Larnaca is in the middle between an urban town and a tourist destination. It is small enough for you to find your way around easily, yet large enough to have all the features of a fully-grown multi-cultural alternative. Larnaca allows you to combine a relaxing seaside holiday enhanced with a cultural dimension. As the home of the island’s main airport and secondary port, this city is clearly Cyprus's bridge to the rest of the world. At the same time, Larnaca’s strong links with the past are scattered across the town. Explore the heart of Larnaca of today and you will find the remains of the ancient city- kingdom of Kition, reminiscent of glorious days.
The Mycenaean Greeks fortified the town with cyclopean walls in the 12th century, while the Phoenicians founded a powerful kingdom here in the 9th century. Kition is the birthplace of the philosopher Zeno, founder of the Stoic School. In the 18th century Kition ranked as a commercial centre and the seat of the European consulates. Today Larnaca’s landmarks include the fort, the old quarters, and the city’s trademark, ‘Phinikoudes’, the delightful seafront promenade and sandy beach lined with palm trees. Day or night, this is where anyone and everyone will enjoy a stroll along the sea, stopping for a drink or a snack along the way.
When the salt lakes near the airport fill up in winter, they create an environmental jewel, as they take on their role as a favourite stopover for thousands of migrant birds. In particular, the flocks of elegant pink flamingos attract bird lovers, professional photographers, as well as passing drivers who cannot resist a short stop by the roadside to simply admire them... Just outside the city, Hala Sultan Tekke is an important Muslim pilgrimage site ranking immediately after the shrines of Mecca, Medina and Al Aqsa in Jerusalem.
A Zone of Energy The truth is that many visitors who are in the centre of Larnaca may not discover the peripheral coastal tourist zone known as the ‘Larnaka-Dhekelia Road’. And sadly, others who have booked a hotel along that road might miss the opportunity to fully appreciate the historical wealth and cultural treasures of the city itself! However, there is no doubt that the Larnaka-Dhekelia Road is a by-product of the long sandy beach at this point, which seems to stretch as far as the eye can see. During the summer, this coastal stretch has a magnetic effect, drawing bathers not only from the numerous hotels that line the coast, but from further inland, all the way to Lefkosia. By sunset, the first signs of beach parties start to appear, with music, dance and barbecues in the moonlight.
Explore Larnaca on foot… Larnaca – Past and Present. This walk sheds light on the history of Larnaca and its more recent development. By visiting workshops and stores and seeing craftsmen at work, you will gain insight into the traditional trades of the town’s population and the problems the craftsmen face today. During the walk you will experience the authentic atmosphere of the city and understand the municipality’s determination to preserve the old urban architecture while maintaining the commercial activity within the city Centre. Starting point: CTO Information Office, Plateia Vasileos Pavlou, Larnaca Walks are seasonal. To confirm the operation of the tour, please call: 24 65 43 22
Scala – Its Craftsmen Scala is known as the area around the Larnaca Fort and Agios Lazaros Church. During this walk you will explore the area and visit workshops created recently by young ceramic artists from Famagusta, most of them inspired by ancient Cypriot art. The walk leads you along picturesque streets lined with traditional homes and kiosks. The whitewashed houses largely contribute to the distinctive atmosphere of Scala. Starting point: (Larnaca Fort) Larnaca seafront. Walks are seasonal. To confirm the operation of the tour, please call: 24 65 43 22