Most holiday makers first see Cyprus at Larnaca, which is the second port and the site of an international airport. No welcome could be sunnier: at Larnaca, deep blue seas meet bright sand beaches under incomparably brilliant skies. Here yachts and sailing vessels from around the globe bob and glint, and along the harbour perimeter is a palm-lined promenade with its majestic hotels and Cyprus hotel apartments. Between shopping trips to Larnaca’s international-calibre boutiques, inviting cafés offer shady resting spots and sweeping ocean views. The promenade winds its way to a striking finale, the Larnaca Medieval Museum, housed in a 17th-century fort. Make your way north from the fort, toward the centre of the city, and you will come to one of Larnaca’s and the island’s most cherished sites — the church of St. Lazarus. After his resurrection from the dead by Jesus, Lazarus elected to live out his “second” life as Bishop of Cyprus. He is reputedly buried in a crypt under the main altar.
Originally called Kition in the days of the Old Testament, Larnaca reached a heyday as a commercial center in the 1700’s, when the consulates were established here.
One of the oldest, continually-inhabited cities in the world, Larnaca abounds with sights. Nearby is an 18th-century aqueduct, and two wonderful museums — the Larnaka District Archaeological Museum and the Pierides Foundation Museum. Both contain exceptional examples of Mediterranean art.
Heading out from Larnaka toward Limassol (next section), stop by the enchanting village of Lefkara. Doubtless you, like Leonardo da Vinci five centuries before you, will be seduced by Lefkara’s exquisite handmade lace...
Cyprus holiday & shopping
Shopping in Cyprus is a fun experience because it mirrors the fact that the island is such a land of wonderful contrasts. You can find goods and products that are produced in the humblest village workshop, but you can also find the highest fashions in the larger, more sophisticated cities. You can buy everything from folk art souvenirs to locally-made cheeses, (including delicious Halloumi) and local wines and spirits.
The historic folk arts of Cyprus are the inspiration for many of the quality gift and souvenir items you can buy on the island. Among them laces named after the village of Lefkara, embroideries from Pafos — called “Pafitika” fabric — and fine pottery, woodwork, leather and metal work from many places; all deservedly famous.
Fabrics are used in a large number of different items and come in styles to fit every taste. Many have a story to tell. Lefkaritica lace, for example, was made well before the Venetians came to prize it as an expression of quality folk art. But even though its roots are in history, Lefkaritica is a living tradition, with new designs in table cloths, curtains, placemats and dresser sets being added continually. One way or another, if you are looking for items that can be worn, or carried, or placed on the table, the wall or the floor, Cyprus is the place for you. The history of Cyprus also finds expression in its metal wear made from locally-mined materials. Well before the Bronze age, Cyprus was known for its copper pots, saucepans and planters, all of which make wonderful gifts for the practical-minded recipient, or can adorn your own kitchen at home. Then there is gold and silver jewellery, much of it faithful reproductions of ancient designs, and often exceptional examples of Cyprus folk art skills.
Pottery making has also a long tradition on Cyprus. Look for the terra cotta ware with white decorations, copied from museum pieces. Beautifully decorated gourds are also available, and make surprisingly useful planters , vases, carafes and scoops.
Basket-weaving is a specialty of the village of Mesoyi, which produces brightly rib boned items that make perfect wall hangings. Footstools, wood carvings, pine dowry chests, small boxes and shelves, all are available — some decorated with, birds, flowers, rosettes, trees and religious symbols. The Cyprus Handicraft Service, is a government-run organization that specializes in craft work It has stores in Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaka, and Pafos.
Shopping in Cyprus is a joy, whether you want that memorable rustic souvenir, want to take advantage of certain local bargains such as contact lenses, frames and other optical items, or whether you take the opportunity to look for that special something, a chic item of clothing from the one of the shops in the big cities, for example.
Larnaca District Archaeological Museum: Plateia
Kalogreon. Collection of finds from the Larnaka area dating from the
Neolithic Age to the Roman period.
Pierides Museum: Zenon Kitieos 4.
Agios Lazaros Church (St. Lazarus) Plateia Agiou Lazarou. Saint Lazarus is the patron saint of Larnaka. After his resurrection by Christ, he lived here for another 30 years. He was ordained Bishop of Kition by Saints Barnabas and Mark. The 9th-century church was faithfully restored in the 17th-century, and the iconostasi is an excellent example of baroque woodcarving. Eight days before the Greek Orthodox Easter the icon of Saint Lazarus is taken in procession through the streets of Larnaka.
Kition: Approximately 500 m.
northeast of the Archaeological Museum.
Kamares Aqueduct: Kamares area on the Larnaka-Lemesos road. A beautiful 18th-century aqueduct which was in use until 1930
Hala Sultan Tekesi: 3km west of
Larnaka on the road to Kiti, passing the Larnaka Airport.
Angeloctisti Church: Kiti village, 11 km west of Larnaka. Angeloktisti means ‘Built by the Angels.’ This 11th-century Byzantine church was erected over the ruins of an Early Christian basilica. The original apse survived together with one of the finest pieces of Byzantine art, a rare 6th-century mosaic of the Virgin Mary and Child between the two archangels, which rivals the Ravenna Mosaics.
Stavrovouni Monastery: 9 km off the
Lefkosia-Lemesos Road, 40 km from Larnaka.
Choirokitia: 48 km south of
Lefkosia, off the Lefkosia-Lemesos road and 32 km from Larnaka.
Lerfkara: 8 km from Skarinou,
off the Lefkosia-Lemesos Road, 40 km from Larnaka.
Larnaca - Cyprus hotel guide, all about Larnaca Holiday apartments in Cyprus, holiday villas & hotels for Cyprus holiday
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