If you’re the kind of person, who doesn’t like to travel far, who wants a place that looks like home but feels like paradise, then Limassol, Cyprus, is the place for you. When it comes to Cyprus getaways, holidays to Limassol usually top the pile. With a stellar beach scene, unsurpassed nightlife, and standout shopping, it’s easy to see why.
Still known to many as Limassol, Lemesos is one of Cyprus’ most underrated cities. Although it looks like it’s covered on its eastern edge by a number of boring-looking developments, the core is full of character. Wrapped around a castle, the historic center radiates out in a web of lanes where old, shuttered houses and modern boutiques come cheek to cheek. It’s an area buzzing with cafes, bars and restaurants that are as popular with locals as with visitors. This is Cyprus’ international business center and, despite the financial woes of recent years, there’s a sense of optimism in the air again.
The busy port on the south coast of Cyprus, isn’t just the island’s biggest resort, it’s one of the best, too. It can easily match Nicosia, for cosmopolitan buzz. It can keep the pace with Ayia Napa in the nightlife stakes. And the beach life is on a par with any of the island’s top sandy stretches.
On the east side of Limassol is Dasoudi Beach. It’s a busy Blue Flag stretch of golden sand and pebbles, with tons of watersports and eating options. To the west of town, close to the port, is Lady’s Mile Beach, which is where the locals head at weekends. And for something more intimate, a 20-minute drive away is Governor’s Beach, a small limestone cove with velvety black sand.
A little history
Around Limassol Castle, where Richard the Lionheart is said to have wed Queen Berengaria, is Limassol’s old town. There are pavement cafés and local restaurants housed in charming 19th-century buildings. To the north is Makarios Avenue, home to some of the most exclusive shops on the island. Hugging the seafront is a 7-kilometre promenade where you’ll find Limassol’s sophisticated nightclubs huddled together at its western end.
Limassol also has tons of history and culture. Behind the promenade are the Roman ruins of Amathus, which include a well-preserved amphitheater. There’s also the outstanding Folk Art Museum housed in a listed townhouse. And Kolossi Castle, a Frankish stronghold where the Knights Templar set up shop in the Middle Ages, is only a 10-minute drive away.
There’s plenty to see and do in Limassol. It’s a great place to visit for a short vacay, and it’s easy and quick to get a visa!