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General information


Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Its 9,251 square kilometres (3,572 square miles) encompass citrus and olive groves, pine forested mountains, and some of Europe's cleanest beaches. Also the easternmost island in the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus is approximately 105kilometres (60 miles) west of Syria, 75kilometres (47 miles) south of Turkey and 380kilometres (200 miles) north of Egypt. The nearest Greek point is the Greek island of Rhodes which is 380kilometres (200miles) to the west. The island has a mild, typically Mediterranean climate, with abundant sunshine even in winter and little rainfall. Prominent geographic features include the Troodos massif that occupies most of the southwestern part of the country, the Pentadaktylos range in the north around Kyrenia and the Messaoria Plain in between them. It is here that the capital city, Lefkosia, is located.

The elongated Karpasia Peninsula occupies the northeastern part of Cyprus, while the southeastern point terminates in Cape Gkreco. The southern coast is where the major towns of Larnaka and Lemesos are located. Pafos and the Akamas Peninsula are on the far western edge. The latitute of Cyprus is 34o 33'-35o 34' North, and its longitudes 32o 16'-34o 37' East. 


Demography / Population (de jure): 818.200 (End 2003)
79,1%: Greek Cypriots (646.900)
10,7%: Turkish Cypriots (87.800)
10,2%: Foreign residents (83.500)

Prior to the Turkish invasion (July-August 1974) the two communities lived together in roughly the same proportions (4 Greek Cypriots : 1Turkish Cypriot) in all six administrative districts of the island. Since the invasion, about 57 000 Turkish Cypriots emigrated, with the result that today they constitute only 10,7% of the population compared to 18% before July 1974.
Population of Main Towns

(End 2003)
Lefkosia (Nicosia): 213.500 (part of Lefkosia in the Government controlled area)
Lemesos (Limassol): 167.800
Larnaka: 74.700
Pafos: 49.700

Distances between towns in km

Limassol 80          
Paphos 153 72        
Larnaca 51 70 142      
Troodos 80 51 123 121    
Agia Napa 82 99 171 41 163  
Polis 188 108 37 177 160 220
  Nikosia Limassol Paphos Larnaca Troodos Agia Napa
Note: All place names have been converted into Latin characters according to the official System of Transliteration of the Greek alphabet.

Time difference

Two hours ahead of World G.M.T.  (+ 2 hours)


The language of the Greek Cypriot community is Greek and the community adheres to the Autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus. The language of the Turkish Cypriot community is Turkish and the community adheres to Islam. The religious groups of Armenians, Maronites and Latins, in accordance with 1960 constitution, opted to belong to the Greek Cypriot community.



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