35 interesting sights in Larnaca
Planning your next vacation to Cyprus, it is necessary to pay attention to such a tourist destination as the city of Larnaca. The resort is famous for its numerous historical and cultural attractions and beautiful memorable places.
Top 10 sights worth seeing in Larnaca
To travel to Cyprus with maximum benefit, you need to make a plan of excursions in advance. It will help to determine what of the sights to see in Larnaca in the first place, and what to leave for the end of the vacation. In order to better navigate in the city, you must buy a map of Larnaca in Russian and note all the interesting places for independent inspection.
Larnaca Medieval Castle and Fort
Between Finikoudes promenade and the old Turkish quarter and near the water is the city’s medieval castle, built during the reign of the Lusignans. In 1605 it was restored by the Ottoman rulers.
In the courtyard of the fort, where the knights of the Middle Ages were buried, there are several tombstones. Nearby are ancient cannons pointing in the direction of the sea. Visitors can climb the ramparts and see the room where the British colonizers executed their enemies. This place can be viewed on its own.
Walking along the Finicudes promenade you can reach the Larnaca Fort, which was built in the 14th century to protect the city from pirate raids from the sea. Inside the fortress you will find a history museum with numerous exhibits of Christian and Byzantine artifacts dating from the 4th -16th centuries.
The inner walls of the fortress are decorated with ancient frescoes by Byzantine artists of the XI-XVI centuries, and the halls contain ancient weapons, military uniforms, furniture and other household items of the inhabitants of the fort. The museum is open weekdays from 9:00 to 19:30. The ticket price is 2 euros.
The sunken ferry Zenobia
Divers from all over the world come to Larnaca to dive on the seabed and see the Swedish cargo ferry which sank near the city coast in 1980.
The cargo scattered on the seabed and the cluster of exotic fish attracts many diving enthusiasts. The tour routes allow divers, depending on their level of training, to see the many decks, cabins and rooms of the wreck.
Ancient City of Kition
Larnaca occupies most of the ancient kingdom of Kition, which is said to have been founded in 1200 BC by the great grandson of the Biblical character Noah. About 1 km from the central part of the city and near the airport runway you can see its ancient remains. For tourists the most interesting are the ruins of the 5 temples from the 13th century BC and the frescoes on the walls of the ancient port, depicting ships.
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Church of St. Lazarus
The main attraction is the Cathedral of St. Lazarus of Bethany, which was built in the 9th century and is an architectural ensemble of the time of the Byzantine emperors. The church building was completely renovated in the 17th century.
Inside the bell tower, which was rebuilt after the Turkish raids, you can see several elements of Catholic wood carvings and Orthodox icons with gilding. The temple holds the relics of St. Lazarus, whom Jesus resurrected four days after his death. To touch this shrine, believers from all over the world come to Larnaca, Cyprus, every year.
Church of Agnia Phaneromeni
This Christian cathedral is located in the center of the resort town on Faneromeni Avenue. There used to be an ancient stone tomb on this site, which was used as a secret hiding place by persecuted Christians.
There are 2 temples on the territory of the church. The first one was erected 200 years ago and the second one in 2006. The city authorities built another church building so that all Christians could come here for the afternoon and evening services conducted by the orthodox priest.
Address: Faneromenis , Larnaca 8041, Cyprus
The Archaeological Museum
Larnaca Museum of Archaeology consists of just 1 room with a large collection of ancient pottery from different ages. Its main exhibits are the skeletons that were found by archaeologists in Choirokoitia and the terracotta statues found at the site of ancient Kition.
Address: Kalogairon Square, Larnaca, Cyprus (ticket price € 2.50)
Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque
Next to the city’s salt lake stands the fourth Islamic shrine, the Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque, which was built on the burial site of Umm Haram, the Cypriot woman who raised the Prophet Mohammed. Not far from the mosque building are the remains of an ancient Greek city built during the Bronze Age.
Around the mosque there is the Pasha’s Garden with steps leading down to the shore of the lake. In this mosque services are held twice a year on feast days and everyone can attend them. The whole temple complex consists of a stone mosque, a small minaret, a cemetery where the clergy rests, a garden with a large fountain and several ascetic cells. Guide services cost from 8 to 12 euros.
The path of Aphrodite and the salt lake
In order for tourists to be able to see as many interesting places in Larnaca, a special excursion route was created under the name “Aphrodite’s Path”, which is about 5 km long.
