Considering a holiday in Cyprus for next year? You might not have heard of Limassol, but this popular town is certainly worth considering for a holiday in 2010 - her beaches and culture enchant thousands of tourists every year.
Limassol is the second largest populated city in Cyprus, and the largest in geographical size. Its population of 176,000 is, by many city standards, barely a blip on the radar. But its relatively small population is perhaps its most alluring attribute. It is large enough to be considered an urban destination, but small and close-knit enough to provide a warm welcome to visitors.
Limassol has a great deal to offer the holidaymaker. It is most widely known as a port city. It is, in fact, the biggest port in the Mediterranean trade route. A world class marina is currently in progress, in keeping with Limassol's close ties to the sea, travel and trade. It is hoped that the new marina will attract boating enthusiasts from around Europe. It will be a centre not just for sailing and yachting, but for playing, eating and vacationing as well.
Tourists who don't necessarily appreciate the city's marine history will certainly find other things to do. Limassol is also known for its colourful festivals. The annual Limassol Festival is a ten day affair dating back to ancient paganism. The modern version has lost some of its pagan religious connotations and has become more of a celebration of culture. The event is characterised by colourful costumes, masks and parades. It might be compared to the Mardi Gras festival of New Orleans.
Limassol's other famous festival is the annual Wine Festival. Some of its origins have faded with time, becoming largely a mix of history and lore. Some Cyprus historians regard it as a modern version of lively celebrations of worship for the ancient god of wine, Dionysus. The Wine Festival also pays a nod to Aphrodite, the well known and regarded goddess of love. The Wine Festival of the 21st century embraces appreciation for fine Mediterranean wine. It's also a chance to enjoy merrymaking just for the fun of it.
Visitors to Limassol who prefer sightseeing to revelry can enjoy any number of historical and cultural sites. The city's coastal front is a sight to behold, with tree-lined walkways for a stroll along the ocean. It's dotted with shops and a mix of modern and ancient architectured buildings.
The medieval castle of Limassol dates back to 1000 A.D. It was built during the Byzantine era. The castle now houses a museum full of artefacts. Knowledgeable docents give tourists a full picture of the castle's history and its contribution to ancient society.
Limassol is also home to the Cyprus University of Technology. CUT is a relative newcomer to the city. It was established in 2004, but accepted its first group of students just in the 2007-2008 school year. Its primary focus is trades and technology. Its founders envisioned an institution that would complement the University of Cyprus, located in the capital city of Nicosia.
The new university was a much anticipated addition to Limassol. Students have been warmly welcomed by locals. It draws pupils from all over the Mediterranean and even international locations.
Limassol boasts accommodation from four and five star hotels to economy bungalows. Tourists don't necessarily have to break the bank account to enjoy all that Cyprus' prominent port city has to offer, and it's worth having a look on-line to see what you think of Limassol as a possible holiday destination for next year.
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