Limassol Travel Guide
Limassol © Sergey Galyonkin
Then known as Lemesos, Richard the Lionheart visited
Limassol during the Crusades to free his betrothed from the
Byzantine sovereign. The subsequent wedding party remains
legendary, probably why modern Limassol is still a centre of
joie de vivre. This lively ambience is aided and abetted
by the fact that Limassol is the centre of winemaking on the
Today, it's Cyprus's 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 bouzoukia tavern for
live music. The Old Town radiates from the fishing harbour, with
narrow streets lined with shops and boutiques.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Restaurants Restaurants are varied in Limassol, with something for everyone.
Everything from expensive tourist traps to places popular with
locals, it all depends on visitors making a smart choice. Both
moussaka, an eggplant and potato-based dish, and
kleftiko, a traditional hearty lamb meal, are ubiquitous,
as too is the simple and affordable kebab. There are budget
establishments and more upmarket venues, while western chains such
as McDonalds, KFC, and Burger King are all present.
One of the highlights of Limassol's coastline is
Dasoudi Beach, a Blue Flag stretch of sand and pebbles on the east
side of the city. Tourists flock there for the beachside
restaurants and outdoor activity. Other popular beaches in Limassol
include Lady's Mile, located near the port; and Governor's Beach,
noted for its velvety black sand.
Limassol is a great destination for the whole family
and a good place to spend some time in if you are travelling in
Cyprus with kids. Take the children to the Municipal Gardens, where
the Dinosaur Park and Limassol Zoo Garden are located for a
fun-filled day. Or take a trip to Fasouri Water Mania, an amusement
park which often proves irresistible on hot days in the city.
While fun in the sun is the object of many visitors,
Limassol itself and the surrounding region are far from devoid of
sightseeing opportunities. The Cyprus Medieval Museum, situated in
the imposing Limassol Castle where Richard the Lionheart famously
got married, will delight lovers of military history with its
collection of weaponry.
Another treat for fans of medieval history is the
perfectly preserved Kolossi Castle, near the city on the road to
Paphos, which dates back to the 14th century. The main
archaeological attraction of Limassol is the site of the ancient
city of Kourion which is located not far from the city, is
considered by many to be the most beautifully located ancient city
in Cyprus and makes for a rewarding excursion.
Negatives Those who are looking to explore ancient ruins and learn about
the fascinating history of Cyprus may be disappointed when
travelling to Limassol. It's more renowned as a vacation
destination, with its lovely beaches, buzzing nightlife, and luxury
resorts being the main order of the day. But those who still remain
interested in the country's intriguing past can still visit places
like the acropolis of Kourion.