Larnaka in 10 + 1 stops: what to see and what to do in the idyllic city of Zenon

Larnaka in 10 + 1 stops: what to see and what to do in the idyllic city of Zenon

The commercial centers of the city are Athens Avenue, Ermou Street and Zenonos Kitieos. The beach of Finikoudes and the renewed Ermou Square are its most cosmopolitan places with cafes, bars, and restaurants for all tastes. An interesting suggestion for a walk is the Mackenzie beach near the airport, with a pedestrian street ideal for walks. Nature lovers should not miss the walk in the nearby salt lake, a favourite refuge of flamingos and other migratory birds during the winter months. For the faithful of the seabed, again, we suggest a dive in the shipwreck of “Zenobia”, which is accessible by boat, just 1.4 km from Larnaca.

But let’s look at the city of Zenon, the longest-lived historic city in Cyprus through 11 stops that include everything worth doing and seeing in Larnaca.

  1. Take a selfie at Larnaka Salt Lake

Take a trip to the Larnaca salt flats! This is an important wetland protected by the Ramsar Convention and the NATURA program. You will find it in the southwest of the city, east of the villages of Meneos and Dromolaxia. In fact, the salt marsh is a complex of four lakes, the largest of which you will find on your way to / from Larnaka Airport. Here you will admire the pink flamingos that overwinter on the beautiful shores of the lake. According to the local tradition, in the place of the salt lake there was a vineyard that was found on the road of Agios Lazaros when he came to Cyprus. One day the Saint from there, being tired, asked the owner for some grapes. She refused him and then he turned her vineyard into a saltshaker to punish her. Get a taste of the East on the west shore of the lake where the Chala Sultan Tekke Mosque is built giving an oriental note to the landscape! According to Muslim legend, during the first Arab invasion of Cyprus, the relative of the Prophet Muhammad, Umm Haram, was killed by falling from her horse.

  1. Following the history
    Don’t miss a visit to the historic Holy Temple of St. Lazarus. It was built at the end of the 9th century above the tomb of the Saint and is one of the 3 Byzantine temples that survive in Cyprus until today. The beautiful architecture has a rich history! It was also Catholic during the Venetian era (13th and 16th centuries), a mosque for a short time after the fall of Constantinople, Catholic and Orthodox for about 200 years, and then purely Orthodox. Its long history is imprinted in its architecture! The church has a special place in the religious tradition and life of the city, culminating in the Sunday of Lazarus, when the image of the Saint roams the streets of the city.

You will also make an appointment with the religious tradition at the Holy Monastery of Stavrovouni, a very beautiful monastery that stands on the rocky hill of Stavrovouni at an altitude of 750 meters and where there is a part of the Holy Cross. Finally, do not ignore Panagia Faneromeni, a special church of 1872 that you will find while walking in the Old Town of Larnaca.

  1. In the picturesque alleys of the city
    Put down the tourist guides and maps! Wear comfortable shoes and wander the picturesque alleys of the city to explore the beautiful corners with colourful touches!
  1. Sports and activities
    You have many options in Larnaka! From water sports such as water skiing, wakeboarding, bodyboarding, jet skiing, windsurfing, canoeing and kayaking and kitesurfing at the beautiful Faros beach in Perivolia or Mackenzie Beach to cycling on the beautiful coastal road Finikoudes Promenade and diving in the Shipwreck “Zenobia”. The sunken ship “Zenobia” (just 1.4 km off Larnaca) is an underwater paradise for shipwreck enthusiasts! The Swedish 172-meter-long Ro-Ro ferry sank in 1980, loaded with 108 trucks.

If diving is a bit extreme for you again, organize a beautiful day near nature in Camel Park that you will find in the village of Mazotos, just 15 minutes from Larnaka airport! Must for families! The children will be thrilled with the camels that can be fed locusts but also with the donkeys, ponies, horses, deer, ostriches, and kangaroos! In the park you will also find a swimming pool, pool bar, games, conflicting cars, trampoline, a small aquarium, a museum, and many dining options! A fun day for your little ones!

