Larnaca in south-eastern Cyprus, is the third-largest city on the island after Nicosia and Limassol. Built on the ruins of ancient Citium, it is the oldest city in Cyprus with a history of more than 6,000 years. There are many attractions here for the tourist. Larnaca is a thin ribbon-like town that you can cover easily by foot. It is divided into two parts – the older city center and the new development area, where you will find many pubs, cafes, restaurants, hotels, apartments, and luxury villas for rent.
Larnaca is very laid back. It has a much more relaxed vibe than Limassol and Ayia Napa. See the archaeological site of Agios Lazaros, the Pierides Archaeological Foundation Museum, monasteries, and the Larnaca Fort. The seaside promenade is particularly popular for evening walks. This palm-lined promenade is buzzing with activity, especially during the evening.
There are many beaches, including the Finikoudes Beach, which is the most famous. The Mackenzie Beach right next to the airport is also good. There is a Salt Lake very close to this beach where you can see flamingoes. The historic Hala Sultan Tekke mosque stands next to this. Also visit the Church of Saint Lazarus and the Faneromeni Church.
The beaches with umbrellas, loungers, and restrooms have good infrastructure for tourists. You can relax on a sunbed, enjoy swimming, or water sports. Just off the shore is the MS Zenobia, which is the most famous shipwreck and diving site of Cyprus. You can also rent a boat from the marina and go on a sailing or fishing trip.
Larnaca – Quick Facts
- One of the oldest cities in Cyprus.
- The 3 rd largest city in Cyprus after Nicosia and Limassol
- It has the 2 nd largest Salt Lake on the island, which is home to 10,000 migratory flamingoes.
- Voroklini Lake is home to 190 bird species
- Very good for diving – the Zenobia and Alexandria wrecks.
- Buy the best Cypriot handmade lace, silverwork, pottery, and jewelry.
- There are museums in Larnaca that even display ancient stone dildos.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Larnaca is in April and May. September and October are also good. You will find pleasant weather during these times. The summer is very hot, with the scorching sun overhead. In the summer, the average temperature hovers around 25-32 degrees C. Winter is the wettest time of the year.
Summers are warm and dry, whereas the winters are mild and rainy. You will have long and hot summer from the middle of May to October and winters from December to February. The average annual temperature is 20 ᵒ C.
|Weather in Protaras|
|Average high, °C||17||17||19||22||24||28||30||30||29||27||23||19||27|
|Average low, °C||7||7||9||12||16||19||22||22||20||17||12||9||20|
How to Reach Larnaca?
- By Air – There is an international airport at Larnaca, which is 4 kilometers from the city center. This is the largest airport in Cyprus, connected by Aegean Airlines, Aeroflot, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Cyprus Airways, EgyptAir, Emirates, Gulf Air, Lufthansa, and many other airlines. Buses run regularly from the airport to the city center. It will take about half an hour.
- By Road – You can visit Larnaca easily from other popular tourist areas. Ayia Napa is 49.3 kilometers away. Paphos on the western side of the island is at a distance of 134.4 kilometers. Another popular area, Limassol is 68.6 kilometers away. You can rent a car or hire a taxi. There are intercity buses as well.
Top 12 Attractions at Larnaca
- Church of Saint Lazarus – Visit this 9th century beautiful church. See the tomb of Saint Lazarus, the beautiful woodcarving work, and the gold-plated icon artistry. Saint Lazarus, the patron saint of the sick and poor, was raised from the dead by Jesus.
- Pierides Archaeological Foundation Museum – It is located in the residence of Dimitris Pierides, a former banker and diplomat. The museum displays many Neolithic and Roman artefacts. See the Cyprus and Greek style artefacts, especially the Turkish influences and features.
- Larnaca Fort – The medieval castle is located on the seafront, very close to the pier and the Saint Lazarus church. It was constructed to defend the southern coast of the island, but has now been turned into a museum. See antiques from early Christian, Byzantine, and Post Byzantine times. There are wall paintings, medieval pottery, utensils, and weapons. The courtyard has been converted into an open-air theatre.
