An Idiot’s Guide to Larnaca

If you are visiting Cyprus, you will almost certainly be flying into Larnaca Airport. Cyprus’ largest Airport and indeed the 64th largest airport in Europe, it is also the entry point to get to Ayia Napa by air. Don’t just travel there because it’s easy, as Larnaca is a hidden gem.

With temperatures during summer reaching the mid to high 80’s, a great time to go is during the school summer holidays if you are a family, a teacher or a university student. For a laidback, beautiful holiday, the wonderful palm tree-lined marina of Larnaca is brilliant for people watching.

Larnaca appeals to scuba divers. The reason for this is the shipwreck known as the Wreck of Zenobia. It’s also pretty cheap at around £18 per dive.

The town has a range of sights to see, the main sight being the ruins of the Ancient Kition, which was built in the 13th century. Similar to Petra, a lot of this ancient architecture is still yet to be excavated. You can also see the marble Bust of Zeno, the founder of the famous stoic school of philosophy.

For religious sites, you can take a trip to the Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque which is said to contain the ate Umm Haram. In the surrounding area is the Larnaca salt lake visit here November to March and you could be treated to a view of pink flamingoes. Unfortunately, during it’s busiest period, the summer, the lake dries up. Another sight of religious importance is the Church of Lazarus. An orthodox church said to be the tomb of St Lazarus, brother of Mary and Martha.

Larnaca is somewhat lacking in bars and clubs. It’s pretty limited for choice with only a small amount of bars and restaurants, and what restaurants are here can be pretty expensive. While they are a few cheaper restaurants, they do seem to be less traditional tourist traps selling seafood. The alternatives are to eat basic street food (hotdogs, fish and chips) or to travel to nearby Ayia Napa for a much more robust nightlife of bars, clubs and restaurants.

Depending on what time of year you arrive, you might be able to catch a football game. Larnaca is a proud footballing city and is home to AEK and ALKI Larnaca, as well as Famagusta, Anorthosis and Nea Salamina.

Disappointingly, Larnaca is often overlooked as merely a way to get to more popular areas of Cyprus. But if you don’t stop here for at least a short time, you are missing out on a different type of Cyprus.For those unsure of where to go on holiday, Larnaca is a good choice.

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