Larnaca

Larnaca is idyllic coastal city filled with beautiful landscapes
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An idyllic coastal city filled with beautiful landscapes, fascinating historical sites, and a myriad of attractions, Larnaca City, the third largest city in Cyprus, is a quickly growing destination for real estate investment, either in personal or commercial property. Resting on Cyprus’ southern coast, within the heart of the district that shares its name, Larnaca is the oldest city in Cyprus and remains one of the major seaside resorts on the island. With a population hovering around 143,000, the city is bustling and vibrant without ever feeling overcrowded.

Both the city and the district of Larnaca have a rich and colorful history featuring hundreds of years of contrasting civilizations which have contributed to the diverse tapestry of influences which still affect Larnaca’s culture. Larnaca’s architecture, history, and culture have made it one of the more fascinating and diverse regions in all of Cyprus.

Although Larnaca is visited year-round, spending the holidays in Larnaca has become a common pastime for families from around the world. Larnaca’s popularity as a holiday destination has increased as there are several attractions the city has to offer, yet Larnaca remains less busy and touristy feeling than other nearby destinations such as Ayia Napa.

A breath-taking destination, either for visitors, holiday homes, or to live and raise a family, Larnaca is a historical, beautiful, and one-of-a-kind city whose reputation is growing every year.

Larnaca Salt Lake

One of the most notable sights in Larnaca is Larnaca Salt Lake
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One of the most notable sights in Larnaca, and for visitors who arrive by airplane, one of the first to welcome you to the city, is the Larnaca Salt Lake of Cyprus. Larnaca Salt Lake, which is a complex network of four salt lakes (3 of which are interconnected) is just to the west of Larnaca City. The largest of these lakes is Aliki, which is followed by lake Orphani, lake Soros, and lake Spiro. Together, these lakes form the second largest salt lake in Cyprus (after the Limassol), with a total surface area of 2.2 km2. Also, its location, just off the road leading to Larnaca International Airport, makes the Larnaca Salt Lake an instantly recognizable sight for visitors to the district.

The Salt Lake is considered one of the most important wetlands in Cyprus and in 1997, it was declared a Ramsar site, a Natura 2000 site, a Special Protected Area under the Barcelona Convention, and an Important Bird Area.

An unforgettable sight occurs on the Larnaca Salt Lake during the winter season, when it fills with water and is visited by flocks of flamingoes, who remain there from November until the end of March.

Located just adjacent to the Lake is the Larnaca Salt Lake Park, a lovely collection of green trees featuring scenic and relaxing walking paths, with no entrance fee. Salt Lake Park is one of the most beautiful green zones of Larnaca, as it provides direct access to Salt Lake and is also a vantage point from which the flamingos can be seen. The Larnaca Salt Lake Walk is a must-do on any photography or sightseeing tour.

The park is also home to the Larnaca Amphitheatre, a venue for major concerts in Larnaca.

To add to the beauty of the lake, on the banks of Larnaca Salt Lake lies the Hala Sultan Tekke, which was built in 648 A.D. and is one of the holiest Muslim shrines in the world, just after Mecca and Medina. Inside the Hala Sultan Tekke lies the tomb of Umm Haram, who was the maternal aunt of the Prophet Muhammad. There is also a museum here, and the Hala Sultan Tekke often hosts cultural and entertainment events.

Larnaca District

Larnaca City is the capital of the Larnaca District, one of the six distinct districts of the island of Cyprus.

The climate in Larnaca District, in addition to the coastal proximity, cultural relevance, and an ever-widening selection of dining and drinking options gives residents of the Larnaca district a very high quality of life. For sun-worshippers, there are few places preferable to Larnaca District’s warm Mediterranean climate with its sun-drenched beaches and short, mild winters.

In general, Larnaca District properties contain a blend of homes with contemporary practical design and those with more traditional, Old World Cypriot charm.

As the popularity of Larnaca grows, there is also a widening selection of beautiful locations and homes for those interested in either purchasing or renting property. Larnaca Region properties are also reasonably priced considering their proximity to such a beautiful coastline and host of amenities.

Properties for Sale in Larnaca District include a number of detached, stand-alone houses, as well as villas and apartments. Of course, these houses can and are often employed as vacation homes, but are also ideal for investment properties, commercial opportunities, retirement-age couples or those raising a family, thanks to the abundance of high-quality educational options in the Larnaca District.

