Lemesos is the island’s second largest city, the island’s main port, the centre of the wine industry and a bustling holiday resort. It is renowned for its varied nightlife. The city fans out between two of the most spectacular archaeological sites in Cyprus built on cliff tops with spectacular views overlooking the sea - the ancient city-kingdom of Amathus to the east and Kurion to the west. Finds from these sites have made their way abroad, such as an enormous stone vase, one of the largest ever found, unearthed at Amathus is now at the Louvre Museum in Paris, while objects from Kurion are displayed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
The sun-kissed southern slopes of the Troodos mountains with their vineyards form a pleasant green backdrop to the city, dotted with delightful hillside villages known collectively as the ‘Krassochoria’ (or wine villages). The old forms of viticulture are still kept alive here producing the island’s best dry red wines. The most famous of all the wines is Commandaria, one of the oldest named wines in the world, having had the same name for eight centuries. It was originally produced and exported by the Hospitallers, the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, from Kolossi castle, where they had their headquarters (Grand Commandery), and which can still be seen today on the outskirts of the city. Germasogeia dam and Akrotiri salt lake are unique wetlands ideal for observing nature and wildlife and peaceful places to relax, go for a walk or indulge in some angling. Birdwatching enthusiasts may see herons, ducks, chaffinches, cormorants and kestrels, or even the Greater Flamingo which winters at Akrotiri in the thousands.
Limassol: A vibrant city
The most cosmopolitan city in Cyprus, Limassol is renowned for its vibrant atmosphere and spontaneous hospitality. Retaining the character of its rich and colourful history, the city also serves as a thriving commercial centre for its international community.
The region around Limassol offers a wide variety of activities; the warm weather and varied terrain mean that on land or on sea, you will never be short of things to do. Spend the day sun-bathing on the beach or choose from a range of watersports – from water-skiing and wind-surfing to scuba-diving, sailing and fishing. Numerous sporting facilities, including golf courses, are available in close proximity to the marina. The 17km promenade running along the coastline is ever-popular with cyclists, while nature lovers can take to the wild trails of the Troodos mountains, enjoy the hospitality of traditional Cypriot villages, or discover areas of outstanding beauty. And after all that activity, there’s every excuse to escape to one of many luxury spa resorts for some therapeutic treatments and tranquillity.
A short journey to the west brings you to a mile-long golden sandy beach and a drive to the east leads to a bustling boulevard with beachfront bars and nightclubs, five-star hotels and chic boutiques. And of course there is the diving; the most famous dive wreck is the Zenobia which lies in 18-42m of water off the port of Larnaca, 40 miles north east of Limassol. The sunken Swedish ferry has remained remarkably intact since it sank with 200 million worth of vehicles and cargo in 1980, and it ranks as one of the top 10 wreck dives in the world and one of the top 25 dive sites anywhere. For wine lovers, a tour of the local wineries surrounding Limassol is a must – and should definitely include a visit to the Castle of Kolossi, birthplace of the sweet dessert wine 'Commandaria', the oldest named wine in the world still in production.
Fine dining and nightlife
Traditional Cypriot cuisine is one of the finest in the Mediterranean – and there’s no better place to enjoy its fresh, enticing flavours than in the tavernas of Limassol. But in keeping with the city’s cosmopolitan nature, there is also a mouth-watering choice of international restaurants for you to discover – Italian, French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese. Whichever you choose, a warm welcome and memorable atmosphere are guaranteed. Traditional local cuisine includes the renowned meze – a mix of as many as 12 varied dishes, kleftico – succulent slow-cooked lamb, souvla – barbequed lamb or pork, moussaka – minced meat with vegetables in a creamy sauce, and shieftalia – remarkably tasting small sausages. But you need not venture far to enjoy fine dining or a relaxed sundowner.
Limassol Marina has its own international restaurants, cafes and bars, including shopping area. Visit Limassol Marina's guide to find out more.
The shopping streets of the historical part of town are also just a short distance from the marina’s seafront promenade. Lined by quaint listed buildings and overhanging terraces, there is an array of shops dotted across the city centre, from internationally renowned high-street brands to prestigious boutiques and designer showrooms.
The commercial area at Limassol Marina features a variety of shops, elegant boutiques, designer stores and amenities, as well as restaurants and waterfront bars.
The spice of variety
Whether for business or pleasure, Limassol offers a wealth of variety: from bustling markets and exuberant festivals to relaxing spas; ancient monuments and museums to fashionable boutiques and art galleries; prestige hotelsand gourmet restaurants to lively tavernas and glamorous clubs.
Beyond the city await the idyllic villages and nature trails of the Troodos mountains; secluded beaches and historic landmarks; wineries and orchards; and, for the golfing enthusiast, a range of championship courses.
The place to be
This enticing mix has elevated Limassol to one of the foremost destination attractions in Europe, with an ever-increasing number of international carriers flying to the nearby airports of Larnaka and Pafos.