Larnaca Cyprus is a great spot all year round for a holiday and it offers something for groups of friends to families. Whether you are wanting to lay on sun loungers with cocktails, experience the local culture, try your hand at water sports, or indulge in local food and wine, there really is no limit to what you can do in Larnaca Cyprus.
Larnaca, also known as Larnarka, is a beach resort and port city on the south coast of Cyprus and is part of the Greek side. It’s only an hour’s drive from Limassol and 45mins away from Ayia Napa. The beach resort is known for its rich history like the tomb of a saint Lazarus at Church of Saint Lazarus to Mackenzie Beach with trendy bars and clubs.
We stayed in Larnaca Cyprus for three nights before we flew back to London and wished we had stayed longer, as there was so much to do and we ran out of time. I never realised until we were there the amazing history that covers the area.
⇒ How about a trip to the capital for the day? – Free Self-guided walking tour in Nicosia Cyprus
To help you get the most out of your time while in Larnaca, here is a what to do list that covers beaches to swim in, to visiting cultural and historic sites. Even some suggestions of places to eat and drink.
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Table of Contents
- Things to do in Larnaca Cyprus
- Finikoudes promenade
- Church of Saint Lazarus
- Larnaca castle (Larnaka Fort)
- Piale Pasa
- Larnaca Salt Lake
- Mackenzie Beach
- Points of Interest in Larnaca
- Getting to Larnaca Cyprus
- Where to stay in Larnaca
- Top tips for walking around Larnaca
If you are staying in Larnaca Cyprus, you will at some stage come across the Finikoudes promenade. It is famous for its palm-lined pedestrian esplanade, filled with shops, restaurants, bars, and cafes. As well as its lovely sandy beach lined with sun loungers, umbrellas, and clean water.
The good thing is that the beach has blue flag status, considered the gold standard for beaches. It is given to beaches, marinas, and sustainable boating tourism operators as an indication of their high environmental and quality standards. The blue flag is internationally recognised.
Occasionally the Finikoudes promenade road is closed off to traffic as events with stalls, rides and even concerts are held. When we were there, the promenade was open during the day but closed off at night to traffic for the Kataklysmos -‘Festival of the flood 2019’. It was great as it made wandering the area so much easier as you were not competing with traffic and there was more room.
Looking to discover other parts of Cyprus, please feel free to head to my Cyprus page
- If you are catching the bus from the capital Nicosia then your arrival point will be on the Finikoudes promenade
Church of Saint Lazarus
After a busy day swimming or exploring, head to the square where the Church of Saint Lazarus is located and take a stroll around the church (if a service is not being conducted) before exploring the Byzantine Museum within the grounds of the church. Afterwards, watch the sunset at one of the surrounding cafes taking in the atmosphere before heading out to dinner.
The Church of Saint Lazarus also known as Agios Lazaros is a late-9th century stunning church made of stone. The inside is incredibly opulent with stunning paintings of icons and candles lit up making a rich glow. Even if you are not religious you will find the history behind the church and temple to be really interesting.
The church lies over the tomb of the saint (Lazarus), who they believe came to Cyprus after being resurrected by Jesus. His tomb can be seen in the basement and it is said that it has healing capabilities. The saint is so revered that a procession is held in his honour eight days before Easter.
We had a drink at a local place, Stoa Cafe/Restaurant which was directly across the road from Church of Saint Lazarus.
- Entrance Fee – €1.00 per person
- Opening Hours – Mon-Sat 8:15am – 12:30 / 15:00 – 17:30 Sat/Sun 9:30 – 7:30pm
- Closed – Wednesday and Saturday afternoon All day Sunday
- Duration – 30mins- 1hr (depending on if you go into the museum)
Where to take Instagrammable picture
- The front of Church of Saint Lazarus is a popular spot for photographers and Instagrammers.
Larnaca castle (Larnaka Fort)
If you like medieval castles and forts then a visit to Larnaca castle (also referred to as Larnaka Fort) is a must. With it being only 5-10 minute walking distance from The Church of Saint Lazarus, it is a great combination to do at the same time. Larnaca Castle is located at the end of Finikoudes promenade and was constructed to defend the southern coast of Cyprus and the harbor town of Larnaca.
Later Larnaca castle was used as an artillery station, prison, and museum. When you are wandering around, you will see sections that reflect these times like the hanging noose or the artillery cannon guns.
It is not a very big castle so should only take 30-45minutes to get around. Make sure to go up on top of the walls and take in the views across both Piale Pasa and Finikoudes promenade.
Cyprus has many castles and forts, which can be reached from Larnaca. One of the closest being Kantara Castle, which you can book in advance to visit.
- Entrance Fee – €2.50 per person
- Opening Hours – Mon-Fri 8:00am – 7:30pm Sat/Sun 9:30 – 7:30pm
- Duration – 30mins-45mins
- This does not take long to walk around inside, so this is good to do in the afternoon
Take a walk along the recently built Piale Pasa from Larnaca Castle to McKenzie beach marina, stopping to have lunch/dinner at one of the many restaurants, taking in the views of the ocean. If you want, you can even dip your feet in along the way to keep cool. It is the perfect sea stroll which you can do any time of day.
We walked along here in the morning before lunchtime and then stopped off at one of the restaurants near the marina for a bite to eat. The hardest part for us was deciding on what delicious seafood restaurant we were going to dine at.