A Brief History of Larnaca

Larnaca is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
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Originally established in the 13th century B.C., Larnaca is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Ancient Larnaca was known as Kition, and was a busy port city founded by Myceneans. Kition began to change around 1200 B.C. with the arrival of the Achaeans, who were the first Greek colonists of the region. Around the same time, Phoenicians began settling in the area, and close to the year 1000 B.C., Kition became a vibrant and vital center of Phoenician culture. Kition became well known for its harbor during antiquity, from which many agricultural products were exported to the eastern Mediterranean, Egypt and the Aegean.

Persian influence arrived in 450 B.C. but ended a century later with the Hellenistic takeover of the entire island of Cyprus. This period also witnessed the birth of Kition’s most famous son, Stoic philosopher Zeno.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, Larnaca became part of the Ottoman Empire, during which the port was located in The Skala, which is now known as Larnaca Old Town, south of Larnaca Castle.

Excavations of Kition began in the 1920s, but much of the ancient city remains buried beneath modern Larnaca.

Ancient ruins have been excavated in modern Larnaca, and the city features a number of sites where these ruins are on display. Some popular, eye-catching ruins include The Temple of Aphrodite which was built in the 9th century B.C., a large shrine to the Phoenician fertility goddess Astarte, and four smaller temples once connected to copper smelting workshops.

Larnaca Old Town, which is also known as the Turkish Quarter or The Skala, is a walk through history filled with whitewashed Old World buildings which look straight out of a scene from Zorba The Greek. The narrow alleyways of Old Town wind through charming little buildings where you can purchase handmade local crafts such as hand-painted bottles of olive oil. A bonus is that a traditional Turkish or Greek coffee is always around the corner.

Top Sights

With so many fascinating, historical, and picturesque places to visit in Larnaca, it can be difficult to decide where to start.

For those interesting in soaking up the sun, dining, or shopping in proximity to the beach, Finikoudes Beach Promenade might be for you.

For others interested in historical and religious artifacts, there is nothing like St. Lazarus Church, named after Larnaca’s patron saint, who was famously resurrected from the dead by Jesus and went on to become the first bishop of Kition, living out the rest of his life in what is now Larnaca City.

Whatever you choose, Larnaca is a place where history, culture, and beauty come together.

Below is a list of some of the most popular sites, which will help you decide what to see in Larnaca.

Finikoudes

One of the most distinct and unforgettable sights in Larnaca is the gorgeous palm-lined seafront promenade known as the Finikoudes. Along one side of the Finikoudes is one of Larnaca’s main roads, and features an area filled with some of the city’s hip restaurants, bars, and cafes, while the other side brings you to a beautiful beach lined with palm trees. Whether you’re taking a swim or partaking in a delicious meal followed by a moonlight walk, The Finikoudes is elegant, classy, and breathtaking.

St. Lazarus Church

St. Lazarus Church is one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture in all of Cyprus.
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The church named after ancient Larnaca’s first bishop is also one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture in all of Cyprus. Built in the 10th century, over the tomb of St. Lazarus, who made Larnaca his home for the last 30 years of his life, there is also a museum dedicated to “Ayios Lazarus” located just next to the church.

Zenobia Wreck

Wreck of the Zenobia has been nicknamed ‘The Titanic of the Mediterranean.
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For those interested in a one-of-a-kind sightseeing experience, there’s nothing like diving down to get a closer look at the wreck of the Zenobia, which has been nicknamed ‘The Titanic of the Mediterranean. The Zenobia was a Swedish shipping ferry, which was loaded with 104 trailers, trucks, and their accompanying cargo when she sunk, about 1 km off the harbor at Larnaca in June of 1980. At the time she capsized, the 170-meter ferry was carrying cargo which included cars, military equipment, games, food, and telecommunication systems. Thankfully, there were no casualties, and today, the Zenobia consistently ranks as one of the top 10 wreck dives in the world.

In addition to being able to examine the material of the ship and its cargo through clear water with high visibility, much of the cargo remains intact, making it fascinating to explore. When she went down, the Zenobia’s cargo included 1 million chickens’ eggs, some of which have even remained intact underwater to this day!

Another exciting element of the Zenobia wreck is the artificial reef which has developed in the wreckage in the years since, creating a home for many species of fish including grouper, stingrays, octopus, and moray eels.

