LIMASSOL

Cyprus

Limassol is a city on the southern coast of Cyprus and capital of the eponymous district. Limassol is the second largest urban area in Cyprus, with an urban population of 160,000–176,700. The municipality is the most populous in the country with 101,000 inhabitants (2011).

Info Limassol

introduction

Limassol is a city on the southern coast of Cyprus and capital of the eponymous district. Limassol is the second largest urban area in Cyprus, with an urban population of 160,000–176,700.  The municipality is the most populous in the country with 101,000 inhabitants (2011).

The Port of Limassol is one of the busiest ports in the Mediterranean transit trade and the largest port in Cyprus. It has also become one of the most important tourism, trade, and service-providing centres in the area. Limassol is renowned for its extensive cultural traditions, and is home to the Cyprus University of Technology. A wide spectrum of activities and a number of museums and archaeological sites are available to the interested visitor. Consequently, Limassol attracts a wide range of tourists mostly during an extended summer season to be accommodated in a wide range of hotels and apartments. A large marina lies near the old town, 500 metres (1,600 feet) from the Limassol medieval castle.

Limassol was built between two ancient cities, Amathus and Kourion, and during Byzantine rule it was known as Neapolis (new town). Limassol's historical centre is located around its medieval Limassol Castle and the Old Port. Today the city spreads along the Mediterranean coast and has extended much farther than the castle and port, with its suburbs stretching along the coast to Amathus. To the west of the city is the Akrotiri Area of the British Overseas Territory of Akrotiri and Dhekelia.

Limassol ranked 87th worldwide in Mercer's Quality of Living Survey (2015), between Durban and Tallinn.

info
POPULATION :• City 101,000
• Urban 160,000-176,700
FOUNDED : 
TIME ZONE :• Time zone EET (UTC+2)
• Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
LANGUAGE :
RELIGION :
AREA : 34.87 km2 (13.46 sq mi)
ELEVATION :
COORDINATES : 34°40′N 33°02′E
SEX RATIO : Male: 51.08%
 Female: 48.92%
ETHNIC :
AREA CODE :
POSTAL CODE : 3010–3150
DIALING CODE :
WEBSITE : www.limassolmunicipal.com.cy

Tourism

Limassol is the second largest town in Cyprus after Nicosia, with population of approximately 200 000. Apart from being a major tourist destination, it is also a principal hub for international business in Cyprus. This gives Limassol a more cosmopolitan feel compared to other district centers. Recent renovation projects in the old town and old port area are seeking to rejuvenate the historic center, making it more accessible and interesting for sightseeing.

  • The medieval castle is one of the ten castles of Cyprus. It was built by theByzantines around 1000 AD. Around the same period, a chapel was also built there. Richard the Lionheart is supposed to have married his fiancée Princess Berengaria of Navarre on this site after her ship was grounded nearby in 1191 as she accompanied him to the Third Crusade, on his way to Holy Land. The Castle was used as a prison between 1790 and 1940 and it now serves as a medieval museum. The collection that the museum provides covers the era of 400 – 1870 AD. A visitor can see numerous exhibits: cannons, wood carvings of the 17th and 18th century, paintings and tombstones, statues, suits of armour, coins, terracotta, metalware and pottery, glass and marble articrafts.
  • The Archaeological Museum provides a very interesting collection of antiquities found in the district of Limassol, dating from the Neolithic Age to the Roman period. Some of the archaeological discoveries are: Stone axes of the Neolithic and Chalcolithic period, potteries and objects of the ancient cities of Curium and Amathus, as well as Roman terracottas, gold jewellery, coins, sculptures, columns, vases, earrings, rings, necklaces, marble statues etc.
  • The Folk Art Museum is beautifully preserved old house which provides a very interesting collection of Cypriot Folk Art of the last two centuries. Objects in the collection include: national costumes, tapestry, embroidery, wooden chests, waistcoats, men’s jackets, necklaces, a variety of light clothes, town costumes, country tools etc. The museum was established in 1985. More than 500 exhibits are housed in its six rooms. The museum was awarded the Europa Nostra prize in 1989. Here, the visitor can study Cypriot culture through the hand-made exhibits.
  • Public Garden is situated on the coastal road. It provides a great variety of vegetation: eucalyptus trees, pine trees and cypresses. In this beautiful environment the citizens of Limassol and many visitors can walk around and enjoy themselves. Inside the garden, there is a small zoo. There, the visitor can see deer, moufflons, ostriches, pheasants, tigers, lions, monkeys,vultures, pelicans and other animals and different kinds of birds. Not far from the zoo there is the small natural history museum and the garden theatre that is reconstructed to host famous international groups.

