Since 1974, Limassol Port has become an increasingly popular tourist designation and gateway to the ancient island of Cyprus. Visitors will find many interesting and entertaining attractions.
The Limassol Castle of today was rebuilt in the 19th Century, but it was first mentioned in 1228 when King Frederick II of Germany used it as a prison for their hostages. It is believed that the castle was originally built by the Byzantines. Archaeologists have not found the original fort. After the Ottomans rebuilt it in 1590, it was used as a prison until 1950.
The ancient city of Kourion was mentioned by Ptolemy, Hierocles, and Pliny the Elder in their writings. On the south shores of the island, it is said to have been founded by Greeks from Argos. Having passed through Greek, Roman, and Christian periods, visitors can see ruins of the large market place (agora), public baths, a nymphium, a large amphitheater and a training place for gladiators. The city contains many beautiful floor mosaics in the house of the city’s founder, Achileas. The Greco-Roman theater has been restored and is used for performances today.
Ancient Amathus, about 6 miles east of Limassol Port, was home to the cult of Aphrodite. The ruins there are not as well preserved as those in Kourion, but archaeological evidence suggests human habitation as early as 1100 BC. Built on coastal cliffs, Amathus was a rich city where excavators found the Temple of Aphrodite (1st Century BC) where athletes and dancers competed in honor of Adonis. Early remains found there include tombs from the Iron Age (1000-600 BC). The ruins are within the village of St. Tykhon, and the city has largely vanished. Some fragments of wall and a stone cistern remain.
Travelers will want to visit the City of Limassol’s Port Wine Festival that is held each September or the Limassol Carnival in February or March every year. The city’s Time Elevator, located behind the Limassol Castle, takes visitors on a half-hour audio-visual ride through the island’s history.
The tourist area offers many pubs, night clubs, and street cafes, and the area around the castle is a popular shopping spot. A wooden promenade facing Amathus is a wonderful place for evening strolls. The city also has a municipal garden along the beach road and a small zoo.
Travelers wanting to visit the island of Cyprus and Limassol Port by sea can find a list of cruises on the Cruise Compete website.