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Limassol and the south-west coast, Paphos

Home -> Europe -> Cyprus -> Travelogue Cyprus -> 17 February 2001

Saturday 17 February, Limassol and the south-west coast, Paphos

A short trip, we think, with plenty of time to visit Paphos, when we take off for Limassol and the south coast to the west. But with so many things to see and visit, we arrive quite late in Paphos. The temperature was very nice, about 22°C.
Boulevard in Limassol Boulevard in LimassolOur first stop is at Limassol, an important city for industry and commerce. On the boulevard, Elisabeth finds her first palm tree seeds. We didn't know then, but this hobby of hers is getting out of hand, for we have palm trees from all over Europe in our home now. Maybe we should make a special webpage about growing palm trees one day.
Djami Djedid mosque, Limassol Limassol from the castleFirst we visit the 14th century castle where Richard Lionheart married Berengaria, after he landed on Cyprus during a crusade (he had to, because of a storm). Inside is a museum.
From the castle, one has a nice view over Limassol.
A bit dirtyThrough the Akrotiri peninsula we drive along the saltlake, but the road is unpaved and quite muddy from the morning rains. We meet a few oncoming jeeps which don't care and drive by with high speed and soon our car looks like a spattered piece of art. We are laughed at all day.
Via the Kolossi castle (west of Limassol) we drive on, to the west, along the coast.
Kolossi-castleKourion lies nearly 20 km. west of Limassol, a complex of historical excavations which magnificently stand on the cliffs, towering above the Mediterranean Sea. Since the Neolithicum, this area has been inhabited and colonized by different communities, originating from the mainland of Europe and Asia. In the 4th century, a heavy earthquake destroyed the city, but it was rebuild. After attacks and raids by the Arabs (7th century), this site was abandoned for ever.
Amphitheater, KourionClose to the entrance of the ruins, one finds the theatre. According to our tour guides it is one of the most photographed spots on Cyprus, so we could not lag behind. The amphitheatre probably dates from the 2nd century AD. It has place for 3500 people and is still being used for open-air perfomances. Unfortunately not in February, so we miss that.
Eustoliuscomplex, Kourion Basilica, KourionBehind the amphitheatre, one can walk to the Eustolius-complex. Over scaffolds, we walk through this Roman house and admire the well preserved mosaics. On the opposite direction of the theatre are the remains of the Basilica, a church from the 5th century. It must have been an impressive building, measuring 70 meters long and 40 wide.
The sea at Kourion Cypresses at KourionBut above all, we are impressed by the wonderful view. We can imagine every Roman would have liked to live on this spot. And not only Romans. The surrounding land is very fertile, the climate pleasant and the location gorgeous.
The coast at Kourion House of the gladiators, KourionSo, even when you don't like ruins or history, don't miss this place. The scenery makes it worthwhile. Obviously, they already knew about beauty in ancient times.
More inland, we visit the House of the Gladiators (so-called for the mosaic with two combatting gladiators). Furthermore, there are remains of an aquaduct, the House of Achilles (mosaics) and the remains of a stadium.
Coast at Petra tou Romiou Coast at Petra tou RomiouFrom Kourion we continue our journey west, in the direction of Petra tou Romiou (the rock of Romios); the coast is beautiful with the rocks and small rock-islands. In one of the Greek myths, Aphrodite was born here out of sea-foam.
Coast at Petra tou Romiou Coast at Petra tou RomiouTraffic is busy on this road and although there are several parking places, it is almost impossible to find a quiet place to photograph the beautiful view on the sea.

Maybe in the future, when the highway from Limassol to Paphos is finished, this road will become an ideal touristic coastal route, with less traffic. But it will probably take a few years before the highway is ready.
Bar at PaphosWe pause often along this part of the coast and arrive at Paphos at the end of the afternoon, with not much time left to visit any of the old sights, like the tombs of the Kings. So we walk through Old Paphos, through the harbour and decide we first need a drink. Enjoying the sun, talking to friendly people, we have the feeling we have been here already much longer than 2 days. We save the visits in Paphos for another day.
At a gas station outside Paphos, we see a car wash and immediately go there. The rented car surely can use a wash. For a few Cyprian pounds, 6 willingly boys wash and sweep the car outside and inside. We feel a bit more comfortable in our clean, new car.
Back in the hotel, we talk all evening with one of the owners. Like many companies on Cyprus, it is a family bussiness. He tells us about the island, his family, the life on the island in general and about the people in particular. On local television we already have noticed how vivid the conflict between North and South Cyprus is for the people. He tells us that the conflict indeed does have a big influence on the everyday life of most people. For that reason we have put some links with backgrounds and news about the situation on our information page.


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