Larnaka (Larnaca) was the second home of St. Lazarus, who lived here after his resurrection and later became its first Bishop. The impressive 10th century Church of St Lazarus in the centre of the town was built over the saint’s tomb and is one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture in Cyprus.
The town of Larnaka (Larnaca) is built over the ancient city kingdom of Kition, a rich sea port and major centre of the copper trade and later a Phoenician stronghold. Its remains can be seen today in its cyclopean walls made of giant blocks of stone and a complex of 12th century BC Mycenaean Greek temples.
Stroll along the palm-lined sea-front promenade, known as “Phinikoudes”, and indulge in some people-watching at one of the many pavement cafes or restaurants. The nearby marina is a favourite haunt for a friendly community of local yacht owners as well as yachtsmen from all over the world.
The mosque of Hala Sultan Tekke, built in honour of the Prophet Mohammed’s aunt, who died here after falling from her horse, is an important place of Moslem pilgrimage. Its minaret rises up amidst a copse of tall palm and cypress trees, shimmering like an oasis mirage on the edge of the salt lake, a favourite winter habitat for flamingoes and other migratory birds.