Beautifully compact, easily accessible and truly authentic, Larnaka is Cyprus' oldest soul; the longest continually inhabited region of the island, with a history that dates back 10,000 years, and the most centrally positioned, offering easy access to other regions.
And whilst it is rich in the ancient culture of hundreds of years of contrasting civilizations and architecture, Larnaka is also a thriving and modern European city that offers the best of all worlds. A characteristic feature of the region is that tourists will find that there is no distinction between resort and town; locals and visitors alike can enjoy the same daily experience of a charming and diverse Mediterranean city. From stretches of varied coastline, a mix of traditional and cosmopolitan establishments and fascinating monuments, Larnaka seamlessly blends its two ‘faces’.
The coastal city of Larnaka
The defining features of Larnaka city include the bustling promenade of Foinikoudes - which is lined with mature palm trees and flanked by beach, eateries and entertainment - and its joining sea walkway of Piale Pasha, which passes by quaint old neighbourhoods and fresh fish taverns. The parallel shopping centre with its tradtiional architecture puts everything at your fingertips, whilst the famous Salt Lake that fills with flocks of vibrant pink flamingos in the winter months attracts visitors for its natural beauty and ecological value. Larnaka town is also significant for both Christians and Moslems. The most revered monuments of the two are included in the main attractions of the city: the Church of Agios Lazaros, the patron saint of the town who Jesus resurrected and held dear as a friend; and the mosque of Hala Sultan – an important place of pilgrimage for Moslems that is flanked by the Salt Lake.
Thriving rural villages
Larnaka city stretches out to rural villages with some of the larger suburbs, constituting small towns in their own right, and active in the cultural offerings of the region with their own annual festivals, museums, monuments and tourist attractions.
Further still, the mountainous areas of Larnaka trail up the Troodos range, which is dotted with charming villages with narrow streets, where traditions and skilled handicrafts are still practiced. Of the most famous is the handmade lace embroidery of Lefkara and its delicate filigree silver, whilst villages like Kato Drys and Odou are also pretty and tranquil.
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