Limassol

The summers in Limassol are warm and dry, and the winters are mild: a favourable climate for both agriculture and tourism.  The temperatures of the sea allow swimming most of the year.

The population of the rural area make their living from fishing, cattle breeding, agriculture, crafts and tourism. Citrus treas, peaches, pears, plums, apricots, figs, pomegranates, olives, almonds, tomatoes, melons and water-melons grow in that fertile land.

The most important production in Limassol is wine. The hilly countryside around the town yields grapes of excellent quality, and they are processed in the numerous wine factories. Clothes, shoes, food and drinks, furniture and electric appliances are also manufactured in the area.

There are two ports in Limassol, old and new. The old one is tiny and is used by small fishing boats. The new harbour is wider and deeper, and can receive larger vessels. It services the island's brisk  trade in grapes, wine, citruses, etc.

The island of Aphrodite has long been a popular tourist destination. Limassol attracts holidaymakers with its pleasant climate, its several nice sandy beaches, and, most of all, with the warm hospitality of its inhabitants. Popular resorts with nice hotels and tourist facilities are Troodos, Prodromos and Platres, while the Lady's Mile next to the new harbour, Pissouri, Episkopi and Akrotiri are the most favoured beaches.

Of the tourist sites, we should first mention the Castle dating back to Byzantine times. It was taken by the Mameluks in the 15th Century, then passed to the Knights of the Order of St. John, the Venetians demolished it in the 16th Century, and the Ottomans rebuilt part of it to defend the town. According to the legend, it was in the chapel of Limassol Castle that King Richard the Lionhearted married Berengaria of Navarre during the Third Crusade. Long used as a prison, the Castle today houses a Medieval Museum with cannons, armor, coins, sculptures and paintings.

The Archeological Museum in Limassol offers exhibits from the Neolithic and the Chalcolithic era, and objects from the ancient cities of Curium and Amathus: pottery, coins, jewellery, sculptures, etc. The Museum of Folk Art features colourful national costumes, embroidery, tapestry, wooden chests, tools, etc.

Just outside the town there is another castle with an interesting story, Kolossi Castle. It was an important Medieval fortification protecting the fertile valley of the river Kouris where olives, cotton, sugar cane and cereals were grown. In the early 13th Century, the area was granted in feud to the Order of St. John. In the 14th Century, it was temporarily controlled by the Knights Templar. In 1310 the seat of the Knights of the Order of St. John was moved to Rhodes but the fortress continued to house the military administration (Commanderie) which gave its name to the famous dessert wine produced in the area.

To the east of the town you will find the ruins of the ancient town of Amathus which, according to the legend, was founded by one of Heracles' sons. To the west are the ruins of Curium where an ancient theatre has been preserved and performances are still held there today.

 Much of the entertainment and nightlife in Limassol are concentrated in the area between the old harbour and Amathus. The public garden with its luscious vegetation, open-air theatre and a small zoo is a nice place for an evening stroll.

Of the various events that take place in Limassol, the most attractive are the Carnival and the Wine Festival. The Carnival lasts ten days and includes parades, fancy-dress balls, singing and dancing in the streets. The Wine Festival in the first week of September honours the traditional wine-making in the area, and is a nice opportunity to sample the local wines and to enjoy folklore shows.