The waterfront has been a prominent part of life in Larnaka, a major coastal town in southern Cyprus, since as far back as the 13th century BCE when it was first settled by Greek colonists. Finikoudes Promenade buzzes around the clock with both residents and foreigners who come to bake on the beach, relax at one of the marina-facing cafés and take in sunset from the sand. Head inland, however, and you'll discover historic districts and ancient ruins that recall Larnaka's yesteryears.
The best way to avoid Larnaka's crowds is by moving away from the water. Skala is the city's crumbling Turkish quarter and one of the most atmospheric places in town. Here, you'll find whitewashed cottages with colourful shutters as well as ceramic workshops where artisans craft their wares. Just beyond the neighbourhood's border sits the Byzantine church of Agios Lazaros, which has stood since the ninth century.
It's impossible to visit Cyprus and not take advantage of the stellar weather. Larnaka itself is home to a number of sandy stretches including Mackenzie Beach, where you can hop between your sun bed and the restaurant-lined promenade with ease. Larnaka is especially popular with divers, who come to explore the underwater Zenobia shipwreck just offshore and its reef-like ecosystem of marine life. Larnaka Salt Lake is perhaps the area's most impressive natural wonder. In winter, when the lake is full, thousands of flamingoes and other migrating birds come to feast on its shrimp-filled waters.