The 2nd largest city of Cyprus, Limassol is located in the south-western corner of the island, close to the historic city of Paphos. Limassol is a top tourist destination, but it is also the business and administrative center of the island, a port city, and a center of the island’s wine industry. The city also has a rich history. Limassol goes back to the 2nd century B.C. The center of the city is still wrapped around an old castle.
During the 10th century, Limassol was called Nemesos. The name was coined by Constantine Porphyrogenitus, the Byzantine emperor. The ancient sites of Kourion and Amathus are both close. The old castles, ancient theater, and the old city’s architecture are all fascinating to see. The Limassol Castle is at center of the old part of the city. There are charming quaint buildings with overhanging terraces and cobblestoned streets everywhere.
But Limassol is not just about history. The modern parts of the city are full of opulence and glamor. Its marina is flashy. The promenade has many water parks, cafes, restaurants, English pubs, and nightclubs. The Old Port area is very picturesque. It has now been completely transformed. Limassol’s city center is bustling, thanks to the many university students. The ancient castle and old market are both close, linking the city to its glorious past.
Limassol – Quick Facts
- It is the second largest city of Cyprus
- Limassol is also a business, port, and administrative city
- Hub of many international businesses
- A city with a long history – it goes back to the 2nd century B.C
- It is more cosmopolitan than many other cities in Cyprus
- Limassol is close to the ancient sites of Kourion and Amathus
- Best beaches — Dassoudi, Lady’s Mile, Kourion, Governor’s Beach, and Pissouri
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit the city is between May and June. This will be driest time of the year. The temperature will be between 23 and 28 degrees. However, if you are seeking the sun, then you may also consider visiting between June and September. It will be slightly hotter then. January is the coolest month of the year.
The city’s average temperature varies greatly. The weather is mostly hot and humid in the summer, but it feels nice because of the sea breeze. There is little chance of rain in the summer as there are few clouds. December and January, the winter months, sees the maximum rain. The winter is also very mild here. Limassol is more temperate than most other places in Cyprus.
|Weather in Limassol|
|Average high, °C||17||18||20||23||26||30||33||34||31||27||23||19||27|
|Average low, °C||8||8||10||13||17||21||24||24||21||17||13||9||20|
Modern and cosmopolitan now, but the city of Limassol has a long history. Earlier the city was known as Nemesos. The city’s history can be charted back to the 2nd century B.C.
How to Reach Limassol
- By Air – The international airports at Paphos and Larnaca are both about 40 minutes from the city. Paphos airport is the base for RyanAir flights on the island, while most of the traditional scheduled airlines land and take off from Larnaca. Shuttle buses run regularly from both these airports.
- By Road – Tourists can easily visit the city from anywhere in Cyprus. There are good roads from Paphos, Larnaca, Nicosia, Ayia Napa, and Protaras. You can hire a car or bike. There are intercity bus services as well.
- By Boat – Limassol has the island’s busiest port. Many cruise ships like Louis Cruise Lines and Magic 1 both come here.
6 Top Things to See in Limassol
- The Promenade – The city’s seafront promenade is extremely popular with both the locals and tourists. It has many palm trees and sandy beaches. The promenade and its surrounding streets get particularly busy in later afternoon and during the evening. There is also a sculpture park with beautiful structures made by Greek, Cypriot, and many international artists. The Municipal Garden and Zoo are also just off the promenade. There are several cafes, restaurants, water parks, English pubs, and nightclubs here, though the nightlife scene is not as vibrant as Ayia Napa, the nightclub capital of Cyprus.
- The Marina – The marina is located at the western end of the promenade. It is just below the Limassol Castle. You can rent a boat or a yacht here for a cruise on the Mediterranean. Many hotels and luxury villas for rent in Limassol are located close to the promenade and the marina.
- Limassol Castle – This medieval castle is at the center of the old city. Historians are unsure of when the original structure was constructed. Archaeological investigations have revealed that a structure was built over an earlier Christian basilica between the 4th and 7th centuries. There was also a Middle Byzantine monument here between the 10th and 11th centuries. the present-day structure was rebuilt in 1590 during the rule of the Ottomans. The Limassol castle have changed hands several times. The Venetians captured it from the Ottomans, but they captured the region back in 1576 and a new Ottoman fort was constructed here.
- The Old Port – Limassol’s old harbor has changed into a fishing harbor. The area around this has also completely transformed into a beautiful tourist center. But the fishing harbor still remains very picturesque. You can see many boats bringing in their fresh catch in the early morning. There are many new shops here, cafes, and restaurants.
- Architecture of the Old Town – Limassol’s old town is still the city’s heart. You will see many beautiful narrow streets here leading out from the harbor. You will find many traditional workshops, old shops, modern boutiques, monuments, quaint buildings with overhanging terraces. Many buildings have unique character and architecture. This area is also bustling with many bars, restaurants, and cafes.
- The Old Market and Saripolou Square – The square is the city center’s busiest neighborhood. This is the best place in Limassol for food, cocktails, drinks, and coffee. The four edges of the square go to the municipal market, an old Catholic Church, the Castle, and the University. The market’s original building was constructed in 1917. The area around this market is now a landmark in the city.
Limassol is extremely popular with tourists. TripAdvisor has ranked Limassol 3rd in their list of “Best Upcoming Destinations in the World.
Ancient Kourion and Amathus
Kourion used to be the most important city-kingdoms of the island once. It was a strong kingdom that controlled fertile valleys. The inhabitants believed they came from Aegean immigrants. However, Kourion was eventually destroyed by an earthquake in 365 AD.
There are several attractions to see here including the stunning Greco-Roman theatre, houses of the gladiators, early Christian basilica that goes back to the 5th century, and many houses with impressive mosaic flooring. The amphitheater, which is the center piece, was constructed in the 2nd century BC. It has now been completed restored and used for theatrical performances and open-air musicals.
The archeological site of Amathus is 11 kilometers east of Limassol. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it is one of the most important ancient sites on the island, it goes back to 1100 BC. Persians, Romans, Byzantines, and Ptolemies have all conquered Amathus over time, so you will find their influences here. It was eventually destroyed and abandoned in the 7th century AD because of an invasion from the Arabs.
There are many attractions here including tombs that go back to the early Graeco-Phoenician period, the Temple of Aphrodite, and the Acropolis. The world’s largest stone vase was also excavated here. It is now in the Louvre Museum of Paris. It is 1.85 meters high and weighs 14 tons.
There are many beautiful villages close to the city. The quaint, old-world ambiance of Omodos is a top attraction. Located up in the Troodos Mountains, you will see many traditional thatched houses with red roofs and stone brick walls here. There are many cobblestoned streets going off in all directions from the village center. There are many open-air cafes, has a monastery and a small museum. Omodos is famous for its homemade wines and breads. The village also hosts a wine festival once a year.
The village of Pissouri is located on a ridge close to the beach area, near the famous landmark Aphrodite Rock. This too is a delightful village with a picturesque square. You will find many coffee shops, charming taverns, a historical Gothic church, and several chapels.
Limassol is a popular tourist destination and also an administration center, business city, and has the island’s busiest port. So naturally, there are several hotels here for guests having different budgets. Crowne Plaza on the promenade is the most famous.
Villas for Rent
You will also find many Limassol villas for rent both in Limassol and around the city. They are close to the beach area, the port and promenade area, in the old city, near the castle and other top tourist attractions. There are holiday villas also in quaint and serene corners of the city, away from crowds.
Estancia is a stunning 10-bedroom villa for rent at Limassol in southern Cyprus. Spread over 20,000 square-foot, this immaculately dressed-up mansion can accommodate up to 20 guests.
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