Car Rental Scam - 27€ for petrol
Just came back from a nice trip in Cyprus. However, before adding some suggestions of things to do there, we thought we'd put out a warning for future visitors. We went browsing for a car rental from Pahos to visit the area for a couple of days. We met a nice sales lady and trusted her. Everything seemed to be in order. We paid for the rental by credit, and the gas and washer fluid in cash. Well, when we went to the gas station with the 'supposed' original 27€ almost gone, we thought to put another 27€. It almost trippled the amount of original gas given to us. We were already far from Pafos to return and claim our refund. So, we did it when we returned and they refused to listen and return the money. With almost 2 hours of persistance, they finally only gave us 20€ back.
Unique Suggestions: Don't accept strange gas charges. Most companies ask you to leave the tank how you found it and that's the end of the story. If you hear that they want money upfront for gas, start doubting their intentions.
Offering Money to a Cypriot Tip Rating:
If you are in Cyprus and you badly need some help either on the road or at the place where you stay, avoid giving money to a Cypriot.
He will be offended. He does everything for you because he feels like it. Otherwise he would not do it.
If you really want to pay back for what he did, you can invite him for a glass of wine, or a cup of coffee.
Otherwise, invite him for lunch out at a local restaurant and buy him some souvlaki.
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
Handling Timeshares & Best ways to see Cyprus
Mainly only seen in the Harbour lurking on the corners and along the roads. Many of them young and just standing around holding scratch cards or talking to people. They will try to get you into conversation by greeting you friendly. Best way to handle them - ignore them! Be aware though that they will always do this no matter how many times you pass them. Another great way to stop them is to say 'No, Thank you' in the native language (if you can pass off as one anyway), which is said Greek Cypriot as 'Oh-hee, Ef'haristo'. They may reply back asking you how you are in Greek but again just ignore this as you walk on by. When out in Paphos another time they seem to pesker you more by targeting rental cars (ALL rental cars in Cyprus have red number plates - might as well be a bulls-eye). They've started driving around the car park(s) at the harbour in either a car or motorbike, usually stopping behind you so you can't drive off but again BE STERN and tell them NO. They don't listen and will try their best to get you as they work on commision.
Also, many of the routes to see the attractions in Cyprus (e.g. Lara Bay, Akamas Peninsula, Troodos, Adonis Baths, and many of the little villages which are high above sea level (you don't know by looking on most maps 'til your en route)) are hard to get to and have dirt track routes or are going up high above sea level on narrow roads with no rails! - especially going up the troodos mountains). HOWEVER these are do able in a normal saloon car but I would personally recommend renting a Jeep, unless your not scared of heights or no someone with one out there. Many of the tour guides on these jeep safaris are locals and therefore trust the roads that they know well and don't take into consideration if anyone is wary or scared of heights as they're just doing their jobs which is fair enough.
- Road Trip
when getting in to a taxi ask the fare first, or insist the meter is used. one operator insisted on a fixed fare to our hotel of 10 euro, on arrival we removed a piece of card that was hiding the actual fare it was 50% cheaper, we refused to pay her and insisted she should call the police, she did not hesitate on driving of without being paid, back door still open as well, i think she was of eastern european origin
- Road Trip
The restaurants down by the harbour are a total tourist trap as you would expect. The menu's are as long as your arm and cater for absolutely everybody and sell themselves as seafood specialists. The food at the Pelican in paticular was bland and unadventurous.
Unique Suggestions: If you do go down to the harbour just don't expect too much
Fun Alternatives: Anywhere else - Ktima Paphos for the best restaurants.
Scrtach Card touts and other methods
Beware the Time Share/Scratch Card touts who operate around the Harbour area. If you tell them you own property or reside in Cyprus they will not bother you further.
Also, on one visit, I visited the Raffles Restaurant on Tomb of the Kings Road. The meal, service etc was excellent, however when presented with the bill we were also given a small "survey card" to complete with the promise of a £25 voucher to be used at the restaurant on a future visit. I was with friends, who reside permanently in Paphos, and we both completed the survey, which included our home addresses.
The next morning we received a telephone call, to our hotel room, guess what - we'd won! a taxi would be sent for us to take us to a water front premises to receive our prize. We went along with it and did receive our £25 voucher but also received a time share presentation lasting over an hour. Neddless to say, our friends who had given their Paphos address didn't win! (however, they did get our voucher as we were returning home the following day). If your happy to undergo the time share sales pitch and get a voucher then complete the form, if not, don't.
As I said this occurred in Raffles a couple of years ago, it may not happen now, or have moved to another eatery.
Watch our for young giddy people giving you scratch cards that "should have been in your welcome pack" as one young woman put it. We watched them they leave young people alone and target people such as us and older mid forties upwards. Now either they think we are the only ones who can afford thier overpriced apartments in the sun or they think you lose your marbles at 40 and will be sucked into getting something for nothing. They jump up and down when you win (which everyone does of course) they then have to take you somewhere to collect your prize. Then you waste half a day being badgered into buying a timeshare no matter what they package it as and call it. Its timeshare!!!!!!
I won the star prize but the girl got very annoyed when I said I wontdn't waste half my holiday being dragged of to some hotel listening to pressure sales patter. Remember these people get paid for all the suckers they get to go collect the prizes, the main prize is a dream holiday. Another trap where they try to get you to sign up for a property. If you let them these people can be a bit of a pain.
Unique Suggestions: They pull up in cars and motorbikes as well as walking around on the street. So be carefull we fell for that one as we thought they were going to ask for directions.
Getting a Taxi from Paphos airport seems to have become a problem. You should pay no more than 15 Cypriot Pounds for a ride to Coral Bay, However some Taxi Drivers are charging 20-25 Pounds.
Unique Suggestions: You are perhaps best to pre-book a taxi to Pick you up on arrival. Booking a Taxi from Coral Bay to the airport seems no problem, and very cheap.
Coral Bay, Paphos - very busy...
Coral Bay, Paphos - very busy with sun worshippers in the height of season, but in Spring it was virtually deserted - I know which I prefer :-)