Clever Holiday Money-Saving Tips

EU holidays post-Brexit savings

Save on Card Charges

Secure card payments portal

Choose a bank card that is free from non-sterling transaction charges or ATM cash withdrawal fees. You can find regularly-updated advice on this at consumer advice websites, such as MoneySavingExpert.com.

Always pay in the local currency to obtain the bank exchange rate – which is often much closer to the interbank rate – instead of the one set by the retailer.

Use debit cards for ATM cash withdrawals, rather than credit cards to avoid interest charges. And try to use bank ATMs, rather than the yellow-and-blue stand-alone ones which charge a fee.

Airport Transfers

Taxi

For a stay in Pissouri Bay, you can holiday comfortably without a hire car. If that is your preferred option, (particularly if your flight is to Paphos airport), we recommend pre-booking a local taxi for a friendly meet-and-greet service at the airport. See our Travel Info page for more.

If you are hiring a car, airport pick-up and drop-off is the simplest option. Buying a stand-alone car hire excess waiver policy online before your holiday is normally much cheaper than the options that the rental company offer at the desk. Check out the choices at Money Maxim.

Mobile Roaming

Post-Brexit, the larger UK mobile networks – with the exception of O2 – have reintroduced roaming charges, unless you buy a European roaming package. Virtual providers such as Asda, GiffGaff, ID, Lebara, Lycamobile, Spusu and Tesco are currently offering various roam-like-home options to allow you to use your normal allowances abroad. (Check conditions – limitations may apply.)

You can easily get by without mobile roaming, using the secure villa WiFi for apps like FaceTime and WhatsApp for calling or messaging. It’s a good idea to download maps for offline use, and – if you need out-and-about internet access – hop on a free public WiFi hotspot – widely available in shops, restaurants and bars.

Health Insurance

EHIC

Make sure you have an up-to-date health insurance card. This used to be the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card). EHICs remain valid until date expiry.

The replacement for UK residents is now a GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card). It’s free to apply for yours via the form on the NHS website, taking around 15 working days. Although no substitute for travel insurance – which provides a far higher level of cover – it is a useful backup allowing minimal cost access to reciprocal healthcare at Cyprus state hospitals.

Avdimou Stone Circles

Stone Circles Avdimou Pavel Muntyan 5

Lovingly created over a period of years (2015-2022) this unique artwork by Paphos-based animator Pavel Muntyan is a great spot for meditation and scenic views. These fabulous stone circles can be found on the clifftops above Avdimou beach. Located a short walk westwards along the cliff path next to Melanda Beach Restaurant, Pavel assembled the circular spiral labyrinths by bringing in over 15 tonnes of stones. One maze contains carefully selected red stones, another comprises blue-green ones, and the largest is created from beach pebbles. There is also a standing stone circle and beautiful natural planting. With the backdrop of the coastal cliffs and the turquoise Mediterranean Sea, the whole effect, especially on a typical Cyprus sunny day, is stunning.

Route from Ampeli Villa to Avdimou stone circles
Coastal path walk between Ampeli Villa and Avdimou Beach, showing location of stone circles en route

This map shows the cliff path route from the Ampeli Villa or from Melanda Beach restaurant. Another option is to drive part-way making a shorter walk along the coastal path, starting from the parking spot at the end of Kyriakou Matsi on the clifftop above Pissouri Bay.

Avdimou Beach

Avdimou beach is to the east of Pissouri. From Pissouri Bay, it can be reached either by a short drive or for the more energetic, a 3-mile scenic walk from Ampeli Villa along the clifftop path. Here visitors will find a picturesque quiet beach, safe swimming in a gently shelving bay and two good Cypriot restaurants.

Road route to Melanda Beach Restaurant
Road route to Avdimou Beach – follow the signs to Melanda Beach Restaurant
Over the top to Melanda Beach Restaurant

Melanda Beach Restaurant

Melanda Beach Restaurant is a popular restaurant specialising in the freshest of local fish and seafood.

Kyrenia Beach Taverna

Kyrenia Beach Taverna (cash only) is reputed to offer the best stifado on the island (slow-cooked tender beef in red wine).

What Lies Beneath

Museum of Underwater Sculpture Ayia Napa

Diving or Snorkelling?

Cyprus is well-known as a great Mediterranean SCUBA diving location, with coral reefs, crystal-clear waters, teeming marine life, an assortment of shipwrecks, plus an underwater museum. There are dive centres in all the resorts catering for everyone from beginners to intermediate and advanced divers.

But equipped with only a mask and snorkel, you too can explore these underwater delights. And there’s no need to venture far… Our very own Pissouri Bay has plenty of treasures beneath the surface. You don’t even need to be a great swimmer. There is plenty of marine life in the shallow waters only a few metres from the beach.

