Welcome to Limassol cruise port! (Post updated: January 2024)
Nestled in Akrotiri Bay on the southern coast of Cyprus, between two ancient Greek cities, Amathus and Kourion, Limassol is the largest seaport and second-largest city in Cyprus. This old city boasts an impressive history and is a gateway to ancient archaeological sites, medieval castles and breathtaking beaches. In this article, read about:
- Limassol port (Limassol cruise terminal, getting around, helpful info)
- Top 10 things to do in Limassol cruise port and best Limassol shore excursions
Limassol Cruise Port
Cruise ships dock at Limassol New Port, operated by the multi-purpose port and cruise terminal DP World Limassol, located approximately 5 km/3 miles (a 15-minute drive) southwest of Limassol city center. The modern 7,000 sqm Limassol cruise terminal consists of two quays: North Quay (480 m) and East Quay (380 m), which can accommodate the world’s largest cruise ships.
The brand-new terminal building features a tourist information office, free wi-fi, duty-free shops, a cafe, a restaurant, check-in facilities, ATMs, currency exchange, public phones and bus/shuttle parking facilities. Free shuttle buses are usually provided to transfer cruise passengers to the city center. A bus stop (bus #30 that goes to the city center) and a taxi rank are available in front of the cruise terminal.
Helpful info & links:
- Limassol cruise port is flat and wheelchair accessible. The city center stretches along the coastline and it is quite flat and easy to navigate.
- The currency in Greece is EURO (€). Local currency and credit cards are widely accepted. ATMs and currency exchange are available at the cruise terminal and the city center.
- You can get around Cyprus by local bus, taxi (private or shared), or on a shore excursion.
- Plenty of taxis are available at the cruise terminal and they are all metered. You can also use shared minibus-style taxis that can accommodate up to 8 people. Those intercity taxis are operated by the company Travel & Express and they run between major cities in Cyprus including Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaka, Paphos, Agia Napa and a few others.
- Both urban and intercity public buses in Limassol are operated by EMEL company. Leontiou EMEL Central bus station is located 1.5 km/0.90 miles north of Limassol Marina and the old town. If you’re coming directly from the port of Limassol, the distance is 5 km/3 miles (a 10-minute drive). To get from Limassol cruise port to Limassol old town, you should take bus #30 which stops at the cruise terminal (the bus stop’s name is “New Port”). You can check all timetables and routes at http://en.limassolbuses.com/
- In Cyprus, driving is on the left side of the roadway (same as in the UK). Roads are well-maintained and marked, so if you feel comfortable driving on the left side, renting a car is also a great option. Check out Limassol rent-a-car deals
- Greek is the official language in Cyprus, however, English is widely spoken.
- There are two international airports in Cyprus. Larnaca International Airport (LCA) is located 73 km/45 miles (a 50-minute drive) northeast of the Limassol cruise terminal, and Paphos International Airport (PFO) lies 62 km/39 miles (also a 50-minute drive) west of the port. The shuttle buses that connect the airports to Limassol are operated by Limassol Airport Express. You can check the timetables at http://enlimassolairportexpress.eu/.
- Limassol has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry weather from mid-May to October, and mild, rainy winter from November until mid-March. For useful cruise packing tips, check out my article What to Pack for a Cruise – Top 55 Cruise Essentials
- Explore Limassol tours and activities
- Book a private transfer to/from Limassol cruise port
- Search the best hotels in Limassol
10 Best Things to Do in Limassol Cruise Port
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1. Limassol City Sightseeing
The majority of city attractions (except for the Archaeological Museum and Limassol Zoo) are located in Limassol Old Town. Also known as Lemesos, Limassol’s old town area comprises a network of narrow, cobbled streets branching out from the city’s Old Port. The old town is centered around a medieval castle and is filled with small authentic shops, markets, quaint cafes and restaurants. Below is the list of the best Limassol attractions not to be missed:
- Limassol Castle – The medieval castle lies in the heart of the old town area and dates from 1590. The original castle was built in the 12th century but was later reconstructed during the period of Ottoman rule on the island. According to tradition, this is where Richard the Lionheart married Berengaria of Navarre, which was the first royal marriage of an English king to take place outside of England. The castle is home to the Medieval Collection of the Cyprus Museum.
- Sculpture Park – The famous park lies on the Molos seafront and is one of the liveliest and busiest spots in the city. The park features 16 sculptures made by local artists and offers fantastic views of the harbour and Limassol marina. It lies next to Molos Seaside Park with its Molos promenade, another relaxing spot where you can take a walk, unwind and enjoy the views of the coastline.
- Anexartisias Street – This historic shopping street is one of the old town’s busiest streets offering a wide range of traditional shops, souvenir stores, department stores and small businesses. It starts from Molos Park and stretches for about 900 m.