If you are looking for local food especially seafood then check out Portokali Restaurant as this is your place.
- If you don’t feel like walking back, you can catch the local bus, which is around €1.50 one way.
Larnaca Salt Lake
If you like the wildlife and walking trails, then head to Larnaca Salt Lake and take one of the paths around the lake, stopping at Hala Sultan Tekke or the Mosque of Umm Haram. Located near the international airport and Mackenzie beach, Larnaca Salt Lake is a complex network of four salt lakes of different sizes and are the second largest salt lake in Cyprus (The largest being in Limassol )
If you are lucky enough and you are there at the right time of year when the birds arrive in Larnaca Cyprus, then you have the chance to spot the flamingos. Apparently, it is supposed to be an amazing sight, seeing hundreds of these pink birds all digging for the tiny pink shrimp who live in the salt lake. Unfortunately, we were there the wrong time of year and never got to see them.
- If you don’t have a car, you can catch the No425 bus that goes to the airport, it stops at the Larnaca Salt Lake
Have you gotten your guide for Cyprus yet? I have the eyewitness guide that I used for my stay in Nicosia, Paphos, and Larnaca.
Another blue flag status beach and definitely one worth visiting if you are not staying in the area is Mackenzie (also known as Makenzy) beach. It is located near Larnaca International airport and the Salt Lakes. Mackenzie beach is known for its grey sand and shallow clear water, with lots of trendy bars, clubs and restaurants lining the esplanade behind.
Due to the location of Mackenzie beach, it is an ideal spot for plane spotting. I have to admit it was a little surreal watching the planes coming into land and it sometimes looks like they are going to land on the beach umbrellas.
If you want to take some silly photographs that look like you are standing underneath the plane, then head up to the furthest end next to the airport.
Head to the Larnaca salt lakes first and then over to the beach to cool off in the afternoon.
Points of Interest in Larnaca
- Larnaca Salt Lake
- Church of Saint Lazarus
- The Medieval Castle of Larnaka
- Mackenzie Beach
- Piale Pasa
⇒ Do you require a visa for Larnaca Cyprus before you go? You can check and see if there are any requirements.
Getting to Larnaca Cyprus
Flying and airports
The closest international airport is Larnaca International Airport which is only 15 to 30 minutes away from the centre of Larnaca. If you are staying around McKenzie beach, you are only 5-10minutes away. You are so close that when the planes come into land, it feels like they are literally just above your head.
I flew with Jet2 from London Stansted who services this route a couple of times a week. Alternatively, you can also fly into Paphos International airport.
Catching the Bus to Larnaca
If you are wanting to catch the bus from Larnaca Internation Airport, then the number 425 is the bus you need. It takes you all the way through Larnaca to the other side. If you are coming from Nicosia or one of the beach resorts, you will need to catch the Intercity Bus that will drop you off on Finikoudes promenade.
- The local buses cost €1.50 one way per person.
Hiring a car to get around Larnaca
You can hire a car to get around Larnaca Cyprus, especially if you have a family or there is a group of you. There are numerous companies in and around Larnaca International Airport where you can hire a car. If you are worried about getting lost it should not be a problem, as most car hire places do Sav Nav hire too.
We caught the bus everywhere but we wished we had hired a car for a trip, as it not expensive and much easier to get around the sites.
Where to stay in Larnaca
Sunflower Hotel Apartments
We stayed at Sunflower Hotel Apartments for three nights before we flew back to London. It had everything we needed for the short break and we could not argue with the price or the position of the apartment. The apartment was a little away from the centre of Larnaca but the bus stop was only across the road and it was easy to use.
We had a big room with two single beds, a separate lounge, and a kitchen area with all the required amenities. As well as a balcony where you could see the ocean from and strong WiFi. It was nice to come back in the afternoons and have the pool to ourselves.
Feel free to check out other peoples reviews about Sunflower Hotel Apartments ⇒ Read reviews on Trip Advisor
Top tips for walking around Larnaca
- Heading to Nicosia for a day, here is a guide on culture and authentic this to do in Nicosia.
- Remember that you need to get some good Walking Shoes
- Larnaca Cyprus uses UK adaptors European adaptors
- Head here for more amazing activities in Cyprus before you go.
- It gets really hot during the summer period in Cyprus, so best to have a 1 Litre bladder bag (Also known as Hydration bladder)or a sports water bottle to keep you hydrated.
⇒ Make sure that you have the right travel insurance so your mind can be at ease on your holiday in Cyprus. Compare the best holiday insurance for FREE
Other places to visit in Europe near Larnaca
Discovering other cities in Europe near Larnaca, feel free to read the following articles.
- Top Things to do in Oludeniz – Oludeniz, Turkey
- 48hrs in Lake Garda –Brescia and Lake Garda, Italy
- A village Preserved in Time – Edam – Netherlands
Thank you for reading this article ‘What to do in Larnaca Cyprus’. I hope it helped you to decide what to do while in the beach resort of Larnaca Cyprus. It is such an interesting and beautiful place to visit, full of history and amazing cafes.
Have you been to Larnaca Cyprus before? Please feel free to share your experience in the comments below or if you know any other places to see?
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⇒ Please feel free to head to my Mediterranean page, if you are wanting to read about other locations.
Disclaimer: Even though I was sponsored by Jet2Holidays for my flights. All views are my own and based on my own experience.