St. Lazarus Church
One of the most remarkable churches on the whole island. The Byzantine Church of St. Lazarus was built over the tomb of the famous saint, who had been raised from the dead by Jesus Christ (and died for the second time in Cyprus, being an old man). The name of the city of Larnaka comes from the word "larnax" (sarcophagus).
The temple was built in the 9th century and then was rebuilt a few times, as it belonged to Muslims, Catholics, and Orthodox at different times throughout history. Inside the church, there is a sarcophagus, a source of holy water, an iconostasis of the 18th century bearing 120 icons, and ancient Byzantine murals.
The relics considered to be the hallows of St. Lazarus are also here. The relics of the Saint are known to have been taken from here by the Crusaders in the Middle Ages, but in 1972 the part of them was discovered during renovation of the church.
Tasos Mitsopoulos Avenue
Larnaka, Larnaka Town, Larnaka
Renovated city embankment that stretches along the ancient Turkish quarter. For centuries the embankment was called Piale Pasha Street, but it was recently renamed in honor of the deceased Minister of Defense of Cyprus—this decision caused a lot of controversy.
It is a quiet place, convenient for jogging, riding a bike, or just relaxing and looking at the sea.
This fortress defended the city port for centuries. The first fortress of Larnaca on this site was built in the 14th century by the King of Cyprus Jacques I de Lusignan. 300 years later, the fortress was restored and rebuilt by the Turks, and this is what we can see today. Later, the British used the fortress as a prison and a place for executions.
Now the castle is used as the Archaeological Museum of the Middle Ages, and you can get a beautiful view of the city from its ancient walls.
The second largest salt lake in Cyprus that was declared a protected area. This is one of the largest waterfowl habitats in Europe. You can spot wild ducks, geese, gulls, and cormorants, among others. Flocks of flamingos, that come here in October and November, attract tourists from all over the island. However, you must be prepared for the fact that the lake dries up from May till October.
Near the lake there is a large ancient aqueduct, Kamares, built by the Turks in the 18th century. This is one of the largest aqueducts in Cyprus. In addition, on the shore of the lake there is the Hala Sultan Tekke mosque—one of the main shrines for Muslims around the world.
Hala Sultan Tekke
The legend says that the mosque was built on the spot where a woman named Umm Haram had died. According to one version, she was the prophet Muhammad’s aunt, other one says that she was his companion’s wife.
First they placed a huge rock on this very site. That rock was believed to be a fragment of a meteorite with curing properties and that is why the place used to attract pilgrims. And after the island had been seized by the Ottoman Empire in the early 19th century, a whole spiritual complex was built here—a mosque, a mausoleum, a minaret and residential buildings (for men and women separately). People often call this mosque the fourth most important Muslim shrine in the world.
Kition Archaeological Site
Stone ruins of the city-state, the predecessor of Larnaca. These are remains of the Mycenaean civilization (13th century BC) and the Phoenician civilization (9th century BC), first rulers of Cyprus.
One can walk here along the remains of the walls of Kition, and see the huge boulders and ruins of the temple of Aphrodite-Astarte, built by the same Phoenician masters who erected the temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. Somewhere in these walls Zeno, the founder of Stoic philosophy, was born.
Zinonos Kitieos, 4