Ancient Kition, Modern Larnaca

Facing the Lebanon and set in a wide bay is Larnaca, the shopping is excellent and the sea front is wide and paved with many outdoor restaurants which specialise in Cyprus cuisine, you will also find kebab vendors, (the local take away,) who's kebabs and sheftalies ( a type of charcoal grilled sausage/meatball) served in pitta bread with salad is a reasonable value meal at around 5 euros.

You can hire a sun bed and umbrella and eat that kebab in comfort, or maybe try your hand at jet skiing, go for a boat trip, or hang from a parachute over the sea whilst being pulled along by a speed boat. Sounds interesting ? Well we think Larnaca is ok.

Activities in and around Larnaca include horse riding, which is available at both Oroklini (sometimes Voroklini), Dhekelia and near Tekke. Sailing and boat trips can be taken from the marina , which can berth around 400 yachts. If you are a sailor yourself you may bareboat charter a yacht or just take a day trip on a motor boat or catamaran. See Cyprusyachts for full details. Sightseeing on one of the many coach trips are a popular way to get in a lot of places of interest in an afternoon or to travel to another town for the day. Diving is a popular sport here as well, and although there is not as much underwater wildlife to see as there once was, Larnaca bay boasts one of the top 10 diving wrecks of the world, the Zenobia.

Sports Facilities

On the airport road, at the roundabout nearest the American Academy is the New sports ground. It was built on the grounds of the old Larnaca Football Stadium.

The old Larnaca Stadium offers to the public the following:


Children's playground built to European Safety standards

Special area for children's parties

Fully equipped Gym with professional trainers

4 Futsal courts

Basket ball court

Tennis court

2 beach volley courts

A special running or walking track.

There is now a new football stadium on the edge of town on the Nicosia road which is not the only football stadium in town, but it houses football matches on Saturdays throughout the season.

If you are on a limited budget in Cyprus there are some good places to stay and food is relatively cheap and delicious, certainly wines and cigarettes are not as expensive as most other European countries yet, so enjoy.

Culture is rampant in Larnaca, and the Municipal Cultural Centre do a wonderful job and bring a lot of interesting events to Larnaca's various venues. There is an indoor theatre in the grounds of the Municipal gardens, which also boasts a children's playground which is well equipped with activity toys for toddlers to twelve year olds and a small animal and bird zoo. There is also the open amphitheatre on the right hand side of the airport road which hosts a lot of events throughout the summer.

Larnaca has the best of both worlds, it is on the coast, with all that implies , is an interesting and charming destination both modern and old world. The whole town sits on ancient ruins and here and there you will see empty plots where digs are either in progress or have been left for future excavation. For a good example see opposite the church at Chyrysopolitissa. Behind the museum, next to the Larnaca tennis club there is a knoll of trees, another small children's playground, which behind in the field is an important ongoing dig which supplies the museum with finds.

There are many museums and places of interest to visit,
(see below) as well as a rich menu of cultural activities



In Larnaca district is Stavrovouni Monastery , it is perched atop a solitary mountain, The mountain of the Cross. It is the oldest monastery in Cyprus (see the history pages) which I am sure is very interesting but I am unlikely to find out as ladies are not allowed in the monastery itself,  so be warned. I was not, and have now seen the view. Which is rather splendid admittedly.


Lefkara on the other hand will be only too happy to receive women visitors as the lace which is hand woven there generally appeals to the fairer sex. Leonardo da Vinci is supposed to have visited in 1481 and bought an alter cloth for the cathedral in Milan.( The experts at Sotheby's say that his writings about visiting this part of the world were all a figment of his fertile imagination, but that does not explain the 4 lost years, or his graphic descriptions to my satisfaction)
The festival of the Holy Cross is held here in September every year on the 13th and 14th, the Holy Cross itself is contained in the local church, Tou Timiou Stavrou and is from the 13th century. You will also find 12th century frescoes in the Archangel Michael church in Kato Lefkara.


The village of Kiti is just outside Larnaca, there you will find the "Church built by Angels," Panayia Angeloktistos. This church still contains 6th century mosaic decorations from an earlier church.

