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Λάρνακα (Greek) Larnaka or Iskele (Turkish)
—  Municipality  —
View of the Promenade from the Marina, Larnaca
Larnaca is located in Cyprus
Location in Cyprus
Coordinates: 34°55′N 33°38′E / 34.917°N 33.633°E / 34.917; 33.633Coordinates: 34°55′N 33°38′E / 34.917°N 33.633°E / 34.917; 33.633
Country  Cyprus
District Larnaca District
 - Mayor Andreas Moyseos
 - Vice Mayor Αlexis Michaelides
Population (2001)
 - Total 12,000
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Concise presentation of Larnaca

Larnaca, (Greek: Λάρνακα, Lárnaka; Turkish: Larnaka or İskele) is a city on the southern coast of Cyprus. It has a population of 12,000 (2001) and is the island's second largest commercial port and an important tourist resort. The island's largest airport, Larnaca International Airport is located on the outskirts of the city.

To the north of the city lies the island's oil refinery, which has been reduced to a storage facility after the refinery itself has been sold in 2008. To the south is the Larnaca International Airport. The city of Larnaka is well-known for its picturesque seafront which includes rows of palm trees (oi finikoudes, in the Cypriot dialect). Larnaca Marina is one of the four official entry points, by sea, to Cyprus.



Larnaca was founded by Phoenicians and was known as Kition, or (in Latin) Citium. The biblical name Kittim, though derived from Citium, was in fact used quite generally for Cyprus as a whole, and occasionally by the Jews for the Greeks and Romans. Larnaca is colloquially known as "Skala" (Greek: Σκάλα) meaning "ladder" or "landing stage", referring to the town's status in history as an important port.

Like most Cypriote cities, Kition belonged to the Persian or Achaemenid Empire. In 450 BC, the Athenian general Cimon, died at sea defending the city of Citium in a major battle with the Persians. On his deathbed, he urged his officers to conceal his death from both their allies and the Persians. The quote "Και Νεκρός Ενίκα" ("Even in death he was victorious") refers to Kimon. A statue of "Kimon the Athenian" stands proudly on the sea front promenade of modern Larnaca.

Like other cities of Cyprus, it has suffered repeatedly from earthquakes, and in medieval times when its harbour silted up (a sign that the island was deforested and overgrazed) the population moved to Larnaca, on the open seafront farther south. The harbour and citadel have now disappeared. Traces remain of the circuit wall, and of a sanctuary with copious terra-cotta offerings; the large cemetery has yielded constant loot from illicit excavations for more than a century.

Municipality Square with Hotel Sun Hall in the background, Larnaca

Dig practically anywhere in the area from the tennis club past Chrysopolittissa church and you will find evidence of prior civilizations. Much of the yield near the surface is Roman and Venetian. Visit the museum by the Terra Santa Convent to see not only many exhibits but also the dig in their backyard along with Ali Baba's storage jars.

The fort on Larnaca seafront has recently been opened up for better viewing by the removal of the Megalos Pefkos (the Big Tree) and a few other illegal restaurants set up on the sea front by refugees after the 1974 invasion.


Climate data for Larnaca
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 16.8
Daily mean °C (°F) 12.1
Average low °C (°F) 7.5
Precipitation cm (inches) 7.76
Source: Meteorological Service (Cyprus)[1]


Seaside Avenue "Foinikoudes", Larnaca
Seaside Avenue "Foinikoudes", Larnaca
The Old Aqueduct outside the city of Larnaca
Agios Lazaros Church, built over the tomb of Lazarus.
Marina Larnaca
Hala Sultan Tekke with Larnaca Salt Lake in the foreground

The most important site of Larnaca are the ruins of Ancient Kitium. The earliest architectural remains date back to the 13th century B.C. the area was rebuilt by Achaean Greeks. The remains of the Cyclopean Walls, made of giant blocks and the complex of the five temples, are particularly interesting.

Another place of interest is the Marble Bust of Zeno, which stands at the crossroads near the American Academy. Zeno was born in Kition (ancient Larnaka) in 334 BC. After studying philosophy in Athens he founded the famous Stoic school of philosophy.

