Explore Limassol

Limassol Travel Guide

During the Crusades Richard the Lionheart visited the Cypriot city of Limassol (then known as Lemesos) to free his betrothed from the Byzantine sovereign. The subsequent wedding became a party that remains legendary today, which is probably why modern Limassol is still a centre of joie de vivre. This lively ambience is also aided and abetted by the fact that Limassol is the centre of winemaking on the island.<br /><br /> Today Limassol is Cyprus' second-largest city with around 200,000 inhabitants. Many people travel to Limassol to enjoy its lovely beaches, sidewalk cafés, and lively nightlife. Visitors can take an evening stroll on the seafront Akti Olympion, followed by a visit to a traditional buzukia tavern for live music. The Old Town radiates from the fishing harbour, with narrow streets lined with shops and boutiques.<br /><br /> The foothills of the Troodos Mountains lie north of the city and offer charming country walks that meander through friendly villages. A quick drive to the Kourion, only nine miles (15km) away, also offers historic sites such as The House of Achilles, the Altar of Apollo, and Curium Beach.<br /><br />

Folk Art Museum

Address: 253 Ayios Andreas Street Limassol

A collection of traditional costumes, farm and household tools, tapestries, embroidery, wooden chests, jewellery and a variety of local handicrafts are among the displays at Limassol's Municipal Folk Art Museum, contained in a restored historic house.<br /><br /> The Folk Art Museum has been awarded the Europa Nostra Award for its commitment to preserving Cyprus' cultural legacy and there are an impressive 500 exhibits in the house's six rooms. The collection spans the 19th and early 20th centuries. Authentic Cypriot handicrafts are also offered for sale. This is not a big museum, but it is a charming one and the displays are interesting and atmospheric.<br /><br />

Cyprus Medieval Museum

Address: Limassol Castle, Richard and Berengaria Street Limassol

Limassol Castle, built in the 14th century, stands sentinel over the old harbour on the site of an earlier Byzantine castle. Today it houses the Cyprus Medieval Museum with a host of fascinating exhibits dating back to the Early Common Era (384-650).<br /><br /> The museum's collection boasts an array of weaponry and armour, including swords, helmets and the 500 year old canons which still stand guard on the battlements. Apart from this, there is a collection of 12th to 18th century pottery and some interesting old grave markers. The cells in the basement of the castle were used as a prison until as late as 1950.<br /><br /> The castle is most renowned for being the place where crusader King Richard the Lionheart married Berengaria of Navarre, and crowned her Queen of England in 1191. This museum is mainly interesting for lovers of military history but even if you don't visit the museum, if you are spending the day on the beach it is worth having a stroll around the outside of this wonderful old medieval fort and letting your imagination run wild.<br /><br />

Troodos Mountains

Address: Located roughly in the center of the island Limassol

The Troodos Mountains, in the interior of Cyprus, north of Limassol, offer beautiful scenery and a selection of four interesting signposted walks for nature lovers.<br /><br /> The Artemis Trail is circular, extending four miles (7km) in the Black Pine region through the distinctive sub-alpine flora of the area. Orchids can be found under the pines, and one may spot the rare Epipactis condensata. The Atalanta Trail, six miles (9km) long, starts at Troodos and also offers rich plant life, spectacular scenery and birdwatching opportunities. The shorter and easier Caledonia Trail, covering two miles (4km), follows the Kryo Potamo stream about one mile (2km) from Platres, and winds through pine forest, and among plane trees. It also bypasses the Caledonian Falls, which are the only waterfalls on Cyprus. The Persephone Trail, named after the Greek goddess of spring, is about two miles (3km) long and offers lovely views. The trails are advertised as summer trails but there is so reason that they wouldn't delight hikers during all the seasons.<br /><br /> The Troodos Mountains are the largest mountain range in Cyprus, so it is no wonder that they are a popular winter destination as well; this is one of only a handful of places in the world where visitors can ski in the morning, and swim and sun tan in the afternoon!<br /><br /> The main ski slopes are on the 6,401 foot (1,951m) Mount Olympus, roughly an hour's drive from Nicosia or Limassol, and the ski season extends from the beginning of January to the end of March. Although the skiing is set in a beautiful place and can be very rewarding, visitors should not expect Alpine standards or piste or snow reliability. Cyprus is a good place to learn to ski because although the conditions aren't always perfect, the atmosphere is very friendly and many of the ski runs are not overly demanding.<br /><br />

