Cyprus the island of Saints, Culture and Beauty
This tour will take you to 3 of the major cities in Cyprus, with so many offers as to what to do!
- Amathus Archaeological point
- The Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates
- Limassol public garden and ZOO
- Limassol and Kolossi Castle
- Limassol Medieval Museum
- Archaeological Museum
- Shopping on Makarios Avenue
- Shopping at MyMall
- Limassol Salt Lake
- Germasogia Dam
Amathis Archaeological Point
This historical point of Amathus Archaeological Point is 11 kilometres east of Limassol. Amathus played a significant role in ancient Cyprus being one of the principle ancient royal cities, similar to the prominent status of Kourion. Though unlike Kourion it also acted as a port.
Among the remnants of the pre historic architectures, Amathus boasts its significance in the rich and diverse history of the island of Cyprus. Amathus is one of the few city kingdoms which have bravely survived through time. The ancient mythological tales tell that Amathus was the place where Theseus left the pregnant Ariadne to be looked after during his combat with the Minotaur.
Various attractions at the Amathus site include the ruins of the Temple of Aphrodite and the Tombs dating back to the early Iron Age period of Graeco-Phoenician.
One of the other most fascinating archaeological sites in Cyprus is Kourion, this spectacular ancient city dates back to the 12th century B.C. and was once one of the most marvelous cities throughout the Mediterranean. The grand Greco Roman Amphitheatre has now been completely restored and being in the audience for a theatrical or musical performance in this primeval arena is an unforgettable experience.
The Kourion is characterized by numerous ruined houses from the late Roman period; the House of Gladiators, the House of Achilles and the House of Eustolios are some of the remnants from early centuries. The floors in these houses are paved with mosaics, the early Christian Basilica dates back to the 5th century A.D.
Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates
This Sanctuary is a temple complex which was built in honour of Apollo Hylates, the God of the Woodland, thought to be the protector of Kourion. The finds from this archaeological inquiry established the fact that the Romans breathed life into their culture since the archaic times. This flourishing cult of Apollo was fêted for about 1200 years, from the 8th century B.C to 4th century A.D.
The established nature of the cult usually combined the primary characteristics of its eastern origin and also its western growth in Theology, the name Hylates given to Apollo is evident from the Hellenistic times. Archaeological diggings have found out that the sanctuary was a bath complex, wrestling ring, pilgrim hall and a holy precinct, with its intricate features this ancient ruin has a mystic feeling to it.
Limassol public garden and ZOO
Surrounded by the bountiful pines, eucalyptuses and cypresses, the Public Garden and Zoo are on the coastal road, if you want to capture the ambience of the rapturous environment just take a leisurely walk around the place and enjoy. The two statues of lions welcome you in the south entrance of the garden as they keep a watchful eye over the garden and its visitors.
As you walk through the garden you will notice a magnificent sculpture of Christodoulos Sozos, who was once the Mayor of Limassol and a Member of Parliament. He is hailed as a hero in Cyprus; his fight for freedom and democracy still remembered. If you are an animal lover a small zoo inside the garden awaits your visit. The zoo presents animals like deer, ostriches, tigers, lions, elephants, pheasants, vultures, pelicans, monkeys and many other animals as well as a wide variety of birds.
Limassol and Kolossi Castles
Limassol and Kolossi are two medieval citadels in Cyprus and Limassol Castle is located in the old town near the old harbour, while Kolossi is set in the village of Kolossi on the west side of the city. Built in the 14th century Limasssol fort is said to be the site of a royal wedding between the King of England, Richard Coeur de Lion and Berengaria of Navarre in 1191. Also found in this historic garrison is the Cyprus Medieval Museum.
The Castle of Kolossi was possibly constructed in the early 13th century. It is an example of extraordinary military architecture from the Middle Ages and once you step inside the castles you are transported to an altogether different world.
Limassol Medieval Museum
The Medieval Castle of Lemesos, situated near the old harbour in the heart of the historical centre of the city of Lemesos, houses the Medieval Collection of the Cyprus Museum.
