Feb 16, 2012

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A traveller’s guide to Larnaca, Cyprus

Larnaca (also spelled Larnaka) is the third largest city in Greek controlled Cyprus. Located on the southern coast of the island, the permanent population is 72,000. Larnaca has its own airport the Larnaca International Airport (code: LCA), this has about 5.2 million annual passengers. The city was built over the ancient remains of the city of Kition. The city has its own Marina which regularly allows tourists to sail to other parts of the island and mainland Greece.

The average temperature in Larnaca ranges from 17° in January to 33° in August and offers a haven for the sun worshipper, visit http://weather.noaa.gov/weather/current/LCLK.html for the latest weather information in Larnaca.

 The Larnaca area is well equipped for the tourist industry with a range of hotels, apartments and villas available to suit every taste.

 Local Attractions

Larnaca has many local attractions to offer including architectural, museums, religious, shopping centres, tourist venues and more. Make sure you take a digital camera and Camcorder to take quality photos and travel videos whilst in Larnaca. Some of the top local attractions are summarised below.

The Agios Lazarus Church is worth a visit. The Church dates back to the 9th century. The Church is part of the Greek Orthodox faith and comes under the “Church of Cyprus” group. The Church exudes history and visitors enjoying Christian and architectural heritage will want to make this a part of any trip to Larnaca.

St Lazarus Church , Larnaca

Visitors wanting to see something unusual might link a visit to the Aliki Salt Lake. This is next to the Mosque of Hala Saltan Tekke and one of two salt lakes in Cyprus.

The Djami Kebur Mosque is located in the centre of Larnaca not far from the front and is close to the medieval fort. This is a practising mosque and is popular with day-trippers to the area.

Larnaca has a large number of beaches, three of the best are:

  • CTO Pyla –  This is located next to the Larnaca – Dhekelia Road and is a stretch of greyish sandy beach
  •   McKenzie – This is 1KM long and very close to Larnaca International Airport. This is a particularly good beach for water-sports. There are also lots of restaurants competing for your business. Make sure if you use this beach that you take a travel video to prove how close the planes fly to the beach!
  • Phinikoudes – This is one of the most famous beaches in all of Cyprus. Located by the Phinikoudes Promenade which is a main shopping area of Larnaca the beach is very popular. The waters are generally calm; there are 500 metres of greyish sand.

Different beaches offer varying experiences. Visitors will consistently find great seafood and water-sports are popular.

The Larnaca Fort was built in 1625 and was built as a fortification to protect the people of Larnaca. The fort is located at the end of the sea-front Phinikoudes promenade.

The main promenade in Larnaca

The main Larnaca Promenade offers a very gentle walk for tourists and a number of souvenir shops and restaurants that any tourist destination would offer. The promenade stretches from the Marina area of Larnaca at one end to a Museum at the other end.

The Marble Bust of Zeno is a prominent landmark which is located near the American Academy and should be “stumbled upon” by the majority of tourists, whether a visit is planned or not. The bust pays tribute to Zeno (a famous Philosopher) who was born in Larnaca in 334BC.

The Mosque of Hala Saltan Tekke is a prominent mosque worldwide within the Muslim faith and is located fairly close to Larnaca. The mosque said to be built around 650AD actually comprises of a mosque, a cemetery, a minaret, a mausoleum and has living quarters too. The mosque is ideal for day trips and is regularly visited as a pilgrimage by Muslims worldwide.

The Phinikoudes promenade is a very popular part of any Larnaca holiday. It’s crowded with various night clubs, restaurants, and souvenir shops and has the Phinikoudes beach nearby.

The Pierides Museum is worth a visit. Opening in 2001, the museum was the first Museum of Ancient Cypriot Art in Greece.

Conclusion

Larnaca has a lot to offer the holiday maker. Its city status means it has pretty much all the facilities tourists could want. Larnaca is especially suited for sun worshippers with a variety of beaches to choose from. The Larnaca area is very hot, the local always say the sun “caresses” you when in Larnaca. With many architectural buildings of interest and plenty of shops and restaurants the tourist is guaranteed to be kept busy!

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