While geographically an island situated closer to the Middle East than to Europe, Cyprus is unquestionably European. The island of Cyprus is divided into two. The Republic of Cyprus, to the south and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus to the north. The island lies in the far East of the Mediterranean Sea and is surrounded by Greece (to the west), Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq (to the east), Turkey (to the north) and Israel and Egypt (to the south).
The resources of Cyprus
Cyprus encompasses an area of over 9,250 square kilometers with its coastline approximately 650 kilometers in length. Despite being a small country by world standards, the island is the third largest in the Mediterranean. It is an island rich in natural resources and there are over 200 operational quarries currently excavating a range of materials including limestone, marble, gypsum, ochre, and umber.
The Republic of Cyprus (the southern part of the island) is home to over 800,000 people. Greek is the native language in this region although over 90% of these residents are capable of speaking English which makes it a desirable travel destination for native English speakers. In the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, there are about 200,000 people residing, with Turkish the commonly spoken language and English not as commonly spoken in these parts.
The three major cities in the Republic
The Republic of Cyprus is home to the three largest cities on the island and these are the areas most commonly visited by tourists. To the west is Limassol, with its glorious marina and coastline and is the most popular destination in the summertime. To the east is Larnaca, a city also situated on the coast and is a favorite location for young families and students. Towards the north sits Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus and a highly desirable travel destination for visitors seeking a more traditional Cypriot experience.