Updated on September 5, 2023
Larnaca beaches aren’t renowned for their turquoise waters or five-star amenities. These sandy beaches are best for families with children, thanks to the convenience of the clean, shallow water, fine sand, and wealth of seafront restaurants and tavernas.
This article is about the port city of Larnaca and about its beaches.
I’ll start with the beaches in Larnaca. Then, I’ll take a look at the main things to do in Larnaca other than resting on the beach and swimming.
Main Topics of Larnaka, Cyprus – Beaches, Cats, a Bit of History and a Lot of Food
- Larnaca Beaches
- What Makes Larnaka a Great Destination?
- Where Is Cyprus? What About Larnaka?
- Best Time To Go To Cyprus
- Things To Do in Larnaka, Cyprus (+ Some Guided Tours and a Jeep Safari)
- Other Things To Do in Larnaka
- What You Can Eat In Cyprus
The main harbor of Larnaca is in the north of the city. Here are the main beaches down the harbor.
Finikoudes is the main Larnaca beach. It starts by the harbor and it stretches along the shore down to Larnaka Medieval Fort.
The beach is located right in the city center, next to a beautiful seafront promenade scattered along with tavernas, bars, restaurants and hotels.
Finikoudes is a large and long sandy beach with sunbeds and umbrellas. A set of two sunbeds plus umbrella costs 7.50 Euro a day.
The sea is clean, calm and shallow. It is perfect for small children.
The drawback is that you do need to walk a lot through the water to be able to swim.
Finikoudes is one of the most famous beaches in Cyprus.
Here are a few photos of Finikoudes Beach I took on one of my trips to Cyprus:
As you walk down Finikoudes Beach, you’ll soon reach Kastella Beach.
More compact that Finikoudes, but also convenient, Kastella is a Blue Flag beach featuring shallow water, sunbeds and umbrellas, as well as toilets, showers and changing cabins, just like any other beach in this category.
As the sea is very shallow on a very long distance, Kastella beach is best for families with children.
Mackenzie Beach is another beautiful stripe of sand lined by apartments, tavernas and bars.
What makes Mackenzie different than other beaches in Larnaca is the beach volleyball zone.
Various water sports are available on Mackenzie Beach.
The best thing about Mackenzie beach is its proximity to the Larnaca airport.
How cool is it to have airplanes fly over you while you swim?
Larnaca Beach for Dogs (Spyros Beach)
Located right near Larnaca International Airport, this beach is the place to bring your dog to have some waterfront fun.
I don’t have a dog, so I can’t tell you how good it is, but many dog owners seem to appreciate this beach.
What Makes Larnaka a Great Destination?
This is how you can easily end up by clicking on Larnaka on the website of a low cost European airline. If you’re lucky, flight prices for a four-night stay are incredibly low. Sometimes, they are as low as 50 Euros return (this is from Bucharest, my home city, where I live now). Cyprus travel is easy when you’re located in Europe.
Larnaca can make an excellent base to take a rest and enjoy the silence before heading over to Ayia Napa, the resort that boasts the best nightlife in Cyprus. It can be a good start for many other best things to do in Cyprus. You can spend a couple of nights in Larnaca, and visit Nicosia during this time. Then you can move for one or two nights to Limassol, and then stay a few more days in Paphos, before heading towards the northern part of the island..
The Bucharest-Larnaca flight duration is only a little over two hours. One phone call and a few clicks later the tickets were bought, the hotel booked, and I was already searching for things to see in Cyprus. Little did I know I was going to see the beach, only the beach and almost nothing but the beach. Well, I also saw a lot of cats. You can’t eat one single meal here without ten pairs of round eyes staring at your mouth.
Where Is Cyprus? What About Larnaka?
Did you know that Cyprus joined the European Union in 2004? Their currency is Euro, so it’s not so difficult to get a good understanding of the prices and of the value of things.They drive on the left side of the road, and they use the same power plugs as in the UK. You can buy an adapter in any convenience store for less than 2 Euros, so don’t bother bringing one with you, if you don’t have it already.
Located just below Turkey, Cyprus is at approximately the same latitude as Crete, the Greek island with lovely weather almost all year round. Besides, as Cyprus is in the Mediterranean Sea, it also benefits from excellent weather, perfect for a beach vacation in months when we already wear our winter gear.
The country is divided in two. The northern region is under Turkish occupation. For many years, people living in Southern Nicosia were forced to take long tours to get from home to work, in order to avoid trespassing occupied territories. Both Larnaca and Paphos are in the southern region.
Today, on Ledra Street in Nicosia, you are allowed to cross the border, so make sure you have your passport on you, should you go for a tour of the city. This is a pedestrian only crossing. I don’t know what drivers do to get to the Turkish part. Anyway, if you intend to do this, and you rent a car, don’t forget to inform the agent about your intention, because you need additional insurance coverage.
