Cyprus is situated in the Eastern Basin of the Mediterranean Sea and is the third largest island in the Mediterranean (after the Italian islands of Sicily and Sardinia) and the world's 81st largest. It is located at a confluence of Western Asia, Middle East, Southern Europe, and Northern Africa.
Cyprus measures 240 kilometres latitudinally and 100 km longitudinally. The physical setting for life on the island is dominated by the mountain masses and the central plain they encompass, the Mesaoria. The Troodos Mountains cover most of the southern and western portions of the island and account for roughly half its area. Coastal lowlands, varying in width, surround the island.
Area: Total: 9,250 km2 / Land: 9,240 km2 / Water: 10 km2
Coastline: 648 km
Elevation extremes: Lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m / Highest point: Olympus 1,952 m
Experience at first hand one of the oldest civilizations of the Mediterranean, one that goes back 10,000 years. Conquered by foreign powers throughout its long history, the island is like a large open air museum where you can see evidence of its checkered past. Ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Venetians, Ottomans and British all left their mark, making the island a mosaic of different cultures and periods.
The cult of Aphrodite, the ancient Greek mythological goddess of love and beauty, flourished here and people came from miles around to take part in celebrations in her name.
The island was the first country the Apostles Paul and Barnabas visited in their mission to spread Christianity and the first to come under Christian administration. When Cyprus became part of the Byzantine Empire, art and architecture flourished here, especially in the 12th century, considered to be the Golden Age of Byzantine painting in Cyprus.