South Eastern Cyprus is virtually littered with places of cultural and historical interest for visitors of all ages to enjoy. From forts and churches to monasteries and ancient aqueducts, there is more than enough to satisfy even the most curious appetites. While many of the major historical sites are likely to be covered by organised tours, there are dozens of others just waiting to be discovered by visitors who are prepared to seek them out.
Larnaca Town – Steeped in History and Culture
Sited on the ancient kingdom of Kition, Larnaca is able to boast buildings and historical sites from virtually every period. A large portion of the ancient Kition city has been exposed and the current town is built over much of this former kingdom. The local tourist authorities conduct a series of guided tours that aim to take in every aspect of this amazing area of historic interest.
Christianity and religion
If you paid attention to your religious studies in school you may be familiar with the biblical account of how Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead. In the Larnaca church that bears his name (St Lazarus), there is a crypt that purportedly holds his tomb and visitors can go down there to view it. Legend has it that Lazarus fled to Cyprus after his resurrection to escape the Jewish authorities who preferred him as a corpse because being alive clashed with their own interests. On arriving in Cyprus, Lazarus supposedly became the Bishop of Kition (Larnaca), until he died for the second time.
Muslim Mosques and shrines
If you want to see the other side of the coin of Cyprus’s religious heritage you only need to pop outside the church of Saint Lazarus and look across the road at what was formerly one of Larnaca’s many Mosques. If you want more of the same, the Hala Sultan Tekke or the Mosque of Umm Haram as it is also known is situated on the bank of Larnaca’s huge salt lake and is well worth a visit. The world renowned shrine is a popular stop off for tourist coming through the area and still used by Muslims as a place of prayer.
Hidden historic gems
There are plenty of places of historic interest situated around the East Coast resorts and most of the Cyprus tourist information offices will be able to point visitors in the right direction. Many of these sites are often right under tourist’s noses but they are also easy to miss. Few people will be aware for instance, that some portions of the ancient Roman aqueduct built to bring water from the hills into Agia Napa still functions. It terminates in the monastery courtyard just below “the square” right under the noses of the thousands of clubbers who flock to the area every summer. If you know where to find them, there are also many secret cavern churches all along the coast including one near the Cape Greco Sea Caves.
Museums and much more
From art galleries and uncovered ancient foundations to organised museum exhibitions and a comprehensive range of guided tours, there is so much to see. The chances are that no matter how many times you visit the sunny island of Cyprus there will always be something new to explore.
For further help and advice about things to do in Cyprus or to book your holiday here, please contact us at Cyprus Sun Holiday Rentals or call us on 00 357 2383 1194.