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Cyprus, Land and Resources

In the extreme northeast of Cyprus, the island narrows abruptly to form the Karpas Peninsula, which extends east toward the Syrian coast. Much of the land is a flat, treeless plain located in the interior and called the Mesaoria, meaning “between the mountains” in Greek; it extends from the western to the eastern coasts and is bordered on the north and south by mountain ranges. The northern range, known as the Kyrenia Range, is notable for its rocky, unbroken character. The Kyrenia Range parallels the coastline, extending into the Karpas Peninsula; its highest point is 1,019 m (3,343 ft). The southern range, called the Troodos Mountains, covers most of the southwestern portion of the island. This range is broken and has many abrupt cliffs. Mount Olympus (1,951 m/6,401 ft) is its highest peak.

Cyprus has no permanent rivers. A number of watercourses bring the overflow from the winter rains down to the Mesaoria plain in spring but are dry for most of the year. The island has a few freshwater lakes and two large saltwater lakes.

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