In the Medieval Museum are exposed objects which reflect the historical development of Cyprus, economic, social and religious life, and other aspects of daily life on the island from the 3rd until the 18th century AD.
The castle was built in the 14th century in the place of an earlier Byzantine fortress. In this castle, according to tradition, the king of England Richard the Lion heart married Princess Berengaria of Navarre and crowned her Queen of England in 1191 AD.
Among the exhibits are weapons, armour, tools, Byzantine, medieval and Islamic glazed pottery and glassware, lamps, jewellery, coins, objects of worship, and architectural fragments from the Byzantine and Gothic buildings.
The Archaeological Museum in Limassol was founded in 1948 and was initially housed in a part of the Limassol Castle. During the conflicts of 1964 it remained close as it was transferred to the National Guard.
Construction activities both for the new modern Museum and the Court House began in 1972.
The new exhibition was rearranged in March 1975, under extremely difficult circumstances related to the recent Turkish invasion of the island.
The Castle itself was restored and its prison cells (dating to a reconstruction phase during the Ottoman period) were adapted to house the new Cypriot Medieval Museum. The Castle exhibition consists of artefacts of the latest periods of Cypriot History, beginning from the 4th and 5th centuries AD and covering all the historical periods to the early phases of the Ottoman period, 16th-17th cent.
The Archaeological Museum is housing antiquities that have been found during systematic and rescue excavations of the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus and of the foreign Archaeological Missions in the City and the District of Limassol as well.
Through the exhibited material the visitors can follow the development of civilisation in the island from the 9th millennium to the end of antiquity (Late Roman period).
Shopping on Makarios Avenue
As a shopping centre, Limassol offers everything from ultra contemporary to traditional and handmade. In the city centre, near the seafront promenade the busy streets of Ayios Andreas and Anexartisias with over 300 shops, make a charming trip with areas of quaint buildings, cobblestone and overhanging terraces, under which a profusion of small shops line the walkway. Designer shops and many of the more prestigious boutiques and showrooms are located throughout Makarios Avenue along with small shops of every type. The largest shopping mall in Cyprus is located in the Zakaki area at the northwest entrance to Limassol, only a short distance from the city centre and with a close proximity to the port.
Shopping at MyMall
As the biggest shopping mall in Cyprus, MYMALL is especially designed to satisfy people of all ages.
You can find over 120 shops ranging from sportswear and lingerie to formal and casual wear for women, men and children, as well as shoes, accessories, jewellery, health & beauty, maternity, electronics, food & beverage, entertainment, toys and day to day services such as banks and convenience stores. You are sure to find what you need, what you want and what you thought you could never have, all under one roof.
Limassol Salt Lake
The Limassol Akrotiri salt lake, Zakaki Marshes, Fassouri Reed beds and Bishop’s Pool are excellent bird watching posts, especially during the migration period in the spring and autumn. The area is known for the flamingos and various species of ducks.
Germasogia Dam is located approximately 10 minutes from Limassol. The moment you leave the hustle-bustle of the city behind and enter the narrow streets of Germasogia village the scenery becomes completely different. Do not miss out on a walk around the small peninsula inside the dam which has been enriched with various species of fish. Fishing is allowed only with permission from the Fisheries Department.
Germasogia is one of the most popular dams in Cyprus for bass fishing, also offering silver bream, carp, grey mullet and other species. It is also suitable for kayak games, water ski and other water activities.
- The Ancient Kition
- Snorkelling and scuba diving
- The Camel Park
- Larnaca Salt Lake
The Ancient Kition
The Ancient Kition is located in the north west of Larnaca and features temples dating back to 13th century B.C. The ones worth visiting are the Phoenician Temple of Astarte and the city walls. The ruins of the temple were built on an earlier Bronze Age temple and are dedicated to goddess Astarte. One can also find some remains of tombs made from gold, ivory and bronze.
The main tourist attraction in Larnaca is the ‘Phinikoudes’. This is a strip of cafes, bars, clubs and restaurants on the beach front, which particularly gets crowded during the summer months.
Snorkelling and scuba diving
Due to its coastline, water sports along with snorkelling and scuba diving is a major attraction in Larnaca. One of the finest wrecks in the world, the “Zenobia Ferry Wreck” is located near Larnaca.