History

Ancient

The city of Limassol is situated between the ancient cities of Amathus and Kourion (Curium). Limassol was probably built after Amathus had been ruined. However, the town of Limassol has been inhabited since very ancient times. Graves found there date back to 2000 BC and others date back to the 8th and 4th centuries BC. These few remains show that a small colonisation must have existed which did not manage to develop and flourish. Ancient writers mention nothing about the foundation of the town. In 85 BC, Armenian emperor Tigranes the Great(Armenian: Տիգրան Մեծ Tigran Mets;Greek: Τιγράνης ὁ Μέγας Tigránes ho Mégas) had reached Limassol in order to establish security and protection of local Greek allies against Rome in a result followed by his conquest of Syria, Lebanon and Anatolia.

According to the Council of Chalcedon which took place in 451, the local bishop as well as the bishops of Amathus and Arsinoe were involved in the foundation of the city, which would be known by the names of Theodosiana and Neapolis. Bishop Leontios of Neapolis was an important church writer in the 7th century. The records of the 7th Synod (787) refer to it as the bishop’s see. The town was known as Lemesos in the 10th century.


Medieval

The history of Limassol is largely known by the events associated with the Third Crusade. The king of England, Richard the Lionheart, was travelling to the Holy Land in 1191.  His fiancée Berengaria and his sister Joan (Queen of Sicily), were also travelling on a different ship. Because of a storm, the ship with the queens arrived in Limassol.  Isaac Komnenos, the renegade Byzantine Greek governor of Cyprus invited the queens ashore, with the intention of holding them to ransom, but they refused. So he refused them fresh water and they had to put out to sea again or yield to capture. When Richard arrived in Limassol and met Isaac Komnenos, he asked him to contribute to the crusade for the liberation of the Holy Land.  While at the beginning Isaac had accepted, he later on refused to give any help. Richard then chased him and finally arrested him; the entire island was therefore taken over by the Anglo-Normans, bringing the long Byzantine dominion of Cyprus to an end.  Richard celebrated his marriage with Berengaria who had received the crown as queen of England in Cyprus. Richard destroyed Amathus and the inhabitants were transferred to Limassol.

A year later, in AD 1192, Cyprus was sold for the sum of 100,000 bezants to the Templars, rich monks and soldiers whose aim was the protection of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.  The knights enforced high taxes, in order to get back the money that had been given for the purchase of Cyprus. This led to the revolt of the Cypriots, who wished to get rid of the bond of the promise. Richard accepted their request and a new purchaser was found: Guy de Lusignan, aRoman Catholic from Poitou. Cyprus was therefore handed over to the French dynasty of the house of Lusignan, thus establishing the medieval Kingdom of Cyprus.

For a period of about three centuries 1192–1489, Limassol enjoyed remarkable prosperity. Cyprus was characterised by its great number of Latin bishops. This lasted until the occupation of Cyprus by the Ottomans in AD 1570. Latin battalions which established monasteries were settled down there. The settlement of merchants in Cyprus and particularly in Limassol in the 13th century led to the financial welfare of its inhabitants. Its harbour as a centre of transportation and commerce, contributed greatly to the financial and cultural development.


Venetian rule

Cyprus was sold in 1489 to Venice by the Cypriot Queen Catherine Cornaro. The Venetians did not have Cyprus' best interest at heart, they were only interested in receiving the taxes and in exploiting the country’s resources. The Venetians strengthened the Castle of Limassol.


Under the Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire invaded Cyprus in 1570–1571 and occupied it. Limassol was conquered in July 1570 without any resistance. Descriptions of different visitors inform us that the town of Limassol looked like a village with a significant population. The Christians used to live in small houses with such low doorways, that one had to bend in order to enter.

Some neighbourhoods, mostly to the east of the city were predominantly Greek, to the west predominantly Turkish with an evenly mixed area around the castle. The church played an important role in the education of Greeks during the years 1754–1821. During those years new schools were set up in all the towns. Greek intellectuals used to teach Greek history, Turkish and French. The following schools operated in the town of Limassol:

  • The Greek School which was established in 1819.
  • The first public school which was established in 1841.
  • The Girls’ School which was established in 1861.