As crazy at is may seem, you can’t take a bus to go from Larnaca to the occupied territories in the north of the island. If you want to visit Famagusta, Salamis, Kyrenia Harbor, Kyrenia Castle, Turtle Beach and the Saint Barnabas Monastery, you have the option to rent a car or to use the local “Dolmus” system. The Dolmus is a minibus just like the ones in Turkey.
Nonetheless, as far as I’ve understood, if you don’t have a car, you may have to walk a lot (which is very good for you, so I strongly encourage you to do it).
Best Time To Go To Cyprus
There’s probably no best time to go to Cyprus, as the climate is mild and warm all year round. May has been great, with about 24-25 degrees Celsius in the air, and with a water temperature of about 20-21 degrees C. It appears that today is a rainy day in Larnaca, Limassol, Nicosia, and everywhere else on the island. In July and August the weather must be hotter, but with the nice wind blowing on the beach, it surely is enjoyable. If you’re not too fond of crowds, May is the perfect time to enjoy a perfect three or four days break. Although you won’t have too many entertainment opportunities, you’ll still find enough taverns and bars open and ready to feed you their tasty lamb chops, fish and seafood. Since I haven’t had the time to see anything else but Larnaka, I’ll surely go back another time for exploration purposes.
Things To Do in Larnaka, Cyprus (+ Some Guided Tours and a Jeep Safari)
You can start by taking this private walking tour of Larnaca, so that you can learn about all the things to do in this city.
This garden to kitchen cooking class is also a great idea, so make sure you check it out.
For more adventurous spirits, these kitesurfing lessons can be the best way to spend an exciting couple of hours learning this beautiful sport.
How would you like a full day Jeep safari to Kykkos Monastery?
Whatever tour you choose, make sure you book it in advance, as some of them sell quite fast, particularly during the full season.
Coming from a crazy spring, with many cold days and storms, you’ll feel it’s your duty of honor to spend as much time on the beach as possible.
On the first day you can discover Finikoudes (or Foinikoudes) Beach with its beautiful promenade, palm trees, fine sand, shallow waters and a generous offer of restaurants and bars. There are always some guys who sell fresh fruit, juices and coffee directly on the beach, so you don’t have to move to get some refreshments. If you see someone selling a local variety of peach, very small and much whiter than traditional peaches, buy some, because it is delicious.
There are also some tiny, yellow-orange fruits which locals call “muscula.” I couldn’t find this fruit on Google, but here’s a photo of it. If you know how it’s called, please write a comment here, below. Anyway, at one euro a bag, these fruits are the perfect beach refreshments.
Other Things To Do in Larnaka
Other things to do in Larnaca include to relax on the beach, to eat, to take nice, long walks, and to play with the million cats that roam around wherever you go. Optionally, you can visit the mosque and the Agios Lazaros Byzantine Museum, as well as any of the many museums in the city.
If you go to Larnaka Cyprus during the peak season, you can try your skills at diving and canoeing or relax with a sea yoga session. Well, if you can relax while doing the Downward Facing Dog on a plank in the middle of the sea. It seems that May is way too early, as the sea yoga center and the diving center appeared to be closed.
Even Makenzy Beach, famous for its nightlife, appeared to be deserted during the day. The only living beings were some workers getting ready for the high season.
Finikoudes Beach was much better, with its restaurants, bars and shops.
What You Can Eat In Cyprus
Seafood and fish are served in all restaurants along the Larnaka promenade, and, as you can imagine, they are all fresh and delicious. Octopus, calamari and shrimps are mouthwatering and juicy. However, the biggest hit of this trip were the lamb chops. If you ever go to Cyprus and you like lamb meat, try these chops. They are sensational.
Since the portions are literally huge, you’ll have plenty of leftovers to feed the army of cats around your hotel. If you’re lucky to get a ground floor room with a large deck, you’ll have some furry-purry guests every evening.
I chose the Larco Hotel on Booking.com despite the fact that most reviewers said bathrooms were really bad. They were right, but the staff was very nice, we’ve got a driver waiting for us at the airport, and we’ve got a huge deck with a table and chairs.
We had a few four-legged guests every day, so by the end of the journey we weren’t so upset about the bathroom anymore. I could call this article “How a Bunch of Cats Can Change Your Mindset.”
On the Salt Lake, you can see the flamingos and the ancient aqueducts. I’ve only looked from the car as I was heading to the hotel from the airport, and I haven’t seen any birds. I suppose I’ll need to get back another time to take photos of the flamingos and to see Paphos and Nicosia.
The airport is very close to the beach, so you can try your hand at shooting airplanes (with your camera, of course) day and night. If you have the right gear, you can take some amazing shots of airplanes crossing the moon. Obviously, I don’t have the right skills, because there’s no good photo I can show. This is yet another reason to return next year.
You can pin this article about Larnaka to find it later, when you’ll plan your trip to Cyprus.