Facing the Lebanon and set in
a wide bay is Larnaca, the shopping is excellent and the sea front is wide and paved with
many outdoor restaurants which specialise in Cyprus cuisine, you will also find kebab
vendors,( the local take away,) who's kebabs and sheftalies ( a type of charcoal grilled
sausage/meatball) served in pitta bread with salad is a great value meal at around
You can hire a sun bed and umbrella and eat that kebab in comfort, or maybe
try your hand at jet skiing, go for a boat trip, or hang from a parachute over the sea whilst being
pulled along by a speed boat. Sounds interesting ? Well we think Larnaca is.
Activities in and
around Larnaca include horse riding, which is
avialable at both
Oroklini (sometimes Voroklini), Dhekelia and near Tekke. Sailing and boat trips can be taken from the marina , which can berth around 400 yachts. If you7 are a sailor
yourself you may bareboat charter a yacht or just take a day trip onb a
motor boat or catamaran. See
Cyprusyachts for full details. Sightseeing on one of the many coach trips
is a popular way to get in a lot of places of interest in an afternoon or to
travel to another town for the day. Diving is a popular sport here
as well, and although there is not as much underwater wildlife to see as
there once was, Larnaca bay boasts one of the top 10 diving wrecks of the
On the airport road, at the roundabout
nearest the American Academy is the New sports ground. It was built on the
grounds of the old Larnaca Football Stadium.
old Larnaca Stadium offers to the public the following:
playground built to European Safety standards
area for children's parties
equipped Gym with professional trainers
special running or walking track.
There is now a new football stadium on
the edge of town on the Nicosia road which is not the only football
stadium in town, but it houses football matches on Saturdays throughout
If you are on a
limited budget in Cyprus there are some good places to stay and
food is relatively cheap and delicious, certainly wines and cigarettes are
not as expensive as most other European countries yet, so enjoy.
Culture is rampant in Larnaca,
and the Municipal Cultural Centre do a wonderful job and bring
a lot of interesting events to Larnaca's various venues. There is an
indoor theatre in the grounds of the Municipal gardens, which also boasts a
childrens playground which is well equipped with activity toys for toddlers
to twelve year olds and a small animal and bird zoo. There is also the open
amphitheatre on the right hand side of the airport road which hosts a lot of
events throughout the summer. See
Cyprus-art.com for a weekly schedule of events.
Larnaca has the best of both worlds, it is on the coast, with all that implies , is an interesting and charming destination both modern and old world. The whole
town sits on ancient ruins and here and there you will see empty plots where
digs are either in progress or have been left for future excavation. For a
good example see opposite the church at Chysopolitissa. Behind the museum,
next to the Larnaca tennis club there is a knoll of trees, another small
children's playground, which behind in the field is an important ongoing dig
which supplies the museum with finds.
There are many museums and places of interest to visit,( see below) as well as a rich menu of cultural
In Larnaca district is Stavrovouni
Monastery , it is perched atop a solitary mountain, The mountain of the Cross. It is the
oldest monastery in Cyprus (see the history pages)
which I am sure is very interesting but I am unlikely to find out as ladies are not allowed in the monastery itself, so be warned. I was not, and have now seen the view. Which is
rather splendid admittedly.
Lefkara on the other hand will be only too happy to receive women
visitors as the lace which is hand woven there generally appeals to the fairer sex.
Leonardo da Vinci is supposed to have visited in 1481 and bought an alter cloth for the
cathedral in Milan.( The experts at Sotheby's say that his writings about visiting this
part of the world were all a figment of his fertile imagination, but that does not explain
the 4 lost years, or his graphic descriptions to my satisfaction)
The festival of the
Holy Cross is held here in September every year on the 13th and 14th, the Holy Cross
itself is contained in the local church, Tou Timiou Stavrou and is from the 13th century.
You will also find 12th century frescoes in the Archangel Michael church in Kato Lefkara.
The village of Kiti is just
there you will find the "Church built by Angels," Panayia Angeloktistos. This church
still contains 6th century mosaic decorations from an earlier church.
There are many beautiful beaches around the
island, check out our travel section to find ways
to get to them. In Larnaca try Mackenzie Beach which is by the end of the
runway at Larnaca airport. Sounds dreadful but is actually interesting and a
pleasant place for an afternoons swimming, completely off the road, with a
palm tree lined promenade of restaurants on the beach itself. Water sports,
sun beds and umbrellas are available for hire. There is also the CTO (Cyprus
Tourism Organisation) beach in the middle of Larnaca Bay on the Dhekelia
road. There is a restaurant, showers and changing rooms, children's
playground, volleyball, umbrellas and all the paraphernalia one would expect
from a professional beach. There is a bus, usually hourly until about 5pm
which runs along the Dhekelia road. A nice beach for kids with a couple of
interesting rock pools.
PLACES OF INTEREST IN
AND AROUND LARNACA
Click to enlarge
LARNACA DISTRICT ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM
24 630169 Monday - Friday 07.30-14.30
Thursday 15.00-18.00 (except July and August)
Interesting collection of finds from the Larnaca
area dating from the Neolithic Age to the Roman period.
24 651345, 24 652495
Zenon Kiteos 4
Monday - Friday 09.00-13.00 15.00-18.00 Saturday 09.00-13.00 Sunday 10.00-13.00
Remarkable private collection of Cypriot
antiquities, originally collected by Demetrios Pieridis (1811-1895), and further enriched
by members of his family.
LARNACA MEDIAEVAL MUSEUM - LARNACA FORT
Monday - Friday 07.30-14.30 Thursday 15.00-18.00 (except July and August)
in 1625, it was used as a prison in the first years of British rule. It houses the
District Mediaeval Museum. The fort is also used as the Larnaca Municipal Cultural Centre
during the summer.
