Backpacking Teacher

Travel, teaching and things in between. Saigon is the focus for now.

Welcome to Cyprus – Larnaca, how a tourist town can seem so dreary

with 4 comments

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My first day in Cyprus is raining and dreary. It’s cold and, at about 16C, about half the temperature I’ve been used to over the last few months in Saigon. From my hotel, located about a five minutes from the centre of Larnaca, I go for a walk.

I pass dreary beaches with brown sand and overblown signs for sunbed hire. I pass signs for all you can eat English breakfasts and signs in Russian for things I know not what. The shops seem to have an order about them, first souvenir shop (most are closed), car rental, restaurant with obligatory signboard full of photos posted out front, travel agency and then real estate agent. Seems this little island is slowly being bought up by Brits unhappy with the dreary weather back home. Cyprus advertises itself as the island of 320 days of sun. Just my luck to encounter one of the remaining 45 days. Ah well … I am struck by how much of a tourist town this is (but then again I’m a  tourist in a tourist part of the city) and I’m mostly struck by how horrible and tacky such places can feel when devoid of people. And that’s what I notice the most – the lack of people. Coming from Saigon where sound and people is all I know this wind and rain swept place with few people and only the sounds of waves and rain splattering in puddles is ghost town like.

I have lunch of Souvlaki at a local restaurant and then, after wandering the promenade of Larnaca I go off to rent a car. I am determined to see more of this place. There has to be more of Cyprus than discarded tourist signs, half closed restaurants and British newspapers.


Written by backpackingteacher

March 26, 2009 at 5:43 pm

Posted in beach, cyprus, expat, food, teacher

Tagged with , , , , ,

4 Responses

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  1. Wow, this is a really unfair comment!
    I have lived in many places across the world from Japan, Australia, the UK and many others. I have been living here in Larnaca for the past 2 years and I could not disagree more strongly with this synopsis of our little town!
    Yeah it is a little touristy if you stick to the tourist trail! That’s what it’s there for, people who like touristy things. There are so many things to see and do in and around Larnaca if you look for them. It seems to me that you may have been disappointed with the weather and have blamed the whole town – No Fair!
    You visited in November, the middle of winter and apparently excepted glorious sunshine – again No Fair!
    Did you go see the fort? The 4000 year old ruins? The newly discovered mosaics? How about the submarine that takes you down to the ocean floor to see one of the most intact ship wreaks in the Mediterranean? Maybe the animal sanctuary? The marina even? How about the town itself? The architecture? The history? I could go on, and on! These are just a handful of the things that come straight to mind.
    Cyprus is famed for it’s amazing weather and does have about ten months of uninterrupted sun every year. It’s bad luck that your visit was rainy and overcast but there are so many other things that Larnaca has to offer. It’s a shame you missed them, while moaning about the rain! Which by the way we do desperately need following the last 3 years of drought. But hey, God forbid it ruin your holiday!


    April 2, 2009 at 6:44 pm

  2. Hi Stephanie …. thanks for reading the blog. I’m glad you’re so passionate about Larnaca. It’d be a dull old world if we always agreed with each other.


    April 4, 2009 at 5:16 pm

  3. I think Stephanie had some fair points, did you really bother to go looking for these things? However, I see your point also, a miserable rainy day with very few people around can put a dampener on your hols. It may interest you to know that we have had a tremendous summer weatherwise, hope you will come back and visit other parts of Cyprus soon, there really is a lot to offer.


    September 1, 2009 at 1:49 am

  4. Have a look through my blog you’ll see I say many complimentary things about Cyprus and that I did, indeed, see a fair bit of the island. Nonetheless I found Larnaca, and indeed a number of places in Cyprus, to be over touristy. That’s not to say the island doesn’t have much to offer, it is clearly rich in history and culture. The weather is also very pleasant, especially for the majority of visitors who seem to be Brits.

    Good luck with your business I applaud anyone who gets up and makes the move to another place and another culture. People could do far, far worse than move to Cyprus.


    September 1, 2009 at 11:19 am

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