The island of Cyprus is located in the Eastern Mediterranean. Its
neighbouring lands at the nearest coastal points are Turkey 40 miles
north, Syria 60 miles east, Lebanon 108 miles south-east, Israel
180 miles south-east and Egypt 230 miles south. Cyprus is the third
largest island in the Mediterranean. It is smaller than Sicily and
Sardinia and larger than Corsica and Crete .The area of the whole
island is 3584 sq. miles. (9250 sq. kilometers)
Cyprus has been divided into two autonomous states since 1974. This
came about by virtue of the linguistic and cultural differences
, and as a result of communal friction which lasted for 11 years.
Greek Cypriots occupy the southern and the Turkish Cypriots occupy
the northern part of Cyprus. A boundary known as the`Green Line`
which runs through Nicosia , the capital of both South and North
Cyprus separates the two states.
North Cyprus is some 100 miles long , 40 miles across at its widest
point and has a total area of 1357 sq. miles or nearly one third
of the whole of the island.
The geography of North Cyprus is characterized by a unique blend
of mountains , plains and beaches. The Kyrenia Range, with its magnificent
jagged limestone peaks, the highest of which is Mount Selvili at
3357 ft. runs along most of the north coastline to form a startling
backdrop. To the east of the island the mountain range loses height
as it extends along the narrow peninsula known as Karpas or `The
Panhandle`. Along it one finds the best beaches in Cyprus. Miles
of empty bays with pure white sand. To the south of the Kyrenia
range lie the plains of Mesaoria. Here, is situated the divided
Capital Nicosia (Lefkosa). Other major centers are Guzelyurt in
the west of North Cyprus where most of the citrus produce comes
from , The resort town of Kyrenia (Girne) is on the northern coast,
and the second resort town of Famagusta (Gazimagosa) in the east.
The population of North Cyprus is, Appx. 264.169 (2006 census)
55% of the population live in urban areas. The urban population
is distributed as follows:
The coastline consists of enchanting coves, rocky coast and long
golden sandy beaches. The beaches of Northern Cyprus are among the
cleanest and safest in the Mediterranean. The average water temperature
is 24C between May and October. The summer season sees the Hotel
Beaches offering an excellent service to its customers in terms
of eating and drinking facilities, not failing to mention the provision
of beach umbrellas and beach loungers. Some of the beaches of Norhern
Cyprus will also offer activities such as water skiing, banana rides,
jet-ski, wind surfing and scuba diving.
The most prominent feature of Norht Cyprus is the northern range
of mountains, known as the Kyrenia Mountains, or Five Finger Mountains.
It is a narrow range, approximately 130 km long, running parallel
to the coastline. Occupying an area of about 260 sq km, it is composed
predominately of limestone, dolomite, and marble. The highest point
is Mount Selvili, near village of Lapta, at 1,023 m.
The largest spring in the North Cyprus is in this range near Five
Finger Mountains. The fertile north coast is chiefly covered with
olive and carob trees.
Plains and Lowlands
The Mesaoria plain, which lies in the centre of the island, between
the Kyrenia Mountains and the Troodos Mountains in the south, is
used for the production of central crops such as wheat, barley and
oats. It is known as the breadbasket of Cyprus.