The island of Cyprus is located in the Eastern Mediterranean. Its neighboring 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.
The weather in North Cyprus is very nice if you like hot and warm weather; so, forget about grey skies, the rain and the cold, and start thinking of sunshine and beautiful beaches. Summer in North Cyprus is to be lived outdoors. Temperatures start rising to mid to late thirties (Celcius) by mid June-July. You will quickly find that Cypriots love nature and outdoors. Nature begins to stir during winter in North Cyprus, donning its most beautiful colors in spring to present a scene of unparalleled beauty, whilst the temperature very seldomly gets below 3-4 degrees (Celcius). In autumn and spring, the island enters a period of calm and repose and enjoy mild temperatures.
North Cyprus shares with you its God-given gifts of beauty. The fertile soils, covered in the Mediterranean flora, are as unspoiled as they were on the day they were created. Basking and resting on the tranquil beaches to the sound of the cicadas and bathing in the cleanest waters of the Mediterranean are the most precious blessings that North Cyprus had to offer. When you give a break to your studying, the green Gulf of Guzelyurt in the east awaits you with the cultural heritage of Soli and Vouni looking on, and you can sip your coffee under the shadow of venerable ancient olive trees. You can get to know the cathedrals of kings decorated with Ottoman minarets and walk the historic, mystical Ottoman and Gothic cloisters of Lefkosa. You can walk in the footsteps of the Lusignans and the Venetians in Kyrenia’s ancient harbor, in the shadow of the Besparmak mountains. Heading south, the golden plain of Meserya will amaze you and you will be beckoned by the Venetian city walls of Famagusta and the Othello Tower, to the accompaniment of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Welcomed by the magic and mystery of Famagusta, you make for the untouched and undisccovered Karpas Peninsula, the virgin country of the island. The island donkeys of Karpas will greet your entry to this landscape, distinguished by its unique ornithology, the home of the Medos tulip.
North Cyprus beaches are not just popular with locals, students or tourists; the rare green and loggerhead sea turtles love them too. Every year, thousands come to the golden sands of North Cyprus to lay their eggs, and these rare creatures are heavily protected during the breeding season. You can watch baby turtles hatch and scurry to the foaming sea at night at a variety of protected sites along the North Cyprus coastline, before returning to your dorm room with amazing photos and wonderful memories.