Limassol began life as a quiet fishing village between two powerful ancient cities, Kourion and Amathus. Saracen raids destroyed these seats of power in the 7th century, leaving Limassol to prosper. It’s now an important port and Cyprus’s second city. You can spend the morning exploring the highlights of Limassol and the surrounding area, starting in the old town with a walk along its cobbled streets and palm-tree lined boulevards.
It’s then a short drive to Kourion Archaeological Site, where the remnants of this once powerful city perch on a hillside with sweeping views of the sea and countryside. You’ll explore the site with a private guide, who’ll help to point out each ruin and explain the history behind them. Among them is a well-preserved Roman villa with 5th-century mosaic flooring, and the site’s focal point — a restored Greco-Roman amphitheatre with sea views.
After your visit, your driver will take you a short distance inland to Omodos, a wine-making village in the Troodos foothills. Here you’ll tour a family-run winery before sitting down to sample a selection of vintages.
After meeting your private driver and guide at your hotel, you’ll head to Limassol’s old town, the historic heart of the city. You’ll take a walk along the narrow streets lined with wooden-shutter houses, traditional tavernas and artisanal boutiques, which are centred around Limassol Castle. A squat stone structure, the castle was rebuilt by the Ottomans in the 16th century, and it’s rumoured that Richard the Lionheart married Berengaria of Navarre at the original structure in the 12th century.
You’ll also walk along the wide, palm-tree-lined boulevards that run along the seafront, before making the short drive to Kourion Archaeological Site, a settlement that dates to the Neolithic times, but flourished under the Romans as one of the most prominent cities in Cyprus.
Arguably one of Cyprus’s most scenic archaeological sites, the city ruins are spread across a hilltop with panoramic sea views and the green foothills of the Troodos Mountains stretching out across the horizon. With your private guide, you’ll explore the remains of the ancient buildings and columns, a reconstructed amphitheatre which can seat up to 3,000 spectators, and the House of Eustolios, a Roman villa with well-preserved mosaic floors.
Once you’ve finished exploring the park, you’ll journey into the Troodos foothills to the village of Omodos. This cobbled-street town is in the wine-producing Krasochoria region and boasts one of the oldest surviving medieval wine presses. You’ll lunch in one of the village’s traditional tavernas before taking a stroll around the old town.
To finish the day, you’ll head to a nearby family-owned winery. You’ll take a guided tour to learn about the process of winemaking in Cyprus, before sitting down to taste some of the wines produced by the family.
After you’ve finished the tasting, your driver will take you back to your hotel.