HISTORICALLY Cyprus’ main port and industrial centre, Limassol is now witnessing a much-welcomed revival
Thanks to an ever-growing number of art cafes, a burgeoning contemporary arts scene and this summer’s opening of the much-anticipated Limassol Marina, the city is now firmly placed back on the nautical map.
Limassol’s elegant Old Town, also home to the Medieval Castle – where Richard the Lionheart reputedly married noblewoman Berengaria of Navarre – has been transformed into a vibrant and cosmopolitan district.
Starting from the seafront, the newly opened Limassol Marina – the most exclusive new waterfront development in the Mediterranean – sits on the fringes of the Old Town. Boasting a capacity of 650 berths – many directly in front of private villas - the development is Cyprus’ first full service superyacht marina as well as Nereids Residences - 94 luxury apartments and penthouses.
Only a stone’s throw from the marina, those in search of good food and a lively atmosphere need look no further than The Carob Mill Quarter a former carob-pod mill refitted to become home to nine restaurants and a resident sommelier, Panayiotis Daniel, the youngest member of the Pancyprian Association of Sommeliers, who is ever at the ready to advise diners on local wine pairing from the Maratheftiko grape through to Xinisteri. Restaurants not to miss include Artima, with its range of fine Mediterranean fare and Karatello, offering a selection of traditional and contemporary Cypriot dishes.
From the seafront, a 10 minute stroll through the Old Town’s cobbled back streets will lead you to the bustling Saripolou Square. By day, a haunt for local residents to catch-up on the day’s affairs over a freshly brewed Cypriot coffee; by night it becomes the chosen hangout for the town’s fashionistas, drawn by a selection of art cafes and cocktail bars. Some of the most popular include:
Dino Art Café (62 – 66 Irinis Street)
A stellar array of homemade dishes ensures repeat business at this buzzy café. The sociable owner and chef, Dino, oversees the preparation of every dish, and is known for his divine desserts. The art exhibited on the walls is all for sale, if you’re looking to pick up a holiday souvenir with a difference.
Salut Bar & Grill (71–73 Saripolou Square)
Serving a range of mouth-watering Lebanese and Middle Eastern dishes, as well freshly roasted coffee during the day and expertly crafted cocktails in the evenings, it is one of the staple hangouts for Limassol’s trendsetters.
(in) Theory (53 Saripolou)
Having recently celebrated its first anniversary, (in) Theory continues to wow its customers with a tapas-based menu, a wide range of cocktails, an endless wine list and frozen Zivania shots – Grappa’s feisty Cypriot cousin.
Travellers with an eye for art, will also enjoy the Arteries Project - a curated programme of art exhibitions that lead to the rediscovery of the Old Town centre. The project presents young artists, who are given the opportunity to display their works in various outdoor and indoor spaces across the Town’s historical centre. Be sure to also add Athinon Street to your route, a short shuffle from central Saripolou Square, which is lined with a range of graffiti murals as well as a number of other inviting art cafes in which to soak up the Town’s atmosphere.
Getting there: Return flights with Cyprus Airways from London Heathrow to Larnaca, from £220 (inclusive VAT) per person. For more information, visit www.visitcyprus.com.