Contents
Nearby Sites

Paphos Mosaic

Mosaic from the House of Dyonisos - Paphos

Paphos Fort

Paphos Fort, Paphos Harbour

Things to do and see

LIMASSOL AND THE SOUTH

Limassol promenadeLimassol (Lemesos) is one of the largest industrial and commercial centres of the island. The busy town has many shopping districts plus a few sites of interest, including Limassol Castle. The town,famous for its carnivals and festivals, also boasts plush restaurants and an energetic nightlife. Although the town has no beach, the seafront is wide and palm-lined. Pleasure and fishing boats moor in the old harbour. The new deeper port, several kilometres to the west, services ships arriving from all over the world.

The Akrotiri Peninsula to the south of Limassol has a salt lake to rival the one at Larnaca. The coastline is fairly unspectacular to the east, except for Governor's Beach. A 10 km strip of hotels now runs along a shore-line of man made beaches right up to the famous ruins of Amathous. The scenery is much better to the west reaching fromLady's Mile Beach to the cliff top site of Kourion, then on to the fine beaches of Avdimou and Pissouri, near Cape Aspro.

Places to Visit in Limassol

Cyprus wineWine Tasting

Limassol is the centre of Cyprus's wine industry and the local Keo beer is also brewed here. A visit to one of the town’s wineries is both informative and enjoyable, usually ending in a sumptuous tasting session. You can tour one of the four top houses; KEO, ETKO, SODAP or LOEL on Franklin Rooseveldt Boulevard, about a 10 minute walk from the castle.
Open weekdays, from 10am.

Limassol District Archaeological Museum

Small museum exhibiting tools from the Neolithic period, pottery, jewellery, some large statues, plus a beautiful head of Aphrodite from Kourion. Of particular interest are the expressive terracotta figurines.
Located at junction of Kannigkos and Vyronos. Open daily (except Sunday). Admission charge.

Time Elevator

View the history of Cyprus in panoramic digital projection, covering a 10,000 years of history and culture.
Located on Voisilissis St, behind castle. Open daily. Admission charge.

Zoo and Gardens

Host of the annual wine festival (September). This is pleasant peaceful area of greenery, which provides a welcome relief from the hubbub of the city. A small zoo is located at the eastern end of the gardens.
Located on Oktovriou. Open daylight hours. Admission charge for zoo.

Limassol CarnivalFolk Art Museum

Exhibits a collection of Cypriot folk art from the last 200 years, including national costumes, tapestry and embroidery.
Located on Agiou Andreou. Open daily (except Sunday). Admission charge.

If you enjoy traditional folk art, dancing, music and colourful costumes then it is best to visit to Limassol in carnival season. The carnival,held every year at the beginning of February, is an important institution and tradition for the local people. Thousands of children and young adults come from all over Cyprus to join in the fun and festivities, which focus on fun, traditional food and celebrating the end of winter.

Limassol Castle (Cyprus Medieval Museum)

Constructed in the 14th century on the site of a former fort. Its main claim to fame is that Richard the Lionheart and Berengaria were married there during an unscheduled stop on the way to the Crusades. The castle now houses an excellent medieval museum, with one of the islands best collections of weapons, suits of armour, coats of arms, tombstones, wall-paintings, medieval pottery and jewellery. The battlements, provide excellent panoramic views across the city. The castle surroundings are particularly pleasant, with tropical greenery, pretty pavement cafes and other historic buildings.
Located on Eirinis St. Open daily. Admission charge.

Grand Mosque

This mosque is still in use, and visitors may enter if they are properly dressed. Behind it lay the excavations of an even earlier mosque. A working Turkish bath (hamam) is sited nearby along with artisan workshops for making copper and tin metal ware.
Located near the castle. Open daily.

Ayia Evanegelismos

Alarge modern church decorated in typically ornate style.
Located near the market. Open daily.

Beaches in the South

Avdimou (Evdhimou) Beach

A very fine unspoiled long stretch of sand with good swimming from the jetty, although the water is deep.
Located half way between Paphos and Limassol.

Pissouri Beach

Rock of the Greek or Aphrodite's RockA glorious stretch of sand surrounded by white cliffs, ideal for swimming. A few kilometres west is the Petra tou Romiou rock formation, better known as Aphrodite's Birthplace. The white rocks in a blue sea are quite spectacular and worth visiting if you are in the area. The beach nearby is pebbly but the water is clear and inviting. Folklore recounts that Cyprus's favourite daughter, Aphrodite, was born in the sea foam by the rocks.
Located half way between Paphos and Limassol.

Lady's Mile Beach

An extremely long popular stretch of sand on the Akrotiri Peninsular. The best shore line is furthest away from the town, however, military jets taking off from the RAF base behind can often disturb the peace.
Located 8 km southwest of Limassol.

