Today we will talk about the coastal part of Pyla.
It is the smallest piece of the Larnaca coastal urban area. It extends for only two kilometers. However, at the same time, it is also the most unusual place. It will help us feel the real Cypriot political flavor and the negative consequences for urban development that this flavor will bring us one day.
Since the coastal Pyla controlled by the Republic of Cyprus is only a couple of kilometers long, and our story about this small place will be short, we will devote a significant part of our today's time to a quick overview of the entire coastline of the Larnaca urban area. We will soon understand why we need it.
So, we present to your attention the Larnaca Bay (Κόλπος Λάρνακας / Larnaka Körfezi).
This is 30 kilometers of a good beach.
Not as wonderful as in Ayia Napa or Famagusta, but much higher than the average island level. There is pure sand, there are pebbles, there are sand-pebbles, there are huge blocks of stones. The first beaches are great for swimming, in the last ones, you can enjoy the Mediterranean view. Let us give you some examples:
Skala, Piyale Paşa embankment. A fisherman delivers freshly caught seafood directly from the bay to a tavern.
Finikoudes, early morning of May.
Oroklini beach during the winter cyclone.
Serpentine in Ormidhia, January.
Xylofagou and the very end of our bay, time of Boreas.
With good urban planning, with all the advantages of Larnaca (airport, geographic location, climate and housing prices) and with the disadvantages of Limassol (prices and lack of space), this area can become the leader in the number of new projects in the coming decades. But, there is one big problem (however, Limassol has the same issue).
In 1960, an international border appeared here. The bay is now controlled by the Republic of Cyprus (14 km of coastal strip) and the British Overseas Territory of Dhekelia (16 km).
At first glance, there is no problem - the border is only on paper.
Yes, during the Iraqi Freedom campaign (the last Allied operation in Iraq) nearly twenty years ago, the British closed their territory. But then everything was different: those times, Cyprus was not part of the EU and there was no one to intercede, Ayia Napa had not yet played such a role (Ayia Napa can only be entered through the British territory), and the period of active NATO military games in the Middle East now seems already behind.
In British Dhekelia, the euro runs, there you can swim, some even rent land for agriculture. In theory, the presence of two states does not in any way affect the everyday life of local residents (after all, we are in Europe of the XXI century).
Yep, it's true, but except for one very significant fact - nothing can be built in the British territories.
Just because it is a military zone. If we are not talking, of course, about agricultural buildings, rare cafes or other small structures.
There are, of course, the enclaves of the Republic of Cyprus within the British territory. But, they are small and very far from the sea.
Thus it turns out that only half of the land is suitable for urban development.
Let's take another walk through our Larnaca coastal area, where you can build homes and dwell in them. The long embankment starts from Mackenzie. There is a lot of land here, the airport is close. Elite neighborhoods are being built. You can search for housing here (rent/purchase).
Next comes Skala. Everything is complicated here because of the Turkish property, so the neighborhood got stuck in 1974. However, development is also underway in the southern parts, and many projects here continue to be called Mackenzie (for example, Mackenzy Bay Residences is de facto located in Skala).
In Skala, two high-rises will be erected, two brothers - Apollo and Poseidon.
Skala is followed by the very center of the city and the Finikoudes beach. In our search engine, the place is divided into several parts (the embankment (rent/purchase), and the area a little further from the sea (rent/purchase).
Let us remind you that this area also includes territories where oil tanks are slowly being demolished.
And once again let us remind you that Livadia has no coastal area. The coastal zone was imperialistically divided by the municipalities of Larnaca and Oroklini.
So, this is where the municipality of Larnaca ends, now the village-municipality of Oroklini begins.
And right behind it begins our village-municipality of Pyla. Note that more than half of the Pyla municipality coast (as it was in 1959) is British territory. This means that development in it is not yet possible.
This is the most interesting feature of our Pyla - the municipality was divided.
