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Nestled in the east of the Mediterranean Sea is the beautiful Island of Aphrodite - Cyprus. On the south coast of the island is the popular resort of Limassol.
Cyprus is steeped in history and Limassol, which has the largest trading port in the Mediterranean, has been become pivotal to trade and tourism in Cyprus. The island was part of the Byzantine Dynasty until the twelfth century when it was sold to the Templars. Their high tax regime came to an end when, on demand from the Cypriots, it was abolished by King Richard. It then became part of the Frankish Dynasty and over the centuries, was repeatedly attacked by Germany, Egypt, Ottoman and Turkey. In the late nineteenth century the British occupied Cyprus improving the local infrastructure and increasing trade opportunities by developing the port. In 1960, Cyprus declared independence.
Limassol is one of the largest beach resorts on the island and offers a wide variety of activities to suit everyone, whether old or young. It is home to beautiful beaches and coves which are ideal for those wanting a relaxing holiday of sea and sun bathing. With its sweeping white beaches and shallow crystal waters, the Ladies' Mile Beach is perfect for children and is very popular. There are a few bars nearby but precious little shade so bring your own parasol and sun cream. The usual selection of water based attractions such as scuba diving, jet skiing and paragliding are in abundance in Limassol. Fishing is also a favourite pastime as is boating and sailing. As you would imagine, Limassol is renowned for its history and archaeological attractions. Here is a selection:
Amathus Archeological Site - Amathus was a Royal City in ancient Cyprus with an active port. Here you can visit the ruins of the Temple of Aphrodite and the Tombs dating back to the early Iron Age period of Greco-Phoenician.
Kolossi Castle - Although this is a 15th century castle, it is possible that it has been built on the site of an earlier castle from the 13th century. In the past, the surrounding land around the castle was highly cultivated with sugarcane and vineyards, from which the famous Cypriot wine Commandaria was produced.
Kourion – Here is another ancient city in Cyprus, situated in the small town of Episkopi. It overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and is littered with monuments, mostly from the Roman period. These include The House of Achilles, The House of The Gladiators and The Public Baths. Furthermore, Kourion hosts a considerable amount of impressive musical and theatrical events in its magnificent second century Greco-Roman amphitheatre.
Limassol Zoo - The only zoo in Cyprus. There are many inhabitants ranging from lions, tigers and panthers to peacocks and macaws. It is also home to a natural history museum and a designated children's area.
The Castle of Limassol – This castle dates back to 1228. It is believed to be an ancient Byzantine castle and witnessed the marriage between King Richard and Queen Berengaria. The castle has mostly been rebuilt under the Turkish rule and accommodates the Cyprus Medieval Museum.
Limassol District Archaeological Museum – Here you can see many artefacts dating back to the 4th and 5th centuries. However, many exhibits are connected with the latest periods of Cypriot history.
Limassol is suitable for all when it comes to its nightlife although there is an emphasis on catering for the young. There are plenty of clubs and bars, ice-cream parlours and coffee houses from which to choose. You will always find tourists flocking to the exuberant night spots, however, be aware that most locals don't venture out to the clubs until around 2 a.m. Most of the clubs in the coastline area are for the tourists but you may wish to consider visiting the Old Town area of Limassol, where you will find many locals at the coffee shops, clubs and bars.
Cyprus is a very popular tourist destination and as such, the island is extremely easy to reach. The island has two international airports and around 33 airlines offer scheduled flights. The city of Limassol is conveniently located between both airports, 77kms away from Larnaca Aiport and 67kms away from Paphos Airport.
Limassol is quite a small city with a good road and motorway network. One of the main modes of transport is the comprehensive bus service. However, taxis are readily available throughout the city and are reasonably priced. Limassol also operates a network of shared-taxis. These travel to and from other major cities on the island and are usually cheaper than normal taxis. Car rental will give you the freedom to explore the island although this is a more expensive way to travel. Finally, if you wish to venture out on foot, there are many guided tours of the area.