British Colonial administration

The British took over in Cyprus in 1878. The first British governor of Limassol was Colonel Warren.  He showed a particular interest in Limassol and even from the very first days the condition of the town showed an improvement. The roads were cleaned, the animals were removed from the centre, roads were fixed, trees were planted and docks were constructed for the loading and unloading of those ships that were anchored off-shore. Lanterns for the lighting of the central areas were also installed in the 1880. In 1912, electricity replaced the old lanterns.

From the very first years of the British occupation, a post office, a telegraph office and a hospital began to operate.  In 1880 the first printing press started working. It was in this printing press that the newspapers Alithia and Anagennisiswere published in 1897. The newspaper Salpinx was published at the same time.

At the end of the 19th century the very first hotels began to operate. Among these were Europe and Amathus.

These changes that the British brought about contributed to the development of an intellectual and artistic life. Schools, theaters, clubs, art galleries, music halls, sport societies, football clubs etc. were all set up and meant a great deal to the cultural life of Limassol.

Climate

Limassol has a Subtropical-Mediterranean climate  with warm to hot and dry summers and very mild winters, which are separated by short springs and autumns which are generally warm and pleasant. From December to March the weather is unsettled and can be rainy and windy but you can also often expect great amounts of sunshine averaging around 6 hours a day. During this season there are a few days when the daytime highs might not exceed 12 °C (54 °F) and the night time lows might be as low as 2 °C (36 °F) but usually the temperature ranges from 16 °C (61 °F) to 20 °C (68 °F) in the day and from 7 °C (45 °F) to 12 °C (54 °F) in the night.

Rain tends to be heavy this time of the year and thunderstorms occur often though they usually do not last for a long time. Snow in Limassol is a very rare occurrence and usually falls mixed with rain every 7–13 years. In recent years, snow mixed with rain fell in February 2004, in January 2008 and in February 2012. In spring – March the weather is mild to warm and pleasant. It is sunny almost every day and the temperatures are around 19–20 °C (66–68 °F) in the day and 9 °C (48 °F) in the night. Rain showers and thunderstorms are common especially in late March and April. Sometimes during the spring dust comes from the Sahara desert which affects badly the visibility of the city. Summer for Limassol is the longest season of the year, lasts about eight months, that begins in April and finishes in November. At this time of the year the weather is sunny every day and rain is rare. The temperatures range between 19 °C (66 °F) to 30 °C (86 °F) in June and September and 22 °C (72 °F) to 40 °C (104 °F) in July and August. In June sea mist can sometimes occur usually resolves early in the mornings. Autumn is warm and usually sunny. It begins in the end of November and in December. During this period of the year expect temperatures from as low as 12 °C (54 °F) and as high as 20 °C (68 °F).

This season the weather differs from year to year and it can be very wet with violent thunderstorms sometimes (October 2009; rainfall of around 90 mm (3.5 in)) or very dry (October 2007; rainfall of 2-5mm). Finally Limassol receives around 410 mm (16.1 in) of rain each year but this varies from year to year and sometimes droughts do occur (every 3–5 years). The rainy season 2009–2010 was a wet one with precipitation being as high as 515 mm (20.3 in) in some areas whilst the rainy season of 2007–2008 was dry with only 300 mm (11.8 in) of rain. Hail is rare and usually falls between October–April.

Climate data for Limassol

MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Average high °C (°F)16.7
(62.1)
17.1
(62.8)
18.9
(66)
22.2
(72)
26.1
(79)
29.9
(85.8)
32.1
(89.8)
32.6
(90.7)
30.4
(86.7)
27.2
(81)
23.0
(73.4)
18.5
(65.3)
24.56
(76.22)
Daily mean °C (°F)12.1
(53.8)
12.1
(53.8)
13.6
(56.5)
16.3
(61.3)
20.1
(68.2)
23.8
(74.8)
25.8
(78.4)
26.3
(79.3)
24.1
(75.4)
21.4
(70.5)
17.6
(63.7)
13.7
(56.7)
18.91
(66.03)
Average low °C (°F)7.4
(45.3)
7.0
(44.6)
8.2
(46.8)
10.4
(50.7)
14.0
(57.2)
17.6
(63.7)
19.5
(67.1)
19.9
(67.8)
17.8
(64)
15.5
(59.9)
12.2
(54)
8.8
(47.8)
13.19
(55.74)
              
