Larnaka’s most famous promenade of ‘Foinikoudes’ is a 600-metre long stretch that combines coast, entertainment and culture along its palm tree lined length. The distinctive, towering palm trees were planted in the 1920s and have become a landmark in the city, with the strip attracting large crowds both day and night.
Beach: The beachfront of fine sands and calm, shallow waters is flanked by the marina with its pier and fishing harbour on the one end, and a second pier and the Medieval Castle at the other. The organised coast has toilets, showers, changing rooms, sun beds, umbrellas, dustbins, recycling bins and a beach bar on its sands. Lifeguards with lifesaving equipment and first aid services are stationed at the beach from June – October, 10:30-18:00. The beach also offers disabled access, including a special wheelchair at the lifeguard tower to help disabled persons enter the sea with assistance from the lifeguards.
Sports: Water sports are available on the beach during the summer months. During the winter season, there is a Pentaque court on the sands. The coast also hosts beach volleyball tournaments with a specially constructed court and spectator stands. Various other sports and sporting events take place throughout the year, whilst there is also a series of outdoor resistance and body-weight gym equipment that is free to use at the beginning of the promenade.
Boat trips: A variety of boat trips operate from the marina, ranging from full-day fishing expeditions to short glass-bottom boat rides. You can book these in advance, or on the spot by taking a stroll along the pier and seeing what takes your fancy. Diving expeditions are also available from the pier, including dive trips to the world-famous Zenobia wreck dive site. Various forms of marine life are sometimes visible in the deeper waters, including sea bass, sea bream, parrot fish, grey mullet, crabs and octopus.
Drinking and dining: The entire length of the strip offers a huge variety of places to eat, drink… and relax! On one side of the beach road, independent cafes mingle with international coffee houses, and fast food franchises sit alongside local and international fine cuisine. On the beach side, kiosks offer ice-creams and quick snacks and drinks and are posted along the entire length.
Entertainment: The Seafront Stage and Europe Square are the scene of many events from concerts and festival entertainment programmes to bazaars and cultural demonstrations. The smaller Kimon Square is also used for events, including charity and children’s events, and is located in front of a small funfair and entertainment centre. The main celebration held along Foinikoudes is the annual Kataklysmos (Festival of the Flood), with Larnaka holding the biggest event on the island consisting of premier entertainment, a huge traditional fete of games, food, drink and merchandise, a funfair on the sands and many competitions and activities.
Culture: The promenade offers two main cultural landmarks at either end of its length. At the very start is Europe Square with its restored Colonial buildings (built in 1881) that now house the Municipal Art Gallery, the Municipal Archives, the Historic Archives Museum and the Larnaka Municipal Cultural Services, along with a fountain graced with a sculpture ‘Seagulls in Flight’. At the other end - heralding the finish of the strip - is the grand Medieval Castle (Larnaka Fort), believed to have been originally built during the Middle Ages. Opposite the fort is the Kebir (Buyuk) Tzami Mosque - perhaps the first Ottoman mosque in Cyprus. The road then leads to further cultural options in the surrounding neighbourhoods.
Access: The whole promenade is easy to access by foot, bike, bus or car, with several municipal and private car parks servicing the general area. There are multiple entry points with paths and paving leading to the beach and the establishments lining it. A bus stop on the strip links the promenade to the town and rural villages, whilst the Intercity service connects Larnaka to the other main towns of the island.