Larnaca: my paradise hometown on the island of Cyprus

By Popi Papazoglou, a Travel Professional

Read more on Larnaca.

Overall rating:4.5 out of 5 (based on 4 votes)
Enjoyable
4.5
4.5
Useful
4.5
4.5
Inspirational
4.25
4.3
Recommended for:
Beach, Short Break, Winter Sun, Mid-range

If you fancy a sun-blessed spot in the middle of winter, where there is lots to see and do, look no further than Larnaca, situated on the south-east coast of Cyprus

My beautiful paradise as I call it, Larnaca combines the mysticism of the old era and the freshness of modern life.

Miles upon miles of clean, safe beaches make the whole area a paradise for water lovers. If you enjoy sports, then Larnaca is your heaven!

Smell the jasmine and the wild thyme. Taste one of the oldest wines of the world (koumandaria) Play a round of golf, go cycling or hiking.

Take a dip in the warm crystal waters in March or take a (boat trip) to Protaras or Ayia Napa. Wonder at Byzantine Churches and ancient artefacts thousands of years ago. Feel at one with nature, or dance the night away. Look beyond sun and sea, a region that will amaze you with its diversity and genuine hospitality of its people. There is a surprise in every corner, waiting for you to explorediscover and enjoy. Experience it all! Welcome to my paradise.

Unbeatable Beaches

I am Cypriot, have my own house here, but have been living in Greece the last 35 years. This however, does not stop me from staying in hotels when on the Island. I try to split the days on different beaches because each one is unique. Personally I prefer Yannathes beach which is the longest. Don’t be surprised to see people walking and jogging at 5.30 in the morning in summer! This is what I do during my holidays too. The unique place to come if scuba diving and snorkelling interests you, since there are awesome Mediterranean reefs waiting to be explored.  Excellent windsurfing conditions, jet ski, and a water sport centre. A beautiful designed foot path surrounded by flowers and trees makes this beach ideal not just for swimming but also for a romantic midnight stroll, - one of my favourites.

Finikoudes Seafront in the heart of Larnaca with endless rows of sun beds on the beautiful beach, so well-placed, for access to various popular entertainment venues on the main promenade, as well as being conveniently close to the marina and its regular pleasure boat trips

The McKenzie Beach (Blue Flag) lying on the outskirts of central Larnaca and close to both the top hotels and airport, - a stunning expanse of white sand, unique for an afternoon stroll or scuba diving, and renowned for its plentiful seafood restaurants.

Places of Interest

Salt Lake
It’s the first site of interest encountered upon arrival at Larnaca International Airport. 5 km west of Larnaca. From November to March it is home to flamingos.

Hala Sultan Tekke (649 A.D.)
Historic mosque on the central salt lake. Important place of Moslem pilgrimage ranking immediately after the shrines of Mecca. Entrance free.
Daily:07:30-19.30 June-August. 09:00-18:00 April-May & Sept-Oct.09:00-17:00

MUSEUMS: (8 in all  within walking distance in the centre) some of which are:-
Pierides Foundation Archaeological Museum:
The oldest private museum in Cyprus. Collections ranging from prehistoric times, Roman Era, Byzantine empires and Middle Ages. Tel: 357 24 814 555. Address: Zinonos Kitieos 4.
Open: Monday-Thursday from 9:00 – 16:00, Friday to Saturday 09:00 – 13.00

Byzantine Museum of Agios Lazarus.(10th century)
Tel: 357 24 652 498. Open: Monday-Saturday 08:30 -12:30, 15:00 -17:30 Wednesday and Saturday afternoon: closed. The resurrected friend of Jesus. St. Lazarus escaped here and became the first Bishop.
The Museum of Paleontology (colonial building) tel. 24 629333 found at Europe Square opposite the Marina.

Where to Eat and Drink

Lysia Restaurant: Telephone 24 644588

Traditional Cypriot Restaurant where I usually dine is just a few minutes walk from the Golden Bay Hotel. Two brothers (refugees since 1974) from the village of Lysi run the business. The two brothers speak English well, and with a smile on their face are ready to recommend the best for you. Try their “ofto kleftiko, which costs 11 euros. Another alternative is to ask for (Meze) for 16 euros. Cypriot specialities like – koupepia or dolmadakia, keftedes (meatballs) challoumi,  (cypriot cheese) snails, salad, kleftiko, afelia, and souvla,  (meat on the spit) plus many more are included.
carafe of Cypriot wine here costs 8.5 euros, and you will surely be served a home-made dessert free of charge before you leave. 
 

"Militzis Restaurant" Telephone 24 655867.
Another favourite of mine when in the centre (found near the Old Fort - 42 Piale Pascha Street.
I consider it to be the cheapest descent, and most popular place in the area, both for Cypriots like me, but for tourists as well. Excellent service.
Cypriots usually come after 9 pm, but especially on Sundays the place is full to bursting. Its lovely terrace viewing the sea and the scent coming from the flowers in the garden makes the spot very romantic.
Here I usually have "Tavas"  for 10 euros, and I recommend it to you, - a mixture of beef and lamb cooked very slowly in traditional ovens, which can be seen at the side of the Restaurant. 
Meze here costs 13.50 euros. Only wine in bottles. No carafes. The price starts from 9 euros to 25. Try KEO Beer for just 3 euros. The Restaurant is open for lunch as well.

