Located on the southern coast of Cyprus is a city that will add some culture and history to your holiday; the city of Larnaka. Larnaka is the third largest city in Cyprus and is known for the many attractions and activities it offers. The city is home to awe-inspiring historic sites and monuments, beautiful golden beaches, a palm tree lined harbor and so much more. Those visiting Larnaca also have the opportunity to participate in numerous outdoor activities. The city has something for everyone and is a must-visit when in Cyprus. For Muslims visiting Larnaca, finding Halal-friendly facilities will prove to be a problem.
Larnaka has a number of popular sites of historical significance. One such site is the Choirokoitia Neolithic Settlement. This settlement is renowned for being one of the best-preserved pre-historic sites. It is home to the remains of a Neolithic settlement and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This settlement dates back to 7000 B.C and visitors will get a glimpse of ancient farm houses, defense walls, tombs and other incredibly old sites. Those looking to learn about the area further can visit the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia where the artefacts from the settlement are displayed.
The main reason divers come to Larnaca is to explore the Zenobia Ferry Wreck. MS Zenobia was a RO-RO ferry that capsized and sank close to Larnaca on her maiden voyage in 1980. This site has now become one of the top wreck diving sites in the world. Those interested can hire the services of one of the few diving centres located in Larnaca. This wreck is great for exploration and is even ideal for those with less experience as the top of the wreck sits at 18m. When in Larnaca, diving in the crystalline waters around the wreck is a must.
Apart from participating in common water activities, visitors can also go snorkeling, parasailing, kayaking and paddle boating. The city is also known as a cyclist's paradise and therefore visitors to Larnaka must spend a day just cycling around and discovering what the city has to offer.
Two other popular attractions in Larnaca include the Grand Mosque or Djámi Kebír and the Hala Sultan Tekke mosque. Not only are both of these sites popular among Muslim visitors, they are also frequented by non-Muslim tourists from all around the world. When in the area tourists must also pay a visit to the Larnaca District Archeological Museum, the Larnaca Marina, Larnaca Fort and Ancient Kition.
The closest major airport to the city of Larnaca is Larnaca International Airport, which is located approximately 5 kilometres from the center of Larnaca. It is the larger of the country's two commercial airports and can be reached by car, taxi and the public transport system. There is also a shuttle bus that visitors can use to get to and from Nicosia and Limassol.
There are no known Halal restaurants in Larnaca. Muslim visitors will have to dine on vegetarian or seafood dishes from local non-Halal restaurants after ensuring that the dishes do not consist of any non-Halal items. Because Larnaca has a small Muslim population, Muslim tourists may be able to obtain more information on the availability of Halal food in the area, at the local mosque. Muslim visitors must also be aware that most restaurants in Larnaca do serve alcohol and pork.
There are a couple of mosques in Larnaca, however some of them are quite old and are now closed. One mosque that can be used by Muslim tourists is Hala Sultan Tekke or the Mosque of Umm Haram. This mosque lies on the shores of the Larnaca Salt Lake and is also a popular attraction. There is also another mosque used by the Muslim community in Larnaca, called Djami Kebir. This mosque was built in the 16th century and is also known as the Grand Mosque of Larnaca.