Travel to Larnaca - Cyprus Transfer Bookings
Larnaca is a bustling town with its own international airport and the second port in Cyprus. Although very much a working city; the palm-lined waterfront promenade, ancient fort and historic quarter imbue Larnaca with a distinct antique flavor. Tourism is beginning to catch on in a big way and hotels and resort-complexes are springing up on the outskirts of the town.
Today the city has a charmingly laid-back attitude and friendly people.
The nearby beaches aren’t the best that Cyprus has to offer, but they improve markedly along the coast; making Larnaca a good base for exploring the island.
Larnaca’s nightlife is also on the up and the town centre corrals together an enviable collection of bars, cafes and taverns.
In the northwest of Larnaca are some of the ruins of ancient Kition, featuring the remains of five temples dating back to the 13th century BC. Of particular interest is the Phoenician Temple of Astarte, which was built on the ruins of an earlier Bronze Age temple. The lower part of the northern city walls, built of huge stones resembling Mycenaean cyclopean walls, are also still visible.
About 20 miles (32km) from Larnaca on the Lefkosia - Lemesos road archaeological excavations have revealed one of the oldest Neolithic sites on Cyprus, dating to 7,000 BC. Choirokoitia (also known as Khirokitia) was home to primitive farmers who cultivated wheat and barley. Visitors can explore the settlement’s defensive wall, circular houses and tombs.
The site is close to the dry Maroni riverbed atop a hill that was once covered in dense vegetation. It was first excavated in 1934, but excavations by French archaeologists are continuing. Four of the beehive-shaped houses made of mud and stone have been reconstructed to show how these early farmers lived. Most of the archaeological finds from Choirokoitia are displayed in the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia.
Church of Ayios Lazaros
The 9th-century church devoted to St Lazarus that stands in Larnaca is an important religious institution on Cyprus. Lazarus is believed to have lived at ancient Kition for 30 years after his resurrection by Jesus Christ, and was ordained Bishop of Kition by Saints Barnabas and Mark.
The Church was built by the Byzantine Emperor Leo VI above what was believed to be the empty grave of Lazarus, whose final resting place is in Marseilles, France. Eight days before the Greek Orthodox Easter each year the Baroque wood-carved icon of Saint Lazarus normally stored in the church is carried in a procession through the streets of the town.
Within walking distance of the town centre is the modern District Museum, which contains an interesting collection of antiquities found in the Larnaca area, dating from the Neolithic to the Roman periods. Well-lit displays feature archaeological finds from Kition, including a ceramic collection with alabaster vases, tools, coins and lamps. Wall cases hold diverse pieces like faience scarabs, limestone seals, bone implements and engraved stone blocks. The museum is open daily.
Larnaca Medieval Museum
This fascinating and well-stocked museum is housed in the Larnaca fort on the city’s seafront. The fort was built in 1625 and was used as a prison during the early years of British rule. The fort also operates as the Larnaca Municipal Cultural Centre during the summer.
This beautiful village in the Troodos hills in the west of Larnaca District is famous for its handmade lace, known as lefkaritika. The village, which actually consists of an upper and lower town section, is off the main Nicosia/Limassol highway and features cobbled streets and picturesque architecture.
Groups of women sit in the narrow village streets working on their fine embroidery, as they have for centuries. The village is also known for its skilled silversmiths who produce fine filigree work, and there is a small Turkish Delight factory. A folklore museum in the town shows visitors what life was like on Cyprus a hundred years ago. The museum is sited in a restored house and exhibits the furniture and effects of a wealthy family of the time, local costumes and examples of the Lefkara lacework.