Museums

In addition to the fact that Larnaca (and Cyprus at large) resembles a giant open-air museum, the abundance of museums proper in Larnaca offers visitors a variety of choices. These museums are chiefly dedicated to history, archeology, and culture and help residents and visitors alike to understand the complex history of this ancient city.

Larnaca Archeological Museum

A great way for visitors to get a sense of the long historical development of Larnaca is the Larnaca Archeological Museum. Since 1969, the Larnaca Archeological Museum has housed a fine collection of local finds from both the town and the district of Larnaca. Four galleries feature objects from a variety of eras including the Neolithic, Late Bronze and Iron ages.

Pierides Museum-Bank of Cyprus Cultural Centre

The oldest private museum in Cyprus is the Pierides Museum-Bank of Cyprus Cultural Centre. This museum is housed in a private home that was built in 1815, which once belonged to the Pierides family, and the collection was initiated by Demetrius Pierides in the 19th century, and has subsequently been added to by generations of the family.

This museum includes items which can help to shed light on the island’s ancient civilization, and date from between 4000 B.C. and the 15th century A.D.

The Pierides Museum helps to tell the story of Cyprus’ history as one of the oldest civilizations on the planet. Items in the collection include ware fashioned during the Early Bronze Age, ceramic dishes from medieval times, and glassware which dates back to the Roman era.

The courtyard of the Pierides Museum also features a display case with a collection of Modern Greek and Cypriot sculptures.

Bee and Embroidery Museum

Located within a 300-year old house in the village of Kato Drys, Larnaca, The Bee and Embroidery Museum celebrates Cypriot culture, with an emphasis on handicrafts and beekeeping. The proprietors feature educational exhibits on beekeeping, wine and Zivania-making, as well as over 1000 items including farming equipment and other relics from Larnaca’s “good old days.”

The Best Beaches of Larnaca

Larnaca is home to miles of sandy beach, sea, and associated leisure and sporting facilities.
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Embraced by the clear, sapphire waters of the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus is surrounded by coastline, and as one of the main coastal regions, Larnaca is home to miles of sandy beach, sea, and associated leisure and sporting facilities that make its coast an even more enjoyable experience. The wind speed on Larnaca area beaches is often perfect for windsurfing, kitesurfing, and sailing, especially during the summer months. Many of the region’s beaches are holders of various quality awards, which include the prestigious EU Blue Flag, which recognizes the highest standards of cleanliness, water quality, services and safety.

Finikoudes Beach

Lined with the town’s symbol of palm trees since 1922, Finikoudes Beach is the most popular beach in Larnaca. Grey sand and crystal-clear water with mild waves as guests visit this popular destination.

Whether for its calm, sun-drenched atmosphere or the assortment of activities and entertainment, Finikoudes Beach features plenty to keep adults and children of all ages busy and happy.

As mentioned earlier, the promenade along Finikoudes is lined with restaurants, cafes, and shops running parallel to the beach.

Also, a variety of excursions can be taken from the marina, which is located just at the start of the promenade. These include fishing trips, mini cruises, and diving excursions, including those which allow intrepid divers to explore the wreck of the Zenobia.

Makenzie Beach

Located near the airport, Makenzie beach is a calm, grey-sand beach which attracts families and younger crowds, but at night transforms into a lively nightclubbing destination.

Makenzie Beach is a lovely place to dine, with a continuous array of fish taverns, cafes, and restaurants running parallel to the 1km beach.

Kastella Beach

Kastella Beach is a relatively small beach which, like Larnaca’s other beautiful beaches, features fine grey sand, crystal-clear water, and mild waves. Located near the beach are some of the best ice cream shops in Larnaca, as well as popular fish taverns, restaurants, and mini markets.

Best Restaurants

In addition to the many examples of international cuisine which have found a home in Larnaca, visitors to the city have their choice of local food to indulge in, and whether it is traditional or contemporary, Larnaca has some of the best seafood and best seafood restaurants in all of Cyprus.

The traditional diet of the Mediterranean is known around the world for being both delicious and healthy, and includes staples such as halloumi cheese, olive oil, stuffed grape leaves, and plentiful lamb, pork, and fish. Add to this the favorable climate, rich traditions, and fresh innovations and you will find an adventure for your palate which runs as deep and varied as the island’s history.

