On the map, Cyprus seems not to far away from Lebanon. Approximately 100 kilometers. Is it possible to see parts of Lebanon from anywhere in Cyprus?

  • The only other country you can see is Turkey, from the north coast, on a clear day. And this is about half the distance than Lebanon. So, no it's not possible.
    – Aris
    Jun 16, 2013 at 7:17
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    If you're in Lebanon, go to Cedars skiing slopes, located at 2,850 m in altitude above sea level -> there it's obvious if the wind is from the West and the sky is clear. You will be able to see the Cypriot coast nice and easy.
    – user8447
    Sep 17, 2013 at 12:54
  • but you can see cyprus from lebanon, I won't give an answer because you're question is the other way around
    – Lynob
    Jun 10, 2014 at 10:53

7 Answers 7


I started trying to solve this by finding photos from Cyprus. I found some, but they're not very conclusive.

Then I realised we could do this mathematically!

The approximate distance to the horizon from an observer close to the Earth's surface is given by:

enter image description here

where d is in kilometres and h is height above sea level in metres.


  • For an observer standing on the ground with h = 1.70 metres (5 ft 7 in) (average eye-level height), the horizon is at a distance of 5.0 kilometres (3.1 mi).
  • For an observer standing on a hill or tower of 100 metres (330 ft) in height, the horizon is at a distance of 39 kilometres (24 mi).

As you've pointed out, it's about 100km - I plugged it into GMap-Pedometer and reckon it's about 105km.

So solving for h, we find we need to be at a height of 742m above sea level at the closest point.

Unfortunately nowhere even comes close on the eastern side.

So we have one shot - Mount Olympus, which is 1952m.

Solving for d, we can get d = ~170km.

However the distance from the top of Mount Olympus to the nearest point in Lebanon is well over 250km, meaning that NO, you cannot see Lebanon from any point in Cyprus.


The highest point in Lebanon is Qurnat As Sawda. So perhaps you can see from Olympus to here? Let's find out:

From the top of Olympus to the top of Qurnat As Sawda is about 302km as the crow flies. If we sum their heights, we get 5040m. To be able to see 302km, we solve for h, and work that out as a mountain which would need to be 6134m high. So again, no, but it is a bit closer :)

  • 1
    well as per the first solving, it'll need to be at least 742m tall :)
    – Mark Mayo
    Nov 29, 2011 at 0:24
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    What about seeing the highest point of Lebanon (Qurnat As Sawda, 3088 meters)?
    – mouviciel
    Nov 29, 2011 at 12:01
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    From the top of Olympus to the top of Qurnat As Sawda is about 302km as the crow flies. If we sum their height, we get 5040m. To be able to see 302km, we solve for h, and work that out as a mountain needing to be 6134m high. So again, no, but it is a bit closer :)
    – Mark Mayo
    Nov 29, 2011 at 20:11
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    Following this theory, if I am at the top of Qurnat As Sawda, I should be able to see any point at 3.856*sqrt(3088) = 214 km. Cyprus is 205 km from this summit. So it should be theoretically possible to distinguish (guess?) the cape Greco from Qurnat As Sawda if the weather is nice and all conditions are good. Hard to tell on panoramio.com/photo/11521990 . But it would also mean we can see Qurnat As Sawda from Cape Greco, right?
    – Vince
    Sep 17, 2013 at 13:54
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    Actually you shouldn't sum the heights of the two points; you should compute their horizon distance of each of the summits separately and then sum those distances. What we're looking for is whether the straight line between them just grazes the surface of the ocean in the middle, which is if they are separated by the sum of the horizon distances. Nov 28, 2014 at 13:42

No, but you can see Syria. I found a photo of Syrian mountains seen from the Karpaz Peninsula early in the morning.