Governor's Beach

Small beach, bearing rich dark-coloured sand at the bottom of tall white cliffs. A veritable hot spot in summer and often very busy at weekends. Local buses connect with all major hotels in the area.
Located 29 km east of Limassol.

Other Places to Visit in the South

Amathous

One of the ancient city kingdoms of Cyprus, the remains of which date back to 1000 BC. Its prosperity came from exporting copper and timber but was eventually abandoned after a combination of Arab raids and earthquakes. The best sites to explore are Acropolis Hill and the agora (market). There are also many ancient tombs on the site.
Located 8 km east of Limassol, on the old coast road. Open daily. Admission charge.

Kolossi Castle LymassolKolossi Castle

The castle was built in the 15th century by the Knights Hospitaller as their headquarters. The surrounding fertile land making the Order one of the richest on the island. Entrance is via a wooden drawbridge. The upper floors have high vaulted ceilings, some with grand fireplaces. There are some interesting outbuildings in the gardens including the remains of an aqueduct. The Commanderie (as it was then known) gave its name to the prized Cammandaria dessert wine, which is still produced on the island.
Located 14 km west of Limassol. Open daily. Admission charge.

Kourion (Curium)

Ideally situated on the cliffs, this is one the most impressive archaeological sites on the island and well worth a visit. The site has been inhabited since the Neolithic period, and by 673 BC became one of several city states on the island. Kourion played a central role in the battle against the Persians - switching sides from the Greeks to the Persians at a crucial point, thus bringing the whole island under Persian control. During Roman times the city prospered but was devastated by earthquakes in the 4th century. Attacks by Arab raids finally led to the abandonment of the site in the 7th century.

Kourion AmpitheatreThe site entrance is to the east, at the bottom of a long hill, where the much photographed Roman Odeion can be found. The original theatre was built in the 2nd century but the present auditorium is only a reconstruction based on evidence revealed by excavation. In its day, the theatre could accommodate over three thousand people. It is still used for open-air productions, but now caters for much smaller audiences. The main site of Kourion city is very large. Places of interest include the remains of the old market, an early Christian cathedral and the foundations of several villas containing fine mosaics. One in particular contains the very fine mosaics of dueling gladiators.
Located 14 km west of Limassol. Open daily. Admission charge.

Sanctuary of Apollo HylatesSanctuary of Apollo Hylates

In ancient times it was part of the city of Kourion and an important pilgrimage destination. Although the existing buildings date from AD 100, evidence of occupation dates back as early as the 8th century BC.

The entrance is via the stumpy remains of the old Pafos Gate, via the pilgrims marked track. Inside are the remains of the dormitories and store houses. On the left is the display hall and adjoining is the vothris pit, where the priests put unwanted religious offerings. The short path of the sanctuary's main street leads to the small temple itself, which has been reconstructed to appear as it did in AD 100, with Corinthian capital columns.
Location 3 km west of Kourion. Open daily. Admission charge.

Kourion Museum

Small museum created by an American archaeologist in 1937. Exhibits include: terracotta chariots, lamps, figurines and limestone heads, plus a range of other ancient artifacts from Kourion and the surrounding area.
Located in the village of Episkopi, west of Limassol. Open week days. Admission charge.

Lefkara

Located high up in the mountains, the village has become a very popular tourist destination,featuring in many organised tours.lady making lace clothRenowned for its lace-making traditions since the Venetian period. The Venetians used the village as a summer resort and brought their seamstresses with them. The art caught on with the local Cypriots, who began to produce their own distinctive product. Leonardo da Vinci is said to have been so impressed that he ordered vast quantities to decorate Milan Cathedral.

The upper village is the main tourist centre, with shops along its length. The best place to park is at the far side of the village. The streets form a real maze, making driving through the village difficult. There is a small museum of lace making and embroidery in a restored house, signed from the main street. Open daily (except Sunday). Admission charge.
Located 9 km from junction 13 of the Limassol-Nicosia Motorway.

Choirokoitia (Khirokitia)

Dating back to 6800 BC, this is one of the earliest known Neolithic settlements on the island. The best view of the site is gained from the far end, at the top of the hill. This was an ideal location for early settlers, having a good defensive position, on fertile land, with a permanent water supply. The early settlers were farmers and hunters who lived in distinctive beehive-shaped houses, for which the site is famous. The thick walls were made of stones, with mud-bricks laid on top. Some houses having several levels.

The dead were buried in graves dug in the floor of the houses. In one house as many as 26 burials were found. The bodies were often surrounded by gifts, with large stone placed on the chest, perhaps to prevent them returning to haunt the living!
Located just off junction 14 on the Nicosia-Limassol motorway. Open daily. Admission charge.