Where can I cross the border between South and North Cyprus?

There are currently nine crossing points between south and North Cyprus (correct as of December 2019).  As there was no border until 1974, there are of course roads which were previously open, but which are currently not open.  These may open as border points at some point in the future.

From west to east, these are the names of the Cyprus border crossings going from the Republic of Cyprus in the south to North: 

1. Kato Pyrgos (Yesilirmak).

2. Lefka (Lefke).

3. Astromeritis (Bostanci/Guzelyurt).

4. Agios Dometios (Metehan). Within Nicosia (Lefkosa) – there are two crossings:

5. Ledra Pedestrian crossing and

6. Ledra car crossing for officials only.

7. Pyla (Beyarmudu) – SBA crossing. 

8. Agios Nikolaos (SBA crossing).

9. Dherynia (Famagusta/Gazimagusa).

Are the Cyprus border crossings well signed?

Border crossings are quite well signed going North to the Republic of Cyprus in the south, but unfortunately very poorly signed going from the Republic of Cyprus in the south to North.  For this reason, we write first the name in Greek with the Turkish name in brackets.  Please note – these two names are not of the same place, but the names of the nearest village/town on each side near the border, as there is often a short drive between the two.

Are the Cyprus border crossings for pedestrians or car passengers?

The Cyprus crossing points are mainly designed for use by passengers with cars, but there is one pedestrian-only crossing point in the capital city of Nicosia (Lefkosa) – known as Ledra Street.   It is possible to walk through certain crossing points if you are being collected by a car or taxi on the other side (for example Agios Dometios or Pyla), but please note that some crossing points are very rural with limited facilities on either side. Some crossing points have a long distance between the two checkpoints, and it is not possible or permitted to walk between them: for example, Kato Pyrgos (Yesilirmak)

Are the Cyprus border crossings open 24 hours per day?

All crossing points are open 24 hours per day but those crossing with cars who need to purchase additional car insurance for the North of Cyprus are advised to use the central Nicosia (Lefkosa) crossing point of Agios Dometios (Metehan) which offers 24-hour car insurance service.  The other border crossings tend to offer car insurance services only in-office hours.

Which documents will I need to show when crossing a Cyprus border point?

You will need your passport as well as the car documents, North Cyprus car insurance and your driving licence if you are taking a car across.  Most nationalities will receive an automatic 30-day visitor visa upon entry to North Cyprus.  See our article on visas for more information on this subject.

Which of the North Cyprus border crossings are most frequently used by visitors?

Visitors travelling from the Republic in the south of Cyprus to the North of Cyprus generally land at either Paphos or Larnaca Airports – with the majority of those heading North landing at Larnaca, which is nearer to the border of North Cyprus.  The crossing point most used by visitors is on the east side of the capital city Nicosia (Lefkosa) called Agios Dometios (Metehan) which also offers 24-hour car insurance services.  From Metehan it is only a 20-minute car journey to Kyrenia.

The Sovereign Base Area (SBA) British Army crossing point of Pyla (Beyarmudu) is actually nearer to Larnaca Airport but the journey to Kyrenia town once through is longer, so it tends to be used for those visiting the East Coast locations of Iskele or Famagusta.

For those arriving at Paphos airport, it is a longer but much easier journey to also enter via Agios Dometios (Metehan) crossing point as although the Lefka (Lefke) crossing point and the Kato Pyrgos (Yesilirmak) crossing points may look closer, they are mainly used by local Cypriots, involving very mountainous roads and are not being suitable for first-time visitors or new tourists, particularly at night.

Can I use a sat nav or google map to find the border crossings?

Yes, you can use a sat nav or google map to find the Cyprus border crossings.  However, please note that although these devices will lead you to the place names, it is important to travel first to the border name and then, once through, to reset your device to your final destination.  The reason for this is that otherwise, you may find yourself literally up against a brick wall on a road which is not yet open for crossing!

Is it easy for a first time visitor to cross by car from South to North?

If you are a first time visitor to North Cyprus and arriving at night, it is advised to take a taxi from Larnaca Airport over the border and hire a car on the Northside of the island.  This will enable you to have fully comprehensive insurance and breakdown cover as well as saving you from potentially getting lost in the dark in the city of Nicosia, as the signing is not good.  It is advised to arrange your taxi pick up in advance with a North Cyprus car hire company rather than trying to get a taxi at the airport – as many Greek Cypriot taxi drivers will not know the way on the Northside.

Can you help me plan my driving trip from south Cyprus to North Cyprus via border crossings?

Our North Cyprus International (NCI) staff will be delighted to help you with driving directions and general travel advice if you are coming to view properties with us as part of your visit or holiday.  If you are nervous about driving from the south to the north of Cyprus, please note that we also offer a FREE taxi service for those who are landing at Larnaca Airport and wish to come to the north to view property.  Contact our UK or Cyprus NCI staff for details on +44 2076 112 8086 or +90 548 861 0600.  help@northcyprusinternational.com