enter image description here

  • 3
    Wow where did you find this photo? At first glance I discounted it as a storm cloud but when I looked more into it, the shape visible fits perfectly with the elevation profile of Jabal Aqraa (Arabic) Kel Dag (Turkish), a summit located right on the Syrian Turkish border. (The summit is just inside Turkey - only 1.5Km - 2Km North of the Syrian border). Importantly, it is also very close to the Mediterranean coast. Rising steeply Eastwards it is only 3.5Km from the waters of the Mediterranean. Kel Dag is 1,700m, the visible distance from this height to a point at sea level is 147Km.
    – user15156
    Jun 1, 2014 at 10:20
  • [this is the second part of Guest01's comment] However, Cape Greco is too far at just over 200Km. That said, the Karpaz Peninsula is only 128Km from Kel Dag and therefore well within visible range. If this is Kel Dag/Jabal Aqraa, the photo must have been taken from the Karpaz Peninsula. And if you look closely you can also make out a lower range just to the right (South), which is within Syria. So, based on the assumptions above, it looks like you can see Syria from Cyprus. Jun 1, 2014 at 11:59
  • @Guest01 He found it here. Their comment lines up with the Karpaz Peninsula: "The North, the farthest eastern point where the sun rises is where I wanted to go, I expected healthy nature and I found the beauty, in wide stretches the untouched wilderness; on this clear morning as the sun rises one can even see the Syrian mountains, some 80 kilometres away."
    – dlanod
    Jun 1, 2014 at 23:06

I've been on the Karpaz peninsula, the part of Cyprus that is closest to Lebanon and no, you can't see anything but sea, even from the very tip - though admittedly I didn't have binoculars or tried to find the highest point. But there aren't really any mountains in that area, just some minor hills.

Here's a picture from that area (and even pointing in the right direction, I think):

enter image description here


It doesn't look like it's possible, if you are standing on the beach and not taking photos from some elevated vantage point. The eastern part of Cyprus is fairly flat, with elevation of less than 50 m, especially on the side you'd be able to see Lebanon.

The easiest way to confirm is to look for photos taken in this region, and see whether you'd be able to see something there. I looked through some photos in Panoramio and wasn't able to find a single one on which the Lebanese coast is visible. Admittedly, the photos are not of highest quality, and the meteorological conditions are not perfect, but it seems that it's not possible.

For comparison, in my current residence in Jönköping, Sweden, the island of Visingsö is around 30 km north from the city in the Vättern lake, and is barely visible most of the days -- you can only see the mirrored image of the island "hanging" above the water, even in near-perfect conditions.

[I just saw Mark's excellent scientific answer, but if mathematics are not your thing, this sort of reasoning could be of use in similar circumstances.]


mountain of northern Syria

By the way, I also took that same morning a photograph of the mountain of northern Syria. It seems to correspond to the photograph that was added to this post 3 years ago, but with higher resolution of course.

I will never forget that morning!


mountains of Lebanon from Kantara castle (Cyprus)

Yes, you can see Lebanon from Cyprus, but once in a lifetime if you are lucky! I took this photograph of the mountains of Lebanon from Kantara castle (Cyprus) very early on a very cold morning. I simply stuck the camera of my mobile to my binocular. Note: Cyprus countryside and coast in foreground.

The visibility was... beyond belief! I could see very clearly, to the naked eye, the Taurus mountains and the Turkish coast (even big buildings there, with my bare eyes), the mountains behind Iskenderun, the mountain of northen Syria, all the Syrian coast and the mountains of Lebanon until not far from Israel.

Sorry for my late answer (after 5 years...)


According to an article in Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horizon) the formula is

Dab < 3.57 * (Sqrt(Ha) + Sqrt(Hb))

Mount Olympus (Ha) = 1952m above sea level

Qornet Sawda (Hb) = 3088m above sea level

Distance between Mount Olympus and Qornet Sawda = 307km


307km < 3.57*(sqrt(1952)+sqrt(3088)

307km < 3.57*(44.18+55.56)

307km < 3.57*99.74

307km < 356.11km

Answer: Yes you should be able to see Lebanon from Cyprus, as well Cyprus from Lebanon CQFD

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