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Nicosia, Cyprus

Nicosia (Greek: Λευκωσία) (Turkish: Lefkoşa) is the centrally located capital of Cyprus and the largest in population city of the island. It also acts as a separate administrative capital for the Nicosia district. The municipality of Nicosia governs only the central portion, but the city now sprawls for several kilometers and has engulfed surrounding villages and settlements. Its population hovers around 250,000 (a third of the total population of Cyprus) but the city has a feel of one much larger. It is the administrative and financial hub of the island as well as home to several universities, colleges and other educational establishments. It also hosts most foreign embassies and offshore companies (a big industry in Cyprus nowadays). Along with its international students and foreign workers it has developed a truly cosmopolitan feel.
Nicosia is the world's last divided capital. The barbed wire and guardtowers of the Green Line cuts the city in two, with the northern side being the capital of Northern Cyprus and the southern half being the capital of the Republic of Cyprus.

Free time activities included:

  • Enjoy Athalassa National Forest Park(This large stretch of greenery is the closest thing to a forest you’ll find in Nicosia. Located in the suburbs of the city, it stretches over 840 hectares (3sq mi) and hosts a beautiful lake, the park’s signature feature.)
  • Stroll in the Ledra Street(Traditionally Nicosia’s main shopping artery, Ledra Street was sealed off by the militarised boundary between north and south Nicosia after Bloody Christmas in 1963.)
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Larnaca, Cyprus

Larnaca (Larnarka) is a port city on the south coast of Cyprus. It's known for Finikoudes Beach, a sandy strip in the city center backed by a palm-lined seaside promenade. Buzzing bars line the waterfront at Mackenzie Beach. Just offshore, the MS Zenobia wreck is a popular dive site. The 9th-century Church of Saint Lazarus contains the tomb of the saint said to have risen from the dead.

Larnaca has a reasonable claim to being the oldest city in Cyprus, with evidence of habitation up to 6000 years ago.
Modern Larnaca, like other Cypriot coastal towns, is divided into an older city center and a wide sprawl of hotels and restaurants along the beach.

Free time activities included:

  • Venture to Agios Lazaros(According to local lore, after Lazarus rose from the dead, he lived here in Larnaca (then known as Kition) for another 30 years and was ordained as Bishop of Kition.)
  • Visit the beautiful Hala Sultan Tekke(Number one on the things to do list for those seeking some nature just outside Larnaca city is the serenely beautiful Hala Sultan Tekke. This mosque and shrine sits on the western side of Larnaca's Salt Lake, three kilometers west of central Larnaca.)