We have visited Limassol Cyprus on many occasions over the years and have only just decided to write about it. It’s about time that Limassol Cyprus got the credit it deserves.
Cyprus is beautiful island of Aphrodite who was said to have been born out of the sea foam. Cyprus is set in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.
It is said that the Cypriots couldn’t organise a ‘piss-up in brewery’, which in my experience is partially true. There is one thing they excel at and that’s hospitality and food. The Cypriots are probably the most hospitable race I know, really friendly and go out of their way to please. You can be assured that the accommodation that you stay at will in general be of a higher standard than average. The same goes with the food. Just look at where the locals go to eat. English is spoken widely. Hotel staff are nearly always multilingual.
Travelling to Cyprus is fairly painless, depending on the airline the flight time from the UK is approx 4 to 4 ½ hours. We have flown with British Airways, Cyprus Airways, EasyJet, Thompson, RyanAir and Aegean. By far my favourite is Aegean and British Airways. Experiences with RyanAir & Cyprus Airways have not been good. My two favourite airlines mentioned are polite and go out of their way to serve. We’ve never had any issues with excess luggage except with RyanAir, Thompsons, EasyJet and Cyprus Airways who try and rip you off with extra charges. It’s worth shopping around with carriers for best prices and airports. It depends on what you’re after from a holiday. Limassol aka Lemesos is probably the best place to visit if you’re going for the first time and has the best of everything. It’s positioned the centre of the south coast of the island in between both Paphos and Larnaka and The Troodos Mountains and about 45mins from each. There are buses, taxis or hire cars available and drive on the left (the correct side) as in the UK and fairly easy to navigate as most road signs are in both Greek and English.
We have been travelling to Cyprus for years and have stayed in many places all over the Island. There are advantages and disadvantages staying in different parts but Limassol/Lemesos has probably got a good mix of beaches and nightlife. There are some great walks through Dasoudi. This is a paved wooded area out of the sun and popular with the locals. The entrance is well hidden and you can access this through a walkway opposite the Kean orange drink factory. Or if you like walking in the sun there is a path running beside the beach itself. There are also cycle lanes and bikes you can hire, there are instructions for this on the following site. www.nextbike.com.cy
|Cycle Path Limassol||
|Bicycles for Hire in Limassol|
I have not documented any of my past visits to Cyprus as I have not long started writing this blog. My two current favourite places to stay are the following:
- Holiday Apartment in Limassol: We thought we’d change the way that we holiday by staying in this spotless and well maintained apartment and was a good move. It is situated in a family block so you don’t get the noisy holiday makers only noisy locals. We went as a couple but it has four bedrooms and sleep 6 people may be more if you ask. It has a lovely fully equipped kitchen. The apartment is on the 1st floor and even has an elevator as well. It is 10 minutes walk to the sea. There is also a bus stop outside going down to the seafront if you don’t like to walk. All amenities restaurants and kiosks and supermarkets are all close to hand. We also had use of the 4* Ajax Hotel pool across the road. We would love to stay here again.
- Holiday Apartment in Limassol: This is in the same apartment block but on the 2nd floor instead. Same high standard as the aforementioned.
- St Raphael Resort Hotel in Limassol: We really enjoyed our stay here. The photo’s don’t really do it justice. It had a really nice atmosphere, very polite and helpful staff especially Helen at the hotel reception. Rooms were spotlessly clean. There is a bus stop outside with a regular service to the town centre. We absolutely loved staying at St Raphael.
|Room at St Raphael Resort||Reception & Lobby||Front Entrance, night time view|
Some interesting places to visit whilst in Limassol are:
The Carob Mill in Lemesos (Limassol) was originally built in the early 1900s when carobs were one of the main exports of Cyprus. They were used in the manufacture of such products as film, medicine, sweets and chocolates. Most of the machinery used in processing the carobs is intact and exhibited in a building that has been renovated so as to combine the authentic atmosphere of the past with the sophisticated high tech look of the present. It is open daily, all year round and is free to go in. There are also many restaurants in and around Carob Mill:
We tried Artima Bistro which was very nice. Food was of good quality, the staff very attentive at times a little over attentive by topping up your glass with water to the point of irritation until I asked them to stop. Aside from that one little niggle everything was fine.