Here are just a few of the more popular restaurants in Larnaca:

To Kazani Traditional Tavern

This traditional Cypriot Tavern, located in an old family house, brings the traditions of Cyprus to life. In a comfortable, family-style tavern with great service and cozy ambience, diners feast on fresh, carefully prepared dishes including traditional mezze, perennial favorites like lamb chops, and exotic delicacies such as pig brains.

Red Pepper

A fresh Italian restaurant that sources ingredients from local suppliers, Red Pepper offers a welcome & relaxing atmosphere, serving modern European cuisine with both care and flair. Red Pepper’s menus change daily, and the chef strongly believes in the importance of eating seasonal food. Their spaghetti carbonara, ribeye steak, and special pudding are becoming staples for locals and visitors alike.

Maqam Al Sultan

A popular seafront eatery serving Lebanese food and featuring belly-dancers, Maqam Al Sultan is has become a favorite for its vegetarian options, mixed grill, hummus, and fattoush. Combined with a lively Middle Eastern atmosphere, this cozy restaurant is sure to please.

Larnaca has some of the best seafood and best seafood restaurants in all of Cyprus.
Best Restaurants in Larnaca
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Top Hotels

As an increasingly popular tourist destination, Larnaca features a variety of hotels from different eras and at different price points. Here is a short list of some of the top hotels in Larnaca.

Golden Bay Beach Hotel

True to its name, the Golden Bay Beach Hotel is located so close to the beach you can hear the waves crashing as you fall asleep. Beautiful design and sparkling decor give this reliable classic a contemporary yet warm look. Amenities include the Serenity Spa, pools, tennis courts, a playground for the kids, and a traditional rustic Cypriot taverna located right on the grounds. Golden Bay Beach Hotel is certainly one of the best hotels in all of Cyprus.

The Ciao Stelio Deluxe Hotel

With a sharp, contemporary look, a gastronomy restaurant on the grounds and exuberant decor, this adults-only hotel has become an instant favorite with visitors to Larnaca. Although not every room has a balcony, those that do provide unparalleled views of the beach from within this design-forward luxury hotel. The Ciao Stelio Deluxe Hotel stands as one of the finest luxury hotels in Larnaca.

Lokal Hotel

Located in the heart of Larnaca’s hottest developing neighborhood, Old Town, Lokal Hotel is a recent (2015) addition to Larnaca’s hotel selection and one that represents the vanguard of the new face of the neighborhood adjacent to the Church of St. Lazarus. The hotel partly occupies a Belle Epoque mansion, and Lokal has become a popular venue for small weddings, featuring a roof terrace with a plunge pool.

Education/Schools

For those planning to raise children in Larnaca, you’ll be happy to know that there are over a hundred educational institutions located in Larnaca, including a number of private schools, such as the American Academy, Larnaca Nareg Armenian school, and the Alexander College.

This variety provides potential students with plenty of choices for high quality educational experiences, which also offer year-round learning opportunities, including summer school.

For expatriates living in Larnaca, an abundance of international schools provides a great option. International schools may be attended by some of the local population, but are more geared towards an international population.

Curriculum models will be from the US, the UK or France, and classes will be taught in a variety of languages including English and French as well as other, secondary languages. Thanks to small class sizes and high standards for learning, international schools in Larnaca are regarded as high quality educational facilities.

The American Academy Larnaca

The American Academy Larnaca is a non-profit private school hosting students at ages anywhere from pre-school to University entrance education. Since 1908, The American Academy has upheld a high standard for being an immersive educational experience that encourages students to pursue autonomous, lifelong learning.

The American Academy Larnaca
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The American Academy was founded by two missionaries of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, and the school’s motto is “to grow and to serve.” The mission of the Academy is to create an atmosphere which fosters positivity and equality, as well as mutual respect, understanding and co-operation. According to the Academy, this co-operation should extend not only to relationships between the student body, but between students, faculty, and staff. The Academy has always been a school with a population from Greek Cypriot, Turkish Cypriot, Latin and Armenian communities as well students from around the world.

Each year, the American Academy Larnaca, in co-operation with the Department of Education, brings students on an unforgettable journey through the mountains of Cyprus, in order to encourage team-building, organization, and a relationship with nature.

In addition to their regular curriculum, the American Academy also offers distinct summer programs geared toward different age groups. These include a kindergarten summer school program, a primary summer school program, and a senior preparatory summer program.

