Larnaca region’s long sandy coastline embraces its city and unfolds across larger communities and smaller villages. And whilst I do love the city with its bustling organised beaches and authentic-meets-modern vibe, I equally enjoy the diversity of the coastal villages.
Pervolia is one of the larger communities and known for its landmark ‘Faros’ lighthouse and 4km of lovely coastline – further enhanced by the addition of a coastal walkway in recent years. Look out for the Larnaka Storytelling Statue of Kallipatira – the ‘mother of all’, and the new Mermaid sculpture. During the winter months you can spot Greater Flamingos at the salt lake and collect tiny, twirly shells (when it’s not too muddy!). Pervolia is also one of four villages that has a well-preserved Venetian Watchtower. This network of towers was an early warning system to guard against naval attacks. The Regina Watchtower sits perched up high and I always marvel at how the ancient monuments have survived all this time whilst we live in a disposable society where nothing is built to last!
For such an unassuming village, Mazotos has some unique attractions. The island’s only camel residents can be found at Camel Park Mazotos (a really nice day out for the family where you can feed and ride the animals), and Larnaca Kitesurfing Beach is the best spot on the island for the sport thanks to perfect wind conditions. The beach here is so hip! Surf shops and cool kitesurfing events are hosted by Kahuna Surfhouse and ‘the Spot’. The outdoor Petereon Sculpture Park is also an interesting and tranquil place to explore the legacy of the late artist Savvas Koulendros who painstakingly carved sculptures of all sizes out of local rock.
Alaminos village has a really nice beach that was revamped in recent years, but it is not as quiet as I thought it would be as the secret is out and many Larnaca residents like to head there on the weekends. The village itself is quite scenic and has orchards and groves – particularly almond trees that blossom in February. Spring cyclists particularly like Alaminos and the village is included on the Venetian Watchtowers Route – West Larnaka Region thematic cycle route as it is home to the Koulas Venetian Watchtower (one of the four in the network).
This petite village is popular for its authenticity and has started to attract more local visitors thanks to the ‘Rural Larnaca Women’s Association’ – a collective of women who handmade traditional food, drink and crafts. The association runs an open-air market on Sundays at its premises in the village, as well as demonstrations of traditions (like Halloumi cheese making). The market operates under a plastic-free policy so bring your own bags when visiting. Personally, I love to buy fresh herbs, seasonal fruits and vegetables, raw honey, crunchy rusks – and anything else I can fit in my shopping bags! Agios Theodoros has other charms too – such as its picturesque views, and many old, religious monuments.
Maroni is a quiet village that combines coastline with pretty hillside. The beach here really is a ‘secret’ one – far less crowded than others in the neighbouring villages and ideal for those who want to lie quietly and read a book whilst they sunbathe! This is probably because the village is a bit more isolated than others and less of a tourist attraction, but this suits me just fine when I want an escape within my escape! I like to visit Gold Lemon whilst in the area, which is a popular choice with both locals and visitors for its fresh fish (and swimming pool!).
Zygi is the last village on Larnaca region’s coastline before it transitions into Limassol region. It is one of the most popular places on the island to enjoy fresh fish thanks to its charming little fishing shelter where fishermen can be seen hard at work. There are some really good quality restaurants surrounding the harbour and overlooking the pebble beach that fill up on Sundays. Traditional fishing tours also operate from the harbour, whereby you join the fishermen as they work and learn all about the pastime.