About Cyprus

Where is Cyprus located?

Cyprus map

In school we studied geography, exploring in details the map of the world. But school knowledge is forgotten over time, and there are questions such as: “Where is Cyprus on the map of world?”, “What is this island?” And “Is this a Greek island (Cyprus is confused by many with Crete) or a Turkish one?”. Let’s try together to remember this specific geographical features.

Cyprus’ location

Cyprus is an island, which is located in the north-eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea. The island is the third largest island in the Mediterranean.

Next to Cyprus is Turkey (the distance from the northern coast of Cyprus is about 75 km), Syria (at a distance of about 100 km), the Greek Islands and Israel.

The island covers an area of ​​9251 km² and most of it is covered by mountains. The most famous mountain ranges in Cyprus are Troodos and Kyrenia, and the highest point is Olympus mountain or Honistra (as it is called by Cypriot people, which in Greek means “snow”); it is located at an altitude of 1952 m above sea level.


Cyprus on the world map

In the mountains, during winter it snows and  lifts for skiers are installed. Tourists are not admitted at the very top of the mountain, since a British military radar is set there – a huge white balloon, which can be seen from afar.

Many people wonder whether Cyprus is a part of Greece, just as Crete, Rhodes and other islands, or it is a separate country. In fact, Cyprus is an independent country, which until 1960, was a British colony.

In 1974, the north of Cyprus was occupied by Turkish troops. Since then, the island has been divided into two parts – the Republic of Cyprus (an independent state, member of the EU), and so-called Northern Cyprus (unadmitted state, an occupied territory).

Is Cyprus part of Greece?

the Greek and Cypriot map

Sometimes the Republic of Cyprus (Southern Cyprus) is referred to as “the Greek side.” Indeed, most people living in southern Cyprus are Greeks, more precisely, Greek Cypriots. Historically, Cyprus was always very close to Greece: throughout the years Cyprus combined cultural, religious and business ties with Greece.

From 1925 to 1960, Cyprus was a British colony; until that time, it was initially under the control of the Ottoman Empire and since 1878 under the administrative control of Great Britain.

Currently, there are significant links in the banking sector between Cyprus and Greece, so the Greek financial crisis is having a significant impact on the economy of the island. But in other areas of economy, the two states are more independent.

How is Cyprus devided?

Cyprus' division

Legally, the island is divided into four parts:

  • the south of the island, under the control of the Republic of Cyprus;
  • the north of the island, which is under the control of Turkey called Turkish Republic of so-called Northern Cyprus, recognized only by Turkey
  • the Green Line (Green Line), which separates Southern and so-called Northern Cyprus, and is controlled by a UN peacekeeping force;
  •  the territory of two British military bases (Akrotiri and Dhekelia), which in accordance to the Regulation, were allocated to the UK. The size of ​​these areas is about 3% of the total area of ​​Cyprus.

The terrain of Cyprus

Often, locals compare Cyprus’ contours to a leaf fallen into the sea. And, indeed, admiring the island with a bird’s eye view, you can see the many bays and coves, which give the outlines of Cyprus just like a golden emerald leaf.

Almost 150 km along the coast in the north, stretches the Kyrenia Ridge (the highest point of which is located at an altitude of 1023 meters above sea level), to which Pentadaktylos mountain or ‘five-fingered mountain’ and Karpas Ridge belong to(reaching a height of 364 m above sea level).


Kerinia mountain rangeKakopetria village

In the central and southwestern parts of the island is the Troodos mountain range, with the highest point – the top of Olympos (1952 meters above sea level). The southern and northern parts of Cyprus are divided by a broad plain Mesaoriya.

The coastline of Cyprus is covered by endless sandy and pebble beaches, many of which have received the “Blue Flag” for their clean water and high level of security.

Excursions from Cyprus to Israel and Greece

cruise ships in Cyprus

Trips from Cyprus to Israel or the Greek islands are very popular among tourists.

To Israel, you can go for 2-3 days on a cruise ship or plane. The cost of this trip is about 250-300 euros per person.

From Cyprus you can also go on an exciting journey to the Greek islands. Depending on your financial capacity, you can rent a yacht to perform a week-long trip and visit Santorini, Rhodes, Kos and other islands on your choice, or choose a less costly option: a flight to Greece with Rainair company, which carries out budget flights from Cyprus to most European countries. According to the  Rainair, the ticket price from Cyprus to Greece is from 12 euros (not including airport taxes). Please note that to visit Greece, you need a Schengen visa.

So …

Cyprus is an independent country, having extensive contacts with European and Asian countries. Its cosmopolitan cities (Limassol, Paphos, Nicosia, Larnaca) hospitably open their doors to both, those who just want to relax on the island and those who choose the island as a place of residence.

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