Flamingos can only be seen in winter.
It passes near the salt lake, where in autumn and winter you can see large flocks of flamingos walking around the water. There are black swans and herons and tourists from all over the world come to Larnaca especially to take pictures of these birds, to admire the city from the observation deck and to see the ancient water system of Kamares.
Kyriazis Medical Museum
On Wednesdays and Saturdays from 09:00 to 12:00 there is the Medical Museum in Larnaca which has a variety of documents and medical equipment from different ages. These exhibits tell visitors the history of medical development in Cyprus from ancient times to the present day. The cost of the tour is from 5 to 8 Euros on weekdays.
This aqueduct was built in 1747 and was the only water pipe system that provided the population with water until 1939. It is a complex, arched construction, 10 km long, built over the numerous cliffs and ravines of the city.
Only a small part of the aqueduct (300 m) has survived, which can be seen near the main road leading from Larnaca to Limassol. This structure was built from the stones of ancient Kition and now is not working, but at night it is illuminated, so everyone can make memorable photos.
What you can see in Larnaca on your own
Some attractions in Larnaca can be seen on their own, going on a hike or renting a car.
This promenade is a landmark of the city, so Larnaca authorities monitor its condition and cleanliness. The promenade got its name due to the large number of date palms that grow along its length and are its main decoration.
Museum Complex Mouseio Theasis
This complex is located in the center of the city, and on its territory there are several museums of different thematic areas. The owl museum has a private collection of 6,000 birds in the form of stuffed animals, ornaments and household items.
In the Byzantine Museum, which is located on the territory of the complex, there are paintings depicting various biblical scenes. Exhibitions of local artists and photographers, music evenings and master classes are often held here.
Address: Louki Akrita 8
Church of Panagia Chrysopolitissa
The current church was built in the 18th century on the site of an older temple. It can be reached on foot from the Ermu Square or the Finikoudes promenade in about 20 minutes. It impresses tourists with its majestic colonnades running along its long galleries and its large bell tower.
The name of the church translates as “Our Lady of the Golden City” and it lives up to it, as all the interior decoration is made of silver and gold. The iconostasis of the church is carved from expensive wood and covered with gilding.
Larnaca Municipal Park
The city park is located in the center of the resort near Europe Square. On its territory there are several playgrounds, an outdoor amphitheater, a city library, a theater building, a museum of natural history and a small zoological garden, which is home to guinea pigs, peacocks and other animals. Walking around the park, tourists can visit many interesting places in the city and get acquainted with its cultural heritage.
Art Gallery and the Square of Europe
Europe Square is a monument of architecture. There are buildings erected in 1881 by the British for civil servants. On the square there is a bust of Zenon, the philosopher of Larnaca. In the center of the square there is a big fountain, which starts working only in the evening.
Not far from the square there is an art gallery, situated in 5 stone buildings of colonialism era architecture. In three of them are exhibited works of art by Cypriot artists. Various international art exhibitions are regularly held in the other buildings.
Larnaca visitors who want to relax away from the noise of the city prefer McKenzie Beach, referred to as the “airplane beach”. It gets this name because it is located near Larnaca, almost right next to the fence of the city airport. The coastline is about 1 km long. You can get here by car or take any public transport.
Larnaca Marina is a seaport that has become a city landmark thanks to the many private yachts and other maritime vessels that moor here in early fall. Many of them, returning from a cruise on the Red Sea, choose the Marina to repair their gear and earn money by riding the sea to numerous tourists.
Larnaca sightseeing map
Interesting places in the vicinity
In the Cypriot city of Larnaca, the sights are mainly in its surroundings. The most interesting places are:
Church of Angeloktisti (village of Kiti). In this temple there are the oldest icons of different Christian saints, and the walls are decorated with ancient mosaics depicting the Virgin Mary, holding in her arms the little Jesus Christ.
Near the temple grows a small garden, where you can relax on a bench and admire the work of Byzantine architects.
How to get there on your own. Take buses 417 and 419 from the central bus stop to the village of Kiti.
The schedule can be found at www.cyprusbybus.com.
The village Lefkara. The most beautiful village of Cyprus, Lefkara, which translates as “white hills”, is located in the Troodos mountains, 50 km from the resort.
It got this name because of the white lime stone, which was used for the construction of residential two-storey houses. But most of all this village is famous for its lace, which is woven by local craftswomen.
