Legends of kings and kingdoms, and the origins of the island’s wine making industry characterize the Limassol region, which embodies both the ancient and the modern.
Explore Limassol, known as the region of wine, celebrations and ancient realms, Limassol is comprised of its main city – which sits between two important archaeological sites; the ancient city-kingdom of Amathus to the east, and the ancient city-kingdom of Kourion to the west – along with rural areas and charming mountainous villages, where old traditions and crafts are still practiced.
Limassol is the second largest town in Cyprus after Nicosia, with a 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.
Limassol is the home of the island’s main port, and a bustling holiday resort. From its jewel of a marina and impressive archaeological monuments, to the vast 15 km coastal strip lined with restaurants, bars, cafes, shops and entertainment establishments, the main city is thriving and colorful.
The region also encompasses two unique wetlands. Germasogeia Dam is a peaceful place to relax, take a stroll, or enjoy a spot of angling, whilst Akrotiri Salt Lake is perfect for observing nature and wildlife (especially birds). The environmental significance of the Salt Lake and its surrounding area are showcased at the new installations of Akrotiri Environmental Centre.
The region then trails up the sun-kissed southern slopes of the Troodos Mountains, with vineyards forming a pleasant green backdrop to the city. The hillside villages here are known collectively as the ‘Krassochoria’ (or wine villages), and keep their old traditions of viticulture alive, producing the island’s best wines even today, and especially one of the oldest named wines in the world – the sweet dessert wine of Commandaria. Here, visitors will find a tranquil, rural retreat where hiking and cycling can be enjoyed in the unspoilt countryside.
With its viticulture pedigree and a magical history, the region of Limassol simply sparkles with opportunity from coast to hillside.
What to see.
The following four locations are located next to each other within a walking distance:
- Akti Olympion, a 3-km beach-side walking park area stretching from Municipal Gardens to the Old Port, with a number of interesting sculptures.
- Limassol Marina: a high-class, newly built Marina with luxurious yachts, as well as dinning/shopping/residence complex, located next to the Old port.
- Limassol Castle: located in the Old Town
- Limassol Old Town: recently renovated, especially around the Limassol Castle & Saripolou street areas.
- The ancient city of Amathus
- The ancient city of Kourion (outside Limassol), with beautifully preserved Roman-era mosaics
- Kolossi Castle (outside Limassol)
What to do
- Relax on one of the many beaches and beach cafes.
- Take a stroll on the seafront known as “Molos promenade”, followed by Old Port and Limassol Marina.
- Wander around the renovated Old Port & Limassol Marina area, enjoying the port & sea views.
- 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.
- Visit Old Town’s Saripolou square in the evening, which has become a busy center of nightlife, with many bars & cafes.
- Take a 2-4 hour catamaran party trip from the Old Port.
- Take a walk on the wooden promenade along the sea opposite the archeological site of Kingdom of Amathus.
- Take a walk along a Eucalyptos tree park or enjoy the beach at Dasoudi.
- Visit one of the traditional buzukia (tavern with live music).
- Visit the Limassol Wine Festival, every September.
- Party during the Limassol Carnival, every February/March. Truly Colorful!
- Visit Fasouri Watermania waterpark which is located nearby Limassol, the largest waterpark in Cyprus.
- Escape the summer heat and visit one of the many Troodos villages.
- Watch the Cyprus Rally every Autumn.
- Drive or bus to the Kourion (15 km) area offers ancient sites of historic importance, namely The House of Achilles, and The Altar of Appollo and spectacular views of the Curium Beach.
- The Municipal Garden along the beach road is a good place to spend some time and catch some interesting flora.
- Visit the zoo located right next to The Municipal Garden. It is a small yet cozy place perfect for small children and their parents to relax on a hot afternoon.
- Off The Eaten Track – City Walking Food Tour. A really good food tour around old town Limassol where you’ll eat loads of traditional food and try traditional drinks. Turn up hungry!
An annual marathon event takes place in March, the Limassol Marathon GSO. 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.
What to Buy
- 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 (Sklavenitis, 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 mall-type shopping center in the district, located to the west of New Port. Reachable by bus #30.
- 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.
What to Eat
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, et al.
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.
Limassol has the reputation amongst 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.
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.
Official tourism websites of Limassol
For more information please visit the official government website: