Larnaca offers rocky beaches, fries and lazy days in the sun. Before the 1600s, the city was known as Kition. The name Larnaca most likely stems from the discovery of a large number of sarcophagus (larnakes) in the area. It is easy to travel by bus to nearby places and takes 35 minutes to Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus. Much of the cultural heritage was destroyed following the invasion by Turkey in 1974 and there is ongoing tension between Greeks and Turks in the country.
One often thinks experiences will become memories not easily forgotten, but I forget the small details more often than seldom. Places I visited, the food I ate and what not. I tend to remember people I meet, but after having seen so many places and eaten so much food(!) It takes something extraordinary to make a lasting impression. Therefore, I write down the things I want to remember. That is why I know that I was sick when I arrived in Larnaca. It did not get better after having checked in and seeing the horror hotel room at Henipa that fits right into a scene from ‘The Shining’. The Crown Resorts Henipa hotel possibly has the ugliest, most dilapidated, dirty and dusty room I’ve ever stayed at. To a costly price not in harmony with the room that had no special features, but rather a cobweb in every corner. The balcony was tiny and almost laughable, but when you know you are going to stay here for two weeks you don’t laugh..blogglisten_6c94a5ef2680a2b3bfccbe403679f627
We went to the reception and spoke to the female receptions who said we could upgrade to the bungalow for an extra 4,000 NOK, but that was out of the question since we had already paid more than what we usually spend on a hotel stay (thinking the rooms were of decent standard). Spending the night in the room made us change our minds and we went back to the reception the following morning, said to the (this time male) receptionist that we wanted to upgrade to the bungalow. He gave us the key and said we didn’t have to pay since there were so many bungalows available. Our rating of the stay went up to 5 stars with a bang!
The resort is in a green area next to a busy highway, about a 15 minute bus ride from the city. The bus stop is 2 minutes from the hotel and the bus has a fixed, but not an extensive schedule route. It was close enough distance that we went to town at least once a day, but if we could have had the same beach somewhat closer to the city we would probably have chosen to stay somewhere with a shorter distance to the city. The bungalow was new, and of bigger and better standard than the hotel room. The room was clean and spacious, bathroom newly tiled, and the balcony was especially inviting.
Rocky beaches are not too bad combined with sand
One of the best things about staying at Henipa was the beach just across the road. The beach Oroklini is long and protected by trees from the highway, it was never crowded with people. The finest restaurant in the area called Galu Seaside Restaurant and has its own bar and sun loungers in the day.
There is a small restaurant set on the beach, but Thomas said that we will not eat there again … Cyprus is famous for stone beaches which is not the most comfortable surface for feet, but after wading in the water I discovered that the waters covered a sandy beach. It was perfect to have this option contrast the hotel pool packed with hotel guests and local teenagers. We used the shallow beach just about every day.
The holiday where we went with the flow
I’m not sure why, but we strolled the tourist strip just about every day in the belief that there was nothing else exciting in the area to see. We were untrained in European Mediterranean destinations and hardly did any exploring in the beginning, causing us to spend about 4 to 5 family budget in 2 weeks. It can happen to anyone, but when it happens in Cyprus it’s somewhat bitter to know that the money was spent on drinks on Friday’s and taxis back to the hotel from Larnaca and Limassol (we are reluctant to read timetables). We certainly became well acquainted with the cafe’s on the tourist strip in Larnaca.
Larnaca marina is situated in the heart of Larnaca town. The town is largely facilitated for mass tourism and there is usually hamburger and chips on the menu at restaurants behind the palm trees along Phinikoudes promenade. If I have to guess, I think most British visit Larnaca, and I think I’m right. The Phinikoudes beach in Larnaca is long and shallow. Since it is long it is possible to find a spot to swim for oneself, but one is never alone and never out of eyesight. The nightlife in Larnaca is pulsating every night, with a diverse age mix attending the clubs and bars. Shopping is also possible, but the brands are questionable. Mango and Stradivarius stores are on Ermou Street behind the tourist strip. Peak season is from June – September and temperatures can exceed 30 degrees Celsius every day. The sun is always stronger than you think!
Attractions and sights in Larnaca
There are many attractions in Larnaca and they are well-preserved. Some of them, including the fort in Larnaca, have been reconstructed after being destroyed in battle in the late 1500s.
Memories from 2010
It was the holiday when Thomas thought he was going to make an adventure game and insisted on taking pictures of anything we walked on, sat on, and looked at to use as pattern for clothing and buildings in his game. Now three years later it does not look like the game will happen and I have to spend hours deleting photos of cobblestone, plants, branches, walls, and clothing fibers. The holiday in Larnaca was a bit stressful due to strong sun in July and I with my ability to get ill sun rash had to go to extreme measures to protect myself. It would have been easier if we had stayed more centrally or if we had stayed in a large enough place for us not having to be on the go all the time. My best memory from Larnaca is the Meze Meze restaurant where we had varied delicious meat dishes composed by the kitchen. We just about rolled out of there when we were finished. Roasted eggplant is pretty good! If I’m going back to Larnaca it is either to experience the meal at the restaurant again or to stay as close to the beach as when we stayed at Henipa.
My rating of Larnaca: ♥♥♥