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September 10, 2017 by Chris Christou

Cyprus is one of the many islands of the Mediterranean. It has a very varied landscape that is characterized by plains, beaches and mountains. The highest mountain ranges of Cyprus are Troodos which covers most of the southern and western parts of the island. The north coastline boasts of Besparmak. It is the central Mesaoria plain that separates the mountains. This plain runs from east to west, and is known as the breadbasket of Cyprus as cereal crops like wheat, barley and oats are found here.

It is interesting to learn that Cyprus was formed with numerous complicated geogological events; thus making Cyprus a geological show case. Cyprus was first found located at the bottom of the ocean, “Tethys”, some 90 million years ago. With tectonic movements, the African plate collided with the Eurasian plate to produce Cyprus. It was the Troodos and the Pentadactylos that first rose from the sea about 20 million years ago, to reach its present height about 1 -2 million years ago.

It was about 1 -2 million years back that the Mesaoria plain was formed by the joining of two islands. Its central part consists of both basic and ultra basic plutonic rocks like peridotites, dunites, gabbros and serpentinized harzburgites. With the help of the climate, the topography of Cyprus created microclimates to increase the annual precipitation. It was the deep weathering of the rocks that led to the development of a smooth, mature topography of Troodos, which houses a mantle of diverse soils.

These diverse soils combined with microclimates to produce extensive forests and beautiful flora. The soil of the area is highly alkaline and is thus a special habitat for numerous plant species. You can find the sedimentary rocks weathering in the foothills of Troodos, to provide calcium rich, alkaline soils. This soil is the reason for the place being abundant with vineyards, carob and olive groves over centuries.

The unique feature of the landscape of Cyprus is that you can ski on the slopes of Troodos; and within an hour’s time have a swim in warmer coastal environments. This is because the higher parts of Troodos range are covered with snow for most of the months of the year, while the lower regions show no signs of snow. The cooler parts of Cyprus breed cherries, plums and banana plantations. However besides fruits, it is the great mineral wealth that Cyprus houses that has made Cyprus internationally acclaimed. Copper is found in abundance here, along with chromate, ochre and asbestos.

As it can be seen, Cyprus has a varied landscape that provides for different kinds of crops, animals and raw materials. In addition to this, you find that Cyprus has a landscape that is interesting and beautiful to admire. The perpetual cliffs and sandy beaches are indeed a sight worth visiting; and it is only on one’s visit to Cyprus will it be able to admire the beauty Cyprus offers with its varied landscape. Cyprus has a landscape that is indeed a treasure to the island for many more years to come.