- Municipal Market – Located in the old town area, around 600 m from Limassol Castle and Molos promenade, the market is a colorful place where you can find traditional products and immerse in the local culture. There are dozens of bars and restaurants in the area, so make sure to treat your taste buds with delicious gyros, souvlaki, or Greek salad.
- Grand Mosque – A stone’s throw from Limassol Castle, in the heart of the old town, lies Grand Mosque, an active mosque that dates back to the 16th century. Next to it is the oldest Ottoman graveyard in Limassol.
- Limassol Old Port – The old fishing port is part of Limassol’s historic center and is located only 200 m from the castle. The port was used both as a commercial and a passenger port until the construction of the new port of Limassol in 1973. The area has been redeveloped and is nowadays a recreation and entertainment hotspot popular with both locals and tourists.
- Limassol Marina – Part of the Old Port, the city marina is a lively place filled with bars and eateries overlooking the picturesque harbour.
- Agia Napa Cathedral – A beautiful Greek Orthodox cathedral located in the heart of the old town.
- Archaeological Museum of Lemesos – The museum is situated next to the Municipal Zoo and is the best place to learn about the island’s centuries-old history. It houses a valuable collection of antiquities from the Neolithic age to the Roman period housed in three rooms divided into sections. The museum sits outside the old town area, about 3 km/2 miles (a 10-minute drive) to the northeast. The entrance is free.
- Limassol Zoo – The Municipal Zoo is the only zoo in Cyprus and is located next to the Archaeological Museum. In this modest zoo, you’ll find interesting species of birds, mammals and reptiles, a kids’ playground area and picnic facilities. The driving distance from Limassol historic center is 10 minutes.
Paphos is a beautiful coastal city nestled 70 km/44 miles (a 1-hour drive) northwest of Limassol cruise port. The city of Paphos has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its ancient architecture, mosaics, and ancient religious importance. Old Paphos, now known as Kouklia, has been inhabited since the Neolithic period and was a center for Aphrodite’s cult. The legend says that Aphrodite was born in Paphos, where her temple was erected by the Myceneans in the 12th century BC, making it the most important place for worshipping Aphrodite in the ancient world.
Nowadays, you can admire the archaeological and cultural heritage of exceptional value, including the remains of villas, palaces, theatres, fortresses and tombs. These include the two important archaeological sites: the Archaeological Site of the Tombs of the Kings and the Archaeological Site of Nea Paphos, which you can visit on a guided tour. On your trip to Paphos, make sure to visit Agia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa, one of the oldest Christian churches in the world, the medieval Paphos Castle, a picturesque Paphos Harbour and Paphos Old Town.
The city of Paphos also boasts fabulous beaches, out of which Laourou Beach, Coral Bay Beach and St George Beach rank among the top-rated ones.
3. Ancient Kourion
Kourion was one of the most important Greek city-states in antiquity and is located in Episkopi, approximately 17 km/10,5 miles (a 25-minute drive) west of Limassol port. Kourion was built on the hill overlooking the fertile valley of the river Kouris and is associated with the Greek legend of Argos, a city in Peloponnese whose settlers inhabited the area in the 12th century BC, after the collapse of the Mycenaean palaces. Kourion flourished and became one of the most powerful city kingdoms of ancient Cyprus, however, it was destroyed in a severe earthquake in 365 AD.
Kourion Archaeological Site represents the most impressive ancient ruins in Cyprus, with the remains dating mainly from the Roman and Late Roman/Early Byzantine periods. The magnificent Kourion Ancient Amphitheater dominates the site and originally dates back to the 2nd century BC. Today, it is used as a setting for open-air musical and theatrical performances. Besides the amphitheater, you can also admire the marvelous “House of Eustolios”, which used to be a private villa, the House of the Gladiators, the Early Christian Basilica, the Nymphaeum of Kourion and several more ruins.
4. Kolossi Castle
Situated in the Kolossi Village only 12 km/7.50 miles (a 20-minute drive) west of Limassol cruise port, this fortified 15th-century castle is a former Crusader stronghold and represents one of the most striking monuments of the medieval era. Originally dating from 1210, the present castle was built in 1454 by the Knights Hospitaller under Louis de Magnac, the Great Commander of Kolossi, whose coat-of-arms is carved into the castle’s walls.
The castle today consists of a single three-story tower that you can climb and admire breathtaking views of the surrounding vineyards and the sea. The castle once served as a production site of the sweet dessert wine Commandaria which the entire area is renowned for.
5. Limassol Beaches
The city of Limassol and the entire island boast fabulous beaches with turquoise and crystal-clear waters. From powdery white sandy beaches to those covered in pebbles, from those with ultra-modern facilities to secluded paradise, Cyprus has something to offer everyone. Here’s the list of beaches to check out:
- Lady’s Mile Beach – Located close to Limassol Salt Lake, Lady’s Mile is one of the most popular beaches and among the closest ones to the port. This long, unspoiled beach boasts shallow waters and grey sands, and has basic facilities including showers, changing rooms, toilets, umbrellas, sunbeds and several eateries. Distance from the port: 7 km/4.3 miles (less than a 15-minute drive).