Near Larnaca International Airport there is the Larnaca Salt Lake[2] . It fills with water during the winter and is visited by flocks of flamingoes who stay here from November till the end of March. It dries up in the summer. It used to yield a good quality of salt which was is scraped from its dried up surface.The salt from this lake is now considered unfit for human consumption.

About half-way between the monument of Zeno and Salt Lake on the right, there is the underground chapel of Ayia Phaneromeni. It is a rock cavern with two chambers. The structure suggests that it once was a pagan tomb, possibly dating back to Phoenician times. The place is credited with various magical properties: thus those who suffer from headaches or other diseases walk three times round it and leave a piece of clothing or a tuft of their hair on the grill in front of the south window. It is also much frequented by girls, whose lovers are overseas, who come here to pray for their safety.

The Church of Lazarus (Agios Lazaros) is another magnificent Orthodox Church in Larnaca which was built in the town over the tomb of St. Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha. He died here and was buried in the church named after him. In 890 A.D. his tomb was found bearing the inscription "“Lazarus, bishop of Larnaca. Four days dead. Friend of Jesus.” The marble sarcophagus can be seen inside the church under the Holy of Holies.

The Hala Sultan Tekke is about 5 km (3 mi) west of Larnaka, on the banks of the Salt Lake. It is equivalent to the Christian "monastery". Within the precincts of this Tekke is the tomb of Umm Haram, who was the foster mother of Prophet Mohammed. According to Muslim historical accounts Umm Haram died on this spot in 647 A.D. while accompanying the Arab invaders. She was buried here and later the Ottomans built the present mosque in her honour.

Another site of interest is the Fort of Larnaca which was erected by the Turks in 1625. This fort is now a museum and its inner courtyard is used as an open air garden - theatre during the summer months, by kind permission of the director of antiquities.

The Old Aqueduct known as "The Kamares", stands outside the town on the way to Limassol. It was built by the Ottoman Governor Koca Bekir Pasha in Roman style in 1745 to carry water from a source about 6 miles south of Larnaka into the town. The aqueduct is illuminated at night.


Larnaca's economy has been growing since 1975 ,after the loss of the Port of Famagusta, which handled 80 percent of the general cargo, and the closure of the Nicosia International Airport meant that Larnacas ports its (airport and seaport) had an increasing important role in the economy of the island)

A €650m upgrade of the Larnaca airport has been completed

Many travel and tour operators and other travel related companies including Eurocypria Airlines have their head offices in Larnaca .[3]

The service sector, including tourism, employs three quarters of larnaca's labor force.




Larnaca has a theatre and art gallery both run by the Municipality, and is home to the celebrated Pieridis Museum of Antiquities, founded by Demetrios Pieridis. It is also the location of two art schools, the Alexander College, which specialises mainly in design subjects, the Cyprus College of Art, which concentrates of fine art, and also Intercollege.


Larnaca boasts a Municipal Band of over 60 musicians competent in all families of musical instruments. Larnaca Municipal Band offers a large repertoire of music, ranging from marching-parade music to Latin, and from Greek favourites to rock and roll. Apart from playing for parades on national holidays, the band also makes regular appearances in various concerts and music festivals throughout Cyprus and abroad, representing both Larnaca and Cyprus internationally.


The city is the home to the football teams AEK Larnaca FC, and ALKI Larnaca FC. Both teams play in a stadium of a city called GSZ Stadium or Zenon Stadium. Since the occupation of the northern part of Cyprus by Turkey in 1974, the two teams of Famagusta, Anorthosis and Nea Salamina, have their own stadiums in Larnaca. "Antonis Papadopoulos" is the Anorthosis' stadium and "Ammochostos" (means Famagusta) is the stadium of Nea Salamina.

Larnaca hosted the European Under-19 Football Championship final, in 1998 and the European Under-17 Football Championship final in 1992.


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 (a sweet delicacy) it has extended to about three weeks, during which the seafront is closed to traffic in the evenings.

Notable people

Municipal Council

The mayor of Larnaca is Andreas Moiseos and the deputy mayor is Alexis Michaelides[4][5].

