The sublime climate of Cyprus accounts for much of the country’s tourism, with scenic beaches such as Nissi and Coral Bay providing a fine backdrop for relaxation.
The Tombs of the Kings is, otherwise, a very popular attraction for visitors.
Roughly one million Britain nationals visit Cyprus each year, such is its popularity, although there are limited options for travel from the United Kingdom.
Getting to Cyprus
Flight times from London to Nicosia, Cyprus’ capital, can take just over six hours with certain airlines. This can increase to anywhere over 15 hours if you make more than one stop.
For those looking to avoid air travel, the only feasible option to reach Cyprus is by a combination of train and ferry, although this can take up to five days.
Cyprus is two hours ahead of British Summer Time and three hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
Therefore, you should not need to make excessive adjustments to medicate your diabetes.
However, if you are unsure as to how best to stick to your medication schedule then it is best to discuss a plan with your diabetes specialist.
Cyprus has a spectacular climate, with warm winters and average summer temperatures of around 27°C throughout the season.
If you take insulin, you will have to manage your blood sugar levels scrupulously, as extreme heat can enhanced insulin absorption
You could consider reducing your dosages if you are planning physical activity and are worried about hypoglycemia.
The currency in Cyprus is the Euro, although hotels, large shops and restaurants accept most major credit and debit cards, as well as travellers' cheques.
There are no mandatory vaccinations required to enter Cyprus, but it is recommended to receive vaccination for hepatitis A, which can be contracted through contaminated food and water in Cyprus.
Rabies can be found in bats in Cyprus. This is not a major risk for travellers, but vaccination is advised for people who will be working in or planning activities in remote areas that put them at risk of bat bites.
If you believe you may require these vaccines then you should consult your doctor at least eight weeks before travelling which should allow enough time for you to receive them.
Otherwise, the opportunity should be taken to ensure existing vaccinations such as your yearly flu jab and those against polio and tetanus are also up to date.
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for Cyprus
Cyprus is amongst the European countries that allow you to receive state healthcare either at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. It will cover you for medical treatment until you return to the UK.
It is best to apply for an EHIC card directly through the NHS. Your card will usually arrive within seven days if you have applied through the NHS, but it is best to apply two weeks in advance to allow for any delays.
Access to medication
Medication is available in Cyprus, but payment is required from a pharmacy. Possessing an EHIC card, however, allows you to receive treatment at a lesser cost and this money can be recouped when you get back into the UK.
Blood and urine testing kits are available from many pharmacies in Cyprus.
The emergency services telephone number to be called in Cyprus is 112.
It is advisable to contact the manufacturing company of your medication prior to leaving the UK to find out what is available in Cyprus if your medication gets lost, stolen or damaged. It is also worth checking to see what different names your medication may be listed as.
You should note which syringes are available in Cyprus, with U-100 syringes the most commonly used.
If you need to take a different strength of insulin, say in an emergency, it’s important that you use the correct device and syringes for that insulin.
For example, you would use a U-40 syringe for U-40 insulin. You will need to work with a doctor getting the right dose if you’re using a different form of insulin.
It is important to note the diabetes associations in the country you are travelling to in case of an emergency
There is one diabetic association in Cyprus that can be contacted for information prior to your stay. The address is:
- Cyprus Diabetic Association,
PO Box 25306,
- How is blood glucose measured in Cyprus? Unfortunately, we do not have the information of whether blood glucose is measured in mg/dl or mmol/l in Cyprus
- What language is spoken in Cyprus? Greek and Turkish are the official languages of Cyprus, although English is widely spoken
- Will I need an international driving license when driving in Cyprus? Yes
- If I want to hire a vehicle during my visit, will I face any form of discrimination? No
- What sugar free drinks are available in Cyprus? Almost all available soft drinks in the UK, including Diet Coke and Diet Sprite