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.
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
Güzelyurt 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.
If you know the food of Turkey, then you know Cyprus food, but there are one or two things that you won't find in Turkey. Probably the most famous of Cypriot culinary specialities is hellim cheese. This full-fat soft cheese is made from whole goats milk, salt and a touch of mint. It is typically served with salads.
Another speciality is molohiya, a green leafy vegetable which grows only in Cyprus and on the banks of the Nile. It is usually cooked with chicken or meat and is delicious and wholesome. Another interesting vegetable unknown outside Cyprus is kolokas, a root
vegetable which when cooked (again with lamb or chicken) has the texture of potato, but a sweeter taste. Most of people who visited Cyprus said that they never tasted a better kind of potatoes than Cyprus ones.
In addition to the usual Turkish kebabs, there are two which are only to be found in Cyprus. One is kup kebab, lamb or goat wrapped in foil with potatoes and herbs and cooked for hours in a clay oven. The other is sheftali kebabs, which are small, spicy and sausage-like. They are skewered and cooked over hot charcoal.
Cyprus is also famous for its several fruits - water melon , melon, banana, strawberry, apple, citrus fruits of all kind, peach, apricot. Cyprus melon , famous for its delicious taste is another popularity of Cyprus.