June in Limassol – average temperatures are hitting a sizzling 32C and there’s not a cloud in the sky! Powerless to resist the call of mythic, Greek sun god Apollo, cultural explorers and seasonal holidaymakers, alike, arrive in greater numbers than ever before to pay homage under a blazing Cyprus sky. Around one in 7 visitors head for Limassol, and many also choose to stay at Londa for an exclusive boutique experience, Mediterranean-style!
Could 2019 once again break the June record for Cyprus visitors? In June 2018, more than 511,000 sunseekers arrived on the island, compared to nearly 473,000 in June 2017, up by 8 per cent, and a huge jump of 81 per cent from June 2009, when nearly 261,000 holidaymakers flocked to a Cyprus beach (Cyprus Statistical Service).
Breath-taking views of unspoilt golden beaches
Cyprus is officially recognised as possessing the “Cleanest Bathing Waters in Europe” and boasts 57 ‘Blue Flag’ beaches with a consistent annual score of 100. The Blue Flag programme, which began in Europe in 1987, promotes high standards in water quality, environmental management, education and safety.
For the more energetic beach enthusiast, it means they can safely indulge their favourite water sports, from swimming and scuba diving to sailing, windsurfing and jet skiing. The more traditional holidaymaker can simply relax and enjoy the endless breath-taking views of unspoilt golden beaches stretching some 16 kilometres across Limassol, and around the most southerly edge of the island.
Follow in the footsteps of the Governor’s ‘Lady’
Close by to Londa, west of Limassol, is ‘Lady’s Mile’ which runs 7km along the farther end of the Akrotiri Peninsula, in the direction of Limassol Marina and the RAF base. The crystal-clear and calm sea-waters of Lady’s Mile gently lap as far as the shallowest southern end – known as Button Beach – constantly polishing the dark grey sand to a gleaming lustre.
Visitors who make their way across the parallel sandy ridges will be following in the footsteps of the island’s first British governor, Sir Malcolm Stevenson (1878–1927) when Cyprus came under the colonial administration of the British Empire in March 1925. The beach itself takes its name from ‘Lady’, the horse ridden along this same stretch of sand by Stevenson up until November 1926.
The area is also one of Europe’s most important wetlands, which is used as a seasonal stopping off point for migratory birds, and a winter home for thousands of flamingos and herons.
Governor’s Beach No.2
Not to be confused with the Governor associated with ‘Lady’s Mile’ beach! This tourist-friendly stretch of coastline is about 10km east of Londa, and divides into several distinct areas of small sandy coves, separated by natural, sedimentary white rocks.
The beach is located below the chalk cliffs and can be easily accessed using one of several ramps or steps. Above the beach there is a camping site and amenities, such as showers, toilets and changing rooms at a number of restaurants, offering authentic, local Cypriot cuisine and delicious, fresh fish dishes.
Zapalo Bay – a panoramic wonder
Zapalo Bay is often described as probably one of the most spectacular beaches in Limassol. Located off the old Limassol – Paphos Road under the Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates, its’ large bay is a panoramic wonder of steep cliffs, fine brown sand, white rocks and pure blue waters.
Stunning views may be had from the top of the bay – of the submerged rocky remains of an old port – as well as the west side of the bay. Protected by steep cliffs, the only sound to be heard is of the gentle lapping waves and nearby nesting birds wheeling across the azure skies overhead. Large flat rocks found on the far eastern side of the bay make natural sunbeds for lying back on a typical sultry, Mediterranean summer’s day.
Cape Aspro (Pissouri) – magnificent views at sunset
White, chalky cliffs rising a spectacular 255 metres above the beach can also be found at the most westerly point of Limassol. Pissouri beach extends from Cape Aspro in the west to a rocky outcrop named ‘Mavrorotsos’ at the eastern end. To the south lies the bay area, a tourist-friendly location dotted with hotels, bars, restaurants and taverns.
Five different but connected trails run throughout the area and over the cliffs, all leading to magnificent views during the spring and summer months, especially at sunset…
Once more, we may witness the enduring mythical power of Apollo confound a mere mortal’s eyes with the sight of the sun’s daily sojourn heating a trail across Cyprus sands. This restless orb, robed in erupting ruby and vermilion, finally makes its’ slow, magisterial descent into the ultramarine depths of the Mediterranean’s eternal watery grasp.