There’s a good dual-carriageway between Ercan airport and Nicosia and the main roads between Nicosia and Famagusta and Nicosia and Güzelyurt have recently been upgraded. Driving is on the left as it is in the Republic of Cyprus.
You may not hire a car and drive it over the Green Line in either direction. To hire a car in northern Cyprus, you must be at least 25 and have a full driving licence from your home country. As in the Republic of Cyprus, the condition of rental cars often leaves much to be desired. If possible, test a car before you rent it and in particular check the efficiency of the brakes! Rates start at around UK£15 per day. Hire cars are fitted with distinctive red plates with numbers prefixed by a ‘Z’.
There are no rail services in northern Cyprus, where buses and taxis vary in terms of reliability and standard of service.
If you arrive at Ercan airport, there’s no public bus service from the airport (even into Nicosia city), so you must take a taxi from the airport to your destination (see below), unless you’re staying at one of the larger hotels or arrive as part of a package holiday, in which case you will usually be met at the airport. You can get a bus back to Ercan airport from the Cyprus Turkish Airlines Office in the new town, Bedrettin Demirel Caddesi (Tel. 227-1240). Buses depart two hours before flights leave Ercan airport.
Buses serve central and suburban Nicosia city and operate between all the main towns, but these are less frequent after 5pm and at weekends.
Taxis are widely available throughout northern Cyprus, although they aren’t metered. Ask the driver to quote you the fare before getting into the taxi. You can pay in either Turkish liras or pounds sterling (but change will be given in liras). Fares from the airport are approximately UK£5 into Nicosia, UK£20 to Kyrenia and UK£25 to Famagusta.
There’s also a shared taxi system, using minibuses (dolmushes), between Nicosia, Kyrenia and Famagusta.
This article is an extract from Buying a Home in Cyprus from Survival Books.