Limassol (Lemessos) is situated in the south of the island and it is Cyprus´ main industrial and maritime area and also the second biggest town of the country. Its population is about 135.000 and rises during holiday times because of the tourism. Most of the tourists only pass by on their way to the more historic sites like Akrotiri or the Troodos mountains, but there is actually a lot to see in Limassol besides a busy industrial centre. Places of interest include the Berengaria Castle, the place where Richard the Lionheart married Berengaria, Kolossi Castle, the ancient city of Curium and its still functioning theatre, Amathunta and many other archeological sites scattered around the city.
If it is night life you are looking for, check out Germasogeia, the tourist area of Limassol, where both locals and tourists meet in the vibrant clubs and bars. The old city centre though is the place to go to. A walk will lead the visitor to a vibrant community full of shop owners, crafts people, artists of all disciplines and businessmen.
Because the city is relatively untouched by the streams of tourism, it has been able to maintain the traditions of Cypriote life: meze restaurants, wine and beer cellars, places to sit outside and just watch people passing by. Nevertheless, traditional old boutiques and dark inns, where the Cypriots drink the famous Brandy sour drink are rapidly changing into modern shopping centres and restaurants. Limassol is known for its famous wine festivals held in August.
The district of Lemesos (Limassol) which covers the south part of Cyprus, borders with the district of Larnaca in the east, with the district of Paphos in the west, as well as with the capital Nicosia in the north. The stretch of land which is included in the boundaries of Lemesos Municipality is 34.870.000 sqyare meters or 34.87 square kilometers.The limited water resources of the countryside and the continuously increasing need for irrigation, industrial and touring aims, lead to the building of the dams in order to increase the water reserves.The bigger ones among the dams are the dams of Kourris which has a capacity of 115,000,000 m3, the Yermasoyia dam which has a capacity of 13,600,000 m3 and the dam of Polemidia with a capacity of 3.864,000 m3. The dynamic of the dams of the province is about 135,000,000 m3.
The dams are of great importance to Lemesos (Limassol). Sufficient agricultural areas are watered in the summer time when the rain is limited.
The climate of Lemesos (Limassol) is warm and dry in the summer and mild in the winter it is a marvelous Mediterranean climate. In the summer the temperature during daytime fluctuates between 22.00 Celsius degrees and 38.00 and in winter between -1,0 and 180 Celsius degrees, according to the altitude of the area. The temperature of the sea water, is about 15.500 Celsius degrees in winter and 24.500 in August and September. These temperatures allow swimming throughout the year.
The hilly and mountainous areas of the countryside of Lemesos (Limassol) are rich in vegetation. The main kinds are the Pinus Brutia, the Pinus Nigra and a kind of cypress tree known as «Juniperus oxycedrus» which grows at an altitude of about 1200 - 1500 meters. The plane trees and the aldez grow in the valleys of Troodos while a kind of oak tree named «latzia» and the «trimithia» grow on the slopes of the hills. The most frequent kinds are the wild roses. the thyme and the lentisk (bush).
Occupations of the inhabitants
The inhabitants of the rural area of Lemesos (Limassol) ore occupied with agriculture, stock breeding, fishing, tourism and industry - handicraft.
The main cultivations include citrus trees, other fruit trees such as cherry trees, pear trees, peach trees, plum trees, fig trees, apricot trees, pomegranate trees, avocado trees, kiwis and banana trees, vineyards, olive trees, almond trees, walnut trees, trees, vegetables, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, melons, water-melons, carrots, beetroots, cucumbers, pulses such as legumes, beans, broad beans, chickpeas, lentils, cereals such as wheat, barley, oats.
The great length (80 kilometers) of the coasts of the province of Lemesos (Limassol) has contributed to the development of fishery. Both in the town of Lemesos (Limassol) and in Avdimou village there are fishery refuge places. Quite a big number of the inhabitants of Lemesos (Limassol) are occupied with fishing.
The development of tourism in Lemesos (Limassol) began after 1974 when the Turks invaders occupied Famagusta and Kyrenia, the basic tourist areas of Cyprus. Lemesos (Limassol) has some very good beaches, rich in sand and suitable for sunbathing and swimming. The most important of these are Episkopi, Pissouri, Akrotiri, Amathus and the Lady’s Mile beach. A bathing beach with all the necessary facilities, provided by the «Cyprus Organization of Tourism» (COT), is operating in the town of Lemesos (Limassol), in «Dasoudi» area.
During the summer months there is a distinctive popularity for the hotels of the summer resorts. The most important of these resorts are Platres, Troodos, Prodromos, Agros Pera-Pedhi and omodos.
Lemesos (Limassol) is known for its wine factories. The most important ones are KEO, LOEL, SODAP and ETKO. The wines and cognacs (brandies) that are produced by the grapes that grow in the countryside, are of excellent quality. They have won several awards in international exhibitions. There is a considerable consumption of wine products in Cyprus by the locals and the foreign visitors. Big quantities are exported to Europe. The KEO factory also produces an excellent kind of beer.
The town of Lemesos (Limassol) is the biggest industrial center of the province. There are about 350 industrial units with 90 industry wares. These industries concern dressmaking, furniture, shoes, drinks, food, prints, metal industry, electric devices, plastic wares as well as many other different industries.
Lemesos (Limassol) is an important trade center of Cyprus. This is due to the presence of the British bases at Episkopi and Akrotiri, and to the displacement of the population in Lemesos (Limassol) after the Turkish invasion in 1974. The trade markets are gathered in the center of the town and in the tourist area along the coast that begins from the old harbor and ends in Amathus area. Most of the hotels, restaurants, confectioneries, discos and places of entertainment in general, are to be found in this area.
Lemesos (Limassol) has two ports. The old port and the new port. The new port has the greatest commercial and passenger flow of traffic and it is the biggest port in the free part of Cyprus. The old harbor has a breakwater 250 meters long and it is able to receive only three small ships. It is thus normally used by small fishing boats. The new harbor is 11 meters deep and has break-waters that are 1.300 meters long. This one is able to receive about 10 ships depending on their size. Exports of grapes, wines, carobs, citrus fruits and imports of cereals, vehicles, machines, textiles, agricultural medicines, fertilizers, iron etc. are exported and imported through these ports.