Personal experience renting a house and living in winter
I absolutely did not want to bother with visas. The presence of one passport has become a basic priority in finding a country that can be visited in the winter of 2019–2020. To my surprise, browsing the Internet, I found a huge list of visa-free countries for Russians. 116 pieces to be exact. Of course, the list contained countries such as Kyrgyzstan or Belarus, but there were South Africa, Seychelles, Nepal, Mexico, and Cyprus.
I’ll get ahead of myself by saying that now I’m just in Cyprus, but first things first.
Finding out where I can go with only a passport, of course, I began to study the prices of airlines. For example, in South Africa you can fly in the winter for 25 thousand rubles., In Cyprus for 7 thousand rubles. Okay, a ticket to Cyprus is not so expensive. Let’s see how much housing costs.
Here the fun begins. There was an absolute misunderstanding of how to rent a property abroad. How to look if there will be a lease in what language? Booking.com does not allow reservations for more than a month, and the prices are absolutely unbelievable. I did not want to live in a hotel first, and then look for housing. Firstly, it will increase the budget, and secondly, I do not like to communicate with people, especially with foreigners. I am an introvert. For me, such things are a huge waste of internal resources. Having come across this problem, I began to doubt the success of the plan.
One day, a friend told me another service – airbnb. Similar to Booking, but as I understand it, it works with all people, not just hotels and companies. Something like our Avito. Having visited the resource and driven in all the search parameters, I was amazed, because the prices for apartments in the city of Larnaca ranged from an average of 30 thousand rubles. up to 60 thousand rubles per month.
It was decided to fly to Cyprus in December 2019. Let me remind you, the search for all the information, booking a home, buying tickets was made in the spring of 2019 – more than six months in advance. I forgot to say that Cyprus is a conditionally visa-free country for Russians. To get there, you must fill out an online application, which will be considered within two to three days. You will have a pro-visa, which must be printed and kept with you for the entire 90 days stay in Cyprus. That is how much a visa obtained in a simplified way will be in this country.
Now more about the costs
An apartment with a kitchen-living room, a separate bedroom, a combined bathroom and a shower booth cost me 92 thousand rubles. for 2 months and 18 nights. At the same time, 35 thousand rubles. I paid immediately upon booking, the rest is divided into monthly payments. I admit honestly, it was scary to book accommodation 8 months before arrival.
The flight cost me 19 thousand rubles, in both directions, I took tickets long before the expected departure date. Consider this if you come back to repeat my experience.
Thus, housing prices do not differ from Moscow, with the only difference being that the sea, the sun and fresh fruit are nearby.
Speaking of them! To my great surprise, in December – January, seasonal fruits ripen in Cyprus: bananas, tangerines, pomegranates, strawberries. At the same time, prices for them in supermarkets are low and range from 2 to 6 euros per kg. In general, I’ll say that my grocery basket comes out about 50 euros, and these products last for a week. If you want to eat in cafes and restaurants, which are very numerous, then one trip will cost from 20 to 50 euros. Also in Cyprus there are a large number of places where you can drink coffee, Cypriots love it very much, and similar coffee houses have no shortage of visitors, especially in the morning.
At first Cyprus seems like a paradise. People here lead a measured lifestyle and are in no hurry. Therefore, be prepared for a similar speed in the service sector. The whole island looks like a big provincial city. It is very difficult to find any small things with a narrow focus, people here do not use online maps and explain the road on their fingers. You need to be prepared, there will not be the usual rhythm of the life of a metropolis. Despite this, people are very welcoming and friendly towards foreigners. Cyprus is an integral state, but the island itself is divided into two parts Cypriot (Greek) and Turkish. These two halves, to put it mildly, do not like each other.
Cyprus. Personal experience renting a house and living in winter
I live in the Greek part of Cyprus, in the suburbs of the city of Larnaca. There are a lot of Russians here, in stores on the price tags there are Russian names along with English and Cypriot. Enough shops with Russian products. Communication with local residents occurs mainly in English, sometimes in Russian and very rarely with gestures.
Cyprus is a fairly small island; most cities can be explored in 1 day. This does not mean that there are no attractions and entertainment. The most interesting thing in this country, of course, is not the beaches and resort places, but its historical buildings. For example, in Larnaca there is the Orthodox Church of St. Lazarus. For every believer, this is a holy place that is visited by many pilgrims. In the city there is a defensive fort of Larnaca, or as it is also called Larnaca castle.