The country has two mountain ranges: the Pentadaktylos range which runs along almost the entire northern coast and the Troodos massif in the central and south-western parts of the island. Cyprus’ coastal line is indented and rocky in the north with long sandy beaches in the south. The north coastal plain, covered with olive and carob trees, is backed by the steep and narrow Pentadaktylos mountain range of limestone, rising to a height of 1.024 m. In the south the extensive mountain massif of Troodos, covered with pine, dwarf oak, cypress and cedar, culminates in the peak of Mount Olympus, 1.953 m. above sea level. Between the two ranges lies the fertile plain of Messaoria.
Cyprus is almost surrounded by coastal valleys, where the soil is alluvial and fertile, suitable for agriculture. Arable land in Cyprus constitutes 46,8% of the total area of the island. Rivers are seasonal and only flow after heavy rain.
Protection of the Environment
The protection of the environment is a very important component of the country’s economic and social policies. With Cyprus’ accession to the European Union its environmental policy had to be totally revised as part of the harmonization process with EU requirements. This resulted in the adoption of over 100 laws and regulations covering a wide range of issues relating to the environment, including water, soil and air pollution, nature protection, waste management and noise regulation. The improvement in the legislation has established solid foundations for the implementation and enforcement of the environmental policy.