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/ MAIN / Travel Guide to Cyprus & Places of Interest / Larnaca places of interest & things to do

LARNACA

 

Larnaca is the third biggest and the most ancient city in Cyprus, after Nicosia and Limassol. The population is approximately 75 000 people. Distance from the International Larnaca Airport to city centre only 15 minutes drive, Larnaca tourist zone only 25 minutes drive. It is very lovely and quiet small town. One of the brightest sights – the quay Finikudes with lot of palm trees, wonderful sea view and harbour with yachts... There are plenty of restaurants and cafe, taverns, shops here. Sights of Larnaca: St. Lazarus church, museums, Salt Lake where pink flamingos stay during winter time, the old fort, mosques Al Kebir and Tekke Hala Sultan, the Lefkara village …etc. The old part of city has kept east colouring. Comfortable hotels are waiting for you in a new part of the city. It is a popular resort with fine hotels, sandy beaches. Recommend this resort as to families with children, and to businessmen

 

 

Places of interest in Larnaca

 

Agios Antonios Byzantine Church

One of the most important Byzantine churches of Cyprus, Agios Antonios at Kellia probably dates back to the 9th century. It is at three - aisled vaulted basilica that has undergone considerable reconstruction and repair. It preserves significant wall paintings surviving from the 9th, 11th and 13th centuries.

 

Agios Georgios Arperas Church

The church of Agios Georgios Arperas stands on the site of the medieval village of Arpera. It was built by the Dragoman Konstantinos Christofanis in 1745. A fresco in the church depicts him and his family offering the church to Agios Georgios. The church has many other frescoes signed by the painter Ioannikios.

 

Agios Lazaros Church

Situated in the centre of Larnaka (Larnaca), the magnificent early 10th century stone church of Agios Lazaros is one of the most important surviving Byzantine monuments of Cyprus. It was built by Byzantine Emperor Leo VI in exchange for the transfer of the Saint’s relic to Constantinople. The church lies over the tomb of Agios Lazaros, the resurrected friend of Jesus Christ who came to ancient Kition in 33 AD and became its first Bishop and Patron Saint. The tomb, along with other marble sarcophagi and box - shaped tombs brought to light during excavations, can be seen inside the church crypt
 

Agios Minas Convent

This 15th century convent near the village of Lefkara consists of a church, cloisters and other monastic buildings. Besides performing their religious rites, the nuns also paint icons. The church is the common mix of Byzantine and Gothic styles, with a pointed vault with traverse ribs and side porticos. On the north and south walls are two large paintings of Agios Georgios and Agios Minas dated 1757. Eighteenth century monastic buildings surround the church, with cloisters to the west.

 

Angeloktisti Church

This 11th century Byzantine church, whose name means “built by angels”, was erected over the ruins of an Early Christian basilica in Kiti. The original apse survived together with one of the finest pieces of Byzantine art of the Justinian period, a rare 6th century mosaic of the Virgin and Child between two archangels. Only in Cyprus and in Mount Sinai have mosaics of this period survived the iconoclastic decrees ordering the destruction of most icons and objects of idolatry. Similar mosaics were those from the Church of Kanakaria, now on display in the Byzantine Museum in Lefkosia (Nicosia).
 

Buyuk or Kebir Mosque

Situated at the end of Athens Avenue just opposite Larnaka (Larnaca) Fort, Buyuk Mosque is perhaps the first Ottoman mosque in Cyprus.The Ottomans landed in Larnaka (Larnaca) in 1570, meeting with little resistance from the Venetians who chose to fight the Ottoman armies only in Lefkosia (Nicosia) and Ammochostos (Famagusta). Using Larnaka as their supply and naval base, the Ottomans conquered the whole of the island in 1571.
 

Choirokoitia Neolithic Settlement 

The ancient site of Choirokoitia dates back to the 6th millennium BC. It lies in the domain of the village from which it takes its name in the Larnaka (Larnaca) district. Included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list since 1988, Choirokoitia is one of the best preserved settlements of this period in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean. The settlement’s only entrance – a stairway integrated within a stone massif that lay against the exterior face of the settlement’s enclosure wall, can be traced for more than 180 metres. This civilization suddenly vanished and no explanation has been found for its disappearance. Choirokitia, like the other Aceramic sites on the island, was abandoned in the 4th millennium BC.
 

