The premier seaport of Cyprus, Limassol isn't so much a destination in its own right as a convenient jumping-off point for attractions scattered around the large Mediterranean island. Although the city traces its roots to 2000 B.C. and earlier, most of Limassol grew up after 1960 when Cyprus gained its independence from Britain.
What We Love
Wineries: Cyprus lays claim to the world's oldest named wine (Commandaria), and the Troodos Mountains north of Limassol are spangled with small family- and monk-run wineries that produce some pretty good plonk.
Monasteries: As a hotbed of the Greek Orthodox faith, the island is also flush with monasteries filled with ancient icons and splendid mosaics — such as the lofty Panagia of Kykkos.
Best Known For
Ruins: Having been conquered multiple times over the millennia, Cyprus is rife with ruins, from the Roman majesty of Paphos and the Greek amphitheater at Kourion to the crusader castle at Kolossi — all of them less than an hour from Limassol on the south coast.
Beaches: The south coast of Cyprus is basically one great strand after another, from popular spots like Kourion Beach just west of Limassol to secluded Lara Bay on the Akamas Peninsula.
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Who It's Best For
Sun Worshippers: Whether you're lazing on a beach, exploring ancient ruins, or hiking the Troodos Mountains, the sun is nearly always shining on Cyprus.
Foodies: Between great Greek cuisine and amazing wine, it's hard to have a bad meal in Cyprus.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Foreign Beachgoers Abound: At some of the more popular seaside hangouts, you are much more likely to overhear Russian or Cockney accents than Greek.
Nicosia Isn't Tourist-Friendly: The Cypriot capital is a huge, modern business center with high-rise buildings and copious traffic.
Joe Yogerst is a California-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Travel + Leisure.