Today we went into Girne to see the castle, with a wonderful view across the harbour. This redoubtable fortress was home to the Hellenistic Romans, Crusaders, Lusignans (Guy de Lusignan was a cousin to Richard I) Venetians and then Ottomans from 1570.
Cyprus is close to (clockwise) Turkey Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt and Libya and Greece. Given those countries have over the last 2000 years been embroiled in conflict army commanders need a nice place; lush, verdant, accessible and defendable to send their troops for R&R. Chill out in Cyprus.