Disappointing inside, but Picturesque Spot for a walk!
Tekke is of great importance to the Islamic world but nowadays it is an ordinary tekke. It has a great view to the Salt Lake and some history behind it.
I have walked around the mosque and went around it several times in the past but between us, the beauty is outside in the round area. I don’t find the mosque as a building particularly spectacular. It is carpeted inside as it is in every mosque and a place for prayer for Moslem but there is not much information or somebody to guide a visitor inside, and it is disappointing.
However, it is pleasant enough to walk up to the mosque which is next to the Salt Lake. I visited it in January with the flamingos in the Lake, but honestly any time of the year you come here is beautiful. The picture varies depending on the time and season. I have taken some amazing photos in the past when it was cloudy and the lights from the city were reflected in the water.
Of course a visit here gives the visitor the opportunity to get a glimpse into a different culture but to be honest the place is kind of let down.
Now the story behind it, is that the mosque was built in 648 AD, on the spot where Umm Haram died when she fell off her mule, during one of the first Arab raids on the island.
According to tradition, she was related to the Prophet Mohammed.
It is said that it is now one of the most important holy places of worship for Muslims, ranked immediately after Mecca, Median in Saudi Arabia and Al Aksha in Jerusalem. The mosque was first renovated in 1816. The last renovations were in 2002.
In any case I find it a very interesting spot to visit, however the visitor should have in mind that the beauty of it is what you see on the outside.
I highly recommend a visit here no matter what season or time you come, -the place is still beautiful.
This is not in the town of Larnaca but is a fairly short drive away up a winding switchback but safe road. The monastery dates from very early Christian times. It offers beautiful views of the area and is an impressive site. Remember every stone in the buildings was hauled to the site by hand or at best by donkey. The thing to keep in mind is when you park your car you are not almost there. You have a long uphill hike ahead of you. Also when we were there women were not allowed beyond the gate. The view from the parking lot is nice but if you're left behind you have some time to kill. There is a gift shop at the gate that you can kill some time in. When you see the monastery from below you see it commands the area but you really don't have an idea of what it takes to actually get to the main buildings. It is worth the trek but the trip is not for the over-aged overweight tourist.
OK, this is unodubtedly one of the more unusual tips I have ever posted on VT, and I appreciate it will only be of interest to a limited number of people.
I personally have tattoos, and I love them. They weren't things done in drunken haste as a kid and regretted later, in fact I was 31 when I got my first one done. I had been thinking for a long while about getting another one and had picked the design I wanted. My ex-girlfriend told me to wait until we went to Cyprus as she knew of a good tattooist in Larnaca, who had been recommended by her godson who lives in the town. I duly went and got my tattoo done and I am very pleased with the work.
The studio itself is spotless, normally overseen by the tattooist's niece, who is very friendly. There is no pressure on you if you just want to browse the books of designs.
The tattooist himself, Tasso, is a lovely bloke. If you like your tattooists "authentic", he is a shaven headed member of the Harley Owners Group (his bike is very nice) with plenty of tattoos himself, although he is also a Bachelor of Science and a qualified Dive Master! He speaks good English as well. He is principled about his work and will not, under any circumstances, tattoo you if he thinks you are drunk.
The equipment is spotlessly clean and I had no concerns about it. The number of positive recommendations I had had from local guys with tattoos was, however, the clincher for me - he is very highly regarded locally. I actually go to know him socially as he drinks in the Old Country Pub across the road - only after work, I hasten to add.
Tasso also does piercing and has a nice selection of jewellery on offer.
As I said, not a tip for everyone, although if you're thinking of a holiday souvenir that will last a little longer than your duty free bottle of brandy, this is the place to go.
This is a GREAT food tour and you will love it if you enjoy experiencing true culture and people as well as drinking and eating. Some friends of ours noted that Larnaca didn’t have much to do so when we booked our Cyprus holiday we stayed in Protaras. We had a hire car so we drove down to Larnaca for this food tour and it was fantastic! The food was delicious! The places were original! We met some great people! It is A LOT of food and well worth the money. Our friends missed out!
Being originally from Northern Ireland myself, I have watched with some interest the rise and rise of the "Irish" theme pub all over the world from Berlin to Phnom Penh and I have to say that most of them bear about as much resemblance to an Irish pub as a penny farthing bicycle does to a lobster. Sorry, folks, but a couple of Guinness posters does not an Irish pub make.
Anyway, the Bailey is one such place, decked out with curios and posters with an Irish theme. Apart from that it is just a typical Finikoudes (Larnaca searont) bar, pleasant as it is. Service is good, and they have a menu including several "British" breakfast options. There is the obligatory outside sitting area where you can see and be seen. A pint of Keo (local) beer runs £C 2:20 which is about right for the area.
OK but nothing spectacular.
Very near the village of Lefkara, the 15th century convent of Agios Minas consists of a church cloisters and other monastic buildings.
I have visited it recently on my visit to the beautiful village of Kato Drys.
The 18th century monastic buildings surround the church with cloisters to the west.