Larnaca Beaches

There are many beautiful beaches around the island, check out our travel section to find ways to get to them. In Larnaca try Mackenzie Beach which is by the end of the runway at Larnaca airport. Sounds dreadful but is actually interesting and a pleasant place for an afternoons swimming, completely off the road, with a palm tree lined promenade of restaurants on the beach itself. Water sports, sun beds and umbrellas are available for hire. There is also the CTO (Cyprus Tourism Organisation) beach in the middle of Larnaca Bay on the Dhekelia road. There is a restaurant, showers and changing rooms, children's playground, volleyball, umbrellas and all the paraphernalia one would expect from a professional beach. There is a bus, usually hourly until about 5pm which runs along the Dhekelia road. A nice beach for kids with a couple of interesting rock pools.



Larnaca Fountain by the marina
Click to enlarge


Plateia Kalogreon
24 630169 Monday - Friday 07.30-14.30
Thursday 15.00-18.00 (except July and August)

Interesting collection of finds from the Larnaca area dating from the Neolithic Age to the Roman period.

 Larnaca museum guide        Inside the Larnaca Museum


24 651345, 24 652495               Zenon Kiteos 4
Monday - Friday 09.00-13.00 15.00-18.00 Saturday 09.00-13.00 Sunday 10.00-13.00

Remarkable private collection of Cypriot antiquities, originally collected by Demetrios Pieridis (1811-1895), and further enriched by members of his family.

         Pierides museum Larnaca Cyprus - in the town of Larnaka, Cyprus


Larnaca seafront
Monday - Friday 07.30-14.30 Thursday 15.00-18.00 (except July and August)

Built in 1625, it was used as a prison in the first years of British rule. It houses the District Mediaeval Museum. The fort is also used as the Larnaca Municipal Cultural Centre during the summer.

 fort entrance, the gateway on Larnaca seafront 
 The fort walls in larnaka Cyprus The fort garden in Larnaca The guns at larnaca fort
   Click these images to enlarge

larnaca castle - or fort       The fort arches in Larnaca Cyprus


   Approximately 500 m. north-east of the Archaeological Museum
Monday - Saturday: 07.30-14.30 Thursday: 15.00-18.00 (except July and August)

One of the most important ancient city-kingdoms, with archaeological remains dating back to the 13th century BC. In about 1200 BC it was rebuilt by the Mycenaean Greeks, and excavations have revealed cyclopean walls made of giant blocks of stone, and a complex of five temples. Beautiful blue glass, pottery pipes, marble toilet seat and terra cotta under floor heating pipes are just a few of the things local people have found whilst digging their gardens in this area.



40 km from Larnaca, 2,5 km off the Lefkosia - Lemesos road.

Tenta, one of the most important Neolithic settlements in Cyprus lies near the village of Kalavasos.



8 km from Skarinou, off the Lefkosia - Lemesos road, 40 km from Larnaca.

A picturesque village, famous for its local lace known as ‘Lekfaritika’ and for its silverware. According to tradition, Leonardo Da Vinci visited the village and bought an alter cloth, which he donated to the Milan cathedral. The beautiful House of Patsalos houses the Lace and Silverware Museum of Lefkara. The church of Archangelos Mikhail in Kato Lefkara is is of the single aisled domed type and has wall paintings of the late 12th century. At Pano Lefkara there is the church of the Holy Cross with a beautiful 18th century iconstasis and a unique 13th century silver cross. A religious fair takes place on the 13th-14th September, in celebration of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

 Lefkara courtyard garden

Larnaka Salt Lake

You will see the salt lake if you fly into Larnaca Airport. Look to your left on your drive into Larnaca town. In years gone by this was a productive business enterprise. Donkeys transported the salt from the lake where it was stored in huge piles. In the winter, the lake fills with water and is visited by many birds including flamingos, which are a familiar sight in the winter.
Rumour has it that a plane landed there about 30 years ago and then sank slowly into the mud. If you take a walk across it in the noonday sun in the height of summer, this is not hard to believe, as the mud is still moist under the crisp salty coating.

