If I had to choose one town or region in Cyprus that offers the most rounded holiday experience for families, then Larnaca would come top of my list for its friendly atmosphere, cosy and compact size, and the variety of activities that children of all ages can enjoy.
It goes without saying that if you are visiting with children in the summer then the beautiful beaches are always a great place to spend your days! My top tip for Larnaca beaches would be to choose one of the organised coasts as they have everything! In particular, Foinikoudes and Mckenzie are perfect for families as the seawaters are shallow, the sands are clean, and the beach strips are lined with restaurants and cafes (including budget-friendly fast-food options). There are also fun playgrounds, sports courts and inflatable rides available on both (and of course there are sunbeds, umbrellas and public conveniences!).
Both coastal areas are also great to visit in the evening for a drink or a meal. At Foinikoudes promenade children can play at the small fair and arcade or gather at the fountain at Europe Square to skate or scoot. The quaint marina at the start of the promenade also offers various boat trips.
So, what else can families do away from the sand and sea?
If you have never encountered a camel up close and personal, I can confirm that they are incredibly friendly and gentle creatures! The Camel Park Mazotos (a short drive out of the city) is the only place on the island where you will find camels… and a whole lot more as the park has other furry residents and children’s entertainment, a swimming pool and restaurant. You can feed the animals with dried carobs and also take a camel ride… if you are brave enough!
In rural Skarinou village, the big-eyed donkeys await you at the Golden Donkeys Farm. The farm is a sanctuary for donkeys of all ages, and again, you can enjoy feeding the animals, taking a ride, or relaxing in the grounds. Also in Skarinou is Agroktima Agios Georgios – another donkey and animal park with a large playground that holds various family events.
If you are lucky enough to have children interested in culture, then Larnaka has several museums that will appeal to younger visitors.
The Kyriazis Medical Museum in the town centre will delight for its old medical artefacts that include some that are rather gruesome, with owner Dr Kyriazis positively encouraging visitors to pick up the exhibits to better experience them!
The Natural History Museum in the Municipal Park Gardens is a small museum with a variety of animal exhibits and interesting seashells. A visit can be combined with some play time in the lovely park that offers plenty of toys and has a café too. The park is also home to two Larnaka Talking Statues (with others dotted around the city). Simply scan the barcode on the statue to receive a call-back and the statue will tell you its story!
The final cultural attraction I would recommend for children is the Larnaka Medieval Castle and its museum as your little ones will be instantly transported to a time of knights and epic battles! Located at the end of the Foinikoudes promenade, the views from the top are equally epic!