Day Trips in Larnaca

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The central location of Larnaca makesit an ideal place for day trips in the region and the destinations are replete with natural beauty and historic significance.

Choirokitia
32 km

This farming settlement on top of a hill is one of the most ancient Neolithic sites on Cyprus, going back to 7,000 B.C. Wheat and barley farmers lived here from the seventh to the fourth millennia B.C. A World Heritage site, Choirokitia or Khirokitia features tombs and round African-style huts huddled together around courtyards.

Some of these houses had an upper floor. There is evidence of ancestor worship as some of the dead were interred beneath the floors along with offerings. A tall sturdy stone wall encircles the village. Most of the artifacts found here (excavations began in 1934 and are still going on) are on display in Nicosia’s Cyprus Museum.

You get a breathtaking view of the Mediterranean from the top of the hill which is a very steep climb. Beautiful wildflowers grow on the slopes.

The village was abandoned suddenly around 6000 B.C. for some unknown reason. Apparently, after that the island of Cyprus did not have any inhabitants for about 1.500 years.

Stavrouvouni Monastery
40 km

A fantastic and unforgettable sight, this lone monastery sits on top of a mountain. It is the oldest monastery on the island, and enjoys the distinction of having been established by Saint Helena, mother of the Byzantine emperor, Constantine I the Great,in the fourth century.

Only men are allowed in and  can see a most amazing relic – a fragment of the cross on which Jesus was crucified.

According to legend, Saint Helena had brought the cross back from her pilgrimage to the Holy Land. She had wanted to take it with her to Constantinople, but had been detained on the island by a shipwreck.

However, the relic holds just a tiny piece of the cross. No one knows what happened to the rest of it. Perhaps it perished in the fire that engulfed the entire monastery in 1888.

Interestingly, the mountain used to be known as Mount Olympus in ancient times. Today, Mount Olympus is to be found in the Troodos Mountain range.

Lefkara
34 km

Famous for its exquisite handmade lace (lefkaritika), this picturesque hilly village at the foot of the Sotira Mountain is a delight to wander through, with its cobbled streets and beautiful architecture. You’ll see women making the lace in the streets, just as they have for centuries.

You’ll also find fine silver filigree work here and a factory that manufactures Turkish Delight. Worth visiting here is the folklore museum which recreates life as it used to be on Cyprus 100 years ago.

The Cypriot Saint Neofytos is believed to have been born here in the 12th century. The Knights Templars were exiled in Lefkara in 1308.



Contributors
January 29, 2010 change by schitti

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