Apartment and Villa Rental in Northern Cyprus
By: Richard Bowles
Many years ago, a holiday consisted of visiting relatives or, if you were really lucky, a family visit to the sea-side. Then came the rise of the 'package holiday'. For the first time, people were able to visit comparatively far-away places; to see different countries and to experience different cultures first-hand. Inevitably, the first beginnings of package holidays were restricted to destinations that were reasonably close and not too 'foreign'. From this start, grew a major industry, carrying many thousands of visitors to places far and wide. The specialist tour market grew up in this environment, offering sometimes extremely unusual tours. But now the wheel has turned nearly full-circle. People are abandoning the traditional package tour, in favour of making their own arrangements. This is dramatically evident in the rise in popularity of villa and apartment rentals overseas, and it is particularly noticeable in the Northern Cyprus tourism market. This year, the number of tourists booking villa and apartment rentals in Northern Cyprus are starting to exceed the number who are booking conventional hotels.
It's easy to understand this change. Renting a villa or an apartment in Cyprus offers many advantages over booking a traditional hotel. The few minus points are that, usually, there are no restaurant facilities on-site and that cleaning is less frequent than you would expect in a hotel. But the plus points easily outweigh this. For a start, you have the luxury of having substantially more space. Moreover, this is seemingly always accompanied by a significantly lower overall price. On average, a three-bedroom apartment to rent in Cyprus, costs about the same for a week's stay as a three-bedroom hotel suite would cost for a single night!
The luxury of space to spare cannot be ignored and is a significant benefit to families travelling abroad. Architects who design hotels have to make the best possible use of available floor area in order to maximise the potential number of guests who can stay at any one time. Inevitably, villas and apartments available for rental in Cyprus were originally designed with residential use in mind. The difference in overall living area is massive – sometimes up to twenty times the size for a similar occupancy. Most villas and apartments that are available to rent were originally built with long-term, residential use in mind and this certainly shows in the amount of overall space available.
The market for villa and apartment rental in Cyprus is fairly unusual in business terms. There are few, if any, significant-sized companies involved and the vast majority of property available for holiday rental is privately owned. Many are second homes and are rented to the holiday market purely to recover some of the routine costs of ownership and maintenance. These are usually some of the best available places to rent in Cyprus. They are equipped and furnished to very good standards and are extremely comfortable. The downside is that they are usually booked by the owners for their own use during peak holiday periods, so may not always be available.
In Cyprus in particular, one or two smaller companies have started to make inroads into the holiday rental market. These are almost exclusively current, or previous, holiday tour operators, who have seen the change in the market and reacted to it. They have a great deal of market knowledge and this is important to potential clients. As with private properties, the villas and apartments available for rental are almost always well furnished and equipped. They offer all the benefits of private rentals together with the additional backup of market knowledge. Most of these companies offer additional, and very useful, services such as car rental and assistance with flight booking. Best of all, as they are primarily commercially-based enterprises, the properties are usually available year-round and not taken by the owners in peak periods.
Villas for rent in Northern Cyprus are mostly concentrated in the areas between the mountainside village of Bellapais and the sea-front resort of Kyrenia. Apartments for rental in Northern Cyprus are mostly concentrated in Kyrenia itself, many with beautiful sea-front locations. For the first-time visitor, or the experienced traveller, these are probably the best areas to stay in. They are close to the main tourist spots and are within walking distance of attractions such as restaurants, shops and tavernas.
A few years ago, renting a villa or an apartment in northern Cyprus was something that only the experienced tourist would have considered. Nowadays, it is something that everyone should look into. Space, value and convenience; what more could you want for a family holiday?