Hala Sultan Tekke

Located some 6,5 kilometres from Larnaka (Larnaca) overlooking the Salt Lake, Hala SultanTekke is the grave of Umm Haram, wife of Ouvadas Ibn - as Samiz, a general of Moavias who was the leader of the first Arabic invasion of the island in 649 B.C. She was killed during this campaign, when she fell off the mule carrying her. The Hala Sultan Tekke was built at the place of her death, but the exact date is not known. Some archaeologists believe that the tomb of Umm Haram is a monolithic tomb of the prehistoric period (1700 - 1050 BC). According to one legend, one of the stones covering it is suspended in mid - air.
 

Kalavassos Tenta Neolithic Settlement

Tenta, the name of a lens - shaped hill that rises about 20 metres above the western side of Vasilikos Valley, lies about 2.5 kilometres from the village of Kalavassos. The earliest remains of human habitation at Tenta date back to the Aceramic Neolithic period (c. 7500 BC - c. 5200 BC). There appears to be a gap from the end of this period until the site was reoccupied in the Ceramic Neolithic period (c. 4500 BC). This discovery, dated to the beginning of the 7th millennium BC, is the earliest example of wall painting on the island and testimony to the high artistic skills of the inhabitants of Aceramic Neolithic Cyprus.
 

Kition Archaeological Site

Remnants of ancient Kition, located in the area occupied by the city of Larnaka (Larnaca), are visible in various parts of the modern city centre. The first organized settlement in the area of Kition dates to the beginning of the13th century BC. At the end of that century or the beginning of the next, Achaeans redesigned and rebuilt the city, fortifying it with cyclopean walls. The Phoenicians settled in the area in the 9th century BC. In 312 BC the city kingdom of Kition was occupied and then destroyed by Ptolemy 1st Soter, though habitat ion continued into Christian times.
 

Larnaka Fort

Larnaka Fort stands on the shore at the south end of ‘Phoinikoudes’corniche and was probably built during the reign of James I (1382 -1398) to protect the town’s harbour. Its original shape remains unknown, but the fort appears to have had the form of a square tower. Rebuilt in 1625 during the Ottoman period, it was used as a prison in the first years of British rule. The present day fort of Larnaka (Larnaca) is a square building of different eras, with a courtyard in the centre. At the entrance of the fort on the north side is a two - storey building, probably of the Ottoman period.
 

Royal Chapel

Built by the Lusignan King Janus in 1421, it contains a wall painting of the king with his wife, Charlotte de Bourbon. Considered one of the most interesting structures surviving from the Frankish period, the Royal Chapel is situated in Pyrga village.

 

 

Stavrovouni Monastery

Perched on a rocky peak, Stavrovouni means Mountain of the Cross. According to tradition; it was founded in the 4th century by the mother of Constantine the Great, Agia Eleni, who left a fragment of the Holy Cross at the monastery. The brotherhood is extremely devout, keeping vows as strict as those at Mount Athos in Greece. There is an impressive ceremony and celebrations on September 14th, the day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.
 

Terra Santa Catholic Church

Terra Santa is the church of the Latin community in Larnaka (Larnaca). Franciscan monk Callixte Martel founded the church and the convent in 1596, mainly to host Latin pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land. In 1724 another bigger church and convent replaced the first. These were demolished again in 1842 to be replaced by the present church. The convent is also known as Santa Maria delle Grazie and its Latin style is one of the finest in Cyprus, with Renaissance and Baroque characteristics.
 

 

Tuzla Mosque

Situated in the old part of Larnaka (Larnaca) behind the ruins of ancient Kition, Tuzla Mosque is one of the oldest buildings in the city. Once a medieval church, it was turned into a mosque after the Ottoman occupation of 1571. Before that, it used to be the Catholic Church of the Holy Cross (S. Croce) built in the 12th or 13th century.
 

