For a dream holiday on the Mediterranean shore, Larnaca is one of the most attractive touristic destinations – a space that floats between sky and water, shrouded in mystery and legend, with an impressive history of over 6,000 years.
The locals of the oldest settlement in Cyprus knew how to conserve their great legacy and ancient history especially in the old town area, and also managed to accelerate the process of industrialization and modernization of the urban center, becoming a resort as can be competitive among the most popular on the Mediterranean.
This presence of the country’s largest airport, Larnaca International Airport, only 6 km west of Larnaca, is more than welcome for tourists who can easily reach there. Whether you take a taxi or one of the buses that offer special tours, you arrive in town in about 15 minutes. The price difference is but one aspect to consider.
This small Cypriot town can be covered entirely by foot, so seaside promenades are one of the most exquisite free pleasures. The main attraction in this corner of the earth has biblical resonances due to the Church of Saint Lazarus, an Orthodox monastery dating from the ninth century, receiving visits from many of those curious to see with their own eyes the legendary tomb of the biblical Lazarus character, the brother of the Virgin Mary.
A true wonder of nature is the Salt Lake resort situated on the western side of the resort, which is the home of about 80 species of migratory birds. But the local stars are 10,000 flamingos that halt on the lake every year in January-February. In olden days, the lake was a real treasure for those who extracted salt from there for commercial purposes. Even today, when it has pretty much lost its economic importance, one can notice the salt layer of about 10 cm depth that remains when the lake dries in the hot summer months.
Those who arrive at the Salt Lake surely make a stop Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque and nearby, where it is said that the adoptive mother of Mohammed, Umm Haram, is buried. On a strip of land washed by the Mediterranean, diving is considered among the most popular activities because of the Zenobia ferry tragedy, failed in the area in 1980, it is constantly exploited by diving clubs that offer lessons assisted by professional divers. A wreck now, the ship has perished at a depth of 42 meters, but its highest point rises to 18 meters underwater, so it is very easy to reach. Moreover, depending on the direction of the flight, when planes land on Larnaca Airport, the tourists can see the shadow of Zenobia above the water.
The area is not only dedicated to the beach lovers; keep in mind that the locals are great party lovers, they organize many festivals throughout the year. The annual Carnival in March, the Procession of Saint Lazarus in April, the Flood Festival in June are extraordinary opportunities for tourists who seek to identify with and experiment as many local traditions possible.
Since Cypriots are famous for the great quality silverware and lace that they produce, nobody leaves this city without making even a visit to the Oro Fino Jewellry, a place where you can buy the latest and most sophisticated jewels made after Greek and Italian patterns and liberally decorated with various stones, from zirconium to even diamonds.
But the city means much more, and its historical value is priceless. The Stavrovouni Monastery built in the 4th century, the statue of the famous philosopher Zeno of Citium, the Archaeological Museum Pierides – the oldest private museum in Cyprus -, the great mosque Djami Kebir, the Neolithic settlements Choirokoitia – who is believed to have been founded around the year 7000 before BC, and the ancient site of Kition are just some of the many sites you can visit and let yourself fascinated and awed.
This destination must be visited at least once in a lifetime, for it is one of the most representative in the European history; you will definitely fall in love with the culture and traditions of a country so beautiful as Cyprus is. The warm weather, the smiling people, the unexpectedly tasty local food at affordable prices are the main strengths of the city, and the memories gathered here will last a lifetime.