Larnaca


Easygoing Larnaca, on the island's southeast side, may be a seaside resort, but it's kept its local soul.

This is by far the most laid-back base for holidaymakers here.

All the facilities for sun- and sand-based fun can be found, but the old crumbling Turkish Quarter (called Skala) and ornate Agios Lazaros (Church of St. Lazarus) give the town an interesting historical edge, while the center itself has retained the atmosphere of a proper workaday town rather than just a summer resort.

Even better, the salt lake, just to Larnaca's west, is packed full of flocks of pink flamingos during spring, and plenty of hill villages and cultural tourist attractions lie in the surrounding hinterland.