People holidaying in Cyprus often ask about driving on the island. Should they rent a car? Is it a safe, fun way to get around?
The answer is of course yes. Driving in Cyprus is no more difficult than driving in the UK. And in lots of ways itâ€™s easier and more fun.
- The pace in Cyprus is slower. Speed limits are lower. The roads just arenâ€™t built for speed. Thereâ€™s not the urge to get there a few seconds faster. And also thereâ€™s usually a cement lorry in front of you struggling to get up a hill.
- The roads are much quieter. Busiest times are in the run up to collecting kids from school at lunchtime. And even then traffic jams are pretty much unheard of. Any sort of hold up is also an opportunity for extreme motoring creativity.
- The islandâ€™s motorways â€“ or â€˜highwaysâ€™ as theyâ€™re known – are a safe, efficient way of travelling between the islandâ€™s cities. The motorways are quiet, and lane discipline is excellent. You just wonâ€™t find people hogging the overtaking lane for miles on end. And if you do, itâ€™s OK to shoot them providing itâ€™s a Wednesday or Sunday.
- Just like Britain, young men have a need to demonstrate their virility by dashing around noisily in small hatchback cars. And just like Britain, they make fools of themselves.
- One way streets are just that. You go one way. Doesnâ€™t matter which.
- Traffic lights are for advice only. Theyâ€™re also an opportunity to demonstrate your lightning reflexes by blasting your horn at the car in front if it doesnâ€™t move off instantly.
- Parking is a true art form. Sure thereâ€™s rules. But they only apply to somebody else. If itâ€™s physically possible to stop there, then itâ€™s OK to park there. Double-parking if for softies. Treble parking is where itâ€™s at.
- Talking on mobile phones while driving is only illegal if youâ€™re involved in an accident. Itâ€™s compulsory at all other times.
- Overtaking is possible anywhere â€“ especially steep hills and blind corners – provided your crucifix is hanging from the rear view mirror.
Like anywhere, drive safely. In Cyprus, expect the unexpected!