Source: Climate-Data.org


Average sea temperature

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec 
17.8 °C
(64.0 °F)
17.0 °C
(62.6 °F)
17.3 °C
(63.1 °F)
18.1 °C
(64.6 °F)
20.8 °C
(69.4 °F)
24.4 °C
(75.9 °F)
27.2 °C
(81.0 °F)
28.0 °C
(82.4 °F)
27.2 °C
(81.0 °F)
25.2 °C
(77.4 °F)
22.1 °C
(71.8 °F)
19.6 °C
(67.3 °F)

Geography

Limassol District forms much of the southwestern-central part of Cyprus. The Kouris River rises in the southern slopes of Troodos mountains, which lie in the northern part of the district towards the centre of Cyprus, and flows to the sea near the ancient city of Kourion. This river has been dammed by the Kouris Dam, which has caused the near drying up of the river in its lower reaches.  Limassol, to the northeast of the Akrotiri peninsula lies on Akrotiri Bay, while Pissouri, to the northwest of the peninsula, lies on Episkopi Bay.  Episkopi Bay is a nesting ground for green and loggerhead turtles, both of which are on the IUCN list of endangered species. Amathous Beach and the Dassoudi Beach are also situated in the district.

Economy

The development of tourism in Limassol began after 1974 when the Famagusta and Kyrenia, the principal tourist resorts of Cyprus, were occupied in the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, after which they became a part of Northern Cyprus. Limassol has a lot of beaches, suitable for sunbathing and swimming. A bathing beach with all the necessary facilities, provided by the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO), is operating in the town of Limassol, in Dasoudi area.

Limassol became the major sea port of the Republic of Cyprus in 1974. Before 1974, that role had been filled by Famagusta, which is now located in the Northern Cyprus, which is not recognised as a legal port by any country except Turkey.

Limassol is the base for many of the island's wine companies, serving the wine-growing regions on the southern slopes of the Troodos Mountains (of which the most famous is Commandaria). The most important ones are KEO, LOEL, SODAP and ETKO. The wines and cognacs (brandies) that are produced by the grapes that grow in the countryside, are of excellent quality. They have won several awards in international exhibitions. There is a considerable consumption of wine products in Cyprus by the locals and the foreign visitors. Big quantities are exported to Europe.

The town of Limassol is the biggest industrial centre of the province. There are about 350 industrial units with 90 industry wares. These industries concern dressmaking, furniture, shoes, drinks, food, prints, metal industry, electric devices, plastic wares as well as many other different industries.

Limassol is an important trade centre of Cyprus. This is due to the presence of the UK sovereign base at Episkopi and Akrotiri, and to the displacement of the population in Limassol after the Turkish invasion in 1974. The trade markets are gathered in the centre of the town and in the tourist area along the coast that begins from the old harbour and ends in Amathus area. Most of the hotels, restaurants, confectioneries, discos and places of entertainment in general, are to be found in this area.

Limassol has two Ports, commonly referred to as the "old port" and the "new port". The new port has the greatest commercial and passenger flow of traffic and it is the biggest port in the Republic of Cyprus. The old harbour has a breakwater 250 metres (820 feet) long and it is only able to receive three small ships at a time. It is thus normally used by fishing boats. The new harbour is 11 metres (36 feet) deep and has break-waters that are 1,300 metres (4,300 feet) long. It is able to receive about ten ships depending on their size. Exports of grapes, wines, carobs, citrus fruits and imports of cereals, vehicles, machines, textiles, agricultural medicines, fertilizers, iron etc. are exported and imported through these ports.

Limassol is today the largest ship management service centre in Europe with more than 60 shipmanagement companies located in the city, as due to the Cyprus Shipping tax system (a choice between corporation tax or a tonnage tax system) it makes it very attractive for ship management companies to have their main offices in Limassol. Thus the very popular MARITIME CYPRUS shipping conference which takes place every 2 years, attracting all the largest shipping companies of the world. These ship-management companies currently employee more than 40.000 seafarers. In fact, the Cyprus registry today is ranked as the tenth among international fleets.

A marina located to the west of Limassol Castle, between the old and new ports, has been built. This new development allows berthing of ocean-going yachts and was opened to public in 2014, having hosted its first yachts in 2013.  The marina has a capacity of 1.000 vessels.