Pitsilia

Address: 19 miles (30 kms) outside of Limassol Limassol

A worthwhile day trip from Limassol is to explore the unspoilt villages in the foothills of the Troodos Mountains, in the region known as Pitsilia. Some important villages in the region are Palaichori, Agros, Alona, Askas, Polystypos, Plantanistasa, Kyperounta, Pelendri, Chandria, Dymes, Agridia and Kato Mylos. A rental car or a hired taxi is necessary because public transport is infrequent.<br /><br /> The area is renowned for its grape vines and fine wines and many of the villages make their own wines, and other products such as honey and cheeses. There are a couple of wine routes in the area and this is a fun way to explore the countryside and hope from town to town. The picturesque houses, painted churches and red-tiled roofs are striking, and many restored houses have been turned into cafes or restaurants. There are three noteworthy Byzantine Churches in the area which have been jointly declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.<br /><br /> The area is very beautiful, heavily forested and mountainous, and enticing for hikers. There are at least eight nature trails to be found in Pitsilia. Pitsilia is known at the orchard of cyprus due to its wealth of fruit, and one of the best times to visit the region is in spring when everything is in bloom.<br /><br />

Kourion

Address: Located nine miles (14 km) west of Limassol Limassol

One of the most beautifully positioned ancient sites in Cyprus, the ancient city of Kourion is located on the southern shores of Cyprus just outside of Limassol and is believed to have been founded by the Argives. The city has passed through different phases from Hellenistic, Roman, and Christian periods and the (market place), Christian Basilica and large public bath bear testament to this city's impressive list of inhabitants.<br /><br /> The most impressive feature of Kourion is the restored Greco-Roman theatre that looks out over the dazzling Mediterranean, which hosts open air musical and theatrical performances and is one of the venues for the International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama. Check out the House of the Gladiators, the Roman baths, the House of Achilles and the Temple of Apollo while visiting Kourion.<br /><br /> This extensive site, with its beautiful seaside location, deserves a few hours of exploration. Bring a water bottle and a hat or sunscreen beacause it can get swelteringly hot and there is not much shelter. Also, do a little research before you go to fully appreciate what you are experiencing because there is not as much information at the site as might be desired.<br /><br />

Fasouri Water Mania

Address: Fasouri area (15 mins outside Limassol) Limassol

If you are visiting Limassol and need a day of fun and a break from sightseeing and the Cyprus heat you should splash in the cool waters and enjoy the fun slides at Water Mania. The water park is suitable for travellers of all ages, and is a great attraction for the whole family - if you are travelling in Cyprus with kids then this is the ideal way to let them blow off some steam.<br /><br /> There is something for everyone, from the Kamikazi Slide and Wave Pool to the Lazy River and Black Cannons; there are 21 attractions all in all. There is also a kiddie pool for the little ones as well as a few restaurants and cafés for holidaymakers to stop and refuel. The park has a (somewhat cheesy) Polynesian theme but it provides good wholesome fun and a safe environment. Don't forget the sunblock.<br /><br />

Travellers in Limassol looking to satisfy their urge to splurge will be pleased to know that there is plenty to whet their appetite when it comes to shopping. There are, of course, the ubiquitous western-style shopping malls where stores like Debenhams and Carrefour will cater to your every need.<br /><br /> The main shopping areas in Limassol are on Agiou Andreou Street and Makarious III Ave where everything from clothing and footwear to leather goods and jewellery can be found. Head to the cobbled streets of Ayios Andreas and Anexartisias for a more historic and traditional atmosphere where trendy little boutiques and specialist stores line the streets and lanes away from the modern city.<br /><br /> Visit the local markets which take place every Saturday where bargains and great buys can be scooped up. Best buys in Cyprus include sea sponges and loofas and these are available at most tourist shops and markets, but be prepared to splash out on these bathing accessories. Another great buy is Lefkara Lace and other lace products, but it has to be said that for real shopaholics, the centre of Nicosia is the best place to spend a day indulging in the local wares and goods.<br /><br />
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