The capital of the eponymous district, Larnaca is the third most populous city in the country after Nicosia and Limassol. Situate on the southern coast of Cyprus, the city is known for being the birthplace of Stoic philosopher Zeno. At an elevation of 0 meters above sea level, the city home to an urban population of 84,591. The city was established by the Achaeans, the first Greek colonists of Kitionin 13th century BC on the ruins of ancient Citium. The reign of the city went into the hands of the Assyrian Empire after whom the Egyptian ruled here. The city was also ruled by the Achaemenid Empire. Larnaca had its own commercial port at Skala, during the Ottoman Period. Historians believe Larnaca to be the oldest city in Cyprus, with evidence of habitation up to 6000 years ago. Greek is the official language, spoken by the majority of people.
All the flights coming to Larnaca land at the Larnaca International airport, which is the primary domestic as well as international airport serving Larnaca. Located at a distance of 6 km from the city center, the currently more than 60 airline operators fly to and from the Larnaca International airport. The region has Mediterranean type of climate. Located at one of the lowest altitude points in Cyprus and on a coast, the city boasts of stunning climate for most part of the year. The hottest month of the year is July with an average temperature of 27°C and the coldest is January at 12°C. August is a good time to visit Larnaca as this is the best month for swimming in the sea. Kataklysmos or the Festival of the Flood, celebrated in early summer is the major festival and best time to explore the true culture of the people of Larnaca.
The quiet town of Larnaca has its own share of rich history and offers some the best monumental heritage. To experience the old charm of the city, visit the St Lazarus Church which is located in the old town of Larnaca and is famed for housing the relics of Saint Lazarus. Pierides Foundation Museum was built in 1829 and is famous for remarkable private exhibition of Cypriot antiquities, which are at display here. This street is line with some of the best outdoor cafes, English-style pubs and restaurants. Palm Tree Promenade is another tourist attraction running parallel to the beach. Next to the promenade is a large marina with berths for several hundred yachts, however, it is closed for public.
Larnaca Medieval Museum, located inside the Larnaca Fort is a heaven for the history buffs. The fort has archeological exhibits from the site of Kition and also has a long road of shops and cafes, behind a narrow gravel beach. Larnaca District Archeological Museum famous for having a vast collection of artifacts dating from the Neolithic Age to the Roman period like female torsos and terra-cotta figures is a must visit tourist spot in Larnaca.
Grand Mosque, St Phaneromeni Church, Larnaca Marina, Larnaca Municipal Library, Larnaca Municipal Gardens, Municipal Museum of Natural History are some of the other sightseeing places that tourists should explore during their holiday in Larnaca. Diving to see the wreck of the Zenobia is one of the major activities and attractions that draw tourists to Larnaca.
Eating and Shopping
Eating in Larnaca can become an expensive affair; however few option of budget eating is also available. Greek cuisine is the most commonly eaten food and some of the local delicacies include Tzatziki, Taramasalata, Dolmades, Moussaka, souvlaki, Grilled meat, Fresh fish, Courgette balls, Octopus, Feta & cheeses and Honey & baklava. If you want to enjoy the best food in Larnaca, visit Zephyros for seafood, Aldente Cucina Italiana for the best Italian, To Kazani for wide selection of mezze platters, Hobo’s Steak House for steak and everything meaty and Monte Carlo which is a traditional eatery in Cypriot style.
Larnaca along with the various villages surrounding the city are famous for their and silver ware and these are a must buys here. The city has many large shopping malls along with high end boutiques and shops selling everything from all over the world. Larnaca is the place to buy famous Cypriot purchases like handmade lace, silverwork, pottery and jewellery. If you are interested in street shopping then the Sunday Open-Air Market at Ermou Street is the prefect venue for purchasing goodies at bargain prices. Zenonos Kitieos Street is a stylish shopping street while Ak Deniz Street is famous for its pottery. Kornos is small village 27 km from Larnaca and urns, flower pots, censers, wine jars made from the local red soil and hone are popular shopping items. Leftkara Village is famous hand-made lace and silverware.