Six attractions to visit in Larnaca, Cyprus | Private jet charter
Located on the southern coast of Cyprus, Larnaca is the island’s third largest city and one of its best-known beach resorts. This beautiful port boasts a wealth of attractions for visitors, including a delightful seafront promenade lined with palm trees, a fort, the Church of St Lazarus, a fascinating Turkish quarter, wine-tasting tours and Larnaca castle. It’s the perfect base for exploring the south of Cyprus and the inland forest region of Maheras.
Long, clean sandy beaches and shallow waters make Cyprus ideal for family holidays. Larnaca’s main beach is Finikoudes – a palm-tree lined sandy urban beach backed by high-rise hotels, shops and restaurants. Larnaca’s 450-berth marina is just north of Finikoudes on the promenade – the starting point for many pleasure boat rides. Although its sand is a little grey, Kastella beach is quieter than Finikoudes and much smaller. And it’s only a 15-minute walk from the town centre. Lifeguards are on constant duty at Mackenzie beach – closest to the airport and there are plenty of watersports to enjoy here. For parascending and jet skis, head to Yanathes Beach, also near the centre.
Larnaca Salt Lake
You’ll see the lakes near the airport as you come into land. A series of four lakes located to the west of Larnaca, the salt lakes are a birdlife sanctuary and home to flamingos and other water birds. In January and February each year nearly 10,000 flamingos visit the lake. During the hotter months the lake dries up revealing a deep salt crust, which was mined during the Middle Ages.
Church of Saint Lazarus
A Greek Orthodox Church built in the 9th century, the Church of St Lazarus is devoted to the saint who legend has it lived in Kition (near Larnaca) after his resurrection by Jesus. Just eight days before Easter each year (on St Lazarus Day), his icon is carried through the streets of Larnaca in a celebratory procession. The church is renowned for its well-preserved interior, and its exquisite gold iconostasi and hand-carved furniture, among other relics.
Visiting Larnaca’s old Turkish neighbourhood is a time-travel experience: whitewashed houses, plant pot doorways and coloured window shutters are a reminder of a gentler age. You’ll see road signs in Turkish – a reminder of how Cypriots lived side-by-side with their Turkish neighbours before partition in 1974. Today craft shops have made the area their home.
Standing proud at the edge of the water, Larnaca Fort is located between the Finikoudes promenade and the old Turkish Quarter. Climb on to the ramparts for views across the bay and explore the medieval tombstones. There’s a small museum on the upper level and in the summer the fort holds concerts and cultural events.
Wreck of MS Zenobia
Known to divers the world over as ‘The Zen’, the wreck of the MS Zenobia is one of the world’s top 10 dives sites. Located just 1500 metres off the coast of Larnaca, the wreck of this Swedish ferry lies on her side at a depth 42m, still with her original cargo of articulated lorries. Divers will see grouper, barracuda, turtle, tuna and trigger fish among the plentiful marine life.
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