On the eastern outskirts of the resort, where the mountains, breaking the chain of hotels, approach the very shore, the ruins of Amathus, one of the ten ancient city-states of Cyprus, have been preserved. The remains of the fortress walls, the white columns of the temples, the foundations of buildings and marble blocks scattered everywhere – this, perhaps, is all that remains of the most important center of worship of Aphrodite on the island. In 1191, not far from this place, the ships of the English king Richard the Lionheart, who was in a hurry to go on a crusade, anchored. At the castle of Limassol, which is next to the Old Port, his wedding took place with the Navarrese princess Berengaria. For a long time, the citadel belonged to the Templars, then to the Knights Hospitallers and the Cypriot kings, until it was already rather dilapidated, it was not captured by the Turks. Today, the rather modest castle houses the Museum of the Middle Ages.
According to liuxers.com, another attraction of the Crusader era is Kolossi Castle, 10 km west of Limassol, which housed the main commandery of the Hospitallers.
In addition to military service, the knights of the order were engaged in the cultivation of grapes, and it is from the cellars of Kolossi that perhaps the most famous Cypriot wine comes – thick and sweet “Commandaria”. Today, according to old recipes, it is produced by the Keo Factory, which can be visited with a guided tour.
Just 6 km from Kolossi, on a high cliff are the ruins of another city-state – Kourion. This is one of the most significant archaeological sites in Cyprus with a perfectly preserved amphitheater, where the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides are still staged. The main sanctuary of Kourion is the temple of Apollo Khilatsky, the former beauty of which can be judged by the columns that have come down to us.
6 things to do in Limassol
- Find a suitable rhyton for the Cypriot “Commandaria”.
- Pamper yourself with thalassotherapy at Le Meridien’s spa.
- Find among the ruins of Kourion the altar of the god Apollo, which in ancient times could only be approached by priests.
- Learn the difference between souvla and souvlaki.
- Understand why Mark Antony compared Cleopatra to the wine of Cyprus.
- Go on a donkey safari through coniferous thickets and olive groves.
Limassol for children
Limassol diligently maintains its reputation as a family resort – in addition to gently sloping sandy beaches, there are many places that are interesting for little infants and princesses. The calm, shady Municipal Park overlooking the sea is full of playgrounds and cafes with juices and ice cream. Part of it is occupied by a small Zoo with a “contact zone” where kids can feed the animals and hold them in their arms.
Multi-storey entertainment center “Galaktika” (off. site in English) is able to captivate the whole family. Among the temptations for children are dozens of rides, a racetrack, playrooms for the smallest, animators inexhaustible in inventions, a restaurant with a children’s menu and a confectionery. Adults can only chase balls in a bowling alley or billiards, cheer for their favorite teams in a sports bar or crawl on the World Wide Web in an Internet cafe.
The Russian family center “Koleso” captivates with a creative atmosphere that opens up new artistic talents in children and their parents.
And, finally, you should definitely visit the Fasouri water park, decorated in the Polynesian style (off. site), the largest in Cyprus, with the whole family. Its 30 attractions are designed for visitors of all ages.
Limassol is good at any time of the year – even in winter, when the weather is moderately warm and sunny, and the prices in hotels are very pleasant. In April, the air is already warm enough for the first sunbathers to appear on the beaches. But you can’t swim until May. In summer, the sun beats mercilessly, rainy days, on average, one for each month. The sea, the shade of coastal parks and the refreshing sea breeze save you from overheating. The velvet season lasts until the end of October. During the day, there is no longer a sweltering heat, and the water temperature continues to remain comfortable, despite the frequent rains.
Holidays and events in Limassol
The most massive, bright and spectacular holiday is the carnival, which starts 10 days before Lent. Residents of Limassol, having briefly turned into pirates, mermaids, knights and devils, forgetting about everything in the world, arrange costumed processions mixed with fun dance competitions. At the same time, they literally absorb mountains of food – so that there is something to remember for the long 7 weeks before Easter.
In June, the most “Russian” city of Cyprus hosts a two-day Cypriot-Russian festival. The program includes performances by pop stars and amateur artists, theatrical performances, a parade of creatively designed prams and sports competitions, including shooting and running in high heels.
The Beer Festival on the Molos embankment helps to cope with the July heat.
Wine Festival (of.site) takes place in late August-early September. Venue: Limassol Municipal Park. Entrance fee – 6 EUR, but as a bonus, everyone gets a bottle of dry wine. In addition to visiting cultural events and sampling the masterpieces of Cypriot cuisine, you can become a participant in a fun grape pressing ceremony with bare feet. The main thing is not to miss the free tasting of the drink from 20:00 to 22:00.