Loggerhead Turtle
Loggerhead Turtle

Majestic Turtles

Turtles are very much our number one favourite. Every year mature female loggerheads return to their ‘home’ beach to lay their eggs overnight. These turtles grow to an enormous size. They can be as much as a metre long. Hatchlings, in contrast, are typically a miniscule and vulnerable 5 cm.

Flamboyant Wrasses

The wrasse family stands out as being a particularly colourful and attractive species. Males and females of the same varieties have similar, but distinctively different, patterns of blue, green orange and yellow. We have seen beautiful male and female ornate wrasses close to the beach at the western end of Pissouri Bay.

Silvery Sea Bream

The predominant coastal fish species tends to be the sea bream. A silvery, sandy, almost translucent colour with a range of black markings, they tend to swim in groups. Look out for zebra-striped, two-banded, vertical-striped, lateral-striped, black, white and saddled versions.

Striped or Red Mullet
Colour-Changing
Striped (Red) Mullet

The Striped Mullet – A Marine Chameleon

With its whiskery barbels, the striped mullet (also known as the red mullet) is perhaps not the most appealing looking of species, but if you spot one snuffling along the sea bed, try not to let it escape your gaze, because they have an interesting hidden talent. While they swim, to avoid detection by predators, the mullet may exhibit amazing chameleon-like colour-changing. They can disguise themselves quite dramatically – gaining or losing stripes, altering colours and patterns – all to blend with their surroundings.

Marine Life Guides

Below are some of the creatures you are likely to encounter when snorkelling or diving around Cyprus. In the villa handbook we have added a new page of ‘Bay Marine Life’ based on our personal underwater exploration. For guest reference, there is also a comprehensive laminated dive log card, to help identify 80 species found in Mediterranean waters.

MUSAN: Museum of Underwater Sculpture, Ayia Napa

Created by artist Jason deCaires Taylor in 2021, this innovative underwater museum features 93 tree and figure sculptures within 200 metres of the Ayia Napa shore. At depths of between 8 and 10 metres, the forest is designed to be easily explored by both divers and snorkellers.

Further details: MUSAN

Welcoming 2023 Guests

The well-equipped kitchen where everything is close to hand

Home-From-Home

One of the joys of staying in a holiday villa rather than a hotel, is the complete freedom it gives you. A villa really is a home-from-home, because you have the whole place to yourselves – there’s no sharing with strangers. You can rise and retire whenever you like, dine in or out as you prefer, there are no queues anywhere, and never any worries about finding a vacant lounger by the pool.

As Ampeli Villa is a well-loved and much-visited holiday home, our stays are not only a time for maintenance and updates, but also exploration to find new ideas to share with our guests – places to see, restaurants to visit and activities to experience in the local area. We share these regularly via the website, particularly on Our Cyprus Guide blog.

Stepladders Out!

At this time of the year Cyprus comes to life. Out come the stepladders, drills and pots of paint, as everyone beavers away sprucing up their surroundings after the winter rains. And at Ampeli Villa we have been busy bees getting ready for our summer visitors too…

Villa Changes

New: easyJet Onboard WiFi

easyjet onboard flight map
2 easyJet onboard menu

A new feature for 2023 is ‘easyJet onboard’ closed-loop WiFi. Once logged on, you can browse the food and drink menu, check out the duty free shopping options, play games, and – our favourite – access the flight map to track your journey in real time.


How To Connect

1 easyJet onboard QR

This feature is available once the aircraft has reached an altitude of 10,000 feet. With your device in flight mode, search the WiFi networks for easyJet onboard and once connected, either type onboard.easyjet.com into your browser, or scan the QR code shown on the card in front of you.

easyJet Onboard Games

3 easyJet onboard games
4 easyJet onboard sudoku

A choice of six entertaining games helps pass the time. As a sudoku addict, I was very happy with their simple, yet absorbing version.

The Flight Map – “Are We Nearly There Yet?”

A fascinating rolling slideshow of interactive views showing the live flight progress, with stats in alternating metric and imperial measurements. You can also drag and drop to see different perspectives. The perfect answer to the perennial question “Are we nearly there yet?”

WiFi Questions

The closed-loop WiFi is an internal onboard system with no access to the Internet. Access is free, with no data charges.

Pissouri Hot Summer Nights 2023

Pissouri amphitheatre

Just off Pissouri Square, the village built this magnificent modern amphitheatre as their ‘millennium project’. With a sea-view backdrop from the tiered stone steps, shows begin in daylight and continue through sunset, finishing under floodlights. A great community get-together, the atmosphere is lively and relaxed – with chat, banter, singing and dancing. Everyone takes cushions to sit on (a must for comfort!), plus cool boxes with drinks and snacks.

