Cyprus – A day trip to Lemesos (Limassol)

We took an organised bus trip to Lemesos via several landmarks. The trip started slowly, after our 8:40 pickup we were still picking up passengers from Pafos hotels at 9:30. 

Finally we head out and our tour guide introduces herself and states 2 of the sites require government entrance fees. Nothing in the literature mentions additional fees but the tour guide helpfully suggests if we don’t want to pay to visit the sites we can sit outside in the hot sun with no facilities or refreshments for the 40 minutes or so we will spend in each site. She then came down the bus collecting €7 from each of us.

Our first stop, 30 minutes away, was Aphrodite’s Rock. Reputed to be the birthplace of Aphrodite, the guide said if you swim naked 3 times around the rock on February 13 you will prolong your life by 10 years and added The water is rather cold in February. The Rock is the 3 rocks in line in the middle pic.

Another 20 minutes takes us to Kourion, a city destroyed by several earthquakes, rebuilt, eventually abandoned and rebuilt a mile or so away.

During the Roman occupation of Cyprus around 3rd century AD Kourion’s amphitheatre was host to typical Roman games and festivals, including gladiator fights, contests with wild animals, and Christians fed to the wild beasts.

Our tour guide explains all from under the shade of her lace umbrella

Another 30 minutes takes us to Kolossi Castle. On the way our tour guide asks us to refrain from taking any food or ice cream onto the bus because we all eat different things and leave too many smells. Also, children eating ice cream leave sticky seats and it takes the bus driver a long time to clean the bus. And so we all dutifully obey our guide.

Kolossi Castle was home to the Hospitalliers after they lost Acre in 1291, then home to the Knights Templar until 1308, when Pope Clement V abolished the Knights Templar. Then it reverted to the Hospitalliers.

The Hospitalliers were apparently a tad sensitive after losing Acre and instead of building a monastery on Cyprus they built a fort. The yellow stains on the outside walls are the result of boiling oil being poured down from the battlements to repel pirates and invading Arabs. It’s a well fortified site with views across the countryside and interesting stairs, particularly when you attempt to pass other tourists halfway up / down.

Our destination, 40 minutes away, was Lemesos (Limassol) where the new marina is being built in contrast to the old town.

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