|Area:||9,251 sq km|
|Coastline:||648 sq km|
Greek Lemesós, Turkish Limassol, city and chief port of the Republic of Cyprus. The city lies on Akrotiri Bay, on the southern coast, southwest of Nicosia; it is the island's second largest city and is also its chief tourist centre.
Limassol's rise from a humble market town between the ancient settlements of Amathus and Curium took place at the end of the Byzantine Empire, when Richard I the Lion-Heart landed for his Crusade campaign.
Limassol has been known to traders for its sugar cane. Now as the second largest city of north Cyprus, with a population of 135 000, it is also the center the Cypriot wine industry.
In Limassol Richard the Lion Heart married Berengaria of Navarre, touching off the most extravagant party the island had ever seen. Today, the tradition of celebration and hospitality continues in this vibrant seaside town. In February before Lent, masked revelers invade the street with music, parades, and dancing for Carnival. In September, the Wine Festival explodes in the town for a week. Every night people in restaurants, cafés, and nightclubs celebrate events momentous and trivial, from a soccer win to a sudden romance to yet another stunning sunset at day’s end.
As a shopping centre Limassol the full range from ultra modern to traditional and hand made. Shoes and clothes can be made to measure in a matter of days. Busy St Andrews Street, not far from the seafront promenade, makes a fascinating trip with its quaint buildings and overhanging terraces, under which an abundance of small shops strive for attention on this narrow, jostling street. Another important shopping street is Makarios Avenue, where many prestigious boutiques and showrooms are located, as well as small shops of every type.
There are numerous beaches to choose from in the limassol area. Some very popular during midsummer with the convenience of changing rooms, showers, bars and cafes, others quite uncrowded, particularly those on the outskirts of town, such as the sandy beach Known as "Ladies Mlle', west of the new harbour. Limassol also has an attractive, newly-completed marina equipped with every facility for the yachtsman.
At 14 km west of Limassol lies Kolossi Castle, a medieval fortress whose walls contain not only an imposing tower and surrounding living quarters but also an ancient sugar factory. Just 19 km west of town, you can visit the Kourion archaeological site, an ancient city-kingdom, where you can take in a play or concert at the ancient Greco-Roman Theatre,overlooking theblue Mediterranean. A bit further on, you can explore a treasure trove of Greek and Roman sites.