24 Hours in Larnaca
Are you in Larnaca for just a day and looking to making the most of your exploration of the city and the region? Look no further: My Cyprus travel has you covered with all the best things to do in Larnaca.
The city is located on the southern coast of the island and is home to one of Cyprus’ international airports, but that isn’t all.
Larnaca has a rich multicultural history, having been a main port of call for ancient visitors who sought to make Cyprus their home.
To start out your day in Larnaca, you will surely want to rent a car so you can experience the best parts of not only the city but the entire region. As a family-run business that has been operating in Larnaca for over 20 years, Wheels and Go Car Rentals will offer you friendly service along with your exploration vehicle.
08:00 – Breakfast in town’s centre and the fort
Larnaca’s centre is home to the famed and palm-tree-lined Finikoudes promenade, where you will be able to enjoy breakfast at any one of the many establishments along the street with a seaside view.
After breakfast you will want to explore the environs of the promenade, maybe take a dip, or head to the Larnaca fort located at the end of Finikoudes.
The fort dates back to the rule of the Lusignan King James I (1382-1398), who built the fort to protect the town’s harbour and its trade activities after the Genovese occupied the nearby port of Famagusta. While some eighteenth-century sources insist that the fort was built by the Turks in 1625, it is well documented that a Turkish garrison had been stationed there since 1570. Other references by travellers confirm that the fort was constructed prior to 1625.
10:00 – Head out of the city
Although you could spend a whole day by the sea – swimming, shopping, and relaxing – it is a good idea to head out of the city and explore all the natural beauty and tradition Larnaca has to offer.
A great stop for those looking to explore some of the natural beauty and history of the island is the Hala Sultan Tekke mosque, located on the Larnaca Salt Lake. The mosque was built on the site where the prophet Mohammed’s wet-nurse died and is considered to be one of the holiest shrines in Islam.
The lake itself has some walking trails, and in late autumn and throughout the winter, the area is home to migratory waterfowl. Visitors can see flamingos, cranes and other bird species during a visit.
12:00 – Lunch in the village
With the car you rented from Wheels and Go, you will want to head up to the town of Lefkara for a lunch break in the foothills of the Troodos Mountains. From the Salt Lake, the drive should take about half an hour.
Lefkara is famed for its lace production and silverworks. The village offers great views of the valleys surrounding the Larnaca region and a variety of traditional taverns.
The village is characterised by its picturesque narrow, winding streets and traditional architecture of terracotta-roofed houses. It is also included as one of the stops on the island’s 7th Wine Route that encompasses the area of mountainous Larnaca–Nicosia.
Among its interesting sites are the Folklore Museum, the old fountain and the old olive mill. The village also has beautiful ancient chapels, including the church of Timios Stavros (Holy Cross) and the chapel of Archangelos Michael in Kato Lefkara, with frescoes that date from the 12th and 15th centuries.
16:00 – Relax at the beach
After your adventures in the villages you will want to relax at the beach. There are a number of beaches in Larnaca, each of which offers various activities to suit all tastes. If you are looking to relax by the sea with a coffee or frappe, then you will want to head to Mackenzie beach just outside the town’s centre.
Due to the beach’s location, it is ideal for plane spotting, and there is also a wide array of water sports on offer along the strip, next to children’s playgrounds and outdoor exercise equipment.
Concerts are held on the seafront stage throughout the year, while arts fairs and stalls are also held along the strip.
However, if the excursion to the mountains was just the start of your activities, then you will want to head to Faros beach outside of the city, where you can enjoy wind and kite surfing.
19:00 – Dinner in the old town
Larnaca’s old town is located just behind the Finikoudes promenade and is full of a variety of restaurants offering various cuisines.
Before dinner, you might find yourself wanting to stop by St Lazaros church. The church is built in varying styles and is said to lie above the tomb of the saint, who, according to Christian beliefs, was resurrected by Jesus a week before the crucifixion.
After a brief stop at the church, you will want to grab a bite to eat, and luckily the city’s old town has all appetites covered, from traditional taverns serving Cypriot cuisine to more eclectic options.
21:00 – Grab a drink
Whether you want to get out of the old town or you wish to stay there, Larnaca has a great drinks scene.
The old town offers a number of cocktail bars for those looking to enjoy a relaxed evening with friends.
However, if you are looking to dance the night away and have a few drinks with friends, you will want to head back to Mackenzie beach, where you will be able to enjoy a great night out right next to the sea. The beach’s strip has a number of clubs, beach bars, and lounges where you can pass the evening.