In terms of location the Republic of Cyprus is divided into several districts:
Below you can have a look at Cyprus on the maps.
According to the data of population census taken in 2011 following is the way the population is distributed among Cyprus districts:
As of 2012 Cyprus is ranked second among the European Union countries according to the number of foreign residents in the Republic of Cyprus with only Luxemburg ranked first as per this figure.
Certainly foreign customers when purchasing property on the island focus first of all on coastal cities and districts. Therefore we are not going to pay too much attention to the central district of Nicosia in this section that is located at a considerable distance from the sea.
In terms of property acquisition the cities of Limassol, Paphos and Larnaca may be divided into the following parts:
City center represents areas of quite compact planning and development where native residents – Cypriots mainly live. Those foreigners who plan vigorous activities or work in Cyprus and who are fond of urbanization and urban life-style prefer to settle there. Commercial property, business centers, banks, stores, automobile sales centers and etc. are clustered in city centers. Immovable property is chiefly represented by apartments. As a rule, there are no beautiful sea views and the sea is not within short walking distance.
While Cypriots used to the sea from childhood do not particularly tend to live by the sea, foreigners who purchase property for holiday-making have other reasoning and mainly settle in a tourist area. It is located in city outskirts and stretches along the sea. Basic recreation infrastructure is concentrated there (hotels, cafes and restaurants, numerous shops). Unlike city centers the atmosphere there is cosmopolitan while the infrastructure is more customer-oriented to provide service to foreigners. Immovable property is represented by both apartments and townhouses and by detached houses with individual plots of land. The cost of land dramatically increases within walking distance to the sea. Therefore the property in a tourist area is not cheap while plots by villas are small (300 sq.m. on average). Complexes of apartments have common swimming pools while villas have individual ones.
Nearest city suburbs have actually merged with the cities; there is no distinguished boundary as to where a city ends and a suburb begins. Speaking of Limassol and Paphos the suburbs are situated on hills with beautiful sea views. The sea is usually not within walking distance. Immovable property in the nearest suburbs is for the most part represented by villas with individual plots of land (400-450 sq.m. on average) though complexes of apartments can be found there as well. A house in the suburbs is the best option for those who wish to live in a quiet and peaceful place in the country and at the same time in 5-10 minutes drive from a city.
The customers who value peace and tranquility above all and who are not required to go to the city on a daily basis purchase houses in villages that are rather away from the city. However one should not forget that Cyprus is a small island. Distance between cities does not exceed 70 km. Therefore villages are generally located within 20 minutes drive from a city. Provided that a village is located at a reasonable distance from the sea the land there is relatively inexpensive. Subsequently plots of land by villas are larger than those in the nearest suburbs.
Further descriptions of separate districts are given below.
Limassol is second largest city in Cyprus after Nicosia. It is a major business, cultural and educational center of Cyprus. It is a kind of a geographic center of Cyprus located at equal distance from Paphos, Larnaca and Nicosia.
Limassol is a wonderful place for doing shopping. The popular events such as Cyprus Carnival and Wine Festival take place there. Major infrastructure projects are implemented there, construction of one of the largest marinas in the Mediterranean (per 600 yachts including 70 megayachts). There are many English schools as well as higher education institutions there.
Business and cultural life is perfectly well combined with resort life in Limassol.
Limassol stretches along the sea. The coastline (which is nearly 15 km long) represents a continuous sandy beach. Historical monuments (ancient towns, medieval fortresses and etc.) are clustered around Limassol.
The tourist area is located in the Eastern part of the city. There are four and five-star hotels with appropriate infrastructure, lots of restaurants, bars, clubs, SPA and etc. there. Eucalyptus grove stretches for several kilometers along the sea.
There are hills with beautiful views to the city and the sea northwards and north-eastwards of Limassol. Prestigious nearest suburbs of the city – Kalogiri, Agios Tychonas, Germasogeias, Agios Athanasios, Ayia Phyla and others are situated on hills.
Villages popular among foreigners who are fond of solitude and peace are located in 15-20 minutes drive from the city. North-westwards of Limassol it is Souni (on a hill with beautiful views surrounded by a pine grove). Eastwards of the city those are the villages of Moni, Pyrgos and others.
30 km northwards of Limassol there are Troodos mountains with fantastic pine forests, natural springs and even waterfalls. The places there are really splendid, the air is ozone-filled, the mountains offer sea views of both Southern and Northern coast of Cyprus. There are ancient churches and monasteries there too as well as picturesque villages where one can have a robust dinner in a tavern. There is snow cover in the mountains in winter and one can go skiing there.
Limassol is the most expensive (in terms of property prices) city of Cyprus.
Paphos is a beautiful city, which used to be the ancient capital of Cyprus. It is designated as world cultural heritage in the UNESCO list. Among foreigners this place is particularly favored by Englishmen. Eastwards the district borders with picturesque mountains of Troodos and northwards with the national Akamas park famous for its virginal nature.