Larnaca — City for Life

Although it is filled with dazzling sightseeing, beautiful beaches, and historical and cultural significance, Larnaca is certainly not just a city for visitors. Ownership properties in Larnaca are characterized by their modern design, immaculate architecture and meticulous layout of spaces.

In addition to all of the cultural tourism we’ve mentioned, starting in 2017, a large marina redesign project has been underway, which, when finished, will lead to a large amount of new business and potentially change the lives of Larnaca’s residents for the better.

Already the gateway to the island of Cyprus, the Marina plans include the addition of a yacht club, a port for cruise ships, scenic public plazas and parks, fine restaurants, event spaces and cultural centers, all centered around the most attractive and sought-after commercial & residential properties the city has to offer.

In short, The Waterfront will soon become not only an integral part of the community, but a boon to local business, and the catalyst which will transform Larnaca into a thriving, world-class destination for locals and visitors alike.

In other words, it’s a great time to invest in real estate in Larnaca, Cyprus.

Houses for Sale

There are many beautiful houses for sale in Larnaca Cyprus, with clean, contemporary design as well as stunning views of the many beaches we’ve mentioned here.

Whether you’re looking for a 4-bedroom detached house with all modern conveniences or a villa with views of the sea and the mountains, there is a myriad of options available for those looking to buy a house in Larnaca, Cyprus.

Many of these houses have a stunning modern architecture with all necessary amenities. In addition to the hot Mediterranean climate and the short winters, the abundance of contemporary yet practical, reasonably priced houses in Larnaca make it an attractive investment for those considering real estate options in Cyprus.

Houses for sale in Larnaca

For sale, villas, rooms: 4–5
Cyprus | Larnaca | Larnaca

400 000 – 550 000 EUR4 – 5 rooms, 200 – 300 m 2

Apartments for Sale

In addition to the options available for those looking to buy a house, there are also good number of apartments of varying sizes for sale in Larnaca, Cyprus. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious penthouse in the city center or something more humble in Old Town, a great selection of reasonably-priced flats for sale in Larnaca remain available to the savvy real estate investor who can see the bright future for this exciting city.

Whether you’re looking for a rustic design with natural stone and timber finishes or a gated building with a swimming pool and a private entrance, there are apartments for sale in Larnaca for both casual, holiday use, or permanent residency.

Apartments for sale in Larnaca

For sale, flats, bedrooms: 1 and more, Larnaca
Cyprus | Larnaca | Larnaca

235 000 – 320 000 EUR63 – 64 m 2

For sale, apartments, bedrooms: 2 and more
Cyprus | Larnaca | Larnaca

450 000 EUR91 – 226 m 2

Transport System

Because it houses Cyprus’ main airport, outfitted to transport over 7 million visitors annually, Larnaca does have a clean, efficient, and punctual bus system which runs daily, although many travelers prefer to get around the city by taxi or rental car.

The bus system offers full-day, weeklong, and monthly ticket options for frequent travelers, and in addition to the urban routes available, it is possible to take rural routes to the smaller, local, and very charming villages via Larnaca’s bus system.

Larnaca’s public transport system is inexpensive, and there are also buses which travel outside of the city, to neighboring destinations such as Limassol, Nicosia and other destinations in Cyprus. With the help of these routes, you can continue to explore the areas outside of Larnaca, each of which is distinct and has festivals, monuments, museums, and sights of their own.

Festivals and Interesting Events in Larnaca

In addition to Larnaca’s rich history and natural beauty, there are several interesting events which are held in the city annually as well.

The most important of these is known as Kataklysmos or the Festival of the Flood, which is celebrated in early summer with a series of cultural events.

Every July, residents and visitors to Larnaca can enjoy a feast of entertainment at Larnaca Summer Festival, a joyous festival of music and performing arts which is organized by the Municipality of Larnaca.

The festival used to last for about a week, but, in recent years, with the increased presence of stalls, rides and temporary Lokmades restaurants, the festival has been extended to about three weeks, during which time the seafront closes in the evenings to automobile traffic. Lokmades (or loukoumades) is a popular delicacy, sometimes known as a Greek donut, which is sweetened with honey and walnuts. Yum!

Similarly, each November, a unique festival called Larnaca Amateurs Artistic Creation is held in Larnaca. During this event, local amateur groups and performing artists from all over Cyprus perform. The program often includes choirs, orchestras, dance groups, and theatrical troupes, and is held at the Larnaca Municipal Theater.

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