Cyprus is a little wonder. It has the most gorgeous Mediterranean beaches, plus ancient history dripping from every rock and not to mention property in Cyprus is very reasonably priced. It has warm winter sun, as well as a bit of skiing. It has a long history of British influence and friendship, plus a rich Greek culture too. It has great nightlife for the younger crowd plus a strong network of more sedate pursuits for the many retired residents.
There are a lot of pluses to Cyprus, and the British are not the only ones to have noticed. It is an increasingly popular island for house hunters and surely has a bright future as a global vacation destination at the crossroads of East and West. Maybe not just holidays either – like Malta, Cyprus is attracting businesses and investment. Greek Cypriots are an energetic bunch: think of Peter Andre, Theo Paphitis, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, founder of easyJet, you’ll probably fly there in one of his planes. Not bad for a country of just 800,000.
For many British holiday-home hunters and relocators, Cyprus fell off the radar following the financial crisis due to negative publicity (often justified) over miss-sold mortgages, dodgy developers and a problem getting title deeds. These problems have to a large extent been solved, and a new generation of us can move in and take advantage of the depressed Cypriot property prices. Prices fell by as much as 50 per cent between 2010 and 2015 according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). There are real bargains in those sundrenched hills with the stunning Mediterranean views!
Cyprus is 240 kilometres long and about 100 wide and a little smaller than Devon and Cornwall combined. It has been divided politically for decades, since a violent division of the island in 1974 that saw 200,000 Greek Cypriots leave their properties in the north. For this reason, few people are willing to buy property in the north for fear of title issues.
The southern part of Cyprus has the Troodos Mountains at the centre, leading down through oak, pine and cypress forests and rocky hills to the beaches. The most popular area for British buyers has traditionally been Paphos, in the south-west, and the villages around. Paphos is a rapidly-growing town that is increasingly popular for young families as well as the retired. It has an airport with direct, year-round flights to the UK.
Limassol is the second largest city (after the capital, Nicosia) and has been attracting international buyers to its superb new marina. Another famous place is Ayia Napa in the far south-east, once a byword for youngsters holiday excesses but considerably calmed down now.
There are serious moves to heal this divided country now, as it looks to a bright new future.