Scratch the surface of Larnaca and you’ll reveal a wealth of sun-drenched secrets that go far beyond its reputation as a party destination. Located in the southeastern corner of Cyprus, the city undoubtedly has its nocturnal thrills, but there is so much more to see and do during the day that you may feel you’re better off getting a few early nights. Just beyond its beautiful beaches you can dive down to a modern shipwreck still laden with over 100 articulated lorries, explore a mountain village where Leonardo da Vinci once travelled to buy lace cloth or go camel-trekking under the gaze of bouncing wallabies. You disn’t expect that, did you?
Areas & Neighbourhoods in Larnaca
Larnaca – The city itself is famous for its palm tree-lined seafront but its old town is well worth a visit and boasts a rather splendid 14th century fort.
Mackenzie Beach – A great beach resort a short drive from Larnaca that is suitable for families and watersports enthusiasts alike. You’ll also find a fabulous selection of restaurants in this area.
Lefkara – Nestled on the southern slopes of the Troodos Mountains, this charming village is famed for its lace and skilled silversmiths.
Things to See in Larnaca
There’s certainly plenty to keep you occupied in Larnaca. Take a stroll down Foinikoudes, the sea promenade, and work your way from the marina to the Old Town. Free guided walking tours are available at selected times, although if you’d prefer to find your own way then make a beeline for the fort and its Medieval Museum. For those really keen to penetrate the area’s fascinating past, head to the Ancient Kition site in the north-west of the city, and view the ruins of temples dating back to the 13th century BC. Outside of Larnaca, go west and visit the salt lakes and the Islamic holy site of Hala Sultan Tekke, before heading up into the hills to the beautiful village of Lefkara.
Things to Do in Larnaca
There’s no escaping the sun, sea and sand in Larnaca, and all the better for it. But if you want to do a bit more than lying on a towel then the area is a popular location for scuba diving. Dive down to the Zenobia, which sank in 1980 and is considered one of the finest modern wreck-diving sites in the world. Back on dry land, you can take to the rides at Waterworld in Ayia Napa, or the fun park, Parko Paliatso, is just up the road. For something a little out of the ordinary, drive to Camel Park Mazotos, about 15 minutes outside of Larnaca and take a camel ride through the Cypriot countryside. The camels share the park with a variety of other animals such as ostriches, llamas and wallabies, and there is also a children’s play area for any little ones to unwind. Larnaca is also well-placed for exploring other parts of Cyprus, and exciting full-day tours to Paphos are available, where ancient ruins mingle with cosmopolitan flair.