Where to Stay

We spent seven unforgettable days at the 5* Golden Bay Beach Hotel Larnaca (Dekelia Area). This resort amazed us with its excellent service from the first moment. We loved its rich menus. It was just me and my husband, celebrating an anniversary,  and because I am a guide writer I am keen on having other peoples' opinion. I heard of nothing negative in the seven days of our stay. The hotel is ideal for families with both young and much older children. I consider it one of the best locations for exercising. It has a Jaccuzi, a gym room, as well as a nice swimming pool, on beautiful grounds. What I love most however, is the opportunity it gives to people who love sports. (I walk on this long beach for 4 kilometres towards Larnaca, and then return  which gives me 8 kms of walking every morning). I do the same in the afternoon, but this time I walked at the pedestrian walkway at the entrance  of the hotel.  

Livadhiotis City Hotel 3 (St.Lazarus Square) – 10 minutes from the Airport100 metres from Finikoudes Beach. ( Another favourite). It is my first choice if I need to spend some days in the city and do some sightseeingEverything is within a walking distance. Even the fruit market is just around the corner. Many kebab kiosks for a quick snack, excellent cafes, pubs and souvenir shops.

St. Lazarus Church is just opposite the hotel. The reception staff are always ready to help, very polite and you feel the Cypriot hospitality  the moment you step in this hotel. There is no need to rent a car if you stay in the city.

Tips

Free Internet Access:
Hobos Steak House and Café: (Finikoudes Promenade) Telephone 24 815795. The first thing I need upon coming to Larnaca is a place where I have free Internet access.. Sit for as long as you wish. Nobody will ask you to leave. I always come here to write and usually have some orange juice or coke. I have never tried this restaurant's menu, but I have heard from friends that the food is reasonably priced, and it is popular for its stakes. Next door there is an arcade room and there are also a couple of rides for the little ones to enjoy. Keep the receipt  and the next time you go there, show it to get a disount. It is a very popular meeting spot for all ages.

TRANSPORT: http://www.toandfromtheairport.com/cyprus.html

How to get here

My flight was with Aegean airlines, for just 75 euros. http://el.aegeanair.com/
Other companies who fly to Larnaca include: easyJet: http://www.easyjet.com/asp/en/book/index.asp?lang=en and Olympic Airlines: http://www.olympicair.com/Home.aspx?a_id=549

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More information on Larnaca: my paradise hometown on the island of Cyprus:

Author:
Popi Papazoglou
Traveller type:
Travel Professional
Guide rating:
4.5
Average: 4.5 (4 votes)
Total views:
583
First uploaded:
17 February 2010
Last updated:
3 years 14 weeks 2 days 1 hour 18 min 37 sec ago
Destinations featured:
Trip types:
Beach, Short Break, Winter Sun
Budget level:
Mid-range

Popi recommends

Hotels

Price from Rating
(out of 5)
1. Livadhiotis City Hotel
3.9
2. Golden Bay Beach Hotel Larnaca
£44
N/A

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Community comments (7)

Rating:
5
0 of 0 people found the following comment helpful.

As a first time viewer here I think this guide is exceptional, it was very enjoyable and provided a lot of informatin. I had never thought of visiting Larnaca but after viewing this guide it has given me something to think about. It provided information I was not aware of nor had ever even considered. It is now under consideration. I think this might very well be a great place to visit.

Thank You

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Rating:
5
0 of 0 people found the following comment helpful.

Thanks Popi,
your guide seems so helpful!We are actually flying there next week.
The guide seems very informative and inspiring. Larnaca seems to be what we are looking for right now with both
places of interest, and beautiful sandy beaches.Do write more about Cyprus.

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Rating:
5
0 of 0 people found the following comment helpful.

Exactly what I needed. I'm dreaming of Greece and badly need some sun-roasting after this terribly cold winter.

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Rating:
3
0 of 0 people found the following comment helpful.

Popi, I have published this guide unedited as your passion about Larnaca shines through but it still needs quite a bit of work. I have corrected your spelling in a few places but please can you make sure that all of your text is in full sentences - especially in your restaurant recommendations. It would be great if you could tell us more about each restaurant too. Please do tidy this up as it is full of tips and recommendations and, if it was less disjointed, it would be a useful guide and a great addition to the site. Thanks.

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Cathy hi,
It is my first attempt writing for "Simonseeks" and the thought that I had to keep the guide short made me write like this. If you think I should omit a tip, feel free to delete it.
The 2nd guide will be much better I am sure.
Thanks again
Popi

Thanks Popi. I look forward to reading your next guide. These tips: http://www.simonseeks.com/travel-writing-tips will help you to tailor your writing for the site.

Is it better now Cathy? I am still waiting to see if I am allowed to put the info in the e mail I sent much earlier for my profile. Please let me know. Thanks.