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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so me and my girlfriend have booked flight tickets to Ercan Airport in Northern Cyprus and plan on crossing the 'Green Line' to Southern Cyprus most probably by hire car with me driving. We plan to stay in Limassol for a week long holiday in a hotel. Now I'm a UK citizen so as such a EU citizen so understand this will not be a problem. She however is from the Ukraine but qualifies for visa free travel to the EU as holiday will take place after 11th June (under the new rules allowing Ukrainians with biometric passports visa free entry to the EU) and she has a biometric passport.

The thing is I have looked up on the internet and there are reports of non-EU nationals being arrested in the past and deported (possibly imprisoned!:eek:) How likely is this? The article I was reading was from about six years ago and even then some reckoned it rare, others there is a periodic crackdown often in summer. Though I hear relations between North & South has eased a bit in recent times.

The UK website just tends to allure to the point that all both British & foreign visitors could at most be fined but this is unlikely to happen.

Link: Gov.UK Foreign Travel Advice - Cyprus

So I just wondered if anyone living there or with substantial experience could give me an idea of if its a problem these days? or if it might be for her?
 

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You need to check if you can drive a TRNC hire car in the ROC and whether its insurance is valid.

I'm not aware of any biometric passport devices at the crossing points. Whenever I have crossed to and from TRNC the Greek crossing point staff have never bothered to put their coffee cups down and get up from behind their desk to check anything but that may be because my car has ROC number plates.

I expect that life may have been easier for you had you flown into Larnaka or Paphos. I don't understand why you want to travel the complicated way you have chosen.

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You need to check if you can drive a TRNC hire car in the ROC and whether its insurance is valid.

I'm not aware of any biometric passport devices at the crossing points. Whenever I have crossed to and from TRNC the Greek crossing point staff have never bothered to put their coffee cups down and get up from behind their desk to check anything but that may be because my car has ROC number plates.

I expect that life may have been easier for you had you flown into Larnaka or Paphos. I don't understand why you want to travel the complicated way you have chosen.

Pete
Thanks Pete, I kind of read little, saw that crossing was possible/ok and failed to look into all the ins & outs of it. While we could have flown into Larnaca and saved all of this it added to journey time, particularly for me going from London of a few more hours & more cost. With hindsight given the added extra cost/hours would have probably equalized with the time /cost of dealing with the complications.

Thank you for letting me know about the hire car, I looked up and it looks like written permission form hire company, extra insurance & registering at the Greek checkpoint would be needed so probably too much hassle there. Some suggest travelling to the Greek side first & hiring a car there as easier, and given that we will be holidaying mostly in the south this looks are best option I'm thinking.

The choice for us then would be to either cross on foot at Ledra, or taxi or bus across perhaps to Larnaca and hire car from there. What would you suggest as the best option. I'm guessing to get to Nicosia we would have to get a bus/taxi in the first place. I've heard some taxi's can be expensive and some don't want to cross from north to south? I was wondering which method of transport would least be likely to arose contact with the Greek passport control as although theoretically we both have allowance to be there I am worried for my girlfriend who is Ukrainian in case they take exception to her (being non-EU but not needing a visa). We will of course have our luggage with us.
 

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If you are sure that you have a legal right for you both to be there I would go ahead and not worry too much. If questioned stick to you guns and tell them of your rights. I imagine the worst that could happen is to be refused entry in which case enjoy your holiday in the TRNC, there are very enjoyable sites and places to visit. You can hire a car to get about, you should be able to find reasonable hotels quite cheaply and do travel up the panhandle and try the fun beach chalets to stay in very cheaply. I advise booking ahead of arrival.

I've no idea about travel without a car so can't advise but I would guess there are buses/coaches from Ercan to Nicosia regularly.

Good luck, enjoy yourselves and do let us know what happens!

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If you are sure that you have a legal right for you both to be there I would go ahead and not worry too much. If questioned stick to you guns and tell them of your rights. I imagine the worst that could happen is to be refused entry in which case enjoy your holiday in the TRNC, there are very enjoyable sites and places to visit. You can hire a car to get about, you should be able to find reasonable hotels quite cheaply and do travel up the panhandle and try the fun beach chalets to stay in very cheaply. I advise booking ahead of arrival.

I've no idea about travel without a car so can't advise but I would guess there are buses/coaches from Ercan to Nicosia regularly.

Good luck, enjoy yourselves and do let us know what happens!