The members of the council, according to political party are:

Zaouras Ioannis
Zaouras Ioannis
Melekkis Andreas
Grigoriou Grigoris
Antoniou Chrystalla
Nikolaou Floros
Xenofon Kyriakides
Koukouma Marios
Christofidou Leontiadou Emily
Georgiou Nikolas
Louka Eleni
Anastasiou Stasis Nikos
Kasoulidou Annoula
Evangelou Afxentis
Manoli Theologos
Tsaggari Floros
Sofroniou Lakis
Plastira Ilias
Tsigaridou Eleni
Alexis Michaelides
Iasonides Iasonas
Vovides Takis
Trifonos Trifonas
Prokopiou Georgios

Pitsillides Michalakis

Kitipos Panayiotis
Elia Elias


Larnaca International Airport in Larnaca is the main international airport in Cyprus.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Larnaca Municipality is twinned with the following:

See also



External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Statue of Zeno, Larnaca Promenade
Statue of Zeno, Larnaca Promenade

Larnaca (Greek Λάρνακα Larnaka, [1]) is a city in Cyprus.


Larnaca has a reasonable claim to being the oldest city in Cyprus, with evidence of habitation up to 6000 years ago.

Modern Larnaca, like other Cypriot coastal towns, is divided into an older city center and a wide sprawl of hotels and restaurants along the beach.

Get in

Larnaca International Airport (IATA: LCA) is the largest airport on Cyprus, located 6 km to the west of the city center. Taxis to the city take 15 minutes, there are also scheduled city buses.

Shared taxis (dolmus) connect Larnaca to Nicosia and Limassol.

Get around

Larnaca is a thin ribbon of a town and you can walk around most of it. The seaside Larnaca Promenade (Phinikoudes) is particularly pleasant for a stroll in the evening.

By law, taxis should charge by the meter, but many cabbies will refuse to use it. Metered fares should be 65 cent; to get in plus 22 cent/km, night surchages apply after midnight.

  • The Church of St. Lazarus (Ayios Lazaros Sq), an Orthodox church dating to the 9th century, is reputedly built around the tomb of the biblical Lazarus, brother of Mary.
  • The Larnaca Salt Lake is to the west of town near the airport. In winter (November to March), flocks of pink flamingos can be seen here.
  • The Hala Sultan Tekke mosque is perched by the side of the Salt Lake. The tomb of Umm Haram, the foster mother of Mohammed, is said to be here.
Diving the wreck of the Zenobia
Diving the wreck of the Zenobia

For divers the main reason to come to Larnaca is the wreck of the Zenobia (watch video[2]), a ro-ro ferry that sunk in 1980 on her maiden voyage only a few hundred meters from the harbor due to a fault in the ballast computer. Fully laded with trucks and their cargo, the ship now lies on its side at a depth of 42 meters, with the top of the wreck at 18m and thus easily accessible even to PADI Advanced Open Water divers. If your flight comes in right, you can even see the shadow of the wreck as you land at Larnaca airport!

  • Dive-In Cyprus (Seagate Hotel, 132 Piale Pascha; tel. 24-627469; [3]) is a PADI 5-star dive center that specializes in dives to the Zenobia, and can also arrange nitrox and penetration dives for the technical diver. Figure on around £18 for a dive.


The nearby village of Lefkara is famous for its lace and silverware, and Larnaca being the nearest large town to the village, sells both in plentiful supply.

Independent jewellers and watchmakers are abundant, particularly among and just off the main Ermes/Ermou Street.

  • Oro Fino Jewellery, Pavlou Valsamaki 26, 50 metres from Foinikoudes beach, near St. Lazaurs, tel. 24-654666. Italian and Greek designs, diamonds to zircons, precious to semi-precious stones. The shop also features the latest jewel in fashion, NEWD SKIN JEWEL as well as brand watches like GUESS, D&G and DKNY.


The beaches of Larnaca are littered with identikit seafood restaurants catering to tourists. The easiest way to find a good place is to simply walk along until you find a restaurant packed not with tourists, but with Cypriots!

