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Larnaca is home to some of Cyprus’ most popular coastline. Finikoudes Beach is a sandy strip perfect for bucket-and-spade family holidays and sunbathing, while the city is bustling and authentic.
But head out to the rest of Cyprus and discover an island that is a cultural and political heavyweight. Get a rental car in Larnaca and you’ll find much more than beaches - you’ll find the mythical birthplace of Aphrodite, mountain passes and the famous Green Line.
Larnaca International Airport is on the south coast of Cyprus, a 10-minute drive from the city centre, while Paphos International Airport is an hour and 25 minutes away - about 80 miles.
You can get a hire car in Larnaca from Goldcar rental, Alamo and Enterprise to name but a few. Both Larnaca and Paphos airports run a shuttle bus to the rental counters and collection points, so have a look out for signs when you arrive.
Cyprus is an island of two halves. Divided since 1974, the so-called Green Line runs through the middle, with Turkish Cypriots in the north and Greek Cypriots in the south. There are a number of crossing points between the north and south, and tourists can travel between easily to get a taste of the different cultures. However, if you are driving a rental car in Cyprus it is worth checking with the hire company if you are fully insured on both sides of the border. Then there are the other two sides to Cyprus – the island of Ayia Napa, nightclubs and beach resorts, and the island of rural villages and mountain walks. Get in your hire car and you can see it all.
Iskele on Cyprus’ Karpaz Peninsula is a drive of one hour and 15 minutes from Larnaca, just less than 50 miles. Sometimes referred to as Trikomo, its historic name, Iskele is small and offers peace and quiet for those looking to escape the more traditional tourist haunts. It is the gateway to the unspoiled beaches of the peninsula. About 50 minutes west from Lanarca is the city of Lemesos, or Limassol, as it is still commonly known. There are, of course, a number of tourist hotels and plenty of visitors, but this is a city full of locals. The marina is modern and boasts luxury apartments and berths for super yachts. There are a number of car parks around the city, with many on the seafront.
Drive just over an hour, or 45 miles, into northern Cyprus and you will find Kyrenia, also known as Girne. It is an historic city with sandy beaches and a dramatic mountainous backdrop. Hill walking is a popular hobby here and the views are beautiful. There is a meandering walking trail through the Kyrenia mountains that takes in castles, historic sites and some incredible wildlife. There are also some traditional Cypriot villages in the surrounding countryside - try Esentepe for stunning views, or Ozankoy for quintessential olive and lemon groves. You could also try making a quick pit stop on the way back to Larnaca at the village of Geri, for some quaint churches and authentic local cooking.
You can cross from north to south on foot at the Ledra Palace and Ledra Street checkpoints in central Nicosia, but if you are heading north in a hire car, the main crossing in Nicosia is Agios Dometios. Carry your passport and insurance documents with you and be aware that some cars hired in the south are not insured for use in the north.
Use the Expedia search tool to help you find the best car hire, flight and hotel deals for your trip to Larnaca and other parts of the Cyprus. Expedia can also help you research the best attractions and activities.
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