Pete
Thanks Pete, big relief to hear that, some guy elsewhere suggested she would not be allowed, etc but I think he lived in Cyprus years ago & might be winding me up. I know there are reports on the internet of a Russian being arrested & deported after being let through the checkpoint but that was about six years ago and of course visa. I know the UK gov site as said earlier just states that most you're likely to get is a fine but that is unlikely these day. So like you say just being refused entry likely being the worst case scenario, but as you state being legally entitled to be there hopefully this should be unlikely. Thanks for your advice on sticking to our guns and telling them our right, we'll do this if we have problems.

At this moment in time I thinking of taking the bus/taxi to Nicosia as near Ercan & crossing on foot with suitcases. Neither of us smoke & I don't think we either of us would tend to pack alcohol. I've read some of the other crossings can have long queues. I'm guessing this would also make it more convient for return of Hire car and return to Ercan airport.

For sure, I'll update you on how we get on, many thanks once again, I appreciate it. :)
 

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Thanks Pete, I kind of read little, saw that crossing was possible/ok and failed to look into all the ins & outs of it. While we could have flown into Larnaca and saved all of this it added to journey time, particularly for me going from London of a few more hours & more cost. With hindsight given the added extra cost/hours would have probably equalized with the time /cost of dealing with the complications.

Thank you for letting me know about the hire car, I looked up and it looks like written permission form hire company, extra insurance & registering at the Greek checkpoint would be needed so probably too much hassle there. Some suggest travelling to the Greek side first & hiring a car there as easier, and given that we will be holidaying mostly in the south this looks are best option I'm thinking.

The choice for us then would be to either cross on foot at Ledra, or taxi or bus across perhaps to Larnaca and hire car from there. What would you suggest as the best option. I'm guessing to get to Nicosia we would have to get a bus/taxi in the first place. I've heard some taxi's can be expensive and some don't want to cross from north to south? I was wondering which method of transport would least be likely to arose contact with the Greek passport control as although theoretically we both have allowance to be there I am worried for my girlfriend who is Ukrainian in case they take exception to her (being non-EU but not needing a visa). We will of course have our luggage with us.
You can get a bus from Ercan Airport to the bus station near the Ledra Street crossing for next to nothing, and if you don;t want to wait for the bus, taxis aren't exactly expenisive. Once you walk across Ledra Street (which is painless) you're right in the heart of the Greek side of Nicosia and everything is easy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You can get a bus from Ercan Airport to the bus station near the Ledra Street crossing for next to nothing, and if you don;t want to wait for the bus, taxis aren't exactly expenisive. Once you walk across Ledra Street (which is painless) you're right in the heart of the Greek side of Nicosia and everything is easy.
Thanks Jason, its refreshing for me to hear its painless to walk across Ledra Street & others support this on here. So just to confirm Greek Border patrol not likely to bother us even if we're walking down with luggage? We won't have any cigarettes as we don't smoke, alcohol (which I assume is more Turkish side anyway) or anything dodgy. I just prefer to be able to travel to hotel in Limassol without any grief over coming through Ercan which I had no idea at the time of booking may be viewed as illegal, well I'm mean who would think of an airport as being illegal, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If you are sure that you have a legal right for you both to be there I would go ahead and not worry too much. If questioned stick to you guns and tell them of your rights. I imagine the worst that could happen is to be refused entry in which case enjoy your holiday in the TRNC, there are very enjoyable sites and places to visit. You can hire a car to get about, you should be able to find reasonable hotels quite cheaply and do travel up the panhandle and try the fun beach chalets to stay in very cheaply. I advise booking ahead of arrival.

I've no idea about travel without a car so can't advise but I would guess there are buses/coaches from Ercan to Nicosia regularly.

Good luck, enjoy yourselves and do let us know what happens!

Pete
Hi Pete, just a quick one on this, I hear there is a border crossing at Beyarmudu/Pyla which is under UN control - would this mean that there is no Greek checkpoint here?
 

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Hi Pete, just a quick one on this, I hear there is a border crossing at Beyarmudu/Pyla which is under UN control - would this mean that there is no Greek checkpoint here?
I have never heard of a crossing point under UN control. The UN controls the green line which you can liken to the "no man's land" between the north and south. UN troops are stationed for this purpose which must be the world's most boring military duty.

You will find officials from the TRNC and ROC on their respective borders.

Pete
 

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Hi Pete, just a quick one on this, I hear there is a border crossing at Beyarmudu/Pyla which is under UN control - would this mean that there is no Greek checkpoint here?
The Pyla crossing point is exactly the same as all the others, but you can't cross there if your partner is a non-EU national, sadly; you've got to go to Nicosia.