The church is the common mix of Byzantine and Gothic styles, with a pointed vault wth traverse ribs and side porticos.
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The municipal museum is housed in a 1881building, which was the residence and office of the first colonial Port Master of Larnaca. On the ground floor is the City museum with exhibits emphasizing the long, glorious and uninterrupted history of the town. A large collection of the city’s coins minted in the local mint starting with the first coin of the city Kingdom of Kition of the late 6th century and a fabulous collection of city photographs through the years dating from 1850, are among the most interesting exhibits. On the second floor are located the city’s archives, which are open only for researchers as they include rare books, editions and documents.
The Municipal Museum of Paleontology opened to the public in November 1996 and is the first of its kind in Cyprus and indeed in the Middle East. It Contains a unique foreign and Cypriot collection of fossils from the earliest forms of life on Earth, some of which are over 500 million years old. This unique collection is the property of the Marine Life Foundation Tornarities-Pierides.
The Municipal Museum of Paleontology is a permanent fixture in Larnaca. The Foundation Committee will from time to time change and add to the collection. The Museum is located within the five stone-built colonial style Customs warehouses, which were built by the British in 1881/2 and forms the New Municipal Cultural Centre of Larnaca.
As the exhibits within the museum were once living organisms it offers a fascinating inside of how life evolved and become extinct on Earth. Extinct groups such as trilobites, ammonites, rudists and even remains of the pygmy hippopotamus and pygmy elephants which once lived on Cyprus, are represented in the Museum.
The Museum attracts many thousands of visitors a year and many of these are organized school groups including foreign schools visiting Cyprus.
The Larnaca Aqueduct was built in 1746 by Koca Bekir Pasha who realised the difficulties of fresh water access faced by the poor in the city. The aqueduct carried water from a source about 6 miles south of the town, with the supply involving a long underground tunnel, 250 air wells, and three series of overland arches. The aqueduct was repaired in 1856 and enabled the aqueduct to remain in use until the 1950s. Today the aqueduct is referred to as "The Kamares" ("The Arches") with the structure being illuminated at night.
After many years of wanting one and many abortive visits to Tattoo Studios where I chickened out at the last minute, I eventually got my first tattoo. On my way to the beach I spotted "Larnaka Ink" opposite the Police Station at the entrance to the beach (Phinikoudes, local name). As soon as I entered the studio I knew this was going to be a different experience. I was offerred a coffee and joined in conversation by staff who couldnt have been more welcoming. During our conversation I described what my ideal tattoo would be ( a picture of the Madonna) and was shown similar work that they had completed. I was blown away by the standard of work which was incredible, like a work of art but on skin. I decided then and there to go ahead and was shown upstairs to their tattoo "clinic" where the job was done. Not as painful as I had feared and the result, well see for yourself. Far cheaper than the UK and impressively clean. If like me you've alway's wanted one but not had the nerve, go and have a coffee with these guy's.
Just across the road from the Main Police Station by entrance to the Larnaca Promenade is the Tattoo Studio of Larnaka Ink. I was there last week with my wife who was having a Tattoo (flowers & stuff you know what they're like) when a guy came in who wanted pictures of his 2 children tattooed. I never realised that Tattoos like that could be done and so I was amazed to see the results. It was absolutely incredible, as if the pictures that he had brought for reference had been printed on the guy. This Studio really is something special and well worth a visit. I'm going back there next Sunday and I intend to ge one done myself which I will try and post here, so watch this space.
If you are interested in art you could visit the art gallery at the Cyprus College of Art. This is located at the College in Mehmet Ali Street, which runs from St Lazarus Cathedral Square. The gallery shows work by students and tutors at the College, and visiting artists. It is unusual, interesting and a little off the usual tourist trail. It also allows you to see inside one of the old buildings of Larnaca as the College is housed in an old town house once owned by a Turkish pasha.
It is an amazing experience to enjoy the view from the terrace of my Lysithea Hotel in Larnaca. The swimming pool at the centre of the hotel and the sunset that compliments the panoramic ocean views.
Better still, the sunset can be more romantic if you will catch and watch it at the seashore just across the street of Lysithea Hotel.
The Larnaca District Archaeological Museum is the right place to go and learn about the town rich past. You can see a collection of finds from the Neolithic Age to the Roman period.
There are plenty of statues in this museum, as well as terracotta figures. There's also an interesting collection of pottery and ornaments from the Kition and Livhadia excavations as well as Neolithic artifacts from the nearby Khorokoitiia site.
The museum is open all week. The opening hours are:
Paralimni is a town situated in the South East of Cyprus, a little way inland, within the Famagusta District. Since the Turkish occupation of Northern Cyprus, it has increased in size and status, due to the migration of many refugees fleeing from the North. Many of the people who work in the tourist industry of Protaras and Agia Napa live in Paralimni, which is the now temporary administrative centre of the Famagusta District and the biggest municipality of the Greek Cypriot controlled area of the district. It has become what it seems a small capital city of the non-occupied Famagusta area
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