The Mediterranean is one of the most popular destinations for American nomads, perhaps second only to Latin America.
With its year-round warmer weather, vast cultural wealth, and an impressive array of historic sights, it provides the perfect setting for a prolonged workcation.
Be that as it may, a majority of remote workers arriving from the U.S. continues to restrict their movements in the region to Italy, Spain, France, Greece, and the like, often forgetting that the basin encompasses many more countries that are just as incredible, and worth a shot.
One of them is Cyprus, a lesser-known island in the Eastern Mediterranean not that many Americans are familiar with, and that happens to be a hugely promising digital nomad hub for 2023:
The Pearl Of The Eastern Mediterranean
Cyprus is an Eastern Mediterranean nation located south of Turkiye and a stone’s throw away from Lebanon, Israel, Iran, and other Middle Eastern nations. Technically, its unique geographical position makes it a Western Asian country, though it is anything but.
Cyprus is culturally and geopolitically European, being populated by ethnic Greek and Turkish Cypriots, among other minorities, and it’s been a proud member of the European Union since 2004. The official languages are Greek and Turkish, though Greek is a de facto lingua franca, and the only official currency is the euro.
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Early on in History, it was a hugely important trading port, with centuries-old cities like Nicosia and Kyrenia (alternatively called Girne in Turkish) playing a pivotal role in Mediterranean politics.
Due to its strategic location, it’s been an object of dispute between every single major empire you can think of, from Greeks to Romans, then Ottomans and the British.
It is jam-packed with ancient cities, Greco-Roman ruins – including some of the best-preserved Doric monuments of Antiquity in Paphos – cobblestone towns celebrated for their medieval heritage and traditions, and of course, sandy Mediterranean beaches extending for miles on end, bounded by teal-colored waters.
Check for yourself below. No, it is not the Caribbean: this is Protaras, a coastal province in Southeastern Cyprus lined with five-star resorts and luxurious developments.
Most Americans Have Not Heard Of Cyprus Yet
Cyprus may be an incredibly popular sunny destination for Europeans, and calling it ‘lesser-known’ will probably make some of our non-American readers roll their eyes hard, but there’s also no denying it continues to be one of the least-visited Mediterranean islands by U.S. nationals.
Americans are nowhere to be found in the top 10 of most frequent foreign visitors, being largely surpassed by the British, the Germans, Poles, and even Russians, at least prior to the war.
The lack of knowledge about Cyprus, as well as the lack of nonstop flight connections between the U.S. and the Eastern Mediterranean, may be partly to blame.
Interestingly, this trend has begun to reverse now that Cyprus has once again reopened for tourism, allowing Americans to visit restriction-free, and on top of that, issuing digital nomad visas to remote workers hoping to set up base somewhere warm for most of the year.
At last, Cyprus seems to be on everyone’s radar, and digital nomads, in particular, have been flocking to this mysterious nation in droves while escaping the surging crowds in Western Europe and seeking a higher quality of life than that they experience in the States.
But why Cyprus specifically, and how open is the country to digital nomads?
The Gateway To Paradise…
Or Should We Say, Olympus?
Being located in the Far East of the Mediterranean basin, where temperatures are between mild to pleasantly warm even in winter and scorching hot over the balmy summer months, Cyprus is the ideal destination for sun-loving nomads who care not only for beaches but the vast cultural wealth Europe offers.
Compared to other Western Mediterranean countries, such as Spain or Italy, Cyprus is also moderately cheaper for foreign settlers. Granted, it is no Albania or Bulgaria, two other up-and-coming hotspots for ‘workcations’ in the continent, but it is still incredibly affordable by U.S. or Caribbean standards.
A country’s minimum wage is often reflective of its cost of living, and in Cyprus, low-skilled workers employed locally earn, on average, €940, or USD$1,009.10 per month.
According to Expatistan, in order to live comfortably in Cyprus, an American nomad would require USD$1,795 per month, far less than the average in big American cities like Los Angeles, Miami, Boston, or New York, though that is only an estimate.
Additionally, the Cypriot Government has launched a number of programs aimed at facilitating the immigration of foreign investors and entrepreneurs into Cyprus in recent years.
One of them is the Cypriot Digital Nomad Visa.
It enables American nomads earning at least €3,500 per month, or roughly USD$ 3,756.94 after tax, to apply for a permit to reside legally in the Republic of Cyprus.
With it, they are allowed to remain in and work remotely from Cyprus for up to a year, though further extensions can be granted once the period elapses.
How To Apply For The Cypriot Digital Nomad Visa
U.S. nomads will need a valid passport, with at least three months of validity left after their planned date of arrival, and the following documents:
- Proof of income (bank statements or payslips)
- Their updated CV
- A ‘letter of intent’
- €30,000 health insurance
- Proof they have found accommodation in Cyprus
- A clean criminal record certificate
Applications are processed at Cypriot Consulates in the U.S. or any country nomads may be residing temporarily in, and there is a €70 application fee, according to Euronews. They can expect approval between five weeks to three months.
Alternatively, American nomads who are wary of visa hurdles and government bureaucracy and who are simply looking for a sunny haven to spend the summer months can simply land in Cyprus visa-free and remain in the country for up to three months.
As Cyprus is not part of the Schengen Area, any time spent in other Schengen or European countries does not count towards their tourist visa limit.
What You Should Know About Visiting Northern Cyprus
The island of Cyprus is a sovereign country internationally recognized as the Republic of Cyprus, though the northern quarter has been seized by a breakaway government self-entitled the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus since the seventies.
The North maintains a border with the South, despite its limited recognition, and there are checkpoints cutting through the heart of Nicosia, the Cypriot capital, as well as a UN buffer zone. In the capital, visitors should not be alarmed at the sight of peacekeeping forces carrying guns or no-go, militarized zones.
Cyprus is an extremely safe destination, and the present-day divide is political.
Outside Nicosia, the current state of affairs is barely noticeable, particularly in coastal areas such as Protaras, Ayia Napa, Limassol, and Paphos, all located miles away from the border and any authorized crossing points.
Traveling to Cyprus, due to the division, Americans are reminded they can only arrive via airports controlled by the internationally-recognized Republic of Cyprus, those being Larnaca International (LCA) and Paphos International (PFO).
The third civilian airport on the island, Ercan (ECN), sits on the Northern side of the border and is thus administered by the breakaway state. Only flights originating from Turkiye, the only UN member to recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, land in Ercan.
When arriving in ECN and attempting to cross into the Southern half afterward, Americans will be denied entry by the Republic of Cyprus border authorities as they deem any journeys starting from Ercan illegal. European Union (EU) citizens are normally not affected by this ruling, as they enjoy the freedom of movement entering and exiting Cyprus from any entry point.
On the other hand, Americans will have no difficulties visiting the Northern provinces when arriving first via a Southern entry point.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com