fabulous beaches and also snow and ski slopes in winter. If you love nature you are spoilt for choice.
Is living in Cyprus culturally comfortable?
As Cyprus is mainly a tourist destination people are welcome and locals are very friendly.
What brought you to Cyprus?
I got a job here that fitted my profile and in line with what I was doing for so many years in marketing and advertising.
Why should Indians consider moving there? Can you name one important factor?
For Plan B. To access Europe. To live in Europe permanently or parttime and also earn rental income. To live a comfortable life, with peace, health benefits, clean air, zero pollution and no crime.
This article is one of a 2-part series on Cyprus. Coming next issue, interviews with Pantelis Leptos and Nasos Hadjigeorgiou.