The Camel Park
For a more unusual outdoor experience you can enjoy a camel ride in the countryside of Mazotos village. Situated just 15 minutes away from Larnaca, the Camel Park also includes a play area for children and a restaurant to enjoy Cyprus delicacies.
Larnaca Salt Lake
One of the main attractions in Larnaca is the Salt Lake which is home to nearly 80 species of migratory birds like flamingos. About 10,000 flamingos visit the lake every year around Jan-Feb. In July-Aug, the lake dries up leaving a thick crust of salt measuring up to 10cm deep. In the Middle Ages the lake was used to mine salt for commercial purposes, but now it is just a tourist attraction. Situated nearby the Salt Lake is the holy site of tomb of Umm Haram (Hala Sultan Tekke).
- Old City
- St John’s Cathedral
- Shopping on the main streets of Nicosia
- Souvenir shopping in Laiki Geitonia
- The Cyprus Museum
Nicosia combines both old and new in a busy modern commercial business centre and a centuries-old culture. The centre of the city is the old quarter surrounded by a Venetian sandstone fortress wall with a moat and heart-shaped bastions.
Nicosia’s sights are concentrated in and around the Old City, surrounded by a picturesque star-shaped city wall whose moat has been converted into a pleasant park. Wandering around the Old City is an interesting experience in itself, although some buildings (especially those near the Green Line) are derelict and crumbling. Note that many sights in the Old City close early, so try to get an early start – also a good idea for beating the heat in the summer.
Mosques and palm trees give an oriental atmosphere to the old city. Wander round narrow streets with overhanging balconies and the beautifully restored pedestrian district with craft shops, cafes and tavernas.
St John’s Cathedral
St John’s cathedral is a must see with its frescoes and the marvellous museum of Byzantine icons. St John’s Cathedral (Agios Ioannis), compared with the great cathedrals of Europe, is tiny. Its interior, however, is no less magnificent.
The church is single vaulted without a dome, and its long walls are covered with frescoes, which were created during the tenure of Archbishop Filotheos (1734-1759) from 1736 until 1756. The themes of the frescoes were mostly inspired from stories of the Bible. On the south wall there is a painting of the discovery of the tomb of the Apostle Barnabas at Salamis. St John’s Cathedral is the only church in Nicosia in which the whole of the internal wall paintings have survived in their entirety. Another element of this church is the magnificent carved iconostasis, which is covered with gold leaf. The four large icons on the iconostas were painted by John Kornaro in 1795 and 1797.
Shopping on main streets of Nicosia
Nicosia offers the best in shopping and the traditional shopping district runs along Ledra Street. A bustle of traditional jewellers, shoe and fabric shops give a blend of Middle Eastern and European feel.
Big chains such as Marks and Spencer, Zara etc. line the more modern Makariou Avenue.
Stasikratous street has evolved into a mini local version of 5th Avenue/Bond Street with expensive brands such as Armani and Versace stores. This small street, only about 500 metres long, is located in the city’s busy modern centre, parallel to Makarios Avenue.
Souvenir shopping in Laiki Geitonia
Laiki Geitonia is a neighbourhood that has been preserved in its original architecture and is the best quarter if you are after souvenir shops.
The Cyprus Museum
The Cyprus Museum houses the best collection of archaeological artefacts on the island, including a first century AD Roman statuette of Aphrodite of Soli and the original mosaic of Leda and the Swan. Only artefacts discovered on the island are displayed in the Cyprus Museum.
The Leventis Municipal Museum presents the history and social development of the city of Nicosia from the Chalcolithic period (3.000 B.C.) to the present day. The Museum was founded in 1984 after the initiative of the Mayor of Nicosia, Mr Lellos Demetriades.
The Museum is named after its donor Anastasios G. Leventis Foundation which bought and restored the building and it is administered by the Municipality of Nicosia.
The exhibits are arranged so that visitors are guided from the present days of Nicosia, the capital of the Republic of Cyprus, through to the Ancient period (3.000 B.C.).