The salt lake a few years ago.     Larnaca Salt lake     click to enlarge               


Kiti village, 10 km west of Larnaca airport.

Angeloktisti means ‘Built by the Angels’. This 11th century Byzantine church was erected over the ruins of an Earlier Christian basilica. The original aspe has survived, together with one of the finest pieces of Byzantine artto be seen in this area, a rare 6th century mosaic of the Virgin Mary and Child between the two archangels, which allegedly rivals even the Ravenna Mosaics.

 The church of Angeloktisti in Kiti near Larnaka in Cyprus


Tel: 24 430877      Pyrga village, 35 km south of Lefkosia/Nicosia, 32 km from Larnaca. Any reasonable hour. Key available from the coffee shop near the chapel.

Built by the Lusignan King Janus in 1421, it contains a wall painting of the king with his wife, Charlotte de Bourbon, It is considered one of the most interesting structures surviving from the Frankish Period.



 The monastery at Stavrovouni in Cyprus 9 km off the Lefkosia - Limassol road, 40 km from Larnaca

Perched on a rocky peak, Stavrovouni means ‘Mountain of the Cross’. According to tradition it was founded in the 4th century by Saint Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, who left a fragment of the Holy Cross to the monastery. The brotherhood is extremely devout, keeping vows as strict as those of the Mount Athos brotherhood in Greece. Women are not allowed in the monastery, though men may visit daily from sunrise to sunset, except from 12.00 - 13.00 (15.00 in summer), on Green Monday and the following day.



Khirokitia an ancient settlement near Larnaca in Cyprus 
click to enlarge
48 km south of Lefkosia/Nicosia, off the Lefkosia/Nicosia, - Lemessos/Limassol road and 32 km from Larnaca.
Monday - Friday 07.30-17.00 Saturday - Sunday 09.00-17.00 
Tel:22 302189

Neolithic settlement dated to 7000 BC. Excavations have brought to light one of the most important Neolithic cultures in the world with a defence wall, circular houses, tombs and many stone utensils. The Visitors’ Centre at the entrance of the site presents an impressive full-size replica of the Neolithic settlement. Well worth a visit.



Hala Sultan Tekke

This is the fourth most important Muslim place of pilgrimage on the planet. This was the spot on which the aunt of the Prophet fell and broke her pellucid neck. Over the spot a huge stone hovers to mark the spot.    The stone itself is now supported by a couple of beams, just in case it should stop hovering.
     The front of a larnaca mosque   Larnaca Mosque       Tekke - A mosque on the shores of the salt lake Tekke


Near Lefkara which is off the Nicosia/Limassol highway.
Closed to visitors between 12.00-15.00 from Sunday to Friday and all day on Saturdays.

15th century monastery with a church at the centre of the cloisters. The nuns, besides performing their religious rites, are involved in icon painting.


Olive tree valley 
click to enlarge


Piateia Agiou Lazarou

Saint Lazarus is the patron saint of Larnaca. Kition became his second home after his resurrection by Christ, and he lived here for 30 years. He was ordained Bishop of Kition by saints Mark and Barnabas. In the 9th century a magnificent church was erected over his tomb by Emperor Leo VI. The church, one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture in Cyprus, was faithfully restored in the 17th century, Visitors can see the tomb of Saint Lazarus under the sanctuary and an ecclesiastical museum behind the church.

Eight days before the Greek Orthodox Easter the icon of Saint Lazarus is taken in procession through the streets of Larnaca.

Ayios Lazarus - a full view of the church of saint Lazarus in Larnaca   The interior of Ayios Lazarus church   The interior of Ayios Lazarus church in Larnaka, Cyprus   Ayios Lazaros arches - the design is predominantly arches   The Ayios Lazarus cloisters in Larnaca, Cyprus
Click to enlarge

To view the pics in this section, click on them and they will load as original sizes.

To see a collection of old photo's of Larnaca,
click old Larnaca here

To see new Larnaca Photo's Click here for the Cyprus picture gallery


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goats + sheep in Cyprus

Zeno of Kition - philosopher snd founder of the stoic school of philisophy


Famous son of Larnaca

Zenon of Kitium The philosopher from Larnaca

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