Cyprus & Limassol city
Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean, after Sicily and Sardinia, with an area of 9.251 sq. kms (3.572 sq. miles).
It is situated at the north-eastern corner of the Mediterranean, at a distance of 300 km north of Egypt. The Greek island of Rhodes lies 360 km to the north-west.
Cyprus’ coastal line is indented and rocky in the north with long sandy beaches in the south. The north coastal plain, covered with olive and carob trees, is backed by the steep and narrow Pentadaktylos mountain range of limestone, rising to a height of 1.042 m. In the south, the extensive mountain massif of Troodos, covered with pine, dwarf oak, cypress and cedar, culminates in the peak of Mount Olympus, 1.953 m. above sea level. Between the Troodos range and the Pentadaktylos mountain range lies the fertile plain of Messaoria. Arable land constitutes 46.8 per cent of the total area of the island. There are no rivers, only torrents which flow after heavy rain.ve sea level. Between ther Troodos range and the Pentadaktylos mountain range lies the fertile plain of Messaoria. Arable land constitutes 46.8 percent of the total area of the island. There are no rivers, only torrents which flow after heavy rain.
The history of Cyprus is one of the oldest recorded in the world and its historical significance is disproportionate to its small size. The first signs of civilisation date to the ninth millennium B.C. The earliest known foreign settlements on the island were mainly of Phoenicians and Greeks, with Phoenician culture dominating the island’s eastern and southern parts. As a strategic location in the Middle East, it was subsequently occupied by several major powers, including the empires of the Assyrians, Egyptians, and Persians, from whom the island was seized in 333 BC by Alexander the Great and at which point Greek culture began to dominate. Subsequent rule by Ptolemaic Egypt, the Roman Empire, the Byzantines, Arab caliphates for a short period, the French Luisignan dynasty, and the Venetians, was followed by over three centuries of Ottoman control. Cyprus was placed under British administration in 1878 until it was granted independence in 1960.
Cyprus occupies an important role in Greek mythology being the birthplace of Aphrodite and Adonis, and home to King Cinyras, Teucer and Pygmalion.
The island figures prominently in the early history of Christianity, being the first province of Rome to be ruled by a Christian governor in the first century and providing a backdrop for stories in the New Testament.
Cyprus has a Mediterranean climate: hot, dry summers from June to September and mild, wet winters from November to March, which are separated by short Autumn and Spring seasons. Sunshine is abundant during the whole year, particularly from April to September when the daily average exceeds eleven hours. Winds are on the whole light to moderate. Gales are very infrequent and heavy storms rare.
Snow hardly falls in the lowlands and on the northern range, but is a frequent feature, every winter on ground above 1.000 metres in the Troodos range. During the coldest months it lies in considerable depth for several weeks, attracting skiers.
Lemesos (Limassol) is the second largest city in Cyprus after the capital Nicosia. It is located on Akrotiri Bay between the ancient towns of Amathus and Kourion. It is the largest city in geographical size, as well as being the biggest municipality of Cyprus. Limassol is a home to around 179,900 people.
The Medieval Castle in the old part of town was, according to tradition, the site of the royal wedding in the Middle Ages between Richard the Lionheart and Berengaria of Navarre, and now houses the Cyprus Medieval Museum. The surrounding countryside into the foothills of the Troodos mountains consists of vineyards and wine producing villages. The city sits on the seafront making it very popular with tourists as it combines a cosmopolitan city with sandy beaches and clear waters. International standard golf courses are a short drove away.
Limassol has progressed into one of the largest commercial ports in the Mediterranean, as well as one of the most important maritime, tourist, commercial and service centres in the wider region. It is the business and financial centre of Cyprus with a large number of local and international companies surrounded by a further network of hotels, restaurants and other venues for entertainment and leisure. Hundreds of shipping, as well as financial companies have their headquarters in the city, which is also the largest ship-management centre in the European Union.
The Limassol Marina is an exclusive waterfront development designed by a world-renowned team of architects and engineers. It combines elegant residences and a full service marina with exclusive restaurants and shops, to create a lifestyle uniquely shaped by ‘living on the sea’.
Kourion Ancient Theatre
Kourion is located 18km, west of Limassol in the small town of Episkopi and is one of the most famous ancient attractions. It is renowned for its importance, as historical sources suggest it was a major ancient city Kingdom of Cyprus.