A relaxing contrast to the more vivacious resorts on the island, this beautiful town offers fantastic opportunities to experience a different facet of Cyprus; Larnaca (also Larnaka) is an area of fabulous beauty – endowed with numerous attractions, waterfronts and scenic vistas as well as some of the island’s most mythical beaches. Larnaca is the country’s third largest city and home of the second biggest commercial port. Moreover, Cyprus International Airport is located on the outskirts of Larnaca with easy access to and from the city centre as well as to the highway which connects all parts of the island through a well developed road network.
Larnaca may pride itself for its contribution to the southernmost coast, the site where ancient Kition once stood; it is the successor of one of the old city’s kingdoms of Cyprus and the heart of Christianity from its earliest years. Kition was the birthplace of Zenon, the Greek philosopher, who founded the Stoic school of thoughts and the second home of Jesus’ best friend Lazarus. The Achaean Greeks settled in the area in the 13th century BC, whilst Phoenicians in the 9th century BC, In the 18th century AD it became Cyprus’ commercial centre, the place where all European consuls established their missions.
The new city of Larnaca has a charm of its own.Foinikoudes and Larnaca Dhekelia road area with coffee bars, taverns and restaurants by the sea are favourites among locals. Mackenzie beach with bars, clubs and discos is the place for night life adventures. For the sports enthusiasts diving Zenovia wreck is a remarkable experience while for nature lovers, in the winter thousands of flamingos, wild swans and other migrating birds make their annual stopover at the nearby largest salt lake on the island.
In the summer visitors can enjoy Larnaca’s blue-flag beaches. For those who like history and ancient see sights, many interesting places to visit are located in Larnaca. Kamares aqueduct (18th century), Medieval Castle – museum (middle ages), Pierides foundation archaeological museum (18th century), Choirokoitia archaeological site (neolithic ages) , Kalavasos – Tenta archaeological site (7000 BC) and many more. Moreover, important religious monuments are located in Larnaca and attract visitors from all over the world. There are many Byzantine and ancient monastery monuments, such as the Agios Lazaros church (9th century), Aggeloktisti church in Kiti village (11th century), Stavrovouni monastery (4th century). Terra Santa Catholic church (17th century) is a remarkable sight in Larnaca city which stands out for its unique architecture. Finally, Hala Sultan Tekke (648 AD) is located in Larnaca which is the third holiest place for Muslims in the world.
For those who like going on excursions the villages surrounding Larnaca are notable for keeping Cypriot customs and traditions alive. Lefkara village is well known for the handmade lace products known as “Lefkaritika” while Agioi Vavatsinias and Kato Drys villages for their architectural design preserved since the 16th century.
At present, Larnaca is considered to be the upcoming centre of Cyprus. The town has seen some major investments over recent years both in infrastructure and ongoing development.
The largest airport of the island, which has totally been rebuilt, combined with the commercial port, set Larnaca the ideal location for corporations targeting the markets of Europe, Middle East and Asia. Larnaca also boasts award winning sandy beaches and the longest unexploited sea front in Cyprus.
All these go towards making Larnaca a great place to buy property either for a holiday home, a retirement home, a permanent residency or as an investment. Larnaca’ s thriving commercial and tourist sector, Larnaca’ s Marina redevelopment and the government announced new projects for the town worth over €70m including upgrading of the entire sea front, put Larnaca right on top of the list of international investors.
Information on Larnaca can be found on the Cyprus Tourist Organisation and the Larnaca Tourism Board official sites.