Larnaca Travel Guide

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Having a Larnaca travel guide is useful when planning a stress-free and enjoyable vacation. A port city situated on the southern coast of Cyprus, Lanarca is the island's second largest commercial port. In addition to commercial pursuits, Larnaca has recently transformed itself into a tourist resort town, full of historic attractions.

History

Founded by the Phoenicians and originally called Kition, Larnaca initially belonged to the Persian Empire. During the medieval ages, Larnaca suffered multiple earthquakes, the destruction of which can be seen in many of the ancient ruins.

Ruins

These ruins make up some of the most important sites in all of Larnaca. The ruins of Ancient Kitium date back to the thirteenth century. Built by the Greeks, the ruins include the remains of the Cyclopean Walls and the complex of five ancient temples.

Larnaca Salt Lake

Another stunning landmark of Larnaca is the Larnaca Salt lake. Filling with rain water during the winter seasons, this lake is home to flamingos and countless other forms of wildlife, a true treat for nature lovers. On the western banks of this lake is Hala Sultan Tekke. An ancient Muslim monastery, this site is home to the tomb of Umm Haram, who was the foster mother of the prophet Mohammed.

Beach Front Activities

Because Larnaca is situated directly on the beachfront, there are several stunning beaches that are a must-visit when visiting this busy city, as they make for a great escape from the hustle and bustle. Beaches are equipped with showers and changing rooms, and the majority of them have sun-shielding beach umbrellas and lounge chairs for rent. The three most popular beaches situated along Larnaca's shoreline are McKenzie, Phinikoudes and Yanathes, all of which have direct beach access.

Day Trip - Lefkara

If you're planning on spending a longer amount of time in Cyprus, a short drive outside Larnaca is the quaint hillside village of Lefkara. Famed for its intricate handmade lace, the village is situated at the base of the Sotira Mountains. With picturesque cobblestone streets and stunning architecture, women make their lace as well as other crafts such as silver goods and local cuisine right in the streets. A truly educational experience, a trip to Lefkara lets you live history rather than learn about it in a museum.

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This port city of 70.000 is the site of the main international airport and the most modern of Cyprus towns. Larnaca offers numerous sightseeing attractions but most visitors arrive and then leave quickly. If you do find yourself in Larnaca spend time on the beaches or tour the Ayia Phaneromeni Church (icons) and the 9th-century Byzantine Church of St. Lazarus which is reputed to hold the remains of the saint. In the winter the nearby Great Salt Lake is home to thousands of pink flamingos, which is situated near the international airport.

Larnacas former name was Kition or Kittim (one of Noah's descendants). The name Larnaca is derived from Greek word 'larnax' (coffin), which is probably a reminder of the many ancient coffins found on Kition's grounds.

Kition was one of the towns settled by the Mycaeneans in the 13th century BC. Under Ottoman and British rule, Larnaca was the main trade centre of the island. At the beginning of our century it lost its rank, first to Famagusta (1918) and later to Limassol. Larnacas seaport today seldom sees large ships - but it still caters hundrets of private yachts. It has several industrial plants, as well as a large oil refinery. Larnaca is slowly rebuilding its overseas trade now, along with Famagusta in the Turkish zone.

Contributors

June 29, 2007 change by lpx

March 26, 2010 change by christina tilicki

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