The island’s second largest city, Lemesos (Limassol) spreads out between two ancient city-kingdoms, Amathous to the east and Kourion to the west, two of the most spectacular archaeological sites in Cyprus. It is the island’s main port, the centre of the wine industry and a bustling holiday resort. A large number of hotels and hotel apartments line a 15 km coastline interspersed with eucalyptus groves and linked by a promenade popular with walkers or joggers.
Wander round the narrow streets of the old town radiating out from the fishing harbour. The medieval castle was the site of the royal wedding in the Middle Ages between Richard the Lionheart and Berengaria of Navarre, and now houses the Cyprus Medieval Museum. Browse through the array of goods and produce in the atmospheric Market.
The town’s inhabitants are renowned for their love of fun so not surprisingly the nightlife is varied, with all sorts of tavernas, discos and clubs. Enjoy a summer concert under the stars in the Greco-Roman theatre of Kourion, or join in the Bacchian excesses at the Wine Festival in September, or have fun at the Carnival with its fancy dress chariot parade and parties.
A short drive out into the surrounding countryside will take you through vineyards and quaint wine producing villages. The castle of Kolossi is where the sweet dessert wine “Commandaria”, the world’s oldest named wine, was produced by the Knights of St John of Jerusalem who had their headquarters here in the Middle Ages.
Germasogeia dam and Akrotiri salt lake, at the edge of which is the Monastery of St Nicholas of the Cats, are unique wetlands ideal for observing nature and wildlife and peaceful places to relax, go for a walk or indulge in some angling or bird watching.
Photographs by: Ms. Ioanna Markidou, Assoc. Prof. Despo Fatta-Kassinos, Prof. Stavros Kassinos