The redefining of holiday luxury as boutique lifestyle experience and personal wellbeing. For some Londa guests it could mean choosing the vegetarian options on the Caprice menu or a visit to Londa Spa for a relaxing therapy session.
The curious adventurer abroad in Limassol might be keen to gain knowledge and insight from some of the many nearby historical and cultural sites.
One popular example is The Curium Ancient Theatre (built in the 2nd century AD), which stands alongside the House of Achilles, the Nymphaeum and the Forum Baths dating from the Greco-Roman period (332 BC – 395 AD).
Another well-known landmark is Limassol Castle, near the Old Port, where Richard the Lionheart married his Spanish bride, Berengaria of Navarre and crowned her Queen of England in 1191.
While others simply want to go for a walk!
52 official walking trails
A type of walk that truly embraces the great outdoors – known as hiking. Visitors are drawn to Cyprus in September to explore several of the 52 official walking trails specifically created to highlight the island’s unique Mediterranean landscapes formed over 10,000 years. The blistering sun of July and August will have eased back to a less intense heat for taking hiking walks in September with average temperatures of between 24°C (75°F) – 28°C (82°F).
Several of the walking trails begin in Limassol including, Limassol to Finikária | Kyprassia peak (a moderate distance of 4.23 miles), to Germasogeia Dam front sidewalk (2.06 miles) and to Germasogeia Dam | Korifi Peak – Moutagiaka side (2.02 miles).
The walk to Finikaria offers particularly stunning views of the eastern hills of Limassol. The trail follows the natural lie of the land, with several gentle uphill and downhill paths for smooth hiking, climbing and mountain biking. The forests which cover more than 70 per cent of the island are mostly natural woodlands, many of which are classified as National Forest Parks and a protected area for flora and fauna (natural wildlife).
Incredibly, just 10-20 minutes from the city, along the 1.5 kms circular Germasogeia Dam route, the area’s unique flora and natural wildlife can be spotted.
Island’s own microclimate of natural wildlife
To date, 1908 different plant species, subspecies, and other hybrid varieties have been recorded in Cyprus (native and alien plants) plus 142 widely spread plants exclusive to the island, including the Cyprus Cedar, Golden Oak, Crocus Cyprius, Delphinium Caseyi, Cyprus Tulip, Yellow Cyprus Sun Rose, Troodos Rockcress, Cyclamen Cyprium, Golden Drops and Cyprus Bee Orchid.
Part of the Finikaria area is occupied by the Germasogeia Dam, which was built on the Germasogeia river towards the end of the 1970s to service the entire area. Here can be found olive trees and indigenous wild bushes, mushrooms and wild flowers, as well as pine trees and forest plantation.
It can be particularly rewarding to know one is walking in the natural habitat of the island’s own micro-climate of indigenous wildlife. How many walking the trail know that the mouflon is the national animal of Cyprus, a species of wild sheep, and also the largest wild mammal, only found in Cyprus. Other mammals unique to the island include, the Cyprus Spiny Mouse and the Cypriot Mouse. The only carnivore mammal on Cyprus is the fox! Exclusive Cyprus reptiles are the Cyprus Whip Snake and the Troodos Lizard. The Cyprus Water Frog is widely found, as well as the hedgehog and 19 different varieties of bat!
One of the most important natural habitats for migrating birds
The island’s location in the Mediterranean also makes Cyprus an important natural habitat for migrating birds. Many official bodies consider the island as being one of the most important areas in Europe and the world for its biodiversity of birdlife. Among the birds that breed exclusively on the island include the Cyprus Warbler, Cyprus Wheatear, and the Cyprus Scops Owl.
Dedicated butterfly collectors also have ample opportunity to spot unique examples of their favourite elusive creature. There are 52 species of lepidopetera (Ancient Greek for butterflies and moths) on the island nine of which are widespread across Cyprus – the Cyprus Grayling, Cyprus Meadow Brown, the Paphos Blue and three additional subspecies.
Only a few kilometres along the trail, the intrepid and knowledgeable hiker may soon be lucky enough to catch sight of a few of the unique varieties of flora and fauna species which have made Cyprus their only home. It can be both endlessly rewarding and a little exhausting at the same time.
So it’s also good to know that at a small distance from the trail can be found the Finikaria picnic area, fully equipped with water and areas suitable for safely lighting a fire for cooking purposes. Time for a well-deserved break before heading out once more into the Cyprus woodlands and continuing the immersive journey of discovery and wonder.