Larnaca or “Larnaka” is located on Cyprus’ southernmost coast and is the country’s third largest and possibly oldest city. It is home to the second largest commercial port and Larnaca International Airport is located on the outskirts fringe, easily accessible from the town centre. Larnaca is an area with numerous historical attractions, waterfronts and scenic vistas. It revolves around its seaside position and has some of the island’s most outstanding beaches including Finikoudes, Mackenzie, CTO beach, Kastella and one dog-friendly beach; Spyros Beach (‘Kassianes’) located south of Larnaca airport.
Places to visit in Larnaca
The lively coastal promenade, known as “Finikoudes” (meaning small palm trees), runs 600m along the seafront and is where locals and visitors come for a morning coffee and to relax on the beach during the day or for a beer and to stroll the wide pavements in the evenings. Nearby, the Larnaca Marina has a lot of beautiful vessels docked whether for private or tourist use and is a perfect place for a stroll and photo opportunities.
The Medieval Castle
For those interested in history, Larnaca is steeped in it. Larnaca’s Medieval Castle is situated on the southern point of “Finikoudes” and boasts a small museum and exquisite coastal views form the top. Nearby Larnaca’s Fort stands at the water’s edge and separates Finikoudes from the old Turkish quarter. During summer the impressive courtyard is used for concerts and cultural events. Ancient Kition is an ancient city-state located on the southern coast.
Church of Saint Lazarus
Within driving distance is the Church of Saint Lazarus, built in the 9th century to house the tomb of Lazarus of Bethany, who was said to be raised from the dead by Jesus. According to ancient Cypriot tradition, Lazarus went to Kition where he met Apostles Paul and Barnabas on their missionary journey through Cyprus and was ordained by them as the first Bishop of Kition.
The Choirokoitia Neolithic Settlement is a World Heritage Site and one of the most famous historic attractions in the city. It is situated about 30km to the south-west of Larnaca and boasts well-preserved ruins and reconstructed houses that were built circa 6800 BC.
Europe Square and Museums
Europe Square is located at the beginning of Athens Avenue and consists of the first colonial buildings built by the British Administration in 1881. These buildings now host the Palaeontology museum, Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, City-Museum and Archives and the District Administration of Larnaca. Nearby is also the Pierides Museum, one of the most important museums in Cyprus and home to collections depicting Cypriot culture throughout the centuries.
Trails of Nature
For those who like long walks on the beach, the city boasts a 3km seafront trail starting from Europe Square to the Mackenzie pedestrian trail. Lose yourself in the wonderful surroundings where the sand mingles with the sea, the historical buildings and traditional city quarters. Another popular trail is the Pattichio Park Trail, found north of Artemis Avenue, 2km in length. It is home to rare species of Cypriot flora and fauna. A short walk from Pattichio is a very beautiful open air amphitheatre. Larnaca to Oroklini Beach Trail situated parallel to the sea along the eastern beaches of the city features a permanent walking structure constructed from of stone, cement, wood which was awarded an international architectural prize.
Family-friendly activities include the Camel Park where you can experience a camel ride, feed the animals and see other animals such as goats and birds. The Natural History museum, situated in the Municipal Gardens, is regularly visited by schools and is a fun place for children to see pelicans, flamingos, peacocks and macaws in cages outside the museum. Larnaca is a well-organised city with green areas and safe playgrounds for children of all ages and most parks have permanently installed games. Mackenzie beach is most suitable for families as they have an attractive playing area and good restaurants where the adults can enjoy lunch whilst their children play.
Underwater Zenobia Wreck
For diving enthusiasts a must-see is the Zenobia wreck which has something for every level of diver. Night life in Larnaca is lively and includes a lot of beach parties. The strip on the Mackenzie coast provides a large selection of bars with Ammos Beach Bar being a popular choice. The strip also offers stunning views of airplanes taking off and landing at the nearby Larnaca Airport. The Blue Pine Bar is said to be the best bar in Larnaca for chilled music and a large spirit selection. It usually comes alive after 10pm with the wood décor, dim lighting and blues music providing a real atmosphere.
Larnaca – The perfect place to be
Overall, Larnaca is a relaxing and fun city with a rich history that worth’s to be explored. This city is the ideal destination for beach lovers that enjoy the tranquility of sunny mornings that turn in to fun outgoing nights.