 

 Zuhuri Mosque

The Zuhuri Mosque lies between the Buyuk Mosque and the Church of Agios Lazaros on Nicolaou Rossou Street in Larnaka (Larnaca). It was built in the middle of the 19th century as a Muslim religious center. Its minaret collapsed at the beginning of the last century.

 

 

The Pierides Foundation Archaeological Museum

Situated in Larnaka (Larnaca), this museum exhibits a collection of ancient, medieval, Byzantine and contemporary objects belonging to the Pierides family. Housed in the ancestral Pierides family home, a colonial style building built in 1815, it is one of the most important museums on the island as it contains some of the most representative items of the island’s civilisation, such as a collection of old maps and charts of Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean and a prized collection of Greek and Roman glassware. A display case of modern Greek and Cypriot sculptures can be seen in the courtyard. The museum is linked with the Aphrodite Cultural Route.
 

Pierides - Tornaritis Palaeontology Museum

The Pierides - Tornaritis Museum of Paleontology is situated in the old colonial style Customs Warehouse in Europe Square in Larnaka (Larnaca). This is the only museum of its kind in Cyprus and houses a unique collection of fossils covering 500 million years. Among the rare local exhibits are bones from pygmy elephants and hippopotami, which died out around 10,000 B.C.
 

Larnaka Town Museum

The Town Museum is housed in the restored residence and offices attached to the warehouse of the first colonial Port Master of Larnaka (Larnaca) that was built in 1881. The museum is on the ground floor, its exhibits tracing the long history of the town. A large collection of coins minted in the local mint, starting with the first coin of the city Kingdom of Kition of the late 6th century, and a wonderful collection of photographs depicting the city through the years from 1850, are among the most interesting exhibits.
 

Agios Lazaros Byzantine Museum

The Agios Lazaros Byzantine Museum is located next to the superb early 10th century stone church of Agios Lazaros, situated in the centre of Larnaka (Larnaca). The museum is actually housed in some of the cells of the hypostyle porch, still standing to the south of the church. Exhibits include important religious icons, artefacts and relics.
 

Larnaka District Archaeological Museum

The museum exhibits findings from the main Neolithic settlements of Choirokitia and Tenta, both located in the district of Larnaka (Larnaca), and of the ancient city kingdom of Kition. The faience, ivory and alabaster exhibits are testament to Cyprus’s commercial and international ties with different countries in antiquity. The museum is linked with the Aphrodite Cultural Route.

 

Larnaka Municipal Museum of Natural History

The museum displays large collections of local reptiles, insects, birds, animals, fossils and rock formations. Also on exhibit are marine life and plants from Cyprus and neighbouring countries. Of great interest is the collection of insects of Cyprus, as well as the collection of the endemic plants of the island.

 

Recommended accommodation in Laranca

Golden Bay Hotel 5* Larnaca Cyprus

Lordos Beach hotel 4* Larnaca Cyprus

Palm Beach hotel 4* Larnaca Cyprus

Sandy Beach 4* Larnaca Cyprus

Princess Beach 4* Larnaca Cyprus

Sun Hall 4* Larnaca Cyprus

Heipa 3* Larnaca Cyprus

Flamingo Beach 3* Larnaca Cyprus

Sveltos 3* Larnaca Cyprus

San Remo 2* Larnaca Cyprus

Livadhiotis 2* Larnaca Cyprus

Lenios 2* Larnaca Cyprus

Philippou Lux Villas Larnaca Cyprus Philippou apartments Larnaca Cyprus

View full list of accommodation in Larnaca Town, Cyprus ....
 

Things to do in Larnaca

Mini cruises and boat trips from Larnaca Marina, VIP yacht charter

Enjoy one of the nice taverns & bars, cafe, disco, local and internal restaurants.

Cinema, shopping, fishing , bird watching at Larnaca salt lake

Quattro bikes

Camel park

Dam / Sea fishing

beach Relaxing

Nature trails

visit the Larnaca places of interest by guided tours or by your own

Olive oil ...

cycling, tracking,

Diving courses, Water Sports, sailing,

Bowling

Just 30 minute drive from Ayia Napa and Nicosia.

Fatsa wax museum at Lefkara

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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