The monastery of Stavrovuni . In the IV century, on a high mountain, the mother of Emperor Constantine, Helena the Equal Apostle, built a monastery and donated to it a fragment of the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified. Twenty-five monks live and work in this active monastery. Women are not allowed to enter, but men can come on weekdays (admission €6).
Choiroquitia . This ancient city, which was located in the Maroni Valley, was built in the 7th to 4th centuries BC. In 1930 it was found by archaeologists and in 1998 became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The ruins of the round white stone houses have been restored and the settlement has now acquired the status of a museum. It is open on weekdays (admission 2.5 euros).
Maheras Monastery . This ancient monastery is located high up in the mountains about 60 km from Larnaca.
It is visited not only by tourists but also by pilgrims from all over the world to touch the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary. This icon was found on the site of the construction of the monastery. On its territory there are many craft workshops, as well as a Christian school and a medical clinic.
Monastery of St. Marina. In the village of Xylotimbu there is a convent built in the XIV century. In front of the arched entrance to the convent there are 2 large stone lions. Behind the walls there is a high stone building, built of grey stone. On the territory of this active monastery many modern buildings of religious and economic purpose are constructed. Several nuns who live there work in the monastery.
Address: Agios Marina Monastery, Xylotimbou, Larnaca, Cyprus
The Monastery of St. Thecla. In 1471 the Monastery of St. Thecla was built between Larnaca and Limassol in honor of the first disciple of the Apostle Peter.
20 Sights of Larnaca Worth Seeing
Today we will talk about the city of Larnaca (Cyprus), the sights of this place are hardly familiar to a wide range of travelers, and in vain, because there is definitely something to see!
Larnaca is a beautiful city on the coast of Cyprus, known for its traditional Mediterranean beaches, cosmopolitan atmosphere and spirit of absolute tranquility. For a more productive vacation we suggest you to read our list of the best attractions of this resort.
St. Lazarus Cathedral
The Cathedral of St. Lazarus.
This ninth-century church was built in honor of Lazarus of Bethany, whom Jesus resurrected four days after his death. The church itself is a stunning example of Byzantine architecture. When it was restored in the 17th century, elements of Latin and Orthodox architecture were added to the building.
Especially it was reflected in the bell tower, which was restored after being completely destroyed by the Ottomans. Inside you can admire the unique Catholic woodcarvings and the beautiful orthodox icon painting with gilding.
Address: Church of Saint Lazarus, Larnaca, Cyprus.
Cargo Vessel Zenobia
Cargo ship Zenobia.| Photo: Zdzislaw Sabat / Flickr.
Divers come to Larnaca to explore the Zenobia, a Swedish freighter that sank off the coast of Larnaca in 1980. The Zenobia is considered one of the top five diving locations in the world. The cargo the ship carried is scattered across the seabed and looks like part of a real underwater city.
Different routes are offered for divers through the ship’s decks and halls, which vary depending on their diving experience. Another reason to dive in these waters is the huge variety of fish that make exploring the ship even brighter and more interesting.
Address: MS Zenobia Wreck, Bay, Larnaca, Cyprus.
Pierides Archaeological Foundation
Pierides Archaeological Foundation.
This museum was founded in 1839 by Demetrios Pyerides as a response to the activities of tomb raiders in the region and the illegal sale of precious artifacts of the area. The collection, continually added to by Perides’ descendants, is housed in the family mansion built in 1825.
It displays artifacts from all over the island with detailed explanations in English. Although the museum is not huge in size, there are some stunningly rare exhibits.
All the pieces are displayed in chronological order, so that visitors to the museum can clearly visualize the rich history of Cyprus.
Address: Pierides Archaeological Foundation, Zinonos Kitieos 4, Larnaca 6023, Cyprus.
Makenzie Beach. | Photo: Sergey Galyonkin / Flickr.
Larnaca’s most popular beach has all the amenities you need for a great day in the sun, including a variety of cafes and waterfront restaurants.
The beach is located about 2 km south of the central city at Piyale Pasha promenade. The serenity of a sun lounger might only be disturbed by the nearby airport taking off.
Address: Mackenzie Beach, Cyprus.
Byzantine Museum of St Lazarus Church
Byzantine Museum of St Lazarus Church.
This museum is located in the courtyard of the Agios Lazaros complex and originally housed many priceless relics and artifacts. Unfortunately, most of the collection was leased to the Archaeological Museum of Lemesos in the 1960s after a wave of sectarian violence resulted in the looting of the museum.
