Photo of Larnaca

About Larnaca

There is something for everyone in Larnaca. Built on the ruins of the ancient city of Citium, it is the third largest town in Cyprus and it has a wealth of activities to enjoy. Whether you're lounging with a cocktail on a long white beach, scuba diving amongst shipwrecks, exploring Byzantine churches and castles or gently strolling along the seaside promenade as the dusk closes in, you will find yourself lost in tranquillity. A laid-back place with some fantastic restaurants and bars, it is the ideal holiday destination for families, and the best places to stay in Larnaca tend to cater to exactly that.

The main attraction of Larnaca lies in its beaches. Glittering, golden and with iridescent azure waters, the town is the perfect place for a beach holiday. There is a whole host of activities to enjoy, from scuba-diving to windsurfing, not to mention the sumptuous seaside restaurants and cafes strewn along the famous palm-tree-lined Finikoudes Promenade. Mckenzie Beach, a blue-flag beach, is ideal for a leisurely swim or lazy day spent on a sunlounger. Larnaca has become somewhat of a Mecca for scuba divers owing to the existence of the Zenobia shipwreck - which sank on her maiden voyage in 1980 - the shadow of which you can see when the plane lands at Larnaca Airport.

Larnaca is believed to be one of the oldest inhabited cities in Europe and is certainly the oldest in Cyprus, having been a settlement for some 6000 years. Built on the ruins of ancient Citium, the depth and variety of its historical roots are extraordinary. There are prehistoric settlements scattered around the town like the Choirokoitia Neolithic Settlement, a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site, a beautiful reconstruction of a prehistoric town using only the tools, resources and methods that were originally used. The Salt Lake is a fascinating place, a home to fleets of pink flamingoes during the winter months. There is a mosque, Hala Sultan Tekke, which is said to be the resting place of Mohammed's foster mother.

Roughly two hours away is the Paphos Archaeological Park, a truly astounding day out. Another UNESCO-listed site, it is the stony intestinal remnants of a Romano-Greek city, including temples, enormous villas and the famous Necropolis, the Tombs of the Kings. Larnaca itself has some gorgeous examples of medieval Byzantine architecture. Once in the hands of the Ottoman Empire, there are medieval mosques that are worth checking out. Larnaca Castle, built in the 12th-century, stands looming over the old part of town, and is a marvellous example of Byzantine architecture, while the Church of St. Lazarus, a pretty 9th-century church with a spectacular stone carved exterior, is also a must-see.

What not to miss

  • Take the 2 hour bus ride to Paphos Archaeological Park - the ruins of an ancient Romano-Greek city - and see the temples, villas, theatres and the famous necropolis, the Tombs of the Kings.
  • Lounge with a cocktail on Mckenzie Beach or try your hand at windsurfing!
  • If you like wildlife, check out the Salt Lake and enjoy the teeming wildlife. For something fun for the family, head to the Camel Park, 15 minutes outside the town, where you can ride camels or pet lamas and kangaroos.
  • As the evening draws in, take a stroll down Finikoudes Promenade - a popular pastime for locals - and watch the sunset.
  • Try your hand at scuba diving in the shipwreck Zenobia. There are a great many scubadiving schools to choose from, but Dive-in Cyprus is a professional and safe bet.
  • Check out Larnaca Castle and the Church of Saint Lazarus, both being excellent examples of medieval Byzantine architecture.

During the holidays this is a popular destination, so in order to enure a room at one of the best places to stay in Larnaca, we recommend organising your trip well in advance.

The best places to stay in Larnaca

Beach boutique

  • Lokal Hotel: a former 19th century family home, this is a real gem. With an in-house bistro, rooftop bar and pool, the hotel offers 4 bright contemporary rooms. Ideal for a romantic break.

On a budget

  • Livadhiotis City Hotel: right on the waterfront, offering 58 simple no-frills rooms. Great for families on a budget looking for a beach holiday.

Seaside holiday

  • Qbic City Hotel: in the heart of Larnaca, near the Old Town and right on the beach, offering 16 bright contemporary rooms. Ideal for lazy days spent bathing in the sun.

For Luxury

  • The Ciao Stelio Hotel: an adults-only boutique spot complete with chic design and seo or mountain views.

For an apartment or villa

  • Our partner Booking.com has a wide range of villas and apartments in the nearby area.

Travel information

  • Fly to Larnaca International Airport.
  • If you want to rent a car, contact our partner Rentalcars.
  • If you want a sunny summer holiday, book for July, when the temperature averages at around 27 degrees. If you want to see the flocks of pink flamingoes at the Salt Lake, go during the winter months, when temperatures average at 12 degrees.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Larnaca

  • Livadhiotis City Hotel Larnaca 58 rooms from £74

    Smartly designed but no frills family-run hotel in the heart of Larnaca’s old quarter, close to the waterfront. Ideal for stopovers when flying in or out, as just minutes from the airport.

    Lively  -  Hip and happening.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Sights nearby  -  Well located for major sights.
    On the beach  -  In front of the hotel.
    Check Availability
  • The Ciao Stelio Hotel Larnaca 53 rooms from £108

    An adults-only deluxe hotel that combines luxury-living with chic design. Rooms offer sea or mountain views, and the best come with a balcony. Featuring monochrome style throughout (and plenty of marble) the feel is sophisticated and grown-up. Ideal for a romantic break for two.

    Romantic Break  -  Some rooms have balconies with views of the Mediterranean!
    Active Holiday  -  You can hire a bike from reception to explore Larnaca.
    Beach Life  -  Only 2.2km from Finikoudes Beach!
    Sights nearby  -  Both Larnaka Castle and Larnaka Fort are within 2km of the hotel.
    Check Availability
  • Qbic City Hotel Larnaca 16 rooms from £100

    Located in the heart of Larnaca, just a footstep away from the Old Town and Mediterranean Sea, this hotel is ideal for holidaymakers wanting to explore the city. The rooftop jacuzzi pool and proximity to the beachfront make this hotel the perfect combination of relaxation and adventure.

    Sights nearby  -  Visit the 9th century Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Lazarus
    Swimming Pool  -  Roof-top jacuzzi pool
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Check Availability
  • Lokal Hotel Larnaca 4 rooms from £104

    Former 19th century family home and now delicately restored designer hotel in the belly of Larnaca, blending contemporary and traditional styles. With a rooftop bar, pool and an in-house bistro, this is the perfect place to unwind. All rooms have a Smart TV, orthopaedic mattresses and wifi.

    Beach Life  -  Cyprus is renowned for its pristine, white-sand beaches.
    Sights nearby  -  A short stroll from Saint Lazarus Church, an award-winning site of historical interest.
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Restrictions on children  -  Adult only
    Check Availability