The island of Cyprus is the 3rd largest island in the Mediterranean in terms of area. There is no doubt that it is the best-known island of the region both for its natural richness and for its unparalleled beauties.
There are numerous assumptions regarding the origin of the name “Cyprus”…
The place referred to as “Alasia” in the written Egyptian and Hittite works is actually “Cyprus”. Another rumour is that this name was derived from the name of the daughter of the famous King of Cyprus, Kinyras. Another one is that the name might have been derived from the henna blossom. The most commonly accepted origin is Cuprum (Latin for Copper) related with the abundant mines of the north western areas. Having a land area of 9251 square kilometres, Cyprus is situated to the east of the Mediterranean; it is 70 km away from Turkey, 110 km from Syria and 420 km from Egypt.
Cyprus is about one-third of the area of the entire island. Turkish Cypriots live in the northern and Greek Cypriots live in the southern part of the island of Cyprus. Northern Cyprus holds about one-third of the island; its population is about 200 thousand. The capital city of North Cyprus is Nicosia, and other major cities are Famagusta (Gazimagusa), Kyrenia (Girne), Morphou (Guzelyurt) and Trikomo(Iskele). Five Finger Mountain Range stretches all along the coastline in the northern part of the country and is quite rich in terms of flora and fauna. Besides the maquis flora, a distinctive feature of the Mediterranean region, the Range has got tall pine and cypress forests. The highest point of this mountain range is Selvilitepe, which has an altitude of 1017 meters. The Mountain Range is named after a hill situated just in the heart of the Island, which resembles five fingers of a man.
There is no specific river or stream on the island. Instead, there are rivers that fill up and rise as the result of the falling rain. The most famous of these is Kanlidere, which splits Nicosia. The western part of the country possesses more fertile lands than the east in general, agricultural production is carried out in this part. Dry Mesaoria plain is situated in the middle of the country, where dry farming is practiced. Karpas peninsula stretches to the far east of the island. Magnificent natural beauties and its virgin structure fascinates the visitors. “The Golden Beach”, which is included in the ten longest beaches in the world, stretches here for 3, 5 km.