Top 5 Things To Do In Larnaca and Nicosia
The Green Line cuts the island of Cyprus into two parts – the Greek and the Turkish parts. On the Greek side of Cyprus, Nicosia and Larnaca are the closest regions to the Green Line. In fact, Nicosia is the only capital in the world that is divided into two regions like this. While Nicosia helps you understand the political and geographical difference, Larnaca is a quainter experience. It allows you to enjoy the history and culture of the beautiful island of Cyprus. While there is a lot to see in both Larnaca and Nicosia, these are the sights you cannot miss.
Saint Lazaros is famous for rising from the dead to live for another 30 years. He spent his life in Larnaca after his first death, which also became his final resting place. Agios Lazaros is the burial site of Lazaros and is also a church built by Emperor Leo VI in the 9th century. Visit the iconic site to marvel at the woodwork, the Tomb of Lazarus, a silver icon, amazing paintings, and also the Byzantine Museum across the courtyard.
Hala Sultan Tekke
Built on the western side of the famous Salt Lake, Hala Sultan Tekke is a place of pilgrimage for Muslims around the globe. It was built by the Ottoman Empire in 1816 and has breathtaking architecture. The Salt Lake in Larnaca itself is a protected reserve, so the area surrounding the monument is covered in trees and offers many peaceful walking trails.
Pierides Archaeological Foundation Museum
Set in a mansion from the 18th century and founded in 1839, Pierides Archaeological Foundation Museum is a one-of-a-kind private exhibition of Cypriot antiques. The 2500+ exhibits in the museum include Neolithic and medieval items from the collection of the famous archeologist, Demetrios Pierides.
If you are a fan of hiking, then Larnaca has a stunning trail for you to trace by Cape Greco. The hike between Protaras and Agia Napa will take you to the southernmost point of the island of Cyprus. The crystal-clear waters and the picturesque rock formations are a beautiful sight.
The beaches in Larnaca are a must-visit, and there are many of them. There is the Finikoudes Beach on the promenade. Then there are Perivolia Beach, Mackenzie Beach, and Cape Kiti Beach in the south. The southern beaches offer a lot of secluded coves for visitors to explore.
Nicosia is home to the most popular museum on the island called the Cyprus Museum. Founded in 1888, the museum exhibits antiquities excavated from across the island. The oldest antique in the museum is from 8th Millenium BC. Visit this museum to understand Cyprus and its roots.
The shopping street of Nicosia, Ledra Street, runs across the north and south of the city. From the famed coffees shops to restaurants serving local cuisine to charming boutiques, Ledra Street has a lot to offer the travelers.
If you love your wines, you cannot leave Nicosia without visiting the Dafermou Winery standing tall in the Lefkara Valley. The winery mixes international wines with Greek wines to create their custom blend of red, white, and rosé. The winery offers tours and sophisticated tasting rooms to sample their product. It is a unique experience.
When you are in Nicosia, travel around 60kms to the west to reach the Kakopetria village by the Troodos Mountains. It is a beautiful site blessed with a lush green forest landscape and two rivers – Kargotis and Garillis – which make everything more beautiful. Kakopetria still has rustic homes and cobblestone streets that lend it a medieval charm you should not miss.
If you are into history’s mysteries, then this one is for you. Tamassos is an archaeological site south-west of Nicosia. There is not much known about the people of this civilization. The little that has been unearthed tells about their copper mining activities, and their worship of the Greek Gods. In fact, a temple of Goddess Aphrodite has been discovered here too. However, there is a lot that is still not known.
Larnaca and Nicosia have a lot to offer to their visitors. They are laced with history, culture, and nature’s beauty. If you are an explorer, then these are the places to visit in Cyprus.