Address: Byzantine Museum of St Lazarus Church, Larnaca, Cyprus.
Old Turkish Quarter of the Rock
Old Turkish Quarter of the Rock.
Strolling through the streets of the old Turkish quarter of Skala is a glimpse of what ancient Cyprus looked like. This quaint neighborhood is a watercolor-worthy landscape of squat cottages with peeling whitewash, colored shutters on the windows, and doorways dotted with flower pots.
Road signs here are still written in Turkish, reminding us of a time when the community had a mixed ethnic composition (until 1974). Today, the neighborhood is being revived thanks to pottery workshops, which gives the area a special bohemian look.
Address: Old Turkish Rock Quarter, Larnaca, Cyprus.
Kamares Aqueduct | Photo: wikimedia.
This impressive aqueduct, built in 1746 on the outskirts of the city, provided Larnaca with water until the 1930s. It was built by order of the local Ottoman governor on the model of the aqueducts of Roman times and was part of a complex water system, which also included a network of tunnels to bring water to the city.
The 33 stone arches that still stand on the green fields are a truly impressive sight. The arches are illuminated in the evening and you can see sheep grazing in the fields between them during the day.
Address: Kamares Aqueduct, Larisis Van Ntaik, Larnaca, Cyprus.
The Great Mosque (Jami Kebir Mosque)
The Great Mosque (Jami Kebir Mosque).
The Great Mosque, located at the beginning of the Turkish quarter of Larnaca, is the spiritual center of the city’s Muslim community. In 1974 the local Turkish community broke up, so now the mosque mainly serves as a religious gathering place for Muslims from North Africa.
The Great Mosque was built in the 16th century as the Latin Church of the Holy Cross and did not gain its usual appearance until the Ottoman Empire. Its present appearance is the result of a 19th-century restoration. In front of it there is a small cemetery with tombstones in Gothic style.
Address: Djami Kebir Mosque, Larnaca, Cyprus.
Medieval Castle-Museum of Medieval Larnaca (Fort Larnaca)
Medieval castle-museum Medieval Larnaca (Fort Larnaca).
Built during the Lusignan era, the fort stands by the water and separates the Finicudes promenade from the old Turkish quarter. Its present form is the result of an Ottoman restoration that took place around 1605.
In the courtyard you can see some medieval tombstones and old cannons, if you wish you can also climb part of the ramparts. The room on the right of the entrance was where the British executed prisoners and criminals during their rule over Cyprus.
Address: The Medieval Castle of Larnaka, Larnaca Fort, Piale Pasa, Larnaca, Cyprus.
Larnaca Archaeological Museum
Larnaca Archaeological Museum. | Photo: orientalizing / Flickr.
The one-room Larnaca Archaeological Museum has a decent collection of ceramics from nearby regions. The main exhibits in the collection are the skeletons found in Choirokoitia and the terracotta figures from Ancient Kition.
Address: Larnaca Archaeological Museum, Larnaca, Cyprus.
Ancient City of Kition
Ancient City of Kition | Photo: orientalizing / Flickr.
Much of the original city-kingdom of Kition is occupied by modern Larnaca. Rare remains of the old city can be found about 1 km northwest of the central city. The remains of the once cyclopean walls are scattered near the airstrip.
Most notable are the ruins of five temples (from the 13th century BC) and images of ships engraved on the walls of the nearby ancient port. The latter prove the fact that the city was founded by merchants from Mycenae.
Address: Ancient Kition, Archiepiskopou Kyprianou, Larnaca, Cyprus.
Kiriasis Medical Museum
Kiriasis Medical Museum | Photo: wikimedia.
If you find yourself in Larnaca on a Wednesday or Saturday and you have a passion for medicine (well, or you just like unusual museums), you should definitely go here.
This magnificent old mansion houses a wealth of documents, equipment and medical paraphernalia of all kinds that tell the story of how medical care was established and developed in Cyprus from antiquity to the modern age.
Address: Kyriazis Medical Museum, Larnaca, Cyprus.
The Monastery of Stavrovouni
Men’s Monastery of Stavrouni. | Photo: wikimedia.
Stavrovouni Monastery is located west of Larnaca on top of a rocky cliff and offers superb panoramic views of the surrounding area. Stavrovouni was founded in 327 AD by Empress Helen (mother of Emperor Constantine) and the whole area has long played an important role in local religious practices and during the Greco-Roman period there was even a temple built in honor of Aphrodite.
