Terrain shapes and bedrock
The peculiar shape of Cyprus, with the northeastern
Carpathian peninsula, is directly linked to the alpine
mountain range that extends across the island and continues
on the Asian mainland. The narrow Kyrenia Mountains follow
the northern coastline of the island at a distance of 160 km
and reach a maximum of 1,023 m above sea level. The mountain
range consists mainly of limestone from Mesozoic times.
To the south follows the low and flat Mesaoria plain,
which extends between the Gulf of Morfou in the west and the
Gulf of Famagusta in the east with a length of 129 km and a
width of 48 km. South of the plain, the Troodos massif with
the Olympus Mountains spreads as a marked ridge. The highest
peak is Olympus, also called Troodos, 1,952 meters above sea
level. The massif consists mainly of ultramafic rocks, from
the oceanic crust, elevated by excess.
On the southeastern part of the island there is a plateau
that descends to the fertile coastal plain. The sloping
surfaces have been subjected to strong soil erosion, after
reckless logging and pickling.
COUNTRYAAH, Cyprus has a pronounced Mediterranean climate with hot
and dry summer and cool and rainy winter. The proximity to
the Asian mainland allows the high summer temperatures to
reach above 40 ～ C, usually in the interior and low-lying
parts of the island. These months are felt to be
uncomfortably hot, but in the mountainous regions the
temperatures are more moderate. At over 1,000 m altitude,
the Troodos Mountains get plenty of snow during the winter,
which can last up to five months at the top of Olympus.
The sunshine hours are plentiful in both winter and
summer. The high summer temperature combined with the
absence of rain from late May to mid-September causes an
annual dry season with swelled vegetation as a result.
The average temperature during summer is about 28 ～ C and
during winter about 11 ～ C. The coastal regions are milder
than inland during the winter, and Olympus then has a
temperature below freezing. The annual average temperature
varies between about 20 ～ C along the coasts and in eastern
Cyprus, reaching a minimum of about 10 ～ C at Olympus.
The rainfall is on average 500 mm per year, except for
the Troodos mountains which get over 1,000 mm, and falls
mainly during November to March. The rivers are dependent on
the winter rains and dry out completely in the summer.
Nicosia receives only 340 mm of rain per year.
Plant-and animal life
Cyprus is slightly smaller than Östergötland. The country
is dominated by the Troodos Mountains in the southwest with
remnants of more original forests interspersed with
extensive tree plantations. The Mesaoria plain in the
central parts of the country is intensively cultivated and
lacks greater natural values. The Kyerni mountains in the
north once again house some valuable natural areas. Despite
heavy exploitation of the country's coasts, there are some
more unspoilt areas, especially along rockier parts but also
in rare cases sandy beaches where sea turtles find a
In the central parts of the Troodos Mountains there is
the Paphos forest with cypress cedar and Turkish pine (Pinus
brutia) - species that had previously had a much
greater distribution on the island. There is also a special
subspecies of mufflon (Ovis orientalis ophion) and
two endemic bird species, cypress sting (Oenanthe
cypriaca) and cyprus singer. The Paphos forest with
adjacent mountains is also known for a good strain of hawk
The Akama Peninsula at the far west has been set aside as
a national park to guard a more unspoilt nature with cliffs,
ravines, forests and sandy beaches. At two of the beaches -
Limni and Lara-Toxeftra - females of neglected caretaker
turtle and mushroom turtle are still digging their eggs
every season. Several unique plants include a species in the
orchid genus satyr keys (Serapia aphroditae). The
Akama Peninsula has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Cyprus's second national park, the Carpathian Peninsula,
lies on the foothills of the Kyrenia Mountains, which extend
east in the direction of Turkey. Here you will find an
attractive mix of rocky shores and sandy beaches where both
the caretaker tortoise and the turtle lay their eggs. At the
far end of the peninsula, red-billed swans nest with trout
and cormorants, and here large numbers of migratory birds
accumulate during the spring.
Among the few remaining wetlands and coastal lagoons are
the Akrotiri Peninsula and Larnaca's salt lakes, where
nesting spore whip (Vanellus spinosus), stilt
runner and thick foot (see thick feet) are found, and harbor
thousands of flamingos during the winter. Cranes, maidens,
evening hawks and bee eaters are common during the spring
and autumn migration. At Cape Aspro west of the Gulf of
Episkopi is Cyprus's largest colony of eleonora falcons.
About 10% of Cyprus is under some form of nature
protection (2012). The most important areas from a nature
conservation point of view are the national forest parks,
which are just over ten in number.