Limassol, Cyprus - Stein Travel
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Limassol

During the Crusades Richard the Lionheart visited the Cypriot city of Limassol (then known as Lemesos) to free his betrothed from the Byzantine sovereign. The subsequent wedding became a party that remains legendary today, which is probably why modern Limassol is still a centre of nightlife and joie de vivre. This lively ambience is also aided and abetted by the fact that Limassol is the centre of winemaking on the island.

The city has concentrated its efforts in recent years on mercantile development and modernising its buildings. Unlike other Cypriot cities it has not protected its architectural or cultural heritage, but with its many excellent hotels it does offer a good base for visitors who can head for the hills after whooping it up under the city's bright lights. The foothills of the Troodos Mountains lie north of the city and offer charming country walks that meander through friendly villages. There are also some good beaches on the outskirts of the city, most of which belong to hotels which charge an entrance fee for non-guests. The sandy beach of Avmidou, located on the grounds of the British military base of Akrotiri, is open to the public.

Information & Facts

Climate

Limassol experiences a Mediterranean climate with plenty of sunshine and warm weather. Summers are long and dry and winters mild. Spring and autumn are short. Summer is a time of high temperatures with cloudless skies, but the sea breeze creates a pleasant atmosphere in the coastal areas.

Kids Attractions

Kids on holiday in Limassol will love this outdoor paradise where golden beaches and other fun activities await those visiting this sunny Cypriot region. But parents: don't forget the sunscreen as temperatures can get as high as 73F (33C) during the summer months.

Take the kids to the Municipal Gardens, where the Dinosaur Park and Limassol Zoo Garden are located for a fun-filled day of meeting animals where little ones can even get to pet goats, sheep and rabbits. Or take a trip to the Mazotos Camel Park just outside of Limassol where kids can take a ride on a camel, feed carrots to the donkeys and goats at Noah's Ark, splash in the swimming pool and let off steam in the kids playground while mum and dad relax with a drink at the restaurant.

Many of the hotels have play areas and multiple swimming pools for children of all ages as well as crèches and babysitting services so kids are taken care of while the folks can hit the town or just enjoy a romantic dinner.

Language

The majority of Cypriots speak Greek, and a small percentage speaks Turkish. The Greek Cypriot dialect differs from mainland Greece. English, German and French are spoken in tourist areas.

Money

The currency was changed to the Euro (EUR) on 1 January 2008. Major credit cards are accepted at most establishments. Money and travellers cheques can be exchanged at banks, open from Monday to Friday. There are ATMs spread throughout the island, operating 24 hours a day.

Shopping

Travellers in Limassol looking to satisfy their urge to splurge will be pleased to know that there is plenty to whet their appetite when it comes to shopping. There are, of course, the ubiquitous western-style shopping malls where stores like Debenhams and Carrefour will cater to your every need.

The main shopping areas in Limassol are on Agiou Andreou Street and Makarious III Ave where everything from clothing and footwear to leather goods and jewellery can be found. Head to the cobbled streets of Ayios Andreas and Anexartisias for a more historic and traditional atmosphere where trendy little boutiques and specialist stores line the streets and lanes away from the modern city.

Visit the local markets which take place every Saturday where bargains and great buys can be scooped up. Best buys in Cyprus include sea sponges and loofas and these are available at most tourist shops and markets, but be prepared to splash out on these bathing accessories. Another great buy is Lefkara Lace and other lace products, but it has to be said that for real shopaholics, the centre of Nicosia is the best place to spend a day indulging in the local wares and goods.

Most shops are open weekdays from 9am to 1pm and from 3pm to 7pm, while on Saturdays stores open from 9am and close at 1pm. In tourist areas though, many shops are open all afternoon.

Time

GMT +2 (GMT +3 from the last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October).

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