In 1960, it was split in two parts when the independent Cyprus was being formed. And in 1974, one part split into three more. In total, we now have four authorities who control different parts of the municipality:
- 1/4 is controlled by the Republic of Cyprus (where we are now)
- 1/3 is the British military territory of Dhekelia (we will reach it today, they have their own military police)
- 1/3, including the center of the village, is the UN Green Line (with peacekeepers as law enforcement officers)
- the very small northern edge of the municipality (Pyla heights) is occupied by the TRNC recognized only by Turkey (there are Turkish troops and a military observation post).
The coastal part is divided between the official Cyprus and the British base. Let's go through the first part.
Pyla begins when the first park starts, there modern (and not so modern) elite complexes are located, and then there are empty coastal lands (some of them are used for agriculture). And so many undeveloped plots!
This is the future kingdom of hotels. First we are greeted by the abandoned Beau Rivage hotel ("beautiful shoreline" in French).
View of the municipality of Larnaca, as well as Oroklini (on the right, the Radisson Beach Resort hotel under construction). Our 'rivage' is indeed 'beau'.
And again, empty plots. There are not many tourists here, mostly locals.
A well-known local ice cream seller is already here.
If your party isn't this lit, don't bother inviting me
Next, we are greeted by a group of villas and three brother hotels: Lordos Beach, Sentido Sandy Beach and Golden Bay Beach.
Now a view of British Cyprus.
And then before us are villas and empty plots.
And so on up to the British border.
And here it is, the international border (a view from the British side).
A dozen meters from the beach is the Dhekelia road, we will talk about it later. This is where British soil begins.
And this is the crossroads-border between the republic and the kingdom.
Now let's get back to the Larnaca urban area. Where else can we find such a huge number of undeveloped seafront plots?
Moreover, from the farthest point of Pyla to the very center of Larnaca, no more than 10 kilometers. There is the well-developed (by Cypriot standards) public transport in this area, it is easy and quick to get to the city and the airport either by car or by bus. Also, from here, you can take a bus to Paphos and Ayia Napa. But, not to Limassol, and not to Nicosia (then you need to go to Larnaca first).
Future of Pyla
The future of this area directly depends on how the local officials will develop the area. First of all, what will the municipality of Larnaca do with the land of the former oil tanks?
The plans were grandiose. A year ago, they even talked about creating a tram line from Larnaca to Pyla. An absolutely incredible project for an island that is used to the outdated US transportation system (cars instead of green public transport). They also talked about the construction of a long embankment from Mackenzie to the international border (probably, however, bypassing the port, because no one plans to demolish it).
If all these plans are implemented, then this half of the Larnaca Bay will represent the most developed region of the island in terms of infrastructure.
This will give a strong impetus to the development of the whole region. And it will help to take a fresh look at the urban future of island's cities. However, now it seems more impossible than possible.
In any case, even small progress in coastal modernization and the demolition of oil storage facilities will dramatically increase the demand for the remaining 'pristine' land in Oroklini and Pyla. It is quiet, cozy, close to the city and there are vast wild territories of British Cyprus nearby.
How to search for a property in Pyla on our website?
Since the coastal parts of Oroklini and Pyla are a single space, which is simply impossible to distinguish from each other, they are called Dhekelia on our website (in honor of the unofficial name of the highway along which they are located) - here you can see rent and purchase.
If you want to rent or buy housing in the centers of villages, then, on our website, there is a separate village of Pyla (rent/purchase) and the village of Oroklini (rent/purchase). We will talk about the villages' centers another time.
Contact the experienced specialists of the DOM real estate agency in Larnaca by phone +357 24030062, or come to the address: Gregoriou Afxentiou 7, Larnaca, 6023, Cyprus. Here you will always be provided with competent advice and help with renting or buying and selling your home.
- First acquaintance with Larnaca (link)
- Larnaca Is Most Promising City In Cyprus For Real Estate Investment (link)
- Shopping in Larnaca: where to find the nearest grocery store? (link)
- Why is Paphos so attractive to investors? (link)
- Where to live in Limassol? Coastline vs mountains (link)
Photos: DOM LiVE