Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily and Sardinia with an area of 9,251 sq. kilometers of which 1,733 are forested. It has a maximum length of 240 kms from east to west and a maximum width of 100 kms from north to south.
It is situated at the north-eastern end of the East Mediterranean basin at a distance of 380 kms north of Egypt, 105 kms west of Syria and 75kms south of Turkey. The Greek mainland is some 800 kms to the west. The nearest Greek islands are Rhodes and Carpathos, 380 kms to the west.
The latitude of Cyprus is 34 33’ – 35 34’ north and its longitude 32 16’ – 34 37’ east.
The landscape, blessed with natural beauty, is one of infinite variety. Cool, virgin mountains are in contrast to golden, sunny beaches. Tranquil, traditional villages are in striking contrast to modern cosmopolitan cities. The environment of Cyprus is one of the healthiest in the world, free from any kind of pollution.
The island has many more advantages. Crime is almost non-existent and Cyprus economy is booming. Over the past few years Cyprus has emerged as one of the region’s leading business and financial centers. Various sectors of the economy like tourism, banking, insurance and telecommunications enjoy very high standards as result of being at the leading edge of technology.
Cyprus has an intense Mediterranean climate with the typical seasonal rhythm strongly marked in respect of temperature, rainfall and weather generally. Hot, dry summers from mid-May to mid-September and rainy, rather changeable winters from November to mid-March are separated by short autumn and spring seasons.
In summer the island is mainly under the influence of a shallow trough of low pressure extending from the great continental depression centered over southwest Asia. It is a season of high temperatures with almost cloudless skies.
In winter Cyprus is near the track of fairly frequent small depressions which cross the Mediterranean Sea from west to east between the continental anticyclone of Eurasia and the generally low pressure belt of North Africa. These depressions give periods of disturbed weather usually lasting for a day or so and produce most of the annual precipitation, the average rainfall from December to February being about 60% of the average annual total precipitation for the island as a whole, which is 500 mm.
Temperatures are high in summer and the mean daily temperature in July and August ranges between 29 C on the central plain to 22 C on the Troodos mountains, while the average maximum temperature for these months ranges between 36 C and 27 C respectively. Winters are mild with a mean January temperature of 10 C on the central plain and 3 C on the higher parts of the Troodos mountains and with an average minimum temperature of 5 C and 0 C respectively.
Winds are generally light to moderate and variable in direction. Strong winds may occur sometimes, but gales are infrequent over Cyprus and are mainly confined to exposed coastal areas as well as areas at high elevation.