Larnaca is a city on the west coast of Cyprus. The major international airport of Cyprus, Larnaca International Airport is located in this city. In ancient times, Larnaca was known as Kition, or (in Latin) Citium. The biblical name Kittim, though derived from Citium, was in fact used quite generally for Cyprus as a whole, and occasionally by the Hebrews for the Greeks and Romans. Larnaca is colloquially known as "Skala" to the Greek Cypriot community and "İskele" to the Turkish Cypriots.
It has a population of 72,000 (2001) and is the island's second commercial port and an important tourist resort. To the north of the town lies the island's oil refinery, while to the south of Larnaca the International Airport is situated. The city of Larnaka is well-known for its picturesque sea-front which includes rows of palm trees (oi finikoudes, in the Cypriot dialect). Much of the activity is centred around the city promenade during the major festivals. The most important of these for the city of Larnaka is Kataklysmos or the Festival of the Flood, celebrated in early summer with a series of cultural events.
Larnaca is the oldest town in Cyprus with a lot of history and monuments to see. It is one of the few towns where you will see the old and modern side all together. It attracts people all year round for sight seeing and the beautiful beaches.On the edge of Larnaca Bay the palm trees lined along the seafront of Larnaca town are surrounded with cafes, taverns, shops and bars.
Larnaca is an excellent base from which to get to know the central and eastern section of Cyprus, and its proximity to the International Airport and a number of luxury hotels that have been developed along its beautiful sandy beaches make this a popular holiday choice.
Larnaca was originally known as Kition, or Khittim, and legend has it that the first settlement at the spot was founded by Noah's grandson Khittim.
The town was not to regain its standing until the 17th century, when it became the consular and commercial centre of Cyprus, and i's port once again flourished with trade. It was here that the British landed in 1878 to begin their rule of the island.
Much smaller than Nicosia or Limassol, Larnaca has a population of 62.000 and has managed to retain a relaxed, leisurely atmosphere. Its main shopping area is Zenon Kitieos Street, a typically busy road of small shops, with a wonderfully colourful fruit and vegetable market at the far end.