A compact coastal resort and working town with lots to do for the whole family, Larnaka is built upon the ancient city of Kition so there are several interesting museums and archaeological sites to visit.
A popular coastal resort, Larnaka also boasts an attractive bay and marina, many beaches and lots for visitors of all ages to enjoy. Boat trips around the bay are popular for sightseeing, fishing and diving excursions while a glass-bottomed boat also offers trips to see the 1980 wreck of Zenobia. For those looking to stay dry and get closer to the wreck, the tourist submarine is the perfect answer. Larnaka also provides an ideal base for visiting the rest of the island, as excellent motorways link it with other large towns
Places to Visit:
Larnaka Seafront – Phoinikoudes
Along Larnaka’s popular palm tree-lined promenade stands the bust of the Athenian Commander Kimon. In 450BC he tried to regain Cyprus from the Persians but died during the campaign.
Larnaka Seafront, Tel: 24304576
Situated at the end of the seafront, the fort was built by the Turks in 1625. It was a prison and barracks during early British rule and now houses a small museum.
Agios Lazarus Church
Plateia Agiou Lazarou, Tel: 24652498
Saint Lazarus is the patron Saint of Larnaca. It is said that following his resurrection by Christ, he lived here for thirty years and was ordained Bishop of Kition by Saints Barnabas and Mark. The church was erected over his tomb in the 9th century and restored in the 17th century. The tomb containing the stone sarcophagus remains accessible to visitors. The churchyard contains a Byzantine museum and a small cemetery.
Approx. 500m north east of the District Archaeological Museum
Much of Larnaka is built on ancient Kition – an area mentioned in the Old Testament as Kittim. The remains here go back to the 13th century BC. Temples and copper and bronze processing plants have been excavated here. The philosopher Zenon, father of Stoicism, was born at Kition.
District Archaeological Museum
Kalograion Street, Tel: 24304169
Contains artefacts from Neolithic to Roman times and details on other local archaeological sites.
Larnaka Municipal Cultural Centre Incorporating Municipal Gallery.
Seafront promenade, Tel: 24658848
The gallery has frequent art and photography exhibitions and a helpful, informative curator.
Palaeontology Museum Tornaritis - Pierides
A well presented collection of fossils and shells with know-ledge able friendly staff.
Natural History Museum
Grigori Afxentiou Avenue – within Larnaka Municipal Gardens, Tel: 24652569
Collections of stuffed animals, moths, geology etc. Outside you can see cages of live birds.
Pierides Foundation Museum
Zinonos Kitieos 4, Tel: 24651345
An interesting and extensive collection including ceramics, needlework, costumes and weaponry.
Kiti village – 11km west of Larnaka, Tel: 24424646
Located in Kiti village, this 11th century Byzantine church was built over the ruins of an early Christian basilica. In the original apse is a 6th – 7th century Byzantine mosaic, depicting the Virgin Mary and Child flanked by the Archangels Michael and Gabriel. It is the oldest mosaic preserved in Cyprus.
Fatsa Wax Museum
Pano Lefkara – approx. 40km from Larnaka, Tel: 24621048
Come face-to-face with history at the island’s only wax museum. Meet famous Cypriots past and present and relive significant moments in the island’s history.
Hala Sultan Tekke
5 km west of Larnaka town
The mosque was built over the tomb of Umm Haram, said to be a relative of the Prophet Mohammed, in 1816. The shrine is an important one for Muslims in Cyprus. Also buried here is Khodija, the great Grandmother of King Abdullah of Jordan.
Kalavassos - 40km from Larnaka town, off the Lefkosia – Lemesos motorway.
One of the most important Neolithic sites in Cyprus, this site dates from 7000BC. The area crossed by the motorway is believed to have been inhabited since the Early Stone age. The site is visible from the road thanks to the large tent – like canopy covering it.
Kamares, meaning “arches”, was built by Pasha Abu Bekr in 1747. It carried water 10 kms to Larnaka from springs at the Trimithius river. In use until the 1930’s, the aqueduct is now attractively floodlit at night.
32 km from Larnaka town or 48 km south of Lefkosia off the Lefkosia – Lemesos highway, Tel: 24322710
This settlement dates from 6,000 or 7,000 BC and is included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list. Dating from the Neolithic period, five dwellings have been reconstructed and contain replicas of items found at the site to give visitors a better idea of how the occupants would have lived.
9 km off the Lefkosia – Lemesos highway, 40 km from Larnaka * open to men only
Stavrovouni, meaning “Mountain of the Cross”, stands impressively 668 metres above sea level. The oldest monastery in Cyprus, the Empress St. Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, is claimed to have founded the monastery in the 4th century, leaving a splinter of the Cross of Jesus, which is preserved in a silver cross. Women are not admitted but the site offers good views over the Mesaoria plain.
Things to do
Mazotos Village, Larnaka District, Tel: 24991243/99416968
Three 2-3 kilometre trails from the Vavatsinia and Lefkara districts.
Telephone the Cyprus Tourism Organization on 22691100 for further information, or visit the CTO’s website at www.visit.cyprus.com
The eastern Med’s only tourist submarine. Regular trips to a shipwreck off Larnaka seafront. Trips depart from Larnaka Marina.
“Kataklysmos” – June
Contact Larnaka Municipality, Tel: 24653333
Kataklysmos, which coincides with the day of the Pentecost, is a religious and popular feast celebrated only in Cyprus. The celebrations of this feast last for several days and take place in all seaside towns and resorts.
Guided Walking Tours
Contact the Cyprus Tourism Organization for more information – Tel: 24654322
Free-of-charge walking tours offered by Larnaka municipality.
“Larnaka Past and Present” begins at Larnaka CTO office every Wednesday at 1000hrs.
“Scala: Its Craftsmen” begins at Larnaka Fort at 1000hrs every Friday.