Map of Cyprus - Free & Online For Tourists
Glance at a map of Cyprus and its strategic location as a stepping stone between Europe and the Middle East quickly becomes apparent. In ancient times Cyprus was an obvious trading post which led to numerous people and civilisations leaving their cultural footprints on the island. The wealth of the island is derived from trade (rather than natural resources), although staple Mediterranean cash-crops such as olives and fruits further bolster economic activity. The island’s relative geographical isolation has also produced several indigenous species of flora and fauna.
The most obvious feature of today’s map of Cyprus is that it is an island divided. A United Nations monitored Green Line separates the Turkish north from the Greek south. Partition occurred in 1974 after decades of ethnic tension erupted into conflict in 1974. A Greek coup on the island provided Turkey with the pretext to invade and fighting followed. Since the end of the Cold War (and the collapse if the Berlin Wall) Cyprus remains the only divided nation in the world.
In the north the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) controls about 40% of the island’s territory. It is a country that is internationally isolated, being recognised only by Turkey. In the south the Greek Republic of Cyprus controls the rest of the island and is internationally accepted as the legitimate government of the island. Regrettably social and political division still colours every aspect of daily life in Cyprus.
The physical map of Cyprus can loosely be divided into three habitats: the mountains of Kyrenia Northern Cyprus and Troodos, the developed coastal plains and farmland (split evenly between arable and pastoral). Cyprus’ highest elevations can be found in the Troodos Mountains, which climb well over 1000m and are a haven for wildlife and woodland. The cultivated areas of the island are largely given over to olive and citrus groves while the marginal areas are ‘farmed’ by sheep and goats. The coast varies with stretches of beach interspersed with low cliffs, floodplain and wetland environments. Extensive tourist development has altered much of the natural coastal topography, normally for the worse.