For a metropolis inundated with long stretches of sun-drenched beaches, Limassol isn't your quintessential seaside resort. This port-city perched on the Akrotiri Bay is packed with a powerful cultural legacy and ancient heritage, usually not seen in other beach-centric holiday retreats. With the city being the principal focus for international business in Cyprus, it has truly developed into a 21st-century dynamic cosmopolitan hub.
Kick-off your holiday in the city by taking a trip to the 14th century Limassol Castle to learn about it's historical significance. Moreover, the site also includes a Cyprus Medieval Museum exhibiting medieval armour and artifacts. Another castle with a captivating and ancient story to narrate is the 15th century Kolossi Medieval Castle residing in the village of Kolossi. Don't forget to visit the beautiful and imposing Agios Nikolaos ton Gaton Convent, known to be the first monastery in Cyprus.
Very few people are aware that Limassol is situated between the ancient settlements of Amathus and Kourion. Archeology buffs may be interested in visiting these old cities. Through excavations and relics, visitors can imagine an era that existed over 3,000 years ago. Kourion is said to have been built in 2nd century B.C and it's ruins showcase a life set during the early Christian period. Housed about 2.5 km west of Kourion, be sure to head over to the remarkable Apollo Hylates, sanctuary of Apollo - God of the Woodlands.
Art and artifact lovers will enjoy strolling around the Archaeological Museum for it encompasses pottery, coins, tools and sculptures from the Prehistoric era upto the Late Roman period. Objects associated with Aphrodite including old terra-cotta figures are also present. The Municipal Museum of Folk Art displays a magnificent collection of commodities related to woodcarving, jewellery decoration, tools and utensils, traditional Cypriot attires, embroidery and weaving and bronze antiquities.
Limassol has been the center for wine-making since centuries, dating as far back as at least 2000 BC in Cyprus. With several world-class wines originating from Cyprus grapes, be sure to attend the Limassol Wine Festival if one is visiting the city in the first-half of September. This 11-day fest is a grand gala affair with local wineries doling out free samples and showcasing old-fashioned grape-pressing techniques to visitors. Wine connoisseurs can also drop by at the Cyprus Wine Museum to learn about it's impressive wine-making heritage as well as sample local Cyprus wines including the island's most popular Commandaria wine along with appetizing halloumi cheese.
If you have come for sun and sand, then be sure to relax at the Lady's Mile Beach. Have fun splashing about the shallow waters of the beach or lie beneath an umbrella for shade. Stroll around the tourist-friendly promenade to catch a fantastic glimpse of the mesmerizing sunset on the sea. Grab a bite in any of the various restaurants or cafes strewn around.
Limassol is truly a haven for shoppers. For urban shopping, drop by at My Mall, biggest shopping complex in all of Cyprus. If you crave for traditional and local wares, then cobbled lanes of Ayios Andreas and Anexartisias streets are right up your alley. Loofa or Seaside sponges (bath/face scrub) are popular products in this city and are available in abundance. The Lefkara Lace and other lace items are pretty famous as well.
When in Limassol, don't forget to gorge on delicious Cypriot cuisine such as the quintessential Cyprus Meze (an assortment of local dishes). The night-life in this city is sparkling with an array of hip pubs and trendy bars housed in Potamos Yermasoyias. If holidaying during February/March, party hard in the colorful and vibrant Limassol Carnival.
Tourists vacationing in Limassol have the liberty of choosing a wide array of stay options ranging from the best luxury hotels to sprawling villas and spacious apartments for those who can afford to splurge. Travellers with a fixed budget can go for cheap accommodations that suits their taste.
Limassol experiences sub-tropical Mediterranean climate. The best time to visit would be either March to May or October as the weather is pleasant and conducive for a holiday. Folks wanting to attend any of the popular festivals based in the metropolis can come over in the specific months