The island of Cyprus is situated in the north east of the Mediterranean Sea, approximately 65km (40 miles) from its nearest neighbour Turkey to the north and 97km (60 miles) from Syria in the east. Directly south of the island is the North African coastline of Egypt 370km (230 miles) away. The entire land mass is approximately 9,252sq km (3,572 sq miles) with 782 km (486 miles) of coastline that consists of coves set in sandstone cliffs, rocky shores and fine sanded beaches. It is the most easterly positioned and the third largest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily and Sardinia.
Northern Cyprus covering nearly one third of the island has a total area of 3,515sq km (1,357 sq miles) and at its extreme limits it is approximately 242km wide ((150miles) and 64km deep (40 miles). The most prominent geographical feature is the mountain chain that runs almost parallel to the northern coastline called the Kyrenia Mountain Range or the Beshparmak Mountains. It is a narrow range of peaks and troughs approximately 130km long (80 miles) composed predominantly of limestone with the highest point Selvili Tepe 1,023m (3,357ft) above the town of Lapta.
The northern coastline between the mountains and the sea east of Kyrenia was always an agricultural area used for growing potatoes, wheat, barley, soft fruits and vegetables. Now housing developments are interspersed with polythene hot houses, olive groves and carob orchards.
On the southern side of the mountain range is the large flat Mesaoria Plain where most of the cereals for both human and animal consumption are grown. Such is the abundance of crops grown in this area that it is known as the, “Breadbasket of Cyprus” and in Spring-time, the fields shimmer with multi-hued shades of green as the harvest ripens.