Little did those who planted the tiny palm trees along the Larnaca seafront promenade in 1922 know that the Finikoudes (small palm trees) would grow into the enormous plants that have become the signature of the city.
The grey sand Finikoudes Beach runs for about 500 metres from the marina to the castle. From there and the little fishing harbour, Mackenzie beach stretches for a further kilometre. Both are ideal sandy, family beaches with shallow calm waters. A newly completed promenade follows the sea front from the marina to the beginning of Mackenzie beach making the Larnaca seafront, lined with restaurants, cafes and bars one of the most picturesque on the island.
Behind the seafront is the old town of Larnaca with its narrow streets and many noble buildings, a testament to the city’s previous wealth when it was the main port and trading centre of the island. Today, with a city population of around 50,000 and an urban population of around 84,000, Larnaca is the third largest city on Cyprus.
There is much to see in this city of many museums. The church of Saint Lazarus, the Phaneromeni Church Catacombs, the Kamares Aqueduct built in the 18th Century and the Fort of Larnaca. Behind the city, on the way to the airport which is close by is the Salt Lake which fills with water during the winter and is the home of flamingoes which stay there from November until the end of March and the beginning of the Cypriot summer.
An excellent base from which to explore a historically rich region with Nicosia, Limassol, Protaras and Ayia Napa all within an hour’s drive. The pretty villages of Kato Drys, Lefkara and Skarinou are all within a 30 minute drive.