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. (See history) 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.