A visit to Pissouri amphitheatre for one of the summer ‘tribute act’ shows is one of our favs. There’s something magical and special about a live musical performance, and when it includes so many familiar numbers, you’re on to a winner.

Amphitheatre Live Tribute Concerts

By visiting the Cyprus tour promoters’ websites and Facebook pages, you can find further information on dates, venues, tickets, prices, etc. If there’s a concert you’d like to catch during your holiday, do book up early (you can do it online) to be sure of your tickets, as popular events can sell out.

Kendall Events

Morrelli Events

Other Ideas For Your Cyprus Holiday

Our Top Ten List

Pissouri Summer 2022 Concerts

Pissouri amphitheatre

A visit to Pissouri amphitheatre for one of the summer ‘tribute act’ shows is one of our favs. There’s something magical and special about a live musical performance, and when it includes so many familiar numbers, you’re on to a winner.

Just off Pissouri Square, the magnificent modern amphitheatre was built as the village’s ‘millennium project’. With a sea-view backdrop from the tiered stone steps, shows begin in daylight and continue through sunset, finishing under floodlights. A great community get-together, the atmosphere is lively and relaxed – with chat, banter, singing and dancing. Everyone takes cushions to sit on (a must for comfort!), plus cool boxes with drinks and snacks.

Pissouri Tribute-Act Concerts

By visiting the Cyprus tour promoters’ websites and Facebook pages, you can find further information on dates, venues, tickets, prices, etc. If there’s a concert you’d like to catch during your holiday, do book up early (you can do it online) to be sure of your tickets, as popular events can sell out.

Kendall Events

Morrelli Events

Other Ideas For Your Cyprus Holiday

Our Top Ten List

Optimism For Cyprus Holidays in 2022

Optimism For Cyprus Holidays in 2022

Long lazy sunny days, aquamarine tranquil seas, water park fun, great food, and a warm traditional Cypriot welcome await visitors to Cyprus this season. The wait has been long, but now you can start looking forward to planning your summer 2022 getaway.

Ryanair and easyJet

Popular choices from the UK are easyJet or Ryanair for a variety of reasons… Their comfortable green-friendly modern fleets, websites and apps, straightforward booking processes, competitive fares, flight options and schedules.

With regional departures, many visitors will find a good selection of Cyprus departure options close to home.

See our Travel Info page for more information about flight options from different UK regions and European airports.

Cape Aspro and Pissouri Bay just before the turn for PFO

A familiar view?

Regular visitors to Pissouri will be familiar with this view on arrival as their plane follows the coastline from Paphos before looping inland over Pissouri village to return for the westerly approach to the airport runway. With Cyprus’ low motorway traffic, you can be confident about arriving at Ampeli Villa a mere 20 minutes after leaving PFO.

Supporting the travel sector

Over the past two seasons the travel industry has taken a massive financial hit due to international restrictions on travel, along with constantly changing rules over traffic-light categorisations of countries, PCR tests, flight passes, passenger locator forms, vaccine passports, quarantine, etc., etc. Many consumers cancelled their plans due to the uncertainty, even when restrictions were lifted. EasyJet has reported billion pound losses in both 2020 and 2021. They have allowed customers to make late booking changes, and adapted their processes to enable this to be done online, rather than by phone, as previously.

Booking new flights

As the airlines review their costs, they are inevitably looking at ways of recouping their losses. If you are booking new flights now, rather than rescheduling a previous booking, we suggest comparing airlines and looking beyond the headline fare, because the extras add up more quickly than they used to.

EasyJet, for example, have reduced the size of included hand baggage. It now has to be small enough to fit under the seat in front, rather than in the overhead bins. Their extras are now similar to Ryanair’s.

Jet 2 is worth considering, due to their more generous baggage allowances.

The Hungarian airline Wizz Air – flying to Larnaca airport – offers competitive fares. This is a good option if you plan to hire a car, rather than take a taxi transfer.

Sunny Cyprus this summer?

At the time of writing (March 2022) the forthcoming season is looking increasingly positive. The UK Government has just removed restrictions for returning travellers, meaning there is no longer the need to complete a passenger locator form, book any tests or worry about the risk of having to undergo a post-holiday quarantine. The combination of Covid vaccinations, widespread natural immunity, improved medical knowledge, effective anti-viral therapies and the emergence of the milder Omicron Coronavirus variant have been game changers.

At long last we can all look forward with confidence to a holiday in the sun! 😎

To ask a question, or for more information about booking, plus our weekly rates, Enquire and Book.


The UK-Cyprus Air Bridge

Safe travel to Cyprus

You Can Feel Safe About Travelling To Cyprus

The horrendous Covid-19 pandemic has played havoc with the travel industry this season. With strict measures taken early, the Cyprus government has kept the island very safe for residents and visitors. UK tourists have only been allowed in since 1 August, and only then with a negative test. Because their stats are so low, the UK has an ‘air bridge’ arrangement with Cyprus meaning there is no need to quarantine on arrival back from holiday.