Paphos is a lovely place for holiday-making. There are museums, historical monuments, splendid hotels, restaurants, taverns and a complete set of tourist infrastructure there. However Paphos is a perfectly comfortable city for permanent residence as well. Paphos is a full-scale city: there are many shopping centers and supermarkets, good English schools.
Paphos is a very green city. Traditional English approach to improvement of plots attached to houses and to landscaping is evident there.
The nearest suburbs of Paphos are Chlorakas, Geroskipou and Konia. Still further (northwards of Paphos) there are villages of Tala, Peyia and Tsada popular among foreigners. 20 km eastwards of Paphos there is a golf-resort recognized as one of the best in Europe. Residential property at the resort is represented by both apartments and high level townhouses and villas.
From administrative point of view Polis is considered as part of Paphos district but it is worth describing separately.
If you move northwards of Paphos then going to the right round the national park on Akamas peninsula you will find yourselves in the area of Polis city and its satellites – Latchi, Argaka and other small villages.
The places there are calm and peaceful, away from any large centers. Several days spent in Polis will be quite enough for one to feel the peaceful resort atmosphere, virginal nature, calmness and peace. In a word this place is paradise for those who are fond of solitude. At the same time it will become clear that this is a good resort but not a place for permanent residence for a foreigner. It is good for arriving at for a couple of weeks several times a year.
Latchi village located 5 km westwards of Polis adjoins Akamas national park. There is a Cyprus sight nearby – a small waterfall called baths of Aphrodite. The sea is particularly transparent with a very beautiful seabed. Anassa hotel considered as best in Cyprus is located in Latchi.
Immovable property in immediate proximity to the sea in Latchi is expensive. At the same time you will be able to purchase marvelous holiday property at quite moderate prices in the villages eastwards of Polis such as Argaka.
Larnaca is third largest city in Cyprus (after Nicosia and Limassol). There too just as in Limassol and Paphos urban business life style is combined with that of resort.
The first British University in Cyprus – UcLan Cyprus, which is a branch of the well-known Central Lancashire English University operates in the Eastern suburb of Larnaca, Pyla. Another educational institution is a private English school, American Academy that was repeatedly recognized as the best in Cyprus.
Large-scale infrastructure projects are implemented in Larnaca. They turn the city into a first-class tourist center. Construction of a passenger port is under way. This will become the main tourist sea hub of the country. A marina for yachts is also being reconstructed and extended.
Finikoudes seafront in the historical center of Larnaca which probably represents the most beautiful coastal promenade in Cyprus is worth mentioning. Many people catch a likeness to the famous English seafront in Nice. Going a little deep into Finikoudes you will find yourselves in the atmosphere of old Europe – there are cozy narrow streets and paved pedestrian areas with numerous stores and boutiques.
Southwards of Larnaca on the coastline there is a popular tourist area and a beach bearing the same name of Makenzie. Still further there is an international airport and a salt lake where pink flamingos come in autumn. The main tourist area where the majority of foreigners live is located along the coastline in 5-10 minutes drive in a car north-eastwards of Larnaca along Dekelia Road. There are also many hotels, well equipped beaches, restaurants, taverns and the whole required infrastructure for holiday-making.
The nearest suburbs of Larnaca popular among foreigners – Pervolia in the South, Tersefanou in the West, Oroklini and Pyla in the North-East. The area around Larnaca is relatively flat. Nevertheless Oroklini area offers beautiful views to the sea and the city.
Ayia Napa and Protaras resorts are located in the administrative district of Famagusta. Perhaps the best beaches in Cyprus with white sand and particularly transparent azure water are there in the East of the island.
Protaras and Ayia Napa are purely resorts. The life there is in full swing during the season (from May to November) and it comes to a standstill at other times of the year. Immovable property there is purchased solely for holiday-making purposes.
Protaras is a peaceful resort for a family vacation. As to Ayia Napa night clubs, disco clubs and all kinds of seaside recreation, trips in buggies and all terrain vehicles and some very special aura of all-absorbing joy turn Ayia Napa into the most favorite place among the youth. There is good reason why people refer to Ayia Napa as the Ibiza of Cyprus.
A little off Ayia Napa and Protaras in a few kilometers from the sea there are Cyprus villages with their traditional country tranquility and peace. The property (both apartments and houses) there is rather inexpensive. Many people prefer to purchase dwelling for holiday-making just there when beautiful beaches are located only in 5-10 minutes drive in a car.
The capital of the Republic of Cyprus – Nicosia is located in the center of the island. It is a contemporary European city where the authorities, diplomatic missions of foreign states, headquarters of many Cyprus and international companies are concentrated.
As the city is at a distance from the sea the property there is purchased by the foreigners who work in Nicosia on a permanent basis.
The nearest place from Nicosia on the coast is a tourist area of Larnaca – Dekelia Road which is approximately 40 km away from the capital. Nicosia residents often purchase another property for their own use there as well as in Protaras area where they spend their spare time.