The coastal city of Limassol in Cyprus deserves more hype than it is actually getting at present. Don’t be put off by its industrial image because there is a lot waiting to be discovered underneath its bustling facade. It is…
The coastal city of Limassol in Cyprus deserves more hype than it is actually getting at present. Don’t be put off by its industrial image because there is a lot waiting to be discovered underneath its bustling facade. It is located on the south coast of the island where the beaches are stunning, the food is great and the nightlife is fantastic.
The town offers a distinctive cool vibe that is a hit for those who simply want to chill out but, at the same, it also offers a wide range of attractions for those who want to see the sights, immerse in history, or party till daybreak.
Limassol, also known as Lemesos, is about 44 miles from Larnaca Airport. You can take a taxi or an airport shuttle bus and get to the area in approximately 45 minutes. If you are coming in by boat, berthing should not be a problem because there are several marinas to choose from onsite.
An exploration of Limassol will lead you to discover the rich historical backdrop of the area. Although the city looks quite modern at first glance, you will be pleasantly surprised to know that there are more than a few medieval treasures to check out. The centuries-old Limassol Castle takes the top spot, not so much for its unimpressive appearance but for its historical importance – that is, as the venue of Richard the Lionheart’s wedding to Berengaria of Navarre and the latter’s crowning as the queen of England in the 12th century. The castle now houses a medieval museum that makes for a worthwhile visit.
A short distance from Limassol Castle you will discover the picturesque Old Harbour. Walk around the atmospheric area with your camera in tow because there are plenty of photo opportunities on the waterfront and its myriad display of colourful fishing boats. There is also an abundance of charming seafood restaurants in the area where you can sit down for a great meal and enjoy a wonderful view.
After your scrumptious fare, burn the calories off with a mile-long stroll at the City Park. This lovely green space features a small zoo and if you are lucky, you just might chance upon a charming performance at the site’s open-air theatre. Continue your walking tour of the area at the nearby Limassol Archaeological Museum. History enthusiasts will find an interesting exhibit of various artefacts from different periods, most of which were taken from the nearby archaeological sites, Amathous in particular.
Other attractions worth seeing in the city centre include the Folk Art Museum and its remarkable display of Cypriot crafts. There is also the Silks Gallery which is truly a superb treat for the art enthusiast. It features works from both famous and up-and-coming talent from different parts of the world. The Limassol Sculpture Park, strategically located at the waterfront, is also a must-see. Its 20 medium to large-scale sculptures from renowned local and international artists are remarkable creative expressions that inspire both mind and spirit.
Of course, there are several exciting shopping opportunities in the area. Check out the cobbled streets of Ayios Andreas and Anexartisias for their traditional shops as well as the Saturday Market for some great finds. Finally, party-loving tourists will delight in the bubbly nightlife of Limassol, which is usually the most popular night-time destination in Cyprus when Ayia Napa hibernates during low season. Two of the most popular spots for an all-nighter include the Yermasoyia Strip and the old medieval town centre.
A few kilometres from Limassol, there is a fortress, known as the Kolossi Castle. This castle is a former Crusader stronghold on the south-west edge of Kolossi village 14 kilometres (9 mi) west of the city of Limassol. It held great strategic importance in the Middle Ages and contained large facilities for the production of sugar from the local sugarcane, one of Cyprus’s main exports in the period.
As well as its sugar. the area is also known for its sweet wine, Commandaria. King Richard allegedly declared this wine as “the wine of the kings and the king of wine”. This wine is considered to be the oldest ever-produced and named wine in the world.
Half an hour drive from the city centre, there is a fantastic ancient Kurion town. Situated on a cliff on the coast, the view over the sea and the surrounding places combined with the amount of history here is amazing. All this place is like an open-air museum, and what you should not miss is the ancient Greek-Roman Amphitheater and Eustolius House, where there are several well-preserved mosaics.
The archaeological site Amatus is located about 11 km east of Limassol. This was one of Cyprus’s centres in the antique period. It was one of the main royal cities, as it was the neighbouring Kurion. Here you can also see the ruins of the Aphrodite temple and the graves of the Iron Age.
The city of Limassol has the longest coastline of all the cities in Cyprus. The town offers a large number of public and private beaches. Some of them are Ladies Mile, Guverner’s Beach, Kurion Beach, Pissouri Beach, and others. One of the most popular beaches is Kurion, and it is especially popular among surfing and sailing lovers. The closest is Ladies Mile, a beautiful beach with white sand and crystal clear water. Restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, all this completes the ever-diverse offer of this city.