During the last years, Limassol has experienced a construction boom fuelled by the tourist sector as well as from increasing foreign investments in the city. Public projects like the redesigning of the city's one-kilometre (0.62-mile) promenade, are improving the quality of life of the people and the image of the city as a cosmopolitan destination. Infrastructure improvements partly funded by European programmes have helped solve traffic problems that the city faced with the construction of new highway flyovers and roundabouts.

Prices in Limassol

PRICES LIST - USD

MARKET / SUPERMARKET

Milk1 liter€1.28
Tomatoes1 kg€1.18
Cheese0.5 kg€6.50
Apples1 kg€1.61
Oranges1 kg€1.16
Beer (domestic)0.5 l€1.09
Bottle of Wine1 bottle€6.50
Coca-Cola2 liters€2.15
Bread1 piece€1.24
Water1.5 l€0.74

PRICES LIST - USD

RESTAURANTS

Dinner (Low-range)for 2€25.00
Dinner (Mid-range)for 2€39.00
Dinner (High-range)for 2€50.00
Mac Meal or similar1 meal€5.80
Water0.33 l€0.66
Cappuccino1 cup€3.20
Beer (Imported)0.33 l€3.50
Beer (domestic)0.5 l€3.00
Coca-Cola0.33 l€1.30
Coctail drink1 drink€8.00

PRICES LIST - USD

ENTERTAINMENT

Cinema2 tickets€16.00
Gym1 month€55.00
Men’s Haircut1 haircut
Theatar2 tickets€32.00
Mobile (prepaid)1 min.€0.09
Pack of Marlboro1 pack€4.50

PRICES LIST - USD

PERSONAL CARE

Antibiotics1 pack
Tampons32 pieces€2.80
Deodorant50 ml.€3.80
Shampoo400 ml.€4.40
Toilet paper4 rolls€1.70
Toothpaste1 tube€2.30

PRICES LIST - USD

CLOTHES / SHOES

Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)1€75.00
Dress summer (Zara, H&M)1€40.00
Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)1€76.00
Leather shoes1€94.00

PRICES LIST - USD

TRANSPORTATION

Gasoline1 liter€1.18
TaxiStart€3.50
Taxi1 km€0.80
Local Transport1 ticket€1.50

Tourist (Backpacker)  

50 € per day

Estimated cost per 1 day including:

  • meals in cheap restaurant
  • public transport
  • cheap hotel

Tourist (business/regular)  

155 € per day

Estimated cost per 1 day including:

  • mid-range meals and drinks
  • transportation
  • hotel

Transportation - Get In

Transportation - Get In

By plane

Limassol is about 40 minutes drive away from Larnaca and Paphos international airports. Larnaca mainly serves traditional airlines, while most of RyanAir flights land in Paphos. There is a regular shuttle bus service from Larnaca and Paphos airports [www]. Be careful to arrange pick-up from the shuttle bus stops, as they are located away from the central areas. Bus driver might provide assistance to arrange a taxi.

Transportation - Get In

By boat

Limassol has the biggest commercial shipment port and a reasonable passenger port, with several regular cruise routes:

Transportation - Get In

By Bus

  • There are special Green Buseswhich operate intercity. Buses are available for Troodos, Larnaca, Pafos and Nicosia. It is best to confirm timings from the closest CTO Tourist Information Center.

Transportation - Get In

By service taxi

  • Travel Express run an intercity service using shared minibuses between the major towns in Cyprus. They have recently had their licence extended to allow them to pick up from Larnaca and Pafos Airports. They are a lot cheaper than taxis but more expensive than the intercity buses, however, they take you door to door. Bookings need to be made in advance, however, if it's not full you can normally get on the next one.


Transportation - Get Around

The three main roads are:

  1. The Beach Road
  2. Makarios Avenue
  3. Griva Digeni (which transforms into Kolonakou / Spyros Kyprianou later to the east)

Transportation - Get Around

By bus

The bus service has recently been upgraded, with more routes and better schedules, however waiting times may still be long. The principal tourist route is #30, serving the beach road from Le Meridien hotel up to New Port (Old Port after 6pm), which runs approximately every 15 minutes. You can find detailed information and maps on the EMEL bus company website. Cost per trip is €1.50. Day tickets cost 5 Euros.

Transportation - Get Around

By Taxi

Taxi is the most popular means of transportation for tourists, but are expensive and it is common to ignore meters. Of late, share taxis too are popular, and may work out to a more reasonable fare.

Transportation - Get Around

Transport Rental

Cars, scooters and bicycles can be hired easily, however keep in mind that locals have a relaxed approach to Highway Code.

