The sprawling city resort of Larnaca has enough sun, sights, sand and fun-filled evenings to keep all kinds of visitors happy...
Larnaca has a nice atmosphere and the modern area, with the bars, restaurants and the promenade, has a chic and cosmopolitan feel and offers some great nightlife. The promenade is also a popular place for a stroll in the evening.
If you are looking for a beach holiday then you won't be disappointed. Just off Larnaca's promenade you will find the famous Phinikoudes Beach. Phinikoudes means 'small palm trees' and indeed the palm trees lining the beachfront add to the beauty and atmosphere of this resort. Named after a Scotsman who set up a bar there after the Second World War, MacKenzie Beach is another favourite with those staying in Larnaca. It has Blue Flag status and is therefore particularly good for families. Larnaca has many other great beaches, such as Yanathes and Castella.
If you want to explore the history and local places of interest then the monastery at Stavrovouni is an absolute must. Located at the top of a mountain in the Larnaca district, the view is amazing. The Greek Orthodox monastery also claims to have a piece of the Holy Cross and is therefore a popular tourist site.
Larnaca also boasts a salt lake. Located to the west of the city near the airport, it is a popular attraction for bird lovers. During the winter months, which are between November and March in Cyprus, huge flocks of striking pink flamingos flock to the area. And winter in Cyprus is nothing like winter in the UK, with temperatures remaining at a pleasant 15C to 17C.
Larnaca has a lot going on and plenty to do but if you want to explore further there are plenty of traditional Cypriot outlying towns and villages to be explored as well as other beaches where you will find opportunities for water sports. The villages of Kiti and Lefkara are particularly pretty and well worth a visit, so why not hire a car and do your own exploring?
If you are planning a trip to Larnaca, no matter how long or short, there are plenty of Larnaca hotels to choose from...
Larnaca is one of the oldest towns in Cyprus. You will find a good mix of renowned international chains, including luxurious five-star spa hotel chains, golfing and sporting hotels, as well as a selection of local independent hotels. Wherever you choose, though, you can be sure of some great hospitality.
Hotels in Larnaca and indeed Cyprus in general, are well known for being family orientated and your children will be well catered for. Larnaca hotels with kids' clubs to entertain your children while you enjoy the beach are a great idea when you need a good break.
Hotels close to Phinikoudes (or Finikoudes) Beach, just south of the harbour, are most popular among visitors as they sit centrally in the city and offer easy access to the main attractions. Further south, there's another concentration of hotels near Mackenzie Beach, which is close to the city's famed salt lakes.
The beaches are why most holidaymakers choose Larnaca, though there's plenty more to see in this ancient city...
How will you spend your time here? There's no shortage of attractions and the rest of Cyprus holds even more treasures. Car hire is invaluable if you plan to see a lot of the island.
Top five attractions
Larnaca Salt Lake
You'll be unimpressed by the dry lake beds in summer but winter visitors are gifted the spectacle of thousands of candy-coloured flamingos flocking to the salty waters.
Located in Mazotos (a 15-minute drive), this family-friendly attraction offers camel rides through the delightful countryside plus playgrounds and a pool.
Brought to its knees by an earthquake nearly 2,000 years ago, ancient Kition stood where present-day Larnaca now stands and remnants of the city-kingdom still exist. You can see them at their city-centre site for a small fee.
Church of St Lazarus
A little more modern, this 9th-century church was established using a mix of architectural styles. The interior is incredibly ornate but it's the lit evening-time exterior that really captures attentions.
Hala Sultan Tekke
This Muslim shrine, which is also known as Hala Sultan Tekkesi or Mosque of Umm Haram, sits on the edge of the salt lake. It's a striking monument on the landscape.
Larnaca buzzes with a number of annual events...
Find out what's on during your visit to this corner of Cyprus.
Procession of Saint Lazarus; March/April: An icon of Larnaca's patron saint is paraded through the city eight days before Easter Sunday. Visitors find the religious occasion very moving.
Anthestiria; May: Celebrated across Cyprus, this festival of flowers sees fresh blooms adorning much of Larnaca in a tradition that honoured Greek god Dionysus. It's a very festive way to welcome spring to the island.
Larnaca Summer Festival; July: The summer heat brings crowds to outdoor concerts and performances of traditional music and dance around Larnaca. Fireworks call an end to this extravaganza.