Limassol Castle & Mediaeval Museum
Built in the 14th century on the site of an earlier Byzantine castle. According to tradition Richard the Lionheart married Berengaria of Navarre and crowned her Queen of England, here in 1191. The castle houses the Cyprus Mediaeval Museum. This is located at the west end of the sea-front behind the old port, within the old town of Limassol.
Limassol District Archaeological Museum
Kaningos/Vyronos Corner, near the Public Gardens. Interesting collection of antiquities found in the Limassol area from the Neolithic Age to the Roman Period.
Folk Art Museum
This very beautiful collection of Cypriot Folk Art of the 19th and early 20th century is housed in a restored old house. The collection includes national costumes, tapestry, embroidery e.t.c., displayed in a very interesting way.
Situated 4 km west of Limassol on the road to Paphos. A fine example of military architecture originally constructed in the 13th century, and subsequently rebuilt in the form it is now, in the middle of the 15th century. It served first as the Grand Commandery of the Knights Templar, and after the fall of Acre in 1291 for some years, as the headquarters of the Knights of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem.
Situated 14 km west of Limassol, 4 km before Kourion site, at Episkopi village. Collection of finds, from nearby archaeological sites, housed in a beautiful old house.
Situated 19 km west of Limassol on the road to Paphos. An important ancient city kingdom, and one of the most interesting and spectacular archaeological sites on the island with excavations still bringing new treasures to light. The magnificent Graeco-Roman Theatre was originally built in the 2nd century BC and enlarged in the 2nd century AD. It is now fully restored and used for musical and theatrical performances. The House of Eustolios was originally a private villa, and in the early Christian period became a public recreation centre. It consists of a complex of Baths and a number of rooms with beautiful 5th century AD mosaic floors.
The Early Christian Basilica dated to the 5th century was probably the Cathedral of Kourion with a baptistery attached to the north side. The House of Achilles and the House of the Gladiators have beautiful mosaic floors. The Nymphaeum dedicated to water nymphs is still under excavation by the Cyprus Department of Antiquities.
The Stadium lies a km to the west on the right side of the road to Paphos, and is dated to the 2nd century AD.
Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates
Situated 3 km west of Kourion, on the road to Paphos. Apollo Hylates, God of the Woodland, was the protector of the city of Kourion. Archaeological evidence shows that the cult of Apollo was celebrated here from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. Part of the temple has been restored, with the cella, the colonnade and the pediment.
11 km east of Limassol (town centre), close to Amathus Hotel. One of the ancient city Kingdoms of Cyprus where according to legend, Theseus left the pregnant Ariadne to be taken care of, after his battle with the Minotaur. There was a very important cult of Aphrodite-Astarte here. Excavations are still continuing at the Acropolis and Agora area of the ancient site. Numerous tombs have been found, one of them can be visited in front of the Amathus Beach Hotel.
Ayios Georgios Alamanou Convent
Off the Nicosia-Limassol road, 19 km from Limassol. Originally founded in the 12th century. The nuns, besides performing their religious rites, spend their time in icon painting, and the cultivation of flowers and herbs.
Limassol Municipal Art Gallery
Located at 28th October Street, Limassol The recently-opened Art Gallery has on permanent display a representative collection of paintings of well known Cypriot artists.
We have on this trip visited a couple of places on the Island, Paphos & Larnaca. Paphos has changed drastically since our last visit. I must add, for the better. Paphos is a quiter town and more suited for the more sedate holiday only and significantly smaller than Limassol. We did sample a restaurant cafe where we were massively impressed with the food. Mar Bianco Cafe Bistro on 11-13 Poseidonos Avenue, Kado Paphos facing the sea front Tel: 26 953311. In Larnaca we went to an Italian Restaurant, Ristorante Italia at 50-51 Stylianou Lena, great food, great wine and of course great pasta. Staff had just the right amount of attentiveness Tel: 24 629450.