Larnaca also known as Khittim or Kition is based on a legend that tells of the story of Noah’s grandson, Khittim, who first settled on where the town is now located. However, the name Larnaca might have come from the Greek word Larnax which means sarcophagus discovered in the Larnaca Bay.
Larnaca city boasts luxurious hotels developed along beautiful sandy beaches and the brand new Larnaca international airport, costing €650 million to complete has made it one of the most popular destinations in the eastern Mediterranean, although Larnaca is much smaller than the neighboring towns of Limassol and Nicosia. Larnaca only has a total population of 120,000 and still manages to maintain a leisurely and relaxed atmosphere. The town of Larnaca is located on the southeast coast of Cyprus.
Larnaca is also famous for the Hala Sultan Tekke which stands next to the salt lake just south of Larnaca and is one of the first sights you see near the airport. The Mosque is the fourth most important holy place in the world for Muslims. According to legend, Muhammad’s paternal aunt, accompanying her husband on an Arab raid on Cyprus in 649, was attacked by Byzantine forces here, fell from her mule, broke her neck and was buried on the spot.
The most important and most celebrated festival in Larnaca is Kataklysmos or the Festival of the Flood, which starts in early summer with a series of cultural events. The festival used to last for about a week, but in recent years, with the increased commercialism of peripheral stalls, rides and temporary loukmades restaurants (a sweet delicacy) it has extended to about three weeks, during which the seafront is closed to traffic in the evenings.. Its seafront is lined with palm trees and bustling with taverns, cafes, bars, and shops. There’s a breathtaking historical fortress castle which the town has converted into a summer cultural center. Zenon Kitieos Street is the town’s main shopping area. Always a busy road, it is lined with small shops and a colorful vegetable and fruit market close to the far end.
Larnaca marina. This is an official Port of Entry and has berthing facilities for 450 yachts of various sizes. The area is full of restaurants, cafes and bars and the wide sandy beach is a great place to relax, enjoy the sun and take a dip in the warm Mediterranean sea. The economy in Larnaca has been growing since 1975, after the loss of the Port of Famagusta, which handled 80 percent of the general cargo, and the closure of the Nicosia International Airport meant that the airport and seaport had an increasing important role in the economy of the island.
A €650m upgrade of the Larnaca airport has been completed, and the new Larnaca International Airport is a proud point in Cypriot business terms. Completion was on time if not early. Visitors arriving and leaving Cyprus can do so in organized style which is becoming the norm in such a fast developing community.Also more and more travel and tour operators and other travel related companies including Eurocypria Airlines have their head offices in Larnaca.
Larnaca is a thriving business community with over three quarters of the population employed in the tourism sector.