Larnaca Car Hire
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Larnaca is the birthplace of Stoic philosopher Zeno and is steeped in history and fascinating local attractions. Staying in Larnaca is a great base for exploring the rest of the Island and the nearby beaches and the best way to do it is by car rental in Larnaca.
One primarily chooses Larnaca to relax, enjoy the sun and a good swim, but as it often happens the best relaxation is actually in some sort of activity and Larnaca has many surprises waiting to be discovered.
Take Ayios Lazarus, for example. A lovely historic church in the centre of the town, not far from the beach, known for the tomb of Lazarus, the subject of a miracle resurrection from death by Jesus. Hala Sultan Tekke is another religious site to visit and if you are a history buff, you don't want to miss Larnaca medieval fort.
There is also lots of adventure, like diving to the wreck of Xenobia, a ferry that went down with hundred or so trucks. The depth of the site provides an ideal range of dives for various levels of experience including wreck penetration.
Scuba dive Cyprus
With road links to some of the best beaches in Cyprus, like MaKenzy beach or Finikoudes beach and the Islands party capital Ayia Napia, Larnaca really has everything and you will not be disappointed.
To make the most of your holiday, you’ll want a cheap car hire in Larnaca so you can travel between local attractions easily and efficiently. You can also take a few days and travel to Limassol or Paphos on the great well-maintained roads of Cyprus.
Also available from Enjoy Car Hire is airport car hire in Larnaca. You’ll find it easy and efficient. Cheap car rental in Larnaca gives you freedom and choice. Call our support team or log on to our site today to find out more about cheap car hire in Larnaca and airport car hire in Larnaca.
Guide to Larnaca
Larnaca, also spelt Larnaka, is the third largest city in Cyprus and is situated on the south coast of the island. It is home to the country’s second largest commercial port and built over the ancient remains of Kittion and today offers a wide variety of attractions, ranging from museums to shopping centres to beaches, as well as being the most insightful to the Cypriot lifestyle. The town itself is incredibly charming but also works as a fabulous launchpad to see a large portion of the island, which is easily accessible by car. The marina and the fort are dated and surrounded by the idyllic Turkish quarter, as well as there being a host of other ancient churches, but the rest of the town is modern with a pretty coastline fringed by palm trees and dotted with tavernas and cafes.
Kition, now Larnaca, was believed to be the first settlement of Noah’s grandson Khittim about 6000 years ago, from where its original name derived. It was ruled by both the Greeks and the Romans, followed then by the Byzantine rule, who are considered by many to be some of the most influential, mainly due to the architecture and structures they left, including the Basilica of Saint Lazarus. From 1489, Larnaca was part of the Venentian empire and called Salina after the large salt lake. The region prospered hugely under the Ottoman influence from 1571 to 1878, when the small village of Lefkara did particularly well and Larnaca became a hub in the mediteranean. However this was not the end of foreign invasion as the British invaded until the 1960s when this was eclipsed as part of the peace treaties that ended the second world war. During this time the castle was used as a prison. Following this Cyprus was invaded by Turkey in 1974 and although Larnaca was not invaded, it played a key role as it was the only airport not under turkish control. Larnaka’s tourism industry developed rapidly in at the beginning of the 1980s and the population also grew.
In January 2011, the city was awoken by a huge explosion at the Evangelos Florakis naval base where hundreds of containers of gunpowder and other explosives exploded. They were simply being stored at the base, having been confiscated from a cypriot ship taking them from Iran to the Gaza Strip in 2009.
Things to do in Larnaca
Larnaca Fort was built to protect the city in 1625 and is located at the end of the Phinikoudes promenade. It is not only is an impressive site from the outside that combines te Ottoman, French and British influences over the years but inside you will find some impeccably preserved artifacts and relics that have all been residents of the castle over the year. There is also the option to climb up to the roof of the castle and enjoy incredible views of the beach.
It is also worth wandering down to Skala, the Turkish Quarter, which is where many Turksih Cypriots lived before the Turkish invasion. The quarter has kept a dated charm where individual commerce takes place from inside the cottages, including crafts, cafes and pottery.
In the warm evenings, enjoy a stroll along the marina, which is a peaceful location with the calming sight of rippling water.
The Agios Lazarus Church is most definitely worth visiting, not only due to its impressive interior but also its captivating and fascinating history. Dating back to the 9th century, it remains in impeccable condition and dominates the square in which it is situated. It was built under the rule of the Byzantine Emperor Leo VI and is part of the Greek Orthodox faith. The church was built in memory of Lazarus, who supposedly rose from the dead and then was the Bishop of Kition , now Larnaca and was buried where the Church now stands.