6 reasons to be happy that Cyprus wants UK visitors to test

Snap Up a Last-Minute Break

All the uncertainty has led to the unusual situation where we currently have some last-minute availability for September and October. We are exceptionally lucky that Pissouri is a resort with many returning visitors. Because of this we have many repeat guests who book for the following season as soon as they return from their holiday.

Flight Bargains

Currently easyJet, Ryanair, Jet2, WizzAir and BA are flying from the UK to Cyprus. Check out their websites because there are some incredible flight bargains on offer for the remainder of the 2020 season.

Covid-19 Coronavirus

Coronavirus epidemic

This is an open letter to all guests who have a booking with us for summer 2020 regarding the covid-19 coronavirus crisis.

Under normal circumstances we pride ourselves about keeping information on this website updated, but as you will appreciate, this rapidly-changing situation is impossible to predict. We are very much hoping that the current lockdowns around the globe will control the spread of this virulent pandemic, and that medical advances will enable us to return to ‘normal living’ sooner rather than later.

In common with many holiday destinations, Cyprus relies heavily on its tourism industry. Renowned for traditional Cypriot hospitality, no doubt when it is finally deemed safe for travel to the island to resume, visitors will receive an even more hearty and warm welcome than usual.

Having moved our own visits to Pissouri Bay twice due to newly-introduced travel restrictions, we are keen to get out there to prepare the villa for the season which we would normally be doing now (March). Time will tell whether we will be able to do this as currently planned (now rescheduled for May). We are trying to ignore the harbingers of doom and gloom, and to look at this optimistically.

Ampeli Villa, Pissouri Bay, Cyprus

New For 2020

We were actually very excited about the forthcoming season. Firstly we have a lovely new manager – Lisa – who provides a meet-and-greet service which is something we haven’t offered before. As always we have made some improvements to our facilities – this time we have a larger TV ready to ship and new indoor dining chairs on order. We hope that you will have the chance to experience them!

While we have every intention of honouring our existing bookings this season, unfortunately at this stage we cannot make any guarantees.

We know how important your holiday is, and appreciate that pre-planning is a key element of this. If at all possible, please could we ask you to delay making any changes to your booking until two months before departure as this is when your final balance is due. At this stage if we should need to cancel your stay – due to continuing circumstances beyond our control – the following options will be available:

Alter Your Dates of Stay

If you would prefer to reschedule your stay, we could apply your booking deposit to alternative available dates in the next 12 months.

Travel insurance

Cancellation

You should be entitled to a cancellation refund via your travel insurance. We have already provided formal payment receipts and correspondence as confirmation, and our booking terms can be printed off from the guest-only password-protected booking page of the website. Should you require us to forward anything again, or any further documentation for your insurance company, just let us know.

July Update

The latest UK government travel advice for Cyprus can be seen on the FCO website. Cyprus is one of the UK’s air-bridge partners, where there is no 14-day quarantine on return to the UK.

Because the Cyprus government introduced an early and strict lockdown, their Covid-19 figures are remarkably low. It is one of the safest holiday destinations.

A Cyprus Flight Pass needs to be presented for each passenger before boarding in the UK. This can be obtained via Cyprus Flight Pass. The Cyprus government has categorised departure countries on the basis of Covid-19 status. The UK is currently unlisted, meaning it is in category C. Entry from category C countries is not allowed, except in special circumstances. This is reviewed every Monday, with a variety of reliable sources including The Cyprus Mail reporting that providing our figures continue to reduce, the UK will be granted category B status on 1 August.

The other requirement for visitors from category B countries is a negative PCR swab test result taken within 72 hours of flying. As this is not currently available in the UK, Cyprus has set up swab testing at Larnaca and Paphos airports for a subsidised €60 fee. Self-isolation is then required until the results of your test (normally 24 h).

Temperatures of incoming passengers are also being taken at the airports on arrival.

Bars, restaurants and shops are open, with social distancing and careful cleaning protocols. Previous visitors to Pissouri Bay will be aware that the beach is never crowded in a way that you see at other destinations.

On a Personal Note

The health, safety and well-being of our guests are of paramount importance above every other consideration.

We hope that you think we are acting fairly in these extremely challenging circumstances. This will be a difficult season for us, as it will for many of our Pissouri friends.

We know your long-anticipated precious holiday is a vital chance to recharge your batteries. We will only cancel if the ongoing coronavirus situation forces us to.

Please bear in mind, too, from our perspective that if we have to cancel any bookings, our small business will take a considerable loss – as we will still need to pay our manager, pool man, gardeners, utilities, mortgage, common expenses and taxes.

Stay safe, and best wishes

Nikki and Peter

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