Kyrenia Mountain Range (Girne Daglari), North Cyprus. Photo: Atak Kara
The Kyrenia mountain range is a long, narrow chain of mountains that runs approximately 160 km (100 mi) along the north coast of Cyprus. The mountains are primarily limestone, with some marble. The highest mountain, Kyparissovouno, is 1024 m (3360 ft) in elevation. The western half of the range is also known as the Pentadactylos (Greek: "five fingers" ) mountains. The Turkish name for these mountains is Besparmak (Beşparmak : "five fingers").
Pentadactylos (Besparmaklar ), North Cyprus. Photo: Atak Kara
These mountains are a series of sedimentary formations from the Permian to the Middle Miocene pushed up by a collision of the African and Eurasian plates. Though only half the height of the Troodos mountains, the Kyrenia mountains are very rugged and rise abruptly from the Mesaoria plain making them very spectacular.
St. Hilarion Castle
The placement of the mountains near the sea made them desirable locations for watch towers and castles overlooking the north Cyprus coast as well as the central plain. These castles generally date from the 10th through the 15th centuries, primarily constructed by the Byzantines and Lusignans. The castles of St. Hilarion, Buffavento, and Kantara sit astride peaks and were of strategic importance during much of Cyprus's history during the Middle Ages.
Medieval Greece / Byzantine Empire
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