My wife and I travel out of the North all the time (Turkish Airlines is much better connected and much cheaper for most of our travel needs) and getting a taxi is very straightforward and not too expensive. Depending on where your hotel is in Cyprus, it should cost between 50 and 100 Euros.
 

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Turkish Airlines is much better connected and much cheaper for most of our travel needs.
I was interested in this as I have never thought of travelling from Ercan. I looked up fares for several destinations with various dates but could not find any that were not significantly more expensive.

What destinations do you know of that are bargains on Turkish Airlines?

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The Pyla crossing point is exactly the same as all the others, but you can't cross there if your partner is a non-EU national, sadly; you've got to go to Nicosia.

My wife and I travel out of the North all the time (Turkish Airlines is much better connected and much cheaper for most of our travel needs) and getting a taxi is very straightforward and not too expensive. Depending on where your hotel is in Cyprus, it should cost between 50 and 100 Euros.
"but you can't cross there if your partner is a non-EU national, sadly; you've got to go to Nicosia"

How come you say that?

Is it ok to cross in Nicosia, Ledra Street with Luggage or are they (Greek Side) likely to stop you? If so I would be willing to take the luggage across I am just concerned my gf would be given a hard time if they found out she came through Ercan and is a non-EU national even though she now qualifies for visa-free access to the EU.
 

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We travel to the US (either NY or Miami) frequently and always find that we save at least 5 hours and 400 Euros compared with anything out of Larnaca
Thank you for your answer. I couldn't get the same results when I searched online. For example Alitalia from Larnaca to New York was 5 hours less and around €200 less than Turkish via Ercan.

Not to worry, both Larnaca and Ercan are a pain from here.

Pete
 

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Thank you for your answer. I couldn't get the same results when I searched online. For example Alitalia from Larnaca to New York was 5 hours less and around €200 less than Turkish via Ercan.

Not to worry, both Larnaca and Ercan are a pain from here.

Pete
That's really interesting as we're about to book for NY this summer, so I'll definitely give Alitalia a look! Thanks!
 

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"but you can't cross there if your partner is a non-EU national, sadly; you've got to go to Nicosia"

How come you say that?

Is it ok to cross in Nicosia, Ledra Street with Luggage or are they (Greek Side) likely to stop you? If so I would be willing to take the luggage across I am just concerned my gf would be given a hard time if they found out she came through Ercan and is a non-EU national even though she now qualifies for visa-free access to the EU.

Yep, that's fine. I say that because if you're non-EU and not a resident then I was told you need to go to Nicosia. My wife is non-EU and they always ask to see her yellow slip when we cross at Pyla with the threat that if she doesn't have it, they'd have to send us to Nicosia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yep, that's fine. I say that because if you're non-EU and not a resident then I was told you need to go to Nicosia. My wife is non-EU and they always ask to see her yellow slip when we cross at Pyla with the threat that if she doesn't have it, they'd have to send us to Nicosia.
Thanks SiAnDem I most appreciate the reply, it is very handy to know. Though I think it may no longer help me my Ukrainian girlfriend phoned up the Cyprus Embassy recently and asked about it all and I think they put the willies up her with all this guff about 'unrecognized, occupied territory, illegal, etc even said Ercan was 'dangerous' lol' and basically telling her not to do it (*******s). I kind of annoys me that there is all this carry on with essentially messing tourists/expats about and bringing their bitterness into it all. I mean the tourist trade is a large part of the island's economy anyway so it seems silly to even have this rubbish come up. Anyhow it looks like I'm going to have to pay for a new flight for her to Larnaca as she now won't go to Ercan. Being Ukrainian this might be be for the best in a way as I was worried they might give her a hard time even now she/Ukraine now has visa free access to EU. Is your other half American? I hear American, Australian, etc don't get as hard a time flying through Ercan even though they are still on a Visa.
 

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Thank you for your answer. I couldn't get the same results when I searched online. For example Alitalia from Larnaca to New York was 5 hours less and around €200 less than Turkish via Ercan.

Not to worry, both Larnaca and Ercan are a pain from here.

Pete
Hi Pete,

Not meaning to derail the thread, but I've just tried to look up flights from LCA to NY on Alitalia's website and no matter what dates I seem to enter, nothing comes up. Just wondering what days of the week you're flying on, so I can make sure to check those?

Thanks so much,

Simon
 

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Hi Pete,

Not meaning to derail the thread, but I've just tried to look up flights from LCA to NY on Alitalia's website and no matter what dates I seem to enter, nothing comes up. Just wondering what days of the week you're flying on, so I can make sure to check those?

Thanks so much,

Simon
I used a flight comparison site, ebookers.com to see what was available. I used dates in July and also in September.

Pete
 
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