Finding cheap holidays in Cyprus is nowhere near as easy as it was 15 years ago.I remember when Al and I first came to the island back in 1998 and ate out for just a few Cypriot pounds every night. We spent the days exploring and often grabbed a bite to eat in a remote village taverna, astonished at how much food you were given for less than £5 Cypriot pounds.
Summer Holidays in Cyprus
Sadly, times have changed and, with the island joining the EU in 2004 and then adopting the Euro as its form of currency in January 2008, prices for the average British holidaymaker seem very high...not to mention the local ex-pat community, many reliant on their UK pension paid in GBP sterling to survive.
But we do now have low cost airline flights to the island via Easyjet and Ryanair, and that in turn has meant good deals being available from the charter airlines too. You just need to choose the right time of year to visit.
And here's where I come in. Read on for my cheap holidays in Cyprus tips.
It never ceases to amaze me that the vast majority of visitors to Cyprus come in the HOT (think sizzling 35-40 degrees) summer months (mid June to end August) which is the most expensive time to visit the island.
In July and August:
Flights are more expensive - even though Easyjet now fly to Cyprus, a return flight to the UK in July/August will cost at least £280. It's a good idea to check prices from multiple airlines in one go to get an idea of prices for your chosen timing.
Tip: Checking flight prices through a comparison site like Skyscanner often gives you cheaper prices than going direct to the individual airline site. That's because companies like Skyscanner get a discount from the airlines for selling their flight.
Cheap accommodation can be hard to find in August when Cyprus self catering villas cost from £850 a week and even a small apartment will set you back about £450 a week.
If you are looking for a cheap Cyprus hotel in August, you may be unlucky, unless you opt for the now very popular all-inclusive package deal; these might offer a great price, but you then may not have the budget to eat out if you don't like the hotel food.
And as for getting a cheap Cyprus car hire quote in the peak summer months, rental cars are so much in demand, you will really struggle. You can easily spend £200 for a week's car hire in August, even for a tiny economy class car which is no good for a large family.
No wonder some people think cheap holidays in Cyprus don't exist!
Here are my best tips to save money on your Cyprus holiday:
Families often have no choice but to travel in July and August, but if you don't have kids, avoid those months! They are not the only months with guaranteed sunshine.
The weather is still gloriously sunny almost every day in May/June and Sept/October, flight and accommodation prices are cheaper and you will often find bargain holidays to Cyprus in these months too.
Some people like to book their Cyprus holidays well in advance to be sure of a flight from a regional airport or to get the right accommodation choice. But if you normally leave things to the last minute, it's worth thinking about planning your holidays a little more than usual.
For example, take cheap airfares, Cyprus is over four hours flying time from the UK so a difficult destination for many low cost airlines as they tend to stick to flight destinations a maximum of three hours away. While Easyjet of course now fly here, their cheapest flights are on a first come first served basis, though getting the cheap seats really does make your cheap holidays in Cyprus easier.
But if you want a last minute break and need to book at the last minute, I'd suggest you take a look at some of the charter travel companies as well as checking flight-only prices with low cost airlines like Easyjet.
Thomson for example, often has late flight bargains to Cyprus dependent on their sell-through on holiday package deals AND they now offer great all inclusive packages which are sometimes so cheap, it's worth booking one just for the flight, then eating out in the evening if you don't like the hotel food! See my late holiday deals page for the latest offers.
Look for a cheap Cyprus hotel on travel websites specialising in hotel bookings, like Hotels Combined.
For ultra cheap holidays in Cyprus, if you don't mind roughing it a little, book a BUDGET HOTEL ROOM with Hostelbookers. Rooms tend to be in low-grade hotel apartment type accommodation but if you just want a place to sleep at night...
Don't get ripped off by unscrupulous taxi drivers. If you need a taxi from the airport PRE-BOOK your taxi online with my easy to use online taxi booking service.
Shop around for the best foreign exchange rates by checking rates at various locations including online currency exchange brokers. Remember also that FREE commission usually means that the actual commission is just hidden within an often poor Euro exchange rate. See my page on foreign exchange currency rates for more information.
If you're planning a special interest holiday in Cyprus like diving, cycling, hiking or fishing, think about asking your tour company for advice on cheap places to stay in Cyprus and/or cheap car rental in Cyprus.
This is especially true if your specialist tour company is based in Cyprus as they will have close contacts with other local businesses and can often get you a great deal.
If you are self catering, don't just head for the nearest big supermarket to get your groceries.
While prices are cheaper for many items, branded goods that you are used to will almost certainly cost a LOT more eg. Flora spread, butter, cheddar cheese or UK branded cleaning products.
My tips for cheap holidays in Cyprus on a self catering basis are:
Buy the Cypriot brand equivalent - it is ALWAYS cheaper!
Try something different - buy Cypriot food like salads, pork (very cheap!), halloumi or feta cheese rather than cheddar.
Eat lots of fruit and vegetables - stick to seasonal produce grown in Cyprus (look for the Kypros label at the froutaria = fruit market) for the cheapest ingredients.
Finally, for really cheap holidays in Cyprus, why not visit during the low season months. From November to March there is a greater likelihood of rain, but most of the time, the weather is fantastic and best of all, flights, accommodation and car hire are all very VERY cheap.
Despite the ongoing financial crisis that started in Cyprus back in March 2013, this wonderful island is still a great place to come for a sunshine holiday.
I just did a quick check and you can rent an apartment for around £250 per week, get car hire for around £55 per week for a small economy car, book a bargain flight for about £100 return and all you need is maybe £100 per person for spending money. That means a holiday for two in Cyprus could cost as little as GBP£300 per person!
Now that's what I call a bargain, Cyprus style.
I'll keep a close eye on prices of flights, accommodation and car hire in Cyprus to keep you up to date with the latest bargains. So bookmark this page or subscribe to my RSS feed (click the orange button on the left) so you know when there's a new page added that's related to cheap holidays in Cyprus.
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