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A view of the sea from Port Tarnaca Cyprus

Larnaca, Cyprus

The third-largest city in Cyprus, Larnaca was the ancient home of Zeno, the founder of Stoicism. But stoic is not how one is likely to describe this beautiful island republic—also said to be the birthplace of the goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite. Long a cultural crossroads and a major axis of the ancient world, Cyprus is rich in history, art and sun-drenched beaches. Stroll the old towns of Larnaca and nearby Limassol and shop for green gold (that is, olive oil) or real gold, hand-crafted by skilled Cypriot jewelers. Sea sponges are another luxury item found here as are beautiful replicas of ancient art and handmade leather sandals and bags. Dine on just-caught seafood in Larnaca’s Phinikoudes, the seafront promenade, or take a journey to the divided city of Nicosia, with its Greek and Turkish sections separated by the United Nations' \"green line.\" Wherever you go in Cyprus, you'll fall in love with the relaxed lifestyle, palm-fringed coasts and flavorful Mediterranean cuisine.