In Mazotos you will find another special park, the Petraion Sculpture Park. This special park includes a permanent outdoor sculpture exhibition (in gardens with different types of cacti where between them stone fragments of different sizes sprout from Savvas Koulendros), the Liasideio Amphitheater and the Archontariki, a small exhibition, where from time to time various hosts are hosted. stone church. You will be impressed by the 8.5-meter sculpture of Petraios that presents the man who was born from the stone.

Spend a day at the largest donkey farm in Cyprus “Golden Donkeys Farm” on the Georgiadis estate, which even produces donkey’s milk products. You will find this theme park in Skarinou (in the area of ​​Memila), a small community of a few residents of the province of Larnaka located on the main road of the island that connects the city with Nicosia and Limassol. 

  1. Walk in Finikoudes
    Finikoudes, the central busy coastal pedestrian street of Larnaka, is parallel to Athens Avenue and is the city’s classic promenade. The palm trees on the left and right of the road will recall something from Los Angeles but with a Mediterranean climate! Here the heart of the city beats loudly and here you will make your romantic passage that will start from the point of the Medieval Castle and will end in the wonderful marina where you will gaze at the yachts and yachts. Briefly look at the statue of the ancient philosopher and founder of the Stoic school Zeno who was born in Larnaka in 334 BC. At the height of the Town Hall Square you will find the bust of another great man, Kimon of Athens.
  2. Meet the marina
    Late in the afternoon after taking a walk on the beach promenade, go to the marina to relax, gaze at the yachts and sailboats but also for a souvenir photo, a romantic memory from Larnaka and maybe a kiss!
  3. Explore Europe Square
    Europe Square got its name when the municipality of Larnaka wanted to honor United Europe. Here you will find some of the most remarkable architectural specimens of the British occupation of 1881. The warehouses and offices of the customs, now renovated, they house the Municipal Gallery, the Museum of the Historical Archive of Larnaka and the Cultural Services of Larnaca. Suffice it to say that the colony’s customs warehouses received the Europa Nostra award in 1996.
  4. Appointment with the culture of the city
    Don’t miss Khirokoitia, one of the most representative settlements of the Neolithic period! You will find it in the valley of the river Agios Minas, at the foot of the Troodos mountain range and it is only 6 km away from the sea. The houses in a circular shape are sure to interest you to learn everything about the history of the Neolithic settlement that came to light in 1934 by archaeologist Porfiro Dikeo. Another representative sample of a Neolithic settlement can be found near the village of Kalavasos in the province of Larnaca, the famous Neolithic settlement of Tenta.

Do not miss a visit to «Panagia tou Kampou», which is not far from the remains of the settlement of Khirokoitia. The church belonged to the Order of the Templars and later to the Order of the Knights of St. John.

The archeological site of Kiti, which includes the two sites Kathari and Pampoula, is in the modern city of Larnaka and is waiting for you to get to know the history of ancient Kiti. Admission costs just € 2.50.

  1. The Medieval Castle of Larnaka
    The Medieval Castle, also known as the Fortress of Larnaka, will be found at the end of the coastal road of Finikoudes. The beautiful fortress gives the landscape an atmosphere from other times! Today, the castle houses the small Medieval Museum of Larnaka where in the three rooms you will see exhibits from the Early Christian Period and the period of Ottoman’s rule.
  2. A tour at Kamares (arches)
    Take a walk through the Old Aqueduct of Larnaka (a part of it can be seen from the Larnaka-Limassol road), known as Kamares, which is beautifully lit at night. The arches were built in 1750 by the Ottoman governor of the region, Abu Bakr Pasha. The aqueduct was in operation until 1939 and consisted of 75 arches that carried water from the Tremithos River to the city of Larnaka.
  3. A walk to the museums
    Some of the museums you can put in your “basket” are: the remarkable Pieridis Museum housed in the Pieridis family home on Zenonos Kitieos Street in the city of Larnaka, the Byzantine Museum of St. Lazarus in the courtyard of the special Church of the Saint, the Paleontological Museum Pieridis – Tornaritis housed in a colonial building in customs warehouses in the beautiful Europe Square, the Archaeological Museum of Larnaka Province, the small Medieval Museum in the Castle of the city, the Museum of Folk Art in the village of Kato Dry (36 km from Larnaka) but also the Local Museum of Traditional Embroidery and Silversmithing in Lefkara.

Michalis Christodoulou