Maps of Larnaca
Larnaca is the oldest existing city in Cyprus, and it is also the most modern. Its beautiful beaches, which stretch for 25km, offer a great opportunity for sun seekers, and, although this city is big enough to offer every amenity, Larnaca is still relatively uncrowded.
The picturesque Larnaca seafront offers all sorts of water sports, sea activities and cruises, with the marina being nearby, and many of the attractions, such as the museums and archaeological sites, are within walking distance of the city centre. During the winter months the great Salt Lake is full of flamingos lazily grazing on the plankton. Being the host of the island's main airport, Larnaca gives visitors their first taste of Cyprus.
Steeped in history
The museums and historical sites of Larnaca are some of the best around. Choirokoita, one of the oldest Neolithic sites in Larnaca, was a settlement home to primitive farmers who grew wheat and barley. It is a fascinating insight into what life was like during those times, and, when visiting the site, you can wander among the defensive walls, circular houses and tombs.
Larnaca Castle, built in 1625, was used as a prison during the early years of the British rule before it was turned into a museum. Built like a labyrinth, the museum focuses on the life of ancient Kition.
Charm and culture
Larnaca is a small city and prices for staying in Larnaca are generally lower than elsewhere in Cyprus. The warmth and genuine hospitality of the people will make you feel like you are one of their old friends, and many visitors to Larnaca find themselves coming back again and again.
The main shopping streets in Larnaca are Ermou, Zinonos Kitieos and Grigori Afxentiou Avenue, where you will find numerous shops to suit every taste.
Eating out in Larnaca is a pleasurable experience, with the beaches being lined with numerous seafood restaurants, all serving up the latest catch of the day. If you are struggling to choose a restaurant in which to dine, the most reliable thing to do is to look for the restaurants that are filled with locals, as they will know which places are worth visiting time and time again. The choice of dishes is vast to say the least, with nearly all restaurants offering continental and international cuisine, but it is still well worth sampling some of the local dishes such as fasoulaki, which is lamb in red wine with French beans.
Nightlife is quite varied in Larnaca. The open air amphitheatre and indoor municipal theatre put on shows throughout the year, where artists, actors and singers from around the world come to perform.
A daytrip from Larnaca to the Troodos Mountains
Head out of Larnaca on the Nicosia (Lefkosia) highway and soon you will pick up the signs for Troodos (approx 20 mins). Follow the Troodos signs until you pick up signs for Kakopetria and follow these signs into Kakopetria village; this should normally take just over one hour from Larnaca.
When in Kakopetria village, go down the hill where the road goes round a bend, and over the water you will see a lovely coffee shop on the left. Behind the coffee shop is a cobbled street, very steep but all nice old houses and a couple of shops. Also in Kakopetria is an old water mill, not to be missed, where you can get home made jam and marmalade.
Then head out of Kakopetria to Troodos itself. On entering Troodos Square, drive around the island and straight up to Mount Olympus. You can drive all the way up, just follow the signs. When you have looked at big golf ball etc, come back down into Troodos Square and look round the nut stalls etc.
The next port of call is Platress, signposted from Troodos. Platress is a very good lunch stop, plenty of great restaurants here.
After you are fed and watered, on to Omodos, which is a lovely wine making village. In Omodos, look for the monastery at the bottom of the cobbled street, then explore the cobbled narrow streets behind it where there is an old village house which you can go in and sample local wine, sherry and Zivana. You can also buy the wines; the bottles without the labels are usually the best and the cheapest.
By now you will probably be ready for heading back to Larnaca. However, if you have the time, on the way down to Limassol it is worth a visit to a nice village called Lania in which local artists live.
If you drop down on to the coast road in Limassol and follow it in the direction of Larnaca you will eventually come to Governor's Beach where you can have a swim and an evening meal at one of the many beach tavernas.
Then it is back on to the highway and home to Larnaca for a nightcap.