- Akti Olympion Beach – The beach is wide and 2 km long with grey sand and a wide variety of facilities including watersports, bars and restaurants. Distance from the port: 9 km/5.6 miles (a 20-minute drive).
- Kourion Beach – Situated in Episkopi Bay below the iconic archaeological site, Kourion is a long sandy beach with shallow waters, very popular with windsurfers. Basic facilities are available (changing rooms, toilets, sunbeds, umbrellas) with a few taverns and cafes. Distance: 17 km/10.5 miles (a 25-minute drive).
- Governor’s Beach – This scenic, Blue Flag beach lies 32 km/20 km (a 30-minute drive) northeast of Limassol cruise port and is famous for its chalk-white rocks that extend into the blue sea. The beach is divided into two parts, Governor’s Beach, with its dark sands, and Kalymnos which stretches about 200 m to the west. Besides all the facilities, the area is popular for camping and hiking.
- Pissouri Beach – This Blue Flag beach is renowned for its natural beauty and crystal-clear blue water. Numerous facilities are available, including eateries, bars, watersports and a beach volleyball court. Distance: 40 km/25 miles (a 35-minute).
- Agia Napa – If you don’t mind driving, you can visit Agia Napa, one of the island’s most popular resort towns famous for splendid beaches, beautiful old town and a wide variety of bars, restaurants, shops and things do to. Distance: 120 km/75 miles (a 1 hour 20-minute drive).
6. Troodos Mountains
Troodos is the largest mountain range in Cyprus with the highest point of 1,952 m, located in the central part of the island. Dotted with scenic villages, breathtaking natural attractions and spectacular views, Troodos is a popular spot for nature enthusiasts and those in search of an adventure. Kykkos Monastery is a must-see place and one of the most visited and wealthiest monasteries on the island. Originally dating from the 11th century, the monastery complex is set on a verdant peak and is known for its jeweled Virgin Mary icon.
Chrysoroyiatissa Monastery is another beautiful religious site dating from the 12th century, dedicated to “Our Lady of the Golden Pomegranate”. The monastery’s old winery produces some of the best vintage wines on the island and you can taste them in a cafe offering magnificent views of the valley. Troodos Mountains are surrounded by vineyards and while there, you can enjoy some of the most beautiful vineyard landscapes on the islands.
Wine lovers should go for a wine-tasting tour in one of the local wineries, paired with delicious traditional Cypriot bites. If you’re more into adventure, explore the island’s natural treasures on a jeep ride, hiking, or walking tour. Troodos Mountains are located a 1h to 1h 30-minute drive north of Limassol cruise port.
The capital of Cyprus lies 94 km/59 miles (1 hour 10-minute drive) northeast of Limassol port. Also known as Lefkosia, the divided capital of Cyprus has been inhabited since the Bronze Age and has a turbulent history that you can hear about on a guided tour around the city. Admire the city’s Venetian fortifications and make sure you visit the Cyprus Museum, the island’s main and largest archaeological museum showcasing artifacts from island excavations, from pottery to sculptures.
See the impressive Selimiye Mosque, one of the most iconic landmarks in North Nicosia, and stroll the narrow lanes of Nicosia’s Old Town. Explore the Cyprus Museum of Natural History and Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia, and check out Ledra Street, the city’s main street lined with shops, bars and restaurants. If you’re planning to cross to the northern section of the city, you’ll need an ID or passport.
8. Archaeological Site of Amathous
Situated 15 km/9.3 miles (a 20-minute drive) northeast of the Limassol cruise ship terminal, the Amathous Archaeological Site represents one of the most important ancient and historic sites in Cyprus. Amathous (aka Amathus) dates back to 1100 BC and throughout history changed hands between Persians, Ptolemies, Romans, Byzantines, and Arabs.
This ancient city has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known for the world’s largest stone vase which was found here and is nowadays kept in the Louvre Museum in Paris. The highlights of Amathus include the Temple of Aphrodite and the tombs dating back to the early Iron Age of the Greco-Phoenician.
9. Fasouri Watermania Waterpark
Fasouri Watermania is the most popular waterpark in Cyprus and an ideal place for families as it is located only 7.5 km/4.6 miles (less than a 15-minute drive) west of Limassol cruise port. In this fantastic park, you can enjoy dozens of waterslides, a lazy river, and pools including the biggest wave pool in the country. Numerous restaurants and bars are available within the complex, as well as large free parking for visitors.
10. Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates
Located in Episkopi, this important archaeological site was dedicated to Apollon Hylates, God of the Woodland, who was the protector of Kourion and worshipped at the site from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. Although this ancient religious center underwent many extensions and changes throughout centuries, it nowadays consists of a partly reconstructed Apollo’s temple, pilgrim halls, the “palaistra” where athletes exercised and played games, a bath complex, and a holy precinct.
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