8 Best Things to Do in Larnaca, Cyprus
Larnaca is a port city, situated on the southern side of the island of Cyprus. It has a Blue Flag beach, a marina and a promenade lined with several bars, cafés and restaurants. The MS Zenobia shipwreck, just offshore, is popular with scuba divers. Shooting and other water sports are also catered for. The large salt lakes close to the city are home to 85 species of water birds and migrating flamingos. Ancient buildings, dating back as far as the 4th century, are dotted around the city. Varieties of Mediterranean cuisine can be enjoyed at the many restaurants. The island's international airport is near Larnaca.
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Mackenzie beach is one kilometer of flat beach sand. It was named after a Scotsman who set up a bar there after World War 2. It is sheltered from the wind, with a shallow entrance to the sea. The calm waters make it suitable for family outings. The beach has Blue Flag status and sunbeds and umbrellas are available for hire. Water sports are permitted in the area and jet skiers, water skiers and windsurfers make use of the surf. There is a shipwreck close by which makes scuba diving interesting. Restaurants and tavernas line the promenade.
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Perched 750m above sea level, 40 km from Larnacas, is the Stavrovouni monastery. It is reputed to have been established by Saint Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great. She is said to have brought a relic of the Holy Cross with her from Jerusalem which is still in the monastery. Today, no women, cameras or videos are allowed into the monastery, and men who visit need to be appropriately dressed. Entrance is free and it is open year round. It is closed for three hours over lunch. At the foothills of the Stavrovouni monastery is Agia Varvara monastery which is accessible to all visitors and is renowned for the icons produced on site.
40km from Larnaca, 9km off the Lefkosia-Lemesos road, Phone: +357-22-53-36-30
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The Larnaca marina is in the center of town. It is a port of entry into Cyprus and visitors can clear customs in the marina. There are several cafés, restaurants and bars along the tree-lined promenade. Fuel, dry cleaning, laundry and repair services are close at hand. Water is supplied free to yachts. Metered electricity and ablution facilities are available. The marina has the capacity to berth 450 yachts. The depth of the marina varies between 1.5 m and 4m and is sheltered from severe weather. Locals frequent the area; fishing and sightseeing. The sea scouts' hut is on the premises.
Larnaca Marina, CY 6023 Larnaca, Phone: +357-24-65-31-10
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4.Larnaca Medieval Castle
Otherwise known as Larnaca Fort, the castle is situated at the end of the Foinikoudes promenade. There is some dispute over the period in which it was constructed but reliable evidence points to the Middle Ages, approximately 1382-1398 AD. It was built to protect the harbor. During British occupation of Cyprus, the fort was used as a prison and was the site of executions until 1948. The castle / fort is open year round, every day of the week, except for public holidays. There is an entrance fee and a group discount.
Leoforos Athinon, Phone: +357-24-30-45-76
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5.Larnaca Olympic Shooting Range
The shooting range is situated 5 km from Larnaca in the village of Tersefanou and is the home of the Larnaca Shooting Club. The Range has hosted several local, national and international events, including the Grand Prix, the Global Shooting Federation, the World Cup and the European Cup. There are 5 skeet fields, 5 trap fields, 9 sporting fields and 6 compak fields. The qualified instructors at the Academy, which is based at the shooting range, offer lessons on Wednesdays and Saturdays. There is a cafeteria, with a full menu of food and beverages, on the premises.
village of Tersefanou in Larnaca, Phone: +357-24-36-39-00
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6.Maqam Al-Sultan Restaurant
© Maqam Al-Sultan Restaurant
The Maqam Al-Sultan restaurant serves Lebanese cuisine, feted to be the best of Mediterranean cooking. The colorful, flavorful, aromatic dishes are packed with vegetables, seed pastes, herbs and spices. Proteins include lamb, beef, fish and poultry. For starters, there are cold and hot meze dishes. For the main course, there are Grande Meze Platters, for up to 5 people. Desserts include baklava and fruit platters. The sea view is enchanting and the belly dancing, on Friday and Saturday evenings, is a highlight. Events, such as Christmas, New Year and Valentine's day are celebrated with special menus.
Aggyras 7, Phoinikoudes Beach 2026, 6026 Larnaca, Cyprus, Phone: +357-24-40-06-65
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7.Art Cafe 1900
© Art Café 1900
The Art Café offers two different experiences. Upstairs in the small restaurant, Cypriot cuisine is on the menu. Pub food, more meatier dishes and vegetarian meals are the options. Downstairs, the pub serves 140 different whiskeys and more than 90 varieties of beer from around the world. The old building is 100m from the seafront and is decorated with art and posters depicting 1970s and '80s music and culture. There is free WiFi for guests. The Art Café is closed on Tuesdays but opens from 6 pm till 2 am on all other days.
Stasinou Street, 6, Larnaca, Phone: +357-24-65-30-27
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8.Agios Lazaros (Church of Saint Lazarus)
This stone church in the middle of Larnaca was built in the ninth century by the Emperor Leo VI and restored in the 17th century. It is a fine example of Byzantine architecture and was built in honor of Lazarus who was raised from the dead by Jesus. Lazarus later fled persecution in Jerusalem and spent 30 years on Cyprus, where he was made a bishop by Apostle Paul. Each year, eight days before Easter, a procession through town celebrates his resurrection. The church is open seven days a week and admission is free. Orthodox services are still held there.
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8 Best Things to Do in Larnaca, Cyprus
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