Larnaca is a city on the southern coast of Cyprus, the third largest after Nicosia and Limassol, with an urban population of 77,902 (2011), and capital of the eponymous district. The island's largest airport, Larnaca International Airport, is located on the outskirts of the city to the south. The port of Larnaca and the marina are two of the four official entry points by sea to Cyprus. The city is known for its palm tree seafront, foinikoudes. Much of the activity is centered around the city promenade during the major festivals. The most important of these is Kataklysmos or the Festival of the Flood, celebrated in early summer with a series of cultural events. The festival used to last for about a week, but, in recent years, with the increased commercialism of peripheral stalls, rides and temporary loukmades restaurants, the festival been has extended to about three weeks, during which the seafront is closed to traffic in the evenings. Loukmades is a sweet delicacy.
Larnaca has a theatre and an art gallery, which are operated by the municipality. The Cornaro Institute is a cultural centre in Old Town and which stages contemporary art exhibitions and other cultural events.
Local institutions include the Municipal Wind Orchestra.
Museums found in Larnaca include the Larnaca District Archaeological Museum, Pierides Museum and Kyriazis Medical Museum.
The beaches of Larnaca are lined with nearly identical seafood restaurants catering to tourists. Although there are many continental and international restaurants in Larnaca, visitors do not miss out on indulging in the local food. Many of the staple dishes involve beans, such as fasolaki (French beans cooked in red wine with lamb), and louvi me lahana (black-eyed beans with chard).
Ayios Lazaros Church :
The church is where the tomb of Lazarus, the man raised from dead by Jesus, housed. This extremely beautiful church with unique design is one of the most impressing sight of Larnaca. This historical church is well preserved , the interiors ornated with a minaret, mausoleum, cemetery gold, carved wood, stones and icons and has one of the best and special architecture than other churches in Cyprus. A visit to Cyprus is not full without this.
Hala Sultan Tekke :
One of the major pilgrimage centres and the 4TH most important mosque for the Muslims is situated very close to Larnaca Airport. Hala Sultan the aunt of Prophet Mohammed died here by falling down from her mule during the Arab invasion of Larnaca. She was buried here and the mosque was build around the tomb. The whole structure comprises of a mosque and some having quarters for men and women
Salt Lake :
It is situated near the Hala Sultan Tekke. The water from the lake evaporates during summer to leave a thick salt residue. During winter when the water fills many migrating birds come here which even include flamingoes to feed on the shrimps in the lake.
The Ancient Kition :
The Ancient Kition is a place for those who are interested in historical landmarks. The Kition has some ancient ruins which features some 5 temples that date back upto 13th century BC.
Larnaca Fort :
This fort was built in 1625 by the Turks to defend the town. This fort later on became a prison during the British rule. Situated near the sea front it is now the medieval museum of town which houses many archeological remains from the Kition and also used as the Larnaca Municipal Cultural Centre.
Grand Mosque :
The Djami Kebir mosque was built in 16th century. This mosque is still functioning and used by muslim residents and stands opposite to the Larnaca fort and very much near to the Lazaros church. The interiors are very simple designed and there are some tomb stones in the front of this mosque.
Larnaca too has a number of beaches. The one that stands close to town is the finikoudes beach with clean water and sand. The promenade here with palm trees has many pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants. Sun beds and umbrellas can also be hired in the beach. Other beaches are the Mckenzie beach where water sports, scuba diving and other such activities takes place. The Dekelia Beach is one of the longest in Larnaca and also offers many water sports facilities.
Located on the finikoudes in front of the palm tree promenade this marina can accommodate as much as 450yachts and also is an official port of entry. Yachts entering into or leaving from Cyprus has customs and immigration facilities within this marina. Yachts moored here have many facilities and services available like fuel, electricity, water, repair facilities, laundry, showers, lockers,security and many others.
Larnaca Ink :
For those of you want to get a tattoo or a body piercing done Larnaca. Ink is the perfect option. The design of your dreams could be on your skin if you pay a visit. A very clean studio with a large number of happy and satisfied customers including celebrities from all around the globe. This place is worth a visit and is situated just opposite to Larnaca Police Station.
Wreck of Zenobia :
Zenobia was a challenger class ferry build in Sweden which sank in Larnaca in June1980. It now lies almost 140 ft underwater and this is one of the top ten wreck diving sites in the world. This site offers a variey of challenges to scuba divers from newly qualified divers to most experienced ones.