Click these images to enlarge
500 m. north-east of the Archaeological Museum
Monday - Saturday: 07.30-14.30 Thursday: 15.00-18.00 (except July and August)
One of the most important ancient city-kingdoms, with archaeological remains dating back to the 13th century BC. In about 1200 BC it was
rebuilt by the Mycenaean Greeks, and excavations have revealed cyclopean walls made of
giant blocks of stone, and a complex of five temples. Beautiful blue glass,
pottery pipes, marble toilet seat and terra cotta under floor heating pipes
are just a few of the things local people have found whilst digging their
gardens in this area.
KALAVASOS - TENTA
40 km from Larnaca, 2,5 km off the Lefkosia - Lemesos road.
Tenta, one of the most important Neolithic settlements in Cyprus lies
near the village of Kalavasos.
8 km from Skarinou, off the
Lefkosia - Lemesos road, 40 km from Larnaca.
A picturesque village, famous for its local lace known as ‘Lekfaritika’
and for its silverware. According to tradition, Leonardo Da Vinci
visited the village and bought an alter cloth, which he donated to the
Milan cathedral. The beautiful House of Patsalos houses the Lace and
Silverware Museum of Lefkara. The church of Archangelos Mikhail in Kato
Lefkara is is of the single aisled domed type and has wall paintings of
the late 12th century. At Pano Lefkara there is the church of the Holy
Cross with a beautiful 18th century iconstasis and a unique 13th century
silver cross. A religious fair takes place on the 13th-14th September,
in celebration of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.
Larnaka Salt Lake
You will see the salt
lake if you fly into Larnaca Airport. Look to your left on your drive
into Larnaca town. In years gone by this was a productive business
enterprise. Donkeys transported the salt from the lake where it was
stored in huge piles. In the winter, the lake fills with water and is
visited by many birds including flamingos, which are a familiar sight
in the winter.
Rumour has it that a plane landed there about 30 years ago and then
sank slowly into the mud. If you take a walk across it in the noonday
sun in the height of summer, this is not hard to believe, as the mud
is still moist under the crisp salty coating.
The salt lake a few years ago.
click to enlarge
Kiti village, 10 km west of Larnaca
Angeloktisti means ‘Built by the Angels’. This 11th century Byzantine
church was erected over the ruins of an Earlier Christian basilica. The
original aspe has survived, together with one of the finest pieces of
Byzantine artto be seen in this area, a rare 6th century mosaic of the Virgin Mary and Child
between the two archangels, which allegedly rivals even the Ravenna Mosaics.
Tel: 24 430877
Pyrga village, 35 km south of Lefkosia/Nicosia, 32 km from Larnaca.
Any reasonable hour. Key available from the coffee shop near the chapel.
Built by the Lusignan King Janus in 1421, it contains a wall painting of
the king with his wife, Charlotte de Bourbon, It is considered one of
the most interesting structures surviving from the Frankish Period.
9 km off the Lefkosia - Limassol road, 40 km from Larnaca
Perched on a rocky peak, Stavrovouni means ‘Mountain of the Cross’.
According to tradition it was founded in the 4th century by Saint
Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, who left a fragment of the Holy
Cross to the monastery. The brotherhood is extremely devout, keeping
vows as strict as those of the Mount Athos brotherhood in Greece.
Women are not allowed in the monastery, though men may visit daily from
sunrise to sunset, except from 12.00 - 13.00 (15.00 in summer), on Green
Monday and the following day.
click to enlarge
48 km south of Lefkosia/Nicosia, off the Lefkosia/Nicosia, - Lemessos/Limassol road and 32 km from
Monday - Friday 07.30-17.00 Saturday - Sunday 09.00-17.00
Neolithic settlement dated to 7000 BC. Excavations have brought to light
one of the most important Neolithic cultures in the world with a defence
wall, circular houses, tombs and many stone utensils. The Visitors’
Centre at the entrance of the site presents an impressive full-size
replica of the Neolithic settlement. Well worth a visit.
Hala Sultan Tekke
|This is the fourth
most important Muslim place of pilgrimage on the planet. This was the
spot on which the aunt of the Prophet fell and broke her pellucid
neck. Over the spot a huge stone hovers to mark the spot.
The stone itself is now supported by a couple of beams, just in case
it should stop hovering.
AGIOS MINAS CONVENT
Near Lefkara which is off the Nicosia/Limassol highway.
Closed to visitors between 12.00-15.00 from Sunday to Friday and all
day on Saturdays.
15th century monastery with a church at the centre of the cloisters.
The nuns, besides performing their religious rites, are involved in
click to enlarge
AGIOS LAZAROS CHURCH
Piateia Agiou Lazarou
Saint Lazarus is the patron saint of Larnaca. Kition became his
second home after his resurrection by Christ, and he lived here for
30 years. He was ordained Bishop of Kition by saints Mark and
Barnabas. In the 9th century a magnificent church was erected over
his tomb by Emperor Leo VI. The church, one of the finest examples
of Byzantine architecture in Cyprus, was faithfully restored in the
17th century, Visitors can see the tomb of Saint Lazarus under the
sanctuary and an ecclesiastical museum behind the church.
Eight days before the
Greek Orthodox Easter the icon of Saint Lazarus is taken in
procession through the streets of Larnaca.
Click to enlarge
To view the pics in this
section, click on them and they will load as original sizes.
To see a collection of old photo's of Larnaca,
click old Larnaca here
To see new Larnaca Photo's Click
here for the Cyprus picture gallery
Famous son of
Zenon of Kitium The philosopher from Larnaca