Transportation - Get Around

By Bicycle

The beach road has a dedicated bicycle lane stretching from the Old Port to Dasoudi area. Keep in mind that in summer it gets very hot.

Hotels

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Hotels

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Shopping

  • The traditional shopping streets are Ayios Andreas and Anexartisias street. These streets provide an ambiance of the old cobbled path lanes, away from the modern city.
  • Several western style supermarkets ( Carrefour, Debenhams, LIDL, Orphanidies etc.) are spread across the city and warehouse-style shopping centres have mushroomed on the outskirts of the city. My Mall is the biggest shopping center in the area, located to the west of New Port.
  • Sea Sponges is popular product of Cyprus, used as a bath/face scrub. Loofa is used as a bath scrub. Available at most tourist/souvenir shops. Also there is a Sea Sponges Exhibition at the roundabout at the Old Port. However, sea sponges may be pricey!
  • The Lefkara Lace and other lace products may be brought from Limassol or any other city than Lefkara itself, as they may be often over priced in Lefkara, due to a large number of tourists flocking there, especially during the tourist season.
  • Opening hours for most shops are M-F 9AM-1PM / 3PM-7PM (siesta time in between, outside of the tourist area most smaller shops are not open on Wednesday afternoons) and Saturdays 9AM-2PM. Only some convenience stores (Periptero in Greek) would be open 24 hours on all days.

Restaurants

Kebab can be optimum for a relatively cheap, fresh and filling meal. Be careful with colourful "tourist" cafes since those are often over-priced and offer low quality conventional sandwiches or English Breakfasts. Mousaka or Kleftiko are popular, however your best bet (especially if you are hungry), is a traditional Cyprus Meze(either of the meat or fish variety), which usually includes a myriad of small hot and cold dishes for a reasonable price.

Try targeting restaurants that cater for the locals. You should not encounter a client/waiter language barrier as virtually everyone speaks English.

All major western chains are present, e.g. McDonald's, KFC, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Friday's, Bennigan's, Goodies, Nandos et al.!


Budget

  • Kyrenia Nautical Club, beach-side tavern in Yermasoyia tourist area (opposite Mirage traffic lights). Traditional Cypriot fish meze.
  • Syrian Arab Friendship Club, Lebanese-style tavern/restaurant with excellent meze. Located in Yermasoyia tourist area.
  • Ocean Basket, fish restaurant at My Mall.

Mid-range

  • Draught Microbrewery. Restaurant and bar located in the Carob Mill next to the Limassol Castle. Specializes in grills.
  • Tapas Bar, tapas with a local twist, located opposite St. Raphel hotel (next to Chesters). Also known for expensive, but good shisha (hookah).
  • Pralina Blu, beach-side restaurant and cafe located opposite to McDonalds / Luna Park in the Yermasoyia tourist area. Mediterranean cuisine.

Splurge

  • Columbia Steakhouse [www.columbiaplaza.com/columbia-steak-house/], located in Old Town.
  • Roku. Japanese Restaurant.

Coffe & Drink

Drinking water: It is generally safe to drink water directly from the tap. Most apartments/hotels would have a separate tap provided along with the sink, for water that bypasses the storage tank on the roof.

Sights & Landmarks

  • Limassol Old Town: recently renovated, especially around the Limassol Castle area.
  • Limassol Castle
  • Akti Olympion, a 7-km beach-side walking park area stretching from Municipal Gardens to the Old Port.
  • The ancient city of Amathus
  • The ancient city of Kourion (outside Limassol)
  • Kolossi Castle (outside Limassol)
  • Governor's Beach (outside Limassol), long sandy beach with many beach-side fish restaurants, and a beautiful white stone coast to the west.
  • Lady's Mile Beach (outside Limassol), long mostly-pebbly, partly sandy beach with several beach-side fish restaurants. Try watching birds at the salt lake nearby. Note that there is a military air base in the area.

Things to do

  • Visit the Limassol Wine Festival, every September.
  • Party during the Limassol Carnival, every February/March. Truly Colorful!
  • Watch the Cyprus Rally every Autumn.
  • Get drunk at the Potamos Yermasoyias(aka "Galatex") which has plenty of entertainment in the pubs, night clubs and cafes on the street and in the surrounding area.
  • Visit one of the traditional buzukia (tavern with live music).
  • Explore the Limassol Castle and nearby Old Town area.
  • Visit Anexartisias street in the Old Town, a popular shopping area for both tourists and locals.
  • Take a stroll on the seafront Akti Olympion in the evening.
  • Take a walk on the wooden promenade along the sea opposite the archeological site of Kingdom of Amathus.
  • Drive down to the Kourion (15 km) area offers sites of historic importance, namely The House of Achilles, and The Altar of Appollo and spectacular views of theCurium Beach.
  • The Municipal Garden along the beach road is a good place to spend some time and catch some interesting flora. However the zoo is not that great.