During the Arab invasions of the 15th century, the monastery was burned to the ground and the current building dates from the 19th century. Keep in mind that women are not allowed to enter this monastery, although they are free to explore the surrounding area and visit the Church of All Saints, which is just outside the complex.
Male visitors, on the other hand, are free to wander around the monastery and explore its interiors with icons. To get here you need your own transport.
Address: Stavrovouni Monastery, Larnaca, Cyprus.
Municipal Museum of Natural History
Municipal Museum of Natural History.
This museum is excellent for an introduction to the natural history of the island as it is full of diverse exhibits on the fauna, flora, geology, insects and marine life of Cyprus.
Located within the Municipal Gardens, it regularly attracts school groups and crowds of children who can watch pelicans, flamingos, peacocks and caged peacocks outside the museum. There is also a small playground in the garden.
Address: Municipal Museum of Natural History, Larnaca, Cyprus.
Municipal Art Gallery
Municipal Art Gallery.
This small gallery consists of five colonial style stone warehouses built by the British in 1881. Three of them display contemporary art from local artists. The buildings are also used for international exhibitions.
Address: Larnaca Municipal Art Gallery, Larnaca, Cyprus
Port of Larnaca
Port of Larnaca.
Larnaca Marina is a truly beautiful and serene place. Many locals and avid travelers talk about the stray cats that roam freely around the island. These cats are friendly enough and add a certain charm to the harbor.
The view of the rippling water as the sun goes down makes it ideal for a leisurely stroll on warm evenings. The marina will be the best place to end a perfect day.
Address: Larnaca Marina, Larnaca, Cyprus
This clean and fairly shallow beach is very popular with tourists, although it is hard to call it beautiful. Sun loungers and umbrellas can be rented for 2-3 euros, and along the whole beach strip is full of cozy kiosks and cafes.
Address: Finikoudes Beach, Larnaca, Cyprus.
Pano Lefkara Village
Pano Lefkara Village.
The village of Lefkara, west of Larnaca, is famous for its lace. In this lovely village you can find well preserved old mansions, quaint cafes and lots of lace stores, where local women create unique handmade creations.
Lefkara’s lace became famous because of a local legend, according to which Leonardo da Vinci himself bought lace here in 1481 for use as an altarpiece in Milan’s cathedral. Almost all of the village’s winding alleys lead to the local Lefkara Museum, where you can see dioramas of traditional local life and learn about the history of this extraordinary place.
Then you can walk to the Church of the Archangel Michael, where rare icons of the XII century are preserved. The village is difficult to reach by public transport, so it’s better to rent a car or order a cab.
Address: Lefkara, Cyprus.
Cape Cavo Greco
Cape Kavo Greco | Photo: Xavi / Flickr.
If you don’t know what to see in Larnaca, head to Cape Greco, nestled between Ayia Napa and Protaras town. It offers one of the most spectacular panoramas in the whole island and has unequivocally the most beautiful coastal path for walks. This promontory is the southernmost point of Cyprus, and its famous trail runs through the cliffs right to the southern tip of the island.
The area of the cape is a national park with viewing platforms with comfortable benches – on them you can relax and admire the magnificent views. The coastal path starts in the center of Ayia Napa.
To get to the trail, you need to get off at Criu Nerou Street and walk south. The whole way takes about three and a half hours. In addition to the coastal trail, flora lovers may want to explore other hiking trails that depart from the main road – there are many wild orchids growing along them in spring.
Address: Cape Kavo Greco, Protaras, Cyprus.
Protaras Resort | Photo: Lefteris Katsouromallis / Flickr.
Protaras is one of the best seaside resorts in Cyprus for families. Local beaches with white sand and shallow calm water are ideal for swimming and recreation for children. Especially worth checking out the bay of Fig Tree. The town itself has a relaxed atmosphere, so most people who come here prefer a lazy beach vacation.
There is also a small church of Ayios Elias, which stands on top of a hill next to the main road into town. There is a great view of the whole coast from this peak. Keep in mind that you have to go up there on foot, so calculate your strength in advance.
It only takes 20 minutes by bus to Protaras from Ayia Napa, so you can easily take a bus from Larnaca to Ayia Napa, then to Protaras and return the same way the next day.