The Best Places to see and things to do in Larnaca, Cyprus
On the eastern coast of Cyprus, is Larnaca. A city with a very long history, dating as far back as the 13th century BC – meaning you definitely have a lot to see when visiting. Built upon the ruins of the ancient city of Kition, it is said that Larnaca takes its name from the ancient Greek noun ‘λάρναξ’, which roughly translates to sarcophagi; allegedly due to the large number found in the area. Kition was destroyed following strong earthquakes in 76 AD, and Larnaca (and Skala) became popular once more under Ottoman rule in around 1571.
Since then, and especially in the late twentieth- and early twenty-first centuries, Larnaca has become a very popular tourist destination. Perhaps due to the proximity of the international airport, Larnaca welcomes a large number of tourists yearly. The climate in Larnaca is classified as ‘hot semi-arid’ and sees very hot summers and cool winters, although with relatively low rainfall.
Larnaca is famous for its beaches, archaeological sites and lively nightlife, making it a great destination for your next trip.
Facts about Cyprus
The world’s oldest wine label comes from Cyprus. Commandaria dates back 5000 years!
Cyprus is the first nation to include the shape of its country of its Flag.
The first Olympic Medal won by Cyprus was at the 2012 London Games
More than 45 Beaches in Cyprus have been awarded the EU Blue Flag for Cleanliness & Safety
Nicosia, the capital of the island, is the only capital that is divided between two nations!
Cyprus has sunshine for 300 days a year. Make sure to pack your sunscreen!
10+1 Best Places to See and Things to do in Larnaca, Cyprus
1. Finikoudes: The central beachfront promenade in Larnaca, Finikoudes is likely to be one of the first places you will visit after arriving in the city. Here, you will be able to find a number of bars, restaurants, hotels, and lots of places to sunbathe. You can even just walk down the promenade to take in all this harbour town has to offer!
2. Salt Lake: One of the most distinct landmarks in Larnaca, this salt lake, or Αλυκή is definitely worth a visit. Although swimming obviously isn’t allowed, you can sit and watch the flamingos drink out of the lake. This salt lake is the second largest in Cyprus, just behind the one at Episkopi.
3. Church of Saint Lazarus: Late 9th century church named after Lazarus of Bethany, who the Bible attests was risen from the dead by Jesus, and later came to live in Cyprus. It is tradition for the icon of Lazarus to be taken in a procession through the streets in Larnaca eight days before orthodox easter.
4. Kamares Aqueduct: Being described as the most prominent water supply built in Cyprus, it was first operated in the mid- to late 18th century. Consisting of 75 arches, it was financed by the Ottoman governor of Larnaca Ebubekir Pasha, and brought water to the city from six miles away.
5. Hala Sultan Tekke: One of the holiest shrines in Ottoman Islam, this building is said to be the resting place of the Prophet’s ‘wet nurse’. Muslims have claimed that it is either the third, or fourth most revered site for Islam, following Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem. It was built as a meeting place for members of the Sufi brotherhood, but today stands as an ancient monument on the coast of the salt lake.
6. Lefkara: The go-to place for lace – that rhymes! Jokes aside, this small village on the edge of the district of Larnaca is a great destination to visit. If you want to get away from the business of the city, this small village is a great choice. Known for its silver, lace and old windy village roads, Lefkara has been voted as one of the most beautiful towns in Europe by a number of publications.
7. Larnaca Castle: Constructed to defend the town, but later used as an artillery station, prison and now a museum, this castle was built after Larnaca became one of the main ports in the Kingdom of Cyprus. Its courtyard now serves as an amphitheatre, with a capacity of 200 people. Although found abandoned and half ruined in the 19th century, it was renovated under British rule.
8. Ruins of Kition: As the city of Larnaca was built upon ancient Kition, there are a number of archaeological sites throughout the region. From necropoli to temples and shipyards, one can see a great number of ancient artefacts from Cyprus’ ancient past. Although a number of them have been taken to museums abroad, such as the Louvre and British museum, there still are a number to be found on the sites.
9. Makenzy Beach: If chilling and the beach and then having a delicious fish dinner sounds good to you, then make sure to head to Makenzy beach. There is a long strip of bars, restaurants and nightclubs across the coast, all with a different feel and atmosphere.
10. Old Town Larnaca: Old winding roads and centuries old buildings can be found here, as well as a number of modern places to see! If you are staying in Larnaca, you can easily spend an afternoon walking through these streets and seeing the many different parts which make up the city of Larnaca.
11. Oroklini: A little ways outside of the city, Oroklini has perhaps one of the best views of Larnaca available. If you head up the hills at sunset, you can see the skyline of Larnaca from afar and watch planes come in to land at the airport.
Fot. Radosław Botev / CC BY 3.0 PL
Cyprus Travel and More
We hope we have piqued your interest in the gorgeous harbour town of Larnaca. Although this short list is nothing compared to the amount of things you will experience in Cyprus, we hope that it serves as a brief introduction. If you plan to travel around in Cyprus, be sure to book your transfers with AtoB. As a local company, we provide the perfect introduction to the island, with drivers who know their way around. If you want to find out more about our transfers around the island, make sure to check out the following pages:
- Larnaca to Protaras
- Larnaca to Nicosia
- Larnaca to Limassol
- Larnaca to Ayia Napa
- Larnaca to City Centre
We wish you happy travels, or Καλό Ταξίδι!