Sport

For a taste of local sport, visit the home games of the local clubs: AEL, Apollonas and Aris. All three compete in the first division of the Cyprus Soccer and Basketball leagues. Recently Apollonas' football and AEL's basketball teams have enjoyed considerable success in European competitions. So you never know, you might be lucky and catch a Manchester United visit. Expect double a figure score in such a case. Tickets are relatively cheap when compared to European leagues where on average a full price ticket costs less than €20. However football hooliganism is a problem as of late, so take care.

An annual marathon event takes place every February, the Limassol Marathon GSO [www]. Limassol Marathon GSO is expanding into a big athletic celebration where Marathon runners from all over the world will meet to compete and at the same time enjoy a memorable experience race.

Festivals and events

Limassol is famous in Cyprus for its festivals, like the Carnival and Wine Festival. TheLimassol Carnivalfestival lasts for ten (10) days, with jolly and amusing masquerading. This custom is very old, going back to pagan rituals. With the passage of time it has acquired a different, purely entertaining character, with a large, popular following. The festival starts with the entrance parade of the King Carnival, followed by a fancy-dress competition for children. During the Carnival parade in the main streets, large crowds from all over the island gather to watch the floats with the serenade and other masqueraded groups. Many fancy-dress balls and parties take place at many hotels every night.

During the first quarter of September, the great Wine Festival of Cyprus takes place in the Limassol Municipal Garden, every evening between 8.00 hrs – 23.00 hrs . During the festival the visitor has the chance to taste some of the best Cyprus wines, which are offered free of charge. On some evenings, various groups from Cyprus and abroad perform folk dancing and there are also choirs and others.

Other festivals are Yermasogeia Flower Festival (May), Festival of the Flood (June),Shakespearean nights and Festival of Ancient Greek Drama.

Furthermore, the city of Limassol introduced the first Beer festival in July 2003. This is a three-day dance festival by the sea in the heart of the city centre. Visitors can enjoy a variety of Cypriot beers and imported beers, such as KEO, Heineken, Amstel and Becks. The entrance to the festival is free of charge and beers are sold at low prices, complemented by a mix of international music. 

The sixth Junior Eurovision Song Contest was held in Limassol, in the Spyros Kyprianou Athletic Centre.

Nightlife

Limassol has the reputation among locals of being the party capital of Cyprus. When Ayia Napa hibernates in the winter, Limassol powers on drawing much of the local clientele especially during the carnival season.

The Potamos Yermasoyia tourist area is littered with countless bars and pubs to cater for everyone's tastes and budget. The old medieval town centre is more popular with the locals and offers classier but pricier establishments. Most hotels will also have a variety of in house bars (either with a local or international twist), which are open to non residents too.

Sport is religion here and sports bars abound. Football is in your face everywhere, especially the British and Greek leagues. Being here during a European or World cup competition finals stage is only next best to attending the real thing.

Zivania is the equivalent local version of Grappa or Eau de Vie. Drink frozen zivania shots at your peril.

Commandaria is a sweet dessert wine and a speciality of Limassol is worth tasting especially after a meze.


Mid-range

  • Chesters. Irish-style bar locaged in tourist area opposite St. Raphel hotel. Good selection of beers and food.
  • Draught Microbrewery. Restaurant and bar located in the Carob Mill next to the Limassol Castle. Has its own small beer brewery.
  • Molly Malones. Irish-style bar locaged in tourist area opposite Elias Beach hotel. Good selection of beers and food.
  • Pralina Blu, beach-side restaurant and cafe located opposite to McDonalds / Luna Park in the tourist area.

Splurge

  • 7Seas. Located in Old Town. Probably the classiest live music nightclub in the town.
  • Dolce. Located next to Amathus excavation. Nightclub which often has live music and international DJs.

Safety in Limassol

Stay Safe

Very High / 9.0

Safety (Walking alone - day)

High / 7.0

Safety (Walking alone - night)

Cyprus - Travel guide

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