Larnaca is one of the oldest cities in Cyprus, populated over 6000 years ago. Tranquil and unhurried, Larnaca is surrounded by dazzling blue waters and a perpetually sunny sky that illuminates the whitewashed houses that inhabit it.
Morning coffees overlooking the sea of Larnaca Bay make the perfect start to a day of exploration. The old Turkish Quarter of Skala should be the first port of call, with its tumble down houses and cobbled streets that are home to pottery workshops and small galleries. Here the beautiful Byzantine church of Agios Lazaros is nestled near a little fort that watches protectively over the city. Another site of interest is Faneromeni Church which is a pleasing jumble of architectural styles.
An unforgettable sight can be found at Larnaca Salt Lake where flocks of bubblegum pink flamingos can be seen bathing between November and March. Close to the lake sits Hala Sultan Tekke mosque - another architectural gem.
Many visitors come to Larnaca for its famous scuba diving sites. The Wreck of Zenobia is the most well known - a wreck of the ship, laden with trucks and their cargo which now lies 42 metres below sea level. As well as this, the sea boasts a diverse range of colourful and quirky marine life. Famous for lace and silverware, both are in abundance in the little shops dotted around the city. Some small fashion outlets can also be found as well as lively local markets.
Perhaps the best reason to visit the city is its beaches. Long and luxuriously sandy, some like Phinikoudes offer sun loungers and seaside cafes while other like Mazotos offer nothing more but sea views and swaying palms. Meneou Beach is perfect for families with children thanks to its calm shallow waters while Cto Beach boasts a lovely safe play park. Annathes Beach is one for water-sports enthusiasts with scuba diving, parascending and jet-skiing facilities for hire.
How much or little you choose to do by day; by night Larnaca’s picturesque promenade with views of the twinkling city lights is the perfect place to unwind in a local restaurant or bar as the sun begins to set on this slice of Cypriot paradise.
The following information is correct as of January 2015 and is subject to change. Please check with the airline directly for complete accuracy.
Larnaca International Airport is located just 3 miles south of Larnaca. It is possible to reach the city centre in just 5-10 minutes by car. Some hotels operate direct shuttle bus services from the airport to their hotel, otherwise the only other alternative is a taxi from outside the terminal building.
What you need to know
Currency: The Euro (€)
Visas: UK and EU nationals do not require a visa to enter Cyprus. However, a passport valid for three months after the date of departure is required. Nationals of countries outside the EU may require a visa. More information can be obtained in a local embassy or from the Foreign Office website.
Laws: The legal age for purchasing and consuming alcohol in Cyprus is17. A smoking ban is in place in all bars, restaurants, cafes, clubs and hotels and on public transport.
Best Time to Visit
Sub-tropical Cyprus has sunshine most of the year round so anytime is a good time to visit! Spring and autumn are comfortably warm while the summer months can reach the forties. Winters are not very cold, but they do bring tropical rainstorms on a regular basis. Occasionally snow even falls on the mountain areas but his will be a bonus for anyone visiting with skis or snowboards.
In June the three-week Katakysmos Festival takes place celebrating Noah and his salvation from the floods. Floats, music and waterfights are commonplace. March is another carnival month, while April celebrates spring in style with the Anthestiria Festival. July brings the summer festival and August the village festivals – ideal for exploring the outlying villages and their crafts, music, food and wine. Night bazaars are also a regular feature in Larnaca during the summer months.
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