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On Limassol cruises, you’ll visit the gorgeous southern coast of Cyprus, an island country located in the Mediterranean Sea between Turkey and Egypt. Its location gives Cyprus an interesting culture that is both inspired by nearby nations while also maintaining an identity that is decidedly unique.
On a Mediterranean cruise to Limassol, you’ll get to enjoy the stunning scenery surrounding your ship before you pull into port. Spend the day touring medieval castles and ancient theaters, visiting picturesque villages, and sampling local delicacies, or explore the countryside
When you cruise to Limassol, you can’t miss seeing Limassol Castle, which is firmly situated in the center of the Old Town area. Limassol Castle is the site where Richard the Lionheart married Berengaria of Navarre in 1191 before crowning her the Queen of England. The original castle is believed to have dated back to the 12th century. It once stood larger than it does today, but damage from raids and earthquakes over the centuries led it to fall into disrepair. Its present fortress-like appearance is a result of its rebuilding by the Ottomans in the late 1500s, and you can still see parts of the original fort that were incorporated into the 16th-century design.
Curium Ancient Theater is an incredible amphitheater located in the Kourion archaeological site, which was once a great kingdom in ancient times. Built in the 2nd century BC, the beautifully restored venue is still used for theater and musical performances today. Another interesting site to see in Kourion is the House of Eustolios, which consists of the remains of a private Roman villa turned recreation center. Its 5th-century mosaic floors are one of the top things to see when touring the house during Limassol cruises.
Kolossi Medieval Castle has long been an important site on the island, partly due to its strategic location at the mouth of the River Kouris next to a fertile valley. In the middle ages, the castle and its surroundings rose to prominence as plantations that harvested olives, sugarcane, and other crops were built. Kolossi Medieval Castle was also a strategic stronghold for Cyprus during this time. It is nine miles west of Limassol near a village that shares its name.
Pissouri is a picturesque village located on a bay lined with houses and taverns. One of its most popular sights is the quaint village square featuring a fountain in the middle. Another top sight to see in Pissouri Village during Limassol cruises is the village’s Gothic church, called the Church of Apostle Andrea.
The Temple of Apollo Hylates is a former religious center of Cyprus. The god worshipped at this site was the mythical god of Apollo, referred to as Hylates, or the god of the woodlands. The Temple of Apollo Hylates dates back to the Bronze Age and is an interesting place to see, especially in combination with a visit to the nearby ancient city of Kourion.
When deciding where to eat during a cruise to Limassol, you’ll no doubt want to visit a place with local cuisine. The traditional cuisine of the island leans more toward Greek cuisine, while other options feature flavors more commonly found in Turkish cuisine. Many restaurants combine both, which results in the delicious cuisine referred to on the island as Cypriot. Cypriot cuisine mixes the flavors of Greece and Turkey while also adding a variety of spices influenced by French, Italian, Catalan, and even Byzantine cuisine.
For a meal with a sea view, choose one of the restaurants lining the harbor. For a more traditional or historic experience, visit one of the restaurants located along the narrow alleyways of the Old Town.
Much of Limassol’s known history started in the 12th century during the Third Crusade led by the King of England at the time, who is better known as Richard the Lionheart. In 1489, the island of Cyprus was sold to Venice, though that was a short-lived occupancy as the Ottoman Empire invaded Cyprus in the 1570s. During this time, predominantly Greek and Turkish neighborhoods gained prominence in Limassol. In 1878, the British took over Cyprus and appointed a British governor to Limassol, who was keen on improving the town with better roads, more gardens and greenery, and the construction of better docks. Soon tourism arrived and hotels began to pop up on the island. In 1960, Great Britain granted independence to Cyprus.
Today, Cyprus is a popular tourist destination with visitors arriving from all over Europe and the rest of the world. Cyprus is filled with schools, theaters, art galleries, and music venues. Soccer is also a popular pastime here.
The Limassol cruise terminal is a modern facility with duty-free shops and an onsite bank if you need to get some euros. In addition, the Limassol cruise terminal has a tourist information desk, cafeteria with food available for purchase, a lounge to sit in, and a taxi rank. The port location is near to town, and it takes about 30 minutes to walk from the cruise terminal to the city center. There are also shuttles available to get to town.
Limassol is a fairly walkable city, though you’ll need to hire a taxi or sign up for a shore excursion to get to the ancient sites outside the city limits. Taxis are typically waiting right outside the port gate. There are also bus lines that service the port, and you can find bus stops outside the cruise terminal as well.
Shopping is available within the terminal where Limassol cruises dock. For a shopping experience beyond duty-free shops and typical souvenirs, you’ll want to head into the city center to the old port neighborhood. There you’ll find an abundance of shops selling local fashion, handmade crafts, and spices and liquor that are popular on the island.
Cyprus uses the euro, and there are ATMs and currency exchange offices located throughout Limassol where you can get some of the local currency. Credit cards are often accepted at shops and restaurants. When dining out, be sure to check your bill, since a 10% tip is often already included. If not, it’s common to leave 10% for good service.