The Republic of Cyprus is an island in the Eastern Mediterranean, located thirty-five miles south of Turkey and sixty-four miles south-west of Syria.
Nicosia, the capital city, is located centrally on the island. It is
divided into two sections, with Turkish and Greek communities separated
by a fortified border. Larnaka, one of Cyprus' main ports, is on the
southern coast of the island. The most important cities in Northern
Cyprus are Famagusta and Kyrenia.
Cyprus consists of two mountainous regions, separated by the Mesaoria
plain. The Troodos, the southern mountain group, is taller with the
highest peak, Mount Olympus, rising two thousand metres above sea
level. The Kyrenia mountain group, in the north, is about half as high;
the Pentadaktylos Mountain is very striking with a peak resembling five
The weather in Cyprus is usually sunny and hot with some rain during the winter months.
Cyprus has a variety of flora with numerous species of plants.
The Larnaca Salt Lake is on the Ramsar list of Wetlands of
International Importance. The Salt Lakes near Larnaka and Limassol are
home to migrating birds and flamingoes in the cooler season of the year.
A meze consists of
a number of small dishes, sometimes up to thirty, and may be served
before the main course of a meal. Meze dishes include Greek salad,
halloumi, small meat dishes and dips such as houmous, taramosalata and
Main meals are kleftiko (roasted lamb), kebabs, moussaka, stuffed vine
leaves, kalimari (squid) and fish dishes. Potatoes are a popular
vegetable. Other vegetables available are green beans, broccoli,
carrots, mushrooms, onions and peppers.
A variety of fruits are grown: apples, apricots, cherries, figs, grapes, peaches, strawberries, pomegranates and watermelons.
Honey is used in pastries such as baklava and kataifi. Loukoumi or
Turkish Delight, called "Cyprus Delight" in the South, is a well known
Coffee, preferred strong, is a social drink in the kafeneions where men gather to drink coffee, talk and play backgammon.
Wine is produced. Other drinks are brandy, ouzo, Zivania (fire water), and Keo the local beer.