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Society

Seems Like Endless Summer on Cyprus, Beach Weather Lingers

NICOSIA – The early chill is settling over northern Europe and Scandinavia, Americans have turned to watching leaves turn colors and readying for apple picking in autumn, but it’s still summer on Cyprus and the tourists love it.

With temperatures in the high 80’s and still bountiful sunshine, beach goers aren’t putting away the bikinis and umbrellas yet, still finding it pleasant for swimming and while away the early fall days in summer-like weather.

In a piece for Forbes magazine, Christopher Elliott – founder of a non-profit group offering consumer advice – noted how visitors from Germany, the United Kingdom and elsewhere keep coming.

That includes those from Russia finding a way to get there with Russia airlines banned over European Union sanctions for the invasion of Ukraine, the island a haven for Russian tourists, expatriates and the wealthy hiding money in banks.

“Cyprus is one of Europe’s last warm-weather holdouts. Not surprisingly, that has extended the tourist season here, too,” he wrote, to the delight of local businesses trying to recover during the waning COVID-19 pandemic.

“Visitors from Northern Europe prefer late summer and early fall because it isn’t as hot here,” said Sophia Charalambous, a Market Development Officer for Visit Cyprus. “So this October is high season here,” she added.

The somewhat central location of Cyprus – between Europe and the Middle East – makes it a favorite destination of Europeans, Israelis and Russians, he noted, as well as those from nearby Greece. There are signs in Russian too.

“As an American in Cyprus, I felt a little uneasy at first about sharing a resort with so many Russians,” he said, before a local told him that Russians and other Eastern Europeans come to the island to  escape politics.

“And, as it turned out, all of the Russians I met were exceptionally friendly. After all, they were on vacation – or maybe dodging conscription,” he noted, with Russian President Vladimir Putin mobilizing 300,000 more soldiers.

This summer, Cyprus tourism authorities reported that revenue from tourism reached $382 million for the first half of the year, up 55 percent from a year before. Officials are hoping for a full recovery by 2023, the report said.

Americans haven’t found the island in great numbers yet, with fewer than 20,000 coming in 2021 although there were still health restrictions then and the pandemic was more contagious and deadly.

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