Larnaca blends the old and new
Larnaca lies to the south-east of the island of Cyprus and its airport is the main entry point for the thousands of annual holiday visitors that choose a Cyprus holiday. Larnaca, also sometimes spelt Larnaka, is the third largest city after Nicosia and Limassol with a population of around 75,000 and one of the biggest beach resort areas of Cyprus.
First impressions of Larnaca are is not particularly edifying. The airport lies at the edge of a massive and barren salt lake about seven kilometres south of Larnaka town and visitors' first glimpse of Cyprus is often this barren, flat white salt lake that borders the airport perimeter.
Thousands of flamingos and other bird migrants can be seen on the salt lake in winter but the lake quickly dries up to a barren wasteland in summer.
But things improve in the resort itself which is a cosmopolitan blend of old and new with a beautiful Larnaca seafront and clean, sandy beaches.
The 'Phinikoudes' is Larnaca's biggest tourist draw — a long strip of palm-shaded cafes, clubs, bars and restaurants that line the long Larnaca beach.
Tourist growth along the huge Larnaca Bay has been substantial, with lots of tourist hotels lining the shore, plenty of buzzing nightlife in the town and a variety of tourist sights to see, ranging from impressive churches to historic sites. There is entertainment galore aimed squarely at tourists visitors, from scuba diving to camel rides.
Festivals are also a major feature of Larnaca life with at least eight major ones each year. The Easter Carnival kicks of the season in March and it runs right through the summer to the Larnaca Summer Festival in July with many nearby village festivals throughout August.
Most visitors stay at the hotels around the bay, although increasing numbers head for the resorts to the south of the airport at Cape Kiti.
The resort of Agia Napa is just 30 kilometres to the east and world famous among young clubbers.