Larnaca Salt Lake and Hala Sultan Tekke,built by the Ottomans is a sight that is definitely worth visiting despite it being slightly on the outskirts of the town. The views are stunning as the ancient building image reflects onto the lake surrounded by pink flamingos in the winter months.
Kamares Roman Aqueduct is an impressive structure which is worth venturing out towards. It was built in the 18th century under the Ottoman rule by the governor Bekir Pasha and was monumental to the supply of water until 1939. It is an impressive structure that used to have 75 arches, and although many of them collapsed over time, it stands as a souvenir of the roman era which has passed.
The ancient city of Kittion may be of interest to you and allows you to engage with the island’s ancient heritage. The site is only about 20 minutes walking distance from the centre and the ruins happen to be an incredibly peaceful place.
Despite there being a beach in Larnaca itself, there are also many other surrounding beaches worth visiting:
CTO or Pyla Beach is the closest to Larnaca - the sand is a greyish colour but this is made up by the fact that the beach is surrounded by beautiful greenery. The water is clear and calm and there are plenty of facilities on site.
Cessac Beach is a sandy public beach which is also known as Golden Bay, and it becomes clear why on arrival.The beach also has plenty of snack bars and hotels which means that you can get everything you want without having to leave the beach.
McKenzie is a whole kilometre long and is located very near the International Airport but is a particularly good spot, if you are keen to partake in some water sports, as well as there being plenty of places for food and drink and sunbeds.
If you want to get more of an idea of the traditional Cypriot lifestyle, it is worth heading out to some of the surrounding villages, such as Lefkara which is renowned for its lace, as bought by Leonarda da Vinci for the cathedral in Milan. The idyllic winding streets will take you around the quaint shops and cafes. The Church of Archangelos Michael is also worth popping into as it holds some incredible 12th century icon paintings.
Protaras is another destination worth driving to, a seaside resort with the most stunning white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. The town has a very relaxed vibe that feels more authentic to the larger resorts.
For the scuba divers out there, there is the incredible wreck diving site MS Zenobia which sank in 1980 in Larnaca harbour due to an electronic glitch. It is a popular site as it not only allows you to get closer to history, through the shipwreck, as well reefs and an impressive collection of fish.
Eating out & Nightlife
Larnaca is brimming with different experiences for all of the foodies out there, with budgets ranging from incredible local street food and tavernas all the way to fine dining. Its rich history makes it a fusion of Cypriot, Greek, Mediterranean and Lebonese cuisines, as well as the modern influences of course.
Grada Tavern is a popular greek restaurant where you will enjoy the generous portions of mezze and the warm welcome of the owners.
To Kazani Traditional Tavern is a middle-eastern style restaurant all set within the intimate setting of a homely tavern, decorated with miscellaneous rustic ornaments and plants. The staff are friendly and warm and the food is delicious and served in abundance. For a similar combination of Cypriot and Lebanese flavors, Maqam Al Sultan will never dissapoint, where you can enjoy delicious mezze and tender meat served with warm fresh bread and accompanied with stunning views of the sea.
Hobo’s Steakhouse is the perfect setting looking out to sea at the stunning Finikoudes Beach with the most delicious steak. It serves generous portions of deliciously tender meats, including the most upmarket beef on offer. All this is accompanied by a selection of meze or pasta.
Being by the sea, it is natural to crave some seafood and Zephyros will satisfy that craving and more! The venue is lively and atmospheric with incredible views and the food is not only delicious but also good value.
Larnaca has so much to offer when the sun sets, whether it may be a walk along the marina and a cocktail by the beachfront or to spend all night dancing in one of the city’s top nightclubs, there really is something for everyone.
If it is a chilled vibe you are looking for then it is worth making your way to Ammos Beach Bar on Makenzy Beach, where you will enjoy unique cocktails accompanied by funky sounds. Similarly Lush Beach Bar offers excellent service, a beautiful setting, signature cocktails and the occasional guest DJ or musician.
Larnaca International airport (code: LCA) is a large airport that flies 5.2 million passengers every year. It hosts around 30 airlines and therefore there will almost certainly be one that suits your convenience and budget.
The local network of buses is quite accessible with normally about 2 buses per hour, all of which are modern and reliable. There are also bus routes to Nicosia, Limassol and Paphos.
Cyprus is fairly small and it is worth renting a car as many other top destinations are all easily accessible within an hours drive. You can get to the coastal party towns of Ayia Napa and Protaras in 45 minutes or to the peaceful and rural retreats of Vavla and Lefkara which are only about 30 minutes drive away. Nicosia is also close enough for a day trip.
Within the city centre, there is a rather complicated one way system and you are better off going around the city on foot. The large car parks include FinikoudesMultipark, Manuel’s Car Park, Lordou Vyrona Street Parking, and Marina Parking.
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