The resort city of Larnaca is located on the southern coast of Cyprus. In the old days, this town was the city-state of Kition, founded by the grandson of Noah, and later called Larnaca due to the found numerous ancient sarcophagi.
The mild Mediterranean climate of the resort attracts many tourists, for whom the beach season lasts from May to October. Winters are mild, but rainy. Not far from the airport on the Salt Lake Aliki pink flamingos winter, which turn this place into a magical kingdom. Neighboring swans add color.
Popular sights of Larnaca
The city covers an area of only 1,129 km2, but due to its geographical location and rich history, it offers curious travelers a wide choice of attractions that you can see during the entire vacation.
Larnaca Quay stretches along the largest sandy beach Finikoudes. It is widely known as the “palm tree”, but it bears the name of General Cimon, the hero who managed in the V century to defend the city against the invading Persians. The main street of the city is decorated with a bust of the hero, made of white marble. Not far from it there is a monument to Zeno of Kition, a native of Larnaca, who founded the philosophical school of the Stoics. Marble sculpture of a lion with wings serves not only as a reminder of the times of the domination of the Venetian Republic, but also for the secret business card of Larnaca.
At the end of the Finikoudes beach there is a medieval castle, erected in the XIV century by the Europeans and reconstructed at the beginning of the 17th century by the Turks, who used it to protect the harbor of Larnaca. The castle overcame Ottoman rule, was used as a British prison, and now it houses the District Museum of Larnaca’s medieval history, as well as an observation post and artillery crew. The courtyard of the fortress is used as an open-air theater and can accommodate up to two hundred spectators.
Church of St. Lazarus
In the 9th century, an Orthodox church was built in Larnaca in the Byzantine architectural style, named after the righteous Lazarus of Bethany. According to the gospel, after his death Jesus Christ resurrected. This event led to persecution, so Lazarus was forced to leave Judea. At 33, he moved to Cyprus, where at the age of 45 the apostles Paul and Barnabas appointed him as the first bishop of Kition.
After 30 years of life after the resurrection, Lazar died in Cyprus at the age of 63 years. A church named after him was erected on the burial place of the saint. In addition to the relics of St. Lazarus and the miraculous icon with its image, the walls of the church have Byzantine frescoes and a luxurious iconostasis created in the 18th century.
The male monastery of the Cypriot Metropolitan Church of Cyprus was founded by Empress Helena in 327.
The walls of Stavrovouni store valuable relics
• part of the cross on which they crucified Jesus Christ;
• a nail hammered into its flesh;
• The Cyprian icon of the Mother of God, found at the end of the 4th century at the burial site of the righteous Lazarus.
About 30 hermit monks live in the monastery, who personally prepare incense and write icons, observing the traditions of the ancient Byzantine school. On the territory of the monastery is not allowed to enter women. In the bookshop you can buy literature and colorful booklets.
Convent of St. Mina
In the picturesque mountain valley in the northern neighborhood of Larnaca the female monastery of St. Mina is located, built in the XV century. Many pilgrims come to the monastery not only to admire its architecture and the surrounding landscape, but also ask St. Mina, whose image is on the right side of the iconostasis, to bestow health and material well-being. Pilgrims claim that he helps everyone. Proof of this are the products of gold with precious stones, which people leave as a sign of gratitude near the image of the saint.
Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque
Located on the shores of the Salt Lake, surrounded by majestic palms and fountains, the architectural complex of Hala Sultan Tekke consists of a mosque, a mausoleum, a minaret, as well as buildings for servants and dervish pilgrims. The complex was built in honor of the aunt and, concurrently, the adoptive mother of the prophet Muhammad - Umm Haram, who died in 649 as a result of an unsuccessful fall from a mule on the outskirts of Larnaka. In 1760, a mausoleum was built on the site of its burial, and in 1816 a mosque was erected and a lush garden with large fountains was built around it. Until 1914, passing by Turkish vessels lowered flags and made volleys as a token of honor of this shrine.
Jami Kebir Mosque
Next to the ancient castle of Larnaca there is the Jami Kebir mosque. Initially the building was used as a Catholic cathedral, but during the Ottoman rule it was reconstructed. The mosque is well preserved to this day and is popular, although the Muslim community in Larnaca is relatively small. Jami Kebir is available for visiting tourists wishing to explore this sample of ancient architecture. Visitors will need to leave their shoes at the entrance, and women will need to cover their heads with a scarf additionally.
It is a structure that served to transport water from the source to the locality. The aqueduct located in the vicinity of Larnaca was erected during the period of Ottoman rule in the middle of the 18th century on the initiative and at the expense of the Governor Abu Bekir Pasha. The aqueduct has a length of more than 10 km and includes three sections consisting of a total of 75 arches. This design ensured the maintenance of water level in places where ravines were encountered along the path of the aqueduct. Citizens used this system until the construction of a new modern water supply system in 1939.
Popular beaches of Larnaca
Sand and pebble beaches of Larnaca in combination with clear water, a gentle entrance to the sea and a well-developed infrastructure contribute to comfortable rest for both adults and children.
Located near the central promenade of Finikoudes Beach is considered the most famous in Larnaca. It is littered with fine, slightly grayish sand and is equipped with everything necessary for comfortable rest: toilets, shower cabins, sun beds with umbrellas, wheelchair ramp and other amenities. The equipped zone has a length of 500 m, and the width of the sandy strip varies between 30–100 m. The main advantages of Finikoudes are clear transparent water and a gentle entrance to the sea.
Not far from the airport there is Mackenzie Beach, awarded with the Blue Flag for immaculate order and well-developed service. In addition to comfortable conditions for sunbathing and swimming in the sea, guests can enjoy a wide range of beach activities, including water-skiing, speedboat and skiing, windsurfing and diving in coastal waters. Shallow water contributes to comfortable rest with children. Numerous cafes and taverns serve fresh grilled fish, meat meze, moussaka and other traditional Cypriot dishes.
On the Kiti Peninsula in the vicinity of Larnaca there is an equipped beach that attracts holidaymakers not only with clean fine sand and a well-developed infrastructure, but also with a picturesque lighthouse, next to which tourists take memory photos. Blue flag-awarded Faros beach provides optimal conditions for families with children. The breakwaters located near the shore make the sea calm, so children can swim in the water freely. Showers and changing rooms, toilets, deck chairs with umbrellas, equipment for outdoor activities are available for vacationers.
In addition to attractions and beaches, Larnaca offers tourists a wide range of hotels, which take into account all the wishes of travelers. Saunas, fitness centers, tennis courts, babysitting services and other facilities are available to guests. Thanks to the quality service Larnaca is among the best resorts in Cyprus.