A Coastal City for Your Ease
Larnaca: A Coastal City for Your Ease
Larnaca, the third-largest city in Cyprus, is a coastal city in southern Cyprus, that offers visitors a laid-back and relaxing atmosphere. Larnaca is situated on Larnaka Bay and has been an important port since antiquity. Larnaca is known for its natural beauty as well as its fantastic climate; it’s no wonder Larnaca attracts so many tourists each year. Larnaca is also home to Larnaka Castle, one of the most recognizable landmarks in Cyprus.
Larnaca’s coastline provides a number of beaches that are perfect for relaxing and sunbathing all day long; Mackenzie Beach is considered by many as being one of the best beaches on Larnaca Bay. If you’re looking for something more than just a beach vacation, Larnaca offers plenty from horseback riding and windsurfing to relaxing sailing cruises, there really isn’t anything this city doesn’t have! The historic town center complements Larnaca with its shops and restaurants while providing an authentic Cypriot experience.
During your stay at Larnaca, you’re bound to be enticed by Larnaca’s charms.
A Brief Historical Overview of Larnaca, Cyprus
Larnaca is one of the oldest cities on the island. Larnaca’s location made it an excellent port town, which led to its importance as well as its wealth over time. There are many historical sites that have been preserved or excavated from this area because of their significance and relevance to Larnaka’s history.
Larnaka is a city that was first established in the Bronze Age. It has had a rich and diverse history, with many cultures occupying its lands at different periods of time. The town’s history can be traced back to antiquity when it was known as Kition.
Kition was originally founded by the Mycenaean Achaeans in the 13th century BC. It was then taken over by the Phoenicians in around 1000 BC.
The Phoenicians settled here and built a temple for their goddess Astarte, Goddess of Fertility related with the worship of Aphrodite – (the Greek goddess).
The kingdom of Kition had been under Egyptian rule for over a century, 570 to 545 BC when it was then conquered by the Persians. In 499 BC Cypriot kingdoms (including Kition) joined Ionia’s revolt against Persian. Worthy of mention that the Athenian general Cimon, who laid the siege to the Persian stronghold of Citium, died at sea in 450 BC, while militarily supporting the revolt against Persia’s rule over Cyprus. He urged his officers to conceal this all from both their allies and the Persians on his deathbed. Eventually, the Persian rule of Cyprus ended in 332 BC.
In 312 BC Ptolemy 1st Soter invaded Kition from his Egyptian colony known today as Alexandria and although Kition was conquered and destroyed it continued to be inhabited.
Following the geopolitical changes of the region, Kition was annexed by Rome in 58 BC. Evidence from Roman times suggests that the city was prosperous during their reign.
Earthquakes of 322 and 342 AD caused the destruction of Kition and other major cities, Salamis and Pafos. The harbor at Kition silted up making it impossible for ships to dock there anymore which forced the inhabitants to move southward.
Following the flow of history, the city of Larnaca fell under Byzantine rule. During this time the city enjoyed stability and prospered as they traded with the rest of medieval Europe. The Byzantines left behind many remains and monuments such as the Basilica of Saint Lazarus which was built by the Byzantine Emperor Leo VI.
Larnaca gained even more importance when the Lusignans arrived in Cyprus and it became a popular spot for both trade and pilgrimage, since the major port of the island at the time, Famagusta, was controlled by Genoa.
In 1571 Larnaca was conquered by Ottoman forces and it was established as the commercial and diplomatic center of The Island of Cyprus. The new port which was flourishing and became one of the major commercial hubs in the Eastern Mediterranean was located in a neighborhood called Scala. Larnaca, until today, is widely known and called Scala! During the Ottoman Rule Period, which lasted for three centuries, monuments such as the Hala Sultan Tekke mosque and Kamares Aqueduct, also known as the Bekir Pasha Aqueduct were built.
When Cyprus became a British protectorate in 1878, Larnaca served as the country’s main port until 1920 when the British built the port in Famagusta.
The Turkish invasion in 1974 led to another blooming period for Larnaca. The Island of Cyprus lost among others, popular tourist destinations, the main airport which was located in Nicosia, and the main port which was located in Famagusta. This has led to the construction of a new airport in the Larnaca area, located on the outskirts, and it is the island’s largest and main commercial airport. Furthermore, Larnaca’s port was vital to continuing trade in the area. Finally, Larnaca became an increasingly popular tourist destination for many tourists, who instead of visiting the occupied cities of Famagusta and Keryneia they chose Larnaca and other cities in Cyprus.
Larnaca Today: What You Should Know
Today, Larnaca remains an important port town and tourist destination with its ancient ruins, beautiful beaches, museums, and nightlife.
The center of Larnaca is a lively area, full of shops and restaurants. There are also plenty of bars where you can grab a drink or two before heading back to your hotel room.
Many of Larnaca’s impressive structures can be found inside the old town. The city is home to Larnaka Castle, one of Cyprus’ most iconic landmarks. There are also many historic buildings in Old Larnaca such as Saint Lazarus Basilica (built by Byzantine Emperor Leo VI) and Kamares Aqueduct (also known as Bekir Pasha Aqueduct).
Finikoudes, Larnaca’s seaside promenade is a great area to spend time in. You can take a stroll along the Larnaca coastline, watch street performers entertain people as they walk by, or just grab some food at one of the many restaurants and cafes located here.
Sea, Sun, Surf
Mackenzie is Larnaca’s most popular beach. it offers a range of dining and bar options for visitors as well as an airplane landing strip nearby that can’t be missed while you’re catching some sun! If windsurfing piques your interest then look no further as Mackenzie beach has become famous among experts who take advantage of excellent winds blowing off the shoreline into deep waters near dry land!
Finikoudes, which is right in the heart of town, comes second. The crystal-clear water is just a stone’s throw away from every amenity, and the beach itself is gorgeous.
Faros beach, located in Pervolia village in Larnaca area, is another top choice. Viewing the lighthouse and surrounding seas from afar is a serene experience. The white-washed structure, surrounded by glimmering blue water will make you feel as if you are in paradise. Many windsurfers and kite surfers come to this area because of the strong winds that make it excellent for their sport – but despite being known for them, there are still many available facilities on the beach itself like lifeguard posts & restrooms/showers.
CTO Beach offers a safe and authentic seaside experience. The water is warm, you can walk out for a long-distance before it gets up to your waist, and there are lifeguard posts, restrooms, and showers available on the beach itself. If you’re staying in nearby hotels with small kids then CTO would be an ideal choice since they offer all of these amenities right by the beach!
Larnaca is the perfect destination for a vacation
The island of Cyprus offers many attractions and activities to enjoy, including sandy beaches, ancient ruins, and beautiful scenery. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach holiday or an active adventure break, there’s something for everyone in Larnaca.