The graceful row of majestic palms lining Larnaca’s seafront are a reminder of the 17th century, when Larnaca was the diplomatic and trading capital of Cyprus. But Larnaca sits on foundations of great antiquity. It was once an important city-kingdom known as Kition, allegedly founded by Noah’s son Khittim who is mentioned in the Bible. Nowadays Larnaca is a thriving modern seaside town with excellent shops and restaurants, several museums, a large harbour, a cosmopolitan yacht marina with 200 berths and a number of luxury
hotels on the golden sands stretching away to the east. It is also the home of the island’s main international airport.
Standing on the shore of a nearby tranquil salt lake is one of the world’s most historic mosque, while the lake itself – home to tens of thousands of migrating birds every year – is a bird lover’s paradise. Also within the area is one of the finest Byzantine mosaics in the eastern Mediterranean.
After the construction of the International Airport and the Yacht-Harbour, Larnaca developed itself more and more into a lively town. The small streets in the picturesque old city are filled with shops and many tavernas can be found along the seafront with its Palm-Tree-Promenade. The long sandy beach, with its modern hotels, the restaurants, bars and watersport facilities remind a little bit of the Cote-d’Azur and offer tourists a relaxing and variable holiday.
As home of the island’s main International Airport, Larnaca offers many visitors their first taste of Cyprus. One of the first sights is the beautiful salt lake, home in the cooler months to colonies of graceful flamingos and other migratory birds. Beside the lake, in a tranquil setting crowned by lush palms, is the Hala Sultan Teke, built to the memory of Prophet Mohammed’s aunt.
Larnaca’s District Archaeological Museum and the Pierides Foundation Museum exhibit particularly interesting antiquities. Also of interest is the Church of Ayia Faneromeni, built over a rock cave dating from the 8th century BC and the 18th century aquaduct on the outskirts of the town.