Ever dream of living on a quiet island in the middle of the Mediterranean, but it always seemed out of your price range? With white-sand beaches, warm water, year-round sunshine, and one of the world’s healthiest diets, Cyprus, the third largest island in the Mediterranean, could be the answer.
This lesser-known corner of Europe is a welcoming land of sunshine, ancient history, and romance. It is located east of Greece and south of Turkey. As a former Crown colony, English is widely spoken across Cyprus. With real estate and day-to-day living expenses at a fraction of the cost of mainland Europe, Cyprus is quickly becoming a popular retirement and digital nomad destination for expats from around the globe.
Cyprus is a small country with a great history. A member of the EU today, it has been inhabited since ancient times and has welcomed visitors for hundreds of years, who have left their mark on the culture, language, and cuisine. There is an abundance of interesting things to do and see in Cyprus, from ancient ruins to beautiful beaches, which makes it a popular travel destination for tourists.
According to mythology, it was here at Cyprus that Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, was born.
Cyprus is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa, and throughout history has been ruled by diverse civilizations. The Phoenicians, Assyrians, Ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Franks, Venetians, Ottomans, and the British have all left their mark. Today, this complex history is reflected in Cyprus’ fascinating cultural sites and its rich cuisine.
Many visitors come to Cyprus for the castles, churches, food, and wine. They are also drawn to the island’s plentiful sunshine—it has more than 300 days annually. The island also has mountainous pine and cedar forests, seaside towns, and landscapes dotted with hot-pink bougainvillea and white oleander.
Cyprus is known to have a Mediterranean and semi-arid subtropical climate. This area is known for having very mild winters and warm to hot summers. Rain falls mostly in the winter, with the summer being mostly dry.
With more than 300 days of sunshine annually Cyprus’s climate is one of the warmest climates in the European Union’s Mediterranean region.
Most of Cyprus’ terrain is mountainous, and the island’s landscape ranges from a few coastal plains in the east to mountain plateaus and central highlands in the west.
Security and safety
Cyprus is considered by most (including the Global Peace Index) to be one of the safest countries in the European Union.
Despite its proximity to countries plagued by terrorism and war, Cyprus remains a safe destination. The holidays and the summer are peak seasons for petty theft, but generally lower than the average situation in the US.
Cost of living
Cyprus is a pretty affordable place to live in the EU, especially considering it is a Mediterranean island. Cost of living is Cyprus is comparable to Greece and Malta.
Regarding day-to-day living expenses, electricity costs are about the same as in North America. Vegetables, citrus fruits, olive oil, and cheese are locally grown and priced.Many of your shopping needs can be met at roadside stands and markets, where you might try to get better deals. In Cyprus, eating out is a low-cost luxury. Traditional dishes (kebabs, hummus, salads, etc.) can be eaten at local restaurants for the equivalent of a couple of dollars for a healthy and filling Mediterranean meal.
Generally speaking, you can live a comfortable life on a monthly budget of around €1,500.
Cyprus lost its tax haven status when the OECD assigned it the same rating as the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Cyprus’s increase in corporate tax rates to 12.5% is one of the reasons the country is no longer regarded as a tax haven.
The Cypriot government imposes a general income tax rate on taxpayers ranging from 20% to 35%, depending on their gross annual income. Individuals are exempt from taxation if their annual taxable income is €19,500 or less. The corporate income tax rate is 12.5%. The trust income tax rate is an effective marginal rate of 15%.
Cyprus has a progressive taxation system, meaning taxpayers with higher incomes pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than taxpayers with lower incomes.
The Republic of Cyprus has a number of tax incentives when it comes to foreign companies looking to establish a local corporate presence. There are also tax benefits for foreign investors investing in the country.
Visas & Residency
The Cyprus residence permit allows foreigners to stay legally in Cyprus for more than three months. Before applying for a residence permit, you must first obtain an entry visa depending on your purpose of travel. If you are arriving from another EU country, you will only need a visa if you decide to stay for more than three months.
You can also obtain Residency by Investment in Cyprus:
Residential or commercial Real Estate – Purchase of a brand-new house/apartment or commercial real estate for at least €300,000.
Investing in Companies/Fund– Investment of a minimum of €300,000.
Cyprus has a residence permit route called Category F, which you can use if you have passive income that can guarantee a decent living without having to engage in any work or business. The minimum annual income requirement is €9,500 for a single applicant.
Timeline to citizenship through naturalisation is long- 7 years, but it does reward you by granting you EU citizenship
In Cyprus, there are public and private healthcare systems. The Ministry of Health oversees and manages the public health insurance program, funded by taxes. It offers healthcare coverage to everyone in the nation, including government employees and self-employed citizens. The Healthcare system of Cyprus was ranked #24 globally from the World Health Organization. The standards are excellent , and the medical professionals are fluent in English and well-trained and qualified.
To use the public healthcare system here, you must be either a citizen of Cyprus, an EU citizen, or have a valid resident permit.
When relocating to Cyprus, foreigners must first register as residents and enroll in the national health insurance program. The Ministry will assign you to one of the following groups after you acquire a health insurance card:
The right to free healthcare
A minor charge must be paid
Will have to cover the entire cost of medication
All of these sections are based on the resident’s income, health history, and presence of children. If you are working for a Cyprus-based firm, you will be happy to know that your employer will handle your health insurance.
Healthcare in this country is very affordable and excellent standard as long as you meet the stated requirements.
The real estate market in Cyprus is still young compared to other EU nations, so there are opportunities to buy and sell properties at a reasonable price. About 50 % of all expats to Cyprus stay in Paphos, Cyprus’s fourth largest city. One of the reasons is its reasonable real estate prices.
Your options for a property include luxurious villas, apartments, townhouses, penthouses, and more.
Best places in the country
There are lots of beautiful places to live in Cyprus, and they include Nicosia and Paphos.
Nicosia is rich in architectural marvels and sites of cultural importance. It is a melting pot of cultures, with students coming from all over the world to study in the city’s leading universities. Other places like Paphos are equally as fantastic.
Proximity to the US
Visiting Cyprus is very convenient because it lies between Europe and the Middle East (both by air and sea). However, it is about 10,414 km from the United States, which is approximately a 12-hour flight to land in the US. There are no direct flights so will need to do a stop over in major European cities in Germany, France, Italy, Greece or Dubai.
Activities and Recreation
The slower pace of life in Cyprus compared to other EU nations is one of the reasons an increasing number of expatriates select it as their new home. The importance of leisure time and maintaining a healthy work-life balance cannot be overstated.
Cyprus is a small island, yet it boasts an incredible natural beauty that appeals to all tastes. Beyond its beaches, Cyprus is a place to embrace the outdoors and ecotourism. Cyprus has world-class golf courses with sweeping views over the ocean and hiking trails through its mountains and forests.
For those who enjoy the outdoors, the Troodos Mountains are a fantastic choice for skiing, forest walking, and taking in breathtaking views and nearby waterfalls.
You may visit museums, archaeological sites, parks, mosques, monasteries, and special Venetian architectural locations.
If Greek food—with a twist—sounds appealing, you’ll be pleased with what Cyprus has to offer. Popular dishes include fresh seafood, souvlaki (skewered chicken, lamb, or pork), grilled halloumi (salted goat’s and sheep’s-milk cheese), and stuffed vegetables.
Living in Cyprus is comfortable and enjoyable. The quality of life here is great and also affordable.
It is a synergetic combination between a peaceful life and high living standards. 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 is a list of the Pros and Cons of traveling, living, moving and retiring in Cyprus
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