- Stavrovouni Monastery – Greek Orthodox monastery located on top of a hill. You can see a piece of the Holy Cross here. It is also one of the world’s oldest monasteries. The monastery and its frescos have been completely renovated. However, controversially, it does not allow women.
- Hala Sultan Tekke – Also called the mosque of Umm Haram, it now serves as a mausoleum, minaret, mosque, and cemetery. Some archeologists believe that it is a monumental monolithic tomb from the prehistoric times. It is located on the banks of the Salt Lake. Muslims consider it the third-most sacred site.
- Old Turkish Quarter – This is the old town and one of the city’s main attractions. Stroll the streets for a glimpse of the old town. You will see white cottages with colored window shutters and flowerpot-studded doorways. There are many ceramic workshops. The district gives a distinct bohemian vibe.
- Water Sports – Choose from a wide range of watersports. Jet ski, parasailing, powerboats, windsurfing, kite surfing, and scuba diving. The MS Zenobia shipwreck is just off the coast from the Kastella Beach. Diving trips start from the marina next to this beach.
- Cruising – Go on a daylong or sunset cruise from the city. Mediterraneo III is the only adult’s only catamaran cruise.
- Wine Tasting – Unwind with a wine tasting session. The Oak Tree Wine Cellar is one of the finest Sample 10 different wines. Located at the center of the old town, it is a 2 minutes’ walk from the Saint Lazarus Church. Enjoy rose, white, red, and sweet wines with some cheese.
- Camel Park Mazotos – Spend an entire day at the park. See baby camels and enjoy a camel ride. Explore Noah’s Ark. Kids are going to love it.
- Kamares Aqueduct – An open-air aqueduct from 1746. Its 20 arches light up in the evening. Take the path to Larnaka Salt Lake for some cool breeze.
- Lefkara – One of the most influential towns, surrounded by pines and valleys. Famous for the exquisite lace products, made by village women. Silversmiths produce some of the best artworks incorporating silver and lace together.
McKenzie Beach, Kastella Beach, Cape Kiti Beach, Perivolia Beach and Finikoudes Beach are the most popular. They are packed from September.
McKenzie Beach is 2 km south from the city center. You will find it to be more spacious than Finikoudes Beach. There are many water sports activities, restaurants, cafes, and bars. Cape Kiti Beach is 15 km south of Larnaca. Visit the secluded coves at Perivolia Beach. Kastella Beach is a Blue Flag beach popular with families. This is a 600-meter-long beach with brown sand. There are life guards from June-October there.
Yanathes Beach is a popular stretch of 2 km along the Bay of Larnaca. There are water sports here as well, including banana boats and parascending.
Nightlife at Larnaca
Larnaca nightlife is not as vibrant as Ayia Napa, but there are still many good places where you can enjoy a party. There are quite a few nightclubs and sports bars in the city. Old Market St., Seagull Bar, and Blue Pine Bar are the most popular places. Mazzo, The Tudor Inn, Club Deep. and the Barrel House are also popular nightclubs.
You will also find many beach bars along the coastline, including the Ammos Bar, Lush Beach Bar, and the Savino Rock Bar.
Top 6 Restaurants
- Aquarium Café – Best for European and Mediterranean food. Try meats, seafood, and meze. It is on a boat.
- Grada Tavern – They serve very good portion sizes here.
- Kazani Tavern – Famous for its décor and traditional food.
- The Balti House – Good for Indian food.
- Vinaria – Cozy and relaxed ambience. Enjoy wines with tapas.
- Stou Rousha – Authentic Cypriot cuisine.
There are many hotels and resorts to choose from. Lokal Hotel is a boutique property. The Livadhiotis City Hotel is on the waterfront. Choose Obic City Hotel if you want to stay close to the Old Turkish quarter.
Villas for Rent at Larnaca
A holiday villa for rent in Larnaca allows you to enjoy the most luxurious vacation. This is like your own home where you can stay in complete privacy for the duration of your trip. The villa bedrooms are more spacious than the ones you get at star-category hotels. Private villas for rent offer all modern luxuries and amenities.
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