An island country situated in the Eastern Basin of the Mediterranean Sea. Cyprus is third largest island in the Mediterranean (after the Italian islands of Sicily and Sardinia) and the world's 81st largest. It is located south of Asia Minor, the Anatolian peninsula of the Asian (or Eurasian) mainland (now part of modern-day Turkey), so it may be included in Western Asia or the Middle East: At a confluence of Western Asia, Southern Europe, and Northern Africa, Cyprus has had lengthy periods of mainly Greek and intermittent Anatolian, Levantine, Byzantine, and Western European influences. It is sometimes included in Europe, and has been a member state of the European Union since 1 May 2004.
Cyprus measures 240 kilometres latitudinally and 100 km (62 mi) longitudinally, with Turkey 75 km (47 mi) to the north. Other neighbouring territories include Syria and Lebanon to the east (105 km and 108 km (67 mi), respectively), Israel 200 km (124 mi) to the southeast, Egypt 380 km (236 mi) to the south, and Greece to the west-northwest: 280 km (174 mi) to the small Dodecanesian island of Kastellórizo (Meyísti), 400 km (249 mi) to Rhodes, and 800 km (497 mi) to the Greek mainland.
The island is dominated by two mountain ranges, the Troodos Mountains and the Kyrenia Mountains, and the central plain, the Mesaoria, which is between them. The Troodos Mountains cover most of the southern and western portions of the island and account for roughly half its area. The narrow Kyrenia Range, extends along the northern coastline. It is not as high as the Troodos Mountains, and it occupies substantially less area. The two mountain ranges run generally parallel to the Taurus Mountains on the Turkish mainland, the outlines of which are visible from northern Cyprus. Coastal lowlands, varying in width, surround the island.