  • Militzis, 42 Piale Pascha, tel. 24-655867. A long-running favorite serving honest Cypriot fare (read: meat and potatoes) washed down with their own wine. No points for presentation, but the food is good and the restaurant is often packed. Figure on £5-10 for a meal.
  • Hobo's, Phinikoudes Promenade. A lively Cafe/Restaurant popular with many Cypriots, right on the main promenade. You can't miss it, and its often full but doesn't take telephone reservations. Food is varied from Cypriot to International Cuisine.
  • Kantara, Rendez-Vous, and Ganga restaurants on Dhekelia Road are probably the best restaurants in Larnaca. More expensive than the rest, but well worth it. Both Kantara and Rendez-Vous have a good selection of international wines (Cyprus wines are an acquired taste ... to say the least!)


In the city centre an area just off the main promenade called "Laiki Yeitonia" fulfils the need for most Bars and Small scale Nightclubs. Club Deep is the most popular of these, along with Times.

Driving about 15-20 minutes away from the City Centre to the East in the direction of Ayia Napa is the Larnaca-Dhekelia Road. This is the main 'strip' for high quality hotels, nightclubs, bars, etc, and is where most British Tourists can be found.

The Blue Pine Bar near the American Academy has a huge selection of spirits (all real which is unusual for Cyprus) and has a real atmosphere. The decor is wood and dim lighting and lots of Jack Daniels and Blues music paraphernalia. Comes alive after 10PM. The Bar used to be located on Dhekelia Road but moved several years ago. By far the best bar in Laranaca for chilled music and spirits.


There are countless hotels and hotel apartments of varying degrees of luxury by the seaside.

  • Frangiorgio Hotel Apartments [4]. A modern hotel in the heart of Larnaca, 1-minute walk from the town's main beach and shopping areas. It has 24 furnished apartments with equipped kitchens, air-conditioning systems, heating, satellite TVs, double glazed windows, private balconies and telephones. Other facilities include: daily cleaning of rooms, laundry service, bar, fax service, internet facilities, 24 hour reception and a new in house 24 hour mini market. Rates range from £16 to £40 depending on the season.
  • Sandbeach Castle Hotel, Piale Pascha, tel. 24-655437, [5]. A fairly typical 2-star hotel, a bit of a hike from the city center, but not too far from the dive shops. Clean and generally acceptable. Rooms from £18.80 and up (with breakfast) in the low season, add in another £5 for the winter high season.
  • Blue Serenity Private Villa, Pervolia 10 mins in car, [6]. A brand new family villa - 3 bedrooms - fully air conditioned - private pool. Nice quite getaway place. Prices in low season from £400 per week, rising to £600 in the high season.
  • Sveltos Beach Apartments, Piale Pasha, Mckenzy (Mckenzy Beach), 00357 246 57240, [7]. Self catering apartments 10 metres from the sea with views over Larnaca Bay towards Cape Greco. Rates from €35 a night in low season for a one bed apartment sleeping two to €65 a night for a 2 bedroom apartment sleeping 4 in high season €35.  edit
  • '''Pyla Village & Pyla Palms Resorts Apartments''', Pyla, Larnaca (Take A1 from Airport to Aiya Napa come off at 2nd Turn for Pyla Village, Pyla Palms on right 2 miles and Pyla Village Resort 0.5mils on right), 0044 121 744 1444, [8]. Recently completed private apartments with pool, 5 minutes from beach, and 10 minutes from town. from £119 pppw.   edit
  • Golden Bay Beach Hotel (Golden Bay Beach Hotel), Dhekelia Rd, 6306 Larnaca (Take Highway to Ayia Napa from the airport, then teke Pyla Exit, turn on the first right, and then right again, then left when you reach the end of the road), 0035724645444. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. [9].A 5 star hotel. Recently renovated 3 floors. (34.977364,33.691673) edit
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

LARNACA, LARNICA or Larneca (anc. Citium, Turk. Tuzla), a town of the island of Cyprus, at the head of a bay on the south coast, 2 3 m. S.S.E. from Nicosia. Pop. (1901) 79 6 4. It is the principal port of the island, exporting barley, wheat, cotton, raisins, oranges, lemons and gypsum. There is an iron pier 450 ft. long, but vessels anchor in the bay in from 16 to 70 ft. of water. Larnaca occupies the site of the ancient Citium, but the citadel of the ancient city was used to fill up the ancient harbour in 1879. The modern and principal residential part of the town is called Scala. Mycenaean tombs and other antiquities have been found (see Cyprus).

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