After being carless in Israel, we’re back to having a rental car for our trip through Cyprus. Trying to make the most of it, we headed out to the surrounding countryside of Larnaca to see what we can find.
Situated in the village of Kiti, less than 10 kilometres from Larnaca, is the beautiful 11th century Byzantine church of Angeloktisti. Its name in English means built by angels which gives some idea of just how heavenly the church is.
Free to enter and open between 6am to 6.30pm during summer, the church houses a rare 6th century mosaic of the Virgin Mary and Child between the two archangels Michael and Gabriel. The sanctuary also contains a very old and unique icon of the 10th century that depicts the Virgin Mary, Saint Lazarus and the Evangelist Loukas, who met in Kition (Larnaka) during the early, difficult Christian years.
With hardly any visitors, the church was also one of the few where we were able to gain access to the upper tiers to look down on the floors below.
Situated right outside the church is a large green park with high quality playground. A two minute walk to the Irish pub across the road from the church got us our necessary (and good) coffee, so that we could sit down and enjoy the views whilst our two “angels” could play.
By the time the kids had finished playing and we’d looked around the church, we probably spent all up close to an hour and a half on site, which was well worth viewing.
Back in the car we drove three kilometres out to the Pervolia Lighthouse situated up above one of the better known beaches in the Larnaca area, Faros (Lighthouse) Beach.
Built in 1864 by the Ottoman Empire, the lighthouse still functions today and is closed off to the public. With nothing else to see, it was a quick photo op before trundling off to the next site.
Kiti Medieval Tower
The slightly unimpressive looking Kiti Medieval Tower just up the road was one of four such defences built in the area by the Venetians in the 15th century. Gaining entrance to the watchtower guards inside was only possible via a wooden ladder which would be thrown down from the second floor.
Given there was be no ladder for us to gain entrance to the tower and that there was fence preventing general access, this was another quick stop before we loaded back up for the trip back to Larnaca taking in the views along the way.