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Larnaca Holidays

Easygoing ambience in Cyprus

Laid-back Larnaca lodges in your brain. The oldest inhabited city in Cyprus, Larnaca holidays promise both ancient culture and a thriving modern city. The biggest draw of holidays to Larnaca are arguably the beaches. Miles of aquamarine sea fringed by gently sloping golden sands make for some of the most idyllic, and safest, beaches on the Med. 

Palm-heavy Foinikoudes promenade stretches from the fishing harbour to Larnaca Fort, with watersports, boat rides and entertainment along the way. Head away from the front to the tiny craft shops and whitewashed houses. A decent walk takes you to traditional outlying villages, with freshly grilled fish and brandy sours made with local lemons. 

In the evenings, Foinikoudes buzzes into neon life. Live it up in the cocktail bars and nightclubs, or do as the locals do and pull up a pew for a late-night coffee and some people-watching at one of the many cafés open until the early hours.

Larnaca is superbly placed to explore Cyprus, with the country’s largest airport nearby. If you do leave the city, mountains and forests await, dotted with traditional villages where locals still practise handicrafts such as lace and silver making. But if you don’t want to leave the city you don’t have to – everything you need is within its boundaries.

Three tips for a top trip

Go out for a stroll

Larnaca is compact and easily walkable. Everyone strolls the Foinikoudes promenade, stretching 600 metres from the colonial buildings of Europe Square to medieval Larnaca Fort.

Visit Lefkara village

This picturesque village is famous for making intricate lace and silverware. The cobbled streets are lined with shops manned by friendly locals selling their crafts, so its the perfect place to pick up a souvenir.

Snorkel with Zen

When it sank off the coast in 1980, the ferry Zenobia was carrying 100 trucks and cargo. In the clear waters you can see the wreck – even when snorkelling – so be sure to pack your flippers and mask!

Best attractions to see in Larnaca

Larnaca Fort

This medieval fort was converted to a prison under British rule – the gallows were in use until 1948. In summer there’s a host of cultural events.

Agios Lazaros Church

Lazarus is believed to be buried where the church of Agios Lazaros now stands. Gilt and silver columns and intricate woodcarving make this 9th-century shrine an essential stop.

Salt lake flamingos

Calm and ethereal, Larnaca salt lake is a magnet for wild birds and nature lovers. In winter, thousands of flamingos gather to create a striking natural showstopper.

Your Larnaca questions, answered

Excellent. Most of the wide, sandy beaches slope gently to the sea, making them incredibly safe. Should you need more thrills, one of Europe’s biggest waterparks is nearby.
Thanks to Cyprus' spot on the map – it's closer to the Middle East than it is to Greece – the summer months are hot enough for the most devoted of sun seekers, while spring and autumn temperatures sit around the 20-degree mark, at least.
In the spring months of April and May, the average temperature will be around 20ºC and it is usually dry and pleasantly warm. From June to September the days are long, hot and cloudless, with temperatures in August reaching 35ºC. There is little rainfall though, up in the mountains and forests, it will be cooler. During December to March, you'll usually experience less heat, with rain and sometimes snow. Go in March for spring flowers, hiking and to watch a vintage car rally around the island.
Oh, yes. Halloumi-making? Olive-harvesting? Cypriots are extremely proud of their traditions, and there are many opportunities to watch and join in with local artisans in Larnaca.
You'll see that Larnaca is well supplied with sandy, Blue Flag beaches, including Foinikoudes beach with its promenade. The water is generally warm and shallow, and there are water sports and activities for children. Mackenzie beach is a Blue Flag beach close to the airport where you can lie and watch the planes landing. It's popular with windsurfers, but you'll have other water sports and a calm sea. Pyla or CTO beach is near Larnaca's city centre and is a popular family choice. You'll find a playground, ball games and water sports and plenty of nearby food options.
Larnaca claims the final burial site of a biblical legend. The 9th-century church of Saint Lazarus is an important religious and historic spot, with a restored church and museum. You can't miss Larnaca Castle, a vast fortress that defends the city's harbour and houses a medieval museum. Nearby is the Turkish quarter, where you can step back into historical Cyprus, or go to the salt lake to see migrating flamingoes and the Hala Sultan Tekke mosque. Outside the city, you'll find ancient ruins and the Roman-style Kamares Aqueduct, which was actually built in 1747 as a functional water supply.
You'll hear the Larnacan people speaking Cypriot Greek, a dialect some say is closer to ancient Greek and has some regional vocabulary. Official documents are written in Greek, but Cyprus was once a British Crown Colony so you'll find that English is still the second language. It's taught in schools and was used at the British government and military bases, so you'll find it easy to talk to residents. Like most modern European cities, the population tends to speak several languages, including Russian, but you'll probably find most older people out in the villages only use Cypriot Greek.
You'll find it easy to get around Larnaca, and most of its major attractions are close to or in the city centre. Walking around the city gives you the freedom to browse shops and stop in beach-front cafes. Some of the sites you might want to visit are a little distance, like the aqueduct, but you can still get there by bus. A car is a good idea if you want to explore further afield. You can hire one directly from the airport, and you can then make a day trip to Nicosia or Cape Greco National Forest Park.
Larnaka is a great destination for families, as there are so many activities that you can enjoy at any time of year. There are many sandy beaches, where you can try water sports, but active children may want more to do. You'll also find indoor and outdoor amusement parks in Larnaca, and places where you can ride camels or pet donkeys. At the municipal gardens, you can see shows at the theatre, visit the natural history museum, or let the children loose in the playground. With older kids, you might like quad bike safaris, paintballing or bowling.