Cyprus Travel: Major Airports & Ferry Routes on the Island
The strategic location of the island means that it is in the centre of 3 continents: Europe, Asia and Africa, making it a favourable place for travelling for both business and leisure. Being in the middle of many major flight routes between the continents, along with the bustling ports has contributed significantly to the islands growth as a reputable international business and services centre has made the island a major trading hub, but also extremely easy to reach for travel.
While the majority of tourists visit Cyprus using package tours all inclusive deals, you can also organise your trip independently by booking your own flights and accommodation. The island has three international airports: Larnaka, Paphos and Ercan (located in the Turkish-occupied Northern part of the island). There are frequent direct flights to worldwide destinations, however, Larnaka is the largest and busiest and therefore offers the widest choice of international flights while Paphos tends to fly more locally within Europe. Ercan is a great choice if you are looking for cheap travel arrangements to Turkey and other Middle Eastern countries.
There are no direct flights to Cyprus from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa, so long-hauls involve at least one changeover, usually in London, Dubai, Athens or Bahrain. Major European destinations from Cyprus include Athens, Amsterdam and Madrid.
Since Cyprus is a relatively small island, generally speaking the airports are so close to each other (driving distance is no longer than 1.5 hours from Larnaca to Paphos), therefore price is usually the deciding factor for choice of airport, as opposed to location of accommodation. If you are travelling independently we would recommend hiring a car, as while there is public transport on the island, it is not too frequent. There are a number of shuttles that run from Ayia Napa to Larnaca and Limassol to Paphos, however only run a full service between business hours.
The island’s two international airports based in Larnaca and Paphos have hundreds of daily flights now operating to and from all over the world, making travel really easy. Connecting services are also available from terminals throughout Europe and the Middle East.
Major Ferry Ports
After concerns regarding international terrorism, the ferry ports in the southern part of the island were closed to the public in 2001, however there are several ferry routes leaving from Northern Cyprus to mainland Turkey in the South.
Typically passenger-only ferries are much quicker than car ferries and have the following schedule throughout the year:
Mersin –> Gazimağusa: A service runs every Monday, Wednesday & Friday, with return trips on Tuesday, Thursday & Sunday.
Tasucu –> Girne: A daily ferry leaves from Tasucu.
Alanya –> Girne: A ferry leaves mainland Turkey from Monday to Thursday.