Our outing of Saturday 7 December 2019 takes us to Limassol to walk along the Agios Tychonas Seafront Walkway. This is a stroll with a strong cultural aspect. The walk starts at 11:00 am. Koula is leading this walk, which will go ahead even in light rain; if you need to, call 99437160. The walk is circular, with a linear section in the middle, will take up 2 ½ to 3 hours, is basically on flat ground, except for the climb to the Acropolis of Amathus and is classified as easy to medium difficulty (1 ½). The distance to cover is estimated around 8 km.
We start the walk from the Agios Tychonas walkway right in front of the Old Limassol Beach Bar & Restaurant. We walk along the paved path that goes under a flyover of the seafront road and leads to the Amathus ancient site. The paved path soon narrows and we begin to climb north along a narrow, loose stone path where walking footwear suitable for rough terrain is advisable. We zigzag our way to the Acropolis through the ruins, admiring at the same time stunning views of the Limassol Bay. On top of the hill we will catch our breath while we see the ancient temple, place of worship of Aphrodite and a replica of the colossal cistern.
We then begin our descent following a narrow, loose track path that leads to the lower part of the ancient city. We walk along the fenced perimeter enclosing the agora, the baths and administrative buildings until we reach a modern, exclusive residential development. Here we will visit the cave chapel of Agia Varvara, hidden, in our days, among posh villas.
For the last part of our walk we cross the tarmac seafront road to the walkway and walk eastwards until we reach the end of the promenade. We then walk back, along the promenade until we reach our start point at the Old Limassol Beach Bar and Restaurant. During the walk we will pass along the remnants of the ancient port (built in the pre-Phoenician period, around 800 BC), several seafront cafeterias, beach bars, restaurants, Five Star hotel private gardens overlooking the Mediterranean and lots of great swimming spots.
The walk will be followed by a taverna lunch. The meal will consist of an assortment of fish and seafood, same for all. Expect cost at under 20 euro, incl. one drink. To facilitate lunch arrangements, for your better service, you are required to pre-register, if you are joining us for lunch. To do so, please sms the walk leader or e-mail Xenophon by end Thursday. No need to register if you are not dining.
You have the choice of meeting the group at the walk start, or meet at the designated meeting point in Nicosia. In either case, you need to carry copy of this set of instructions. Meeting in Nicosia offers two important advantages: we drive in full cars, leaving some cars behind; thus, we save in fuel and enjoy the trip in good company. The meeting point in Nicosia is the Handicrafts Centre (Kentro Heirotechnias) on Leoforos Athalassas (Athalassa Avenue), which offers ample parking space. The car trip starts at 9:45 am. Please ensure you observe start times, for the benefit of the group.
How to get to the walk start: Drive along the Nicosia-Limassol motorway. As you approach Limassol take exit 21 on your left, signposted Pareklissia, Moni. Drive along the slip road and at the T junction (you will be facing Elias Beach Hotel) turn right. Drive along Amathounta avenue for about 2 km until you reach “Old Limassol Bar and Restaurant” on your left. On your way you will go past Atlantica Bay Hotel, Agia Varvara Chapel and Amathounta Archaeological Area on your right. Just after the road bend, you will see Old Limassol Bar and Restaurant on your left, opposite Dolce Club. There is plenty of free parking space on the west side of the restaurant and in front of Dolce Club. Park here. This is the start point.
About Amathus Archaeological Site: Amathus or Amathunta was considered one of the most important cities in ancient Cyprus, as well as one of the largest cities. The ancient ruins are scattered throughout the area, including the hillside, seaside and even under the sea. Unfortunately today many modern buildings have been built amongst the ancient ruins. According to tradition, the ancient city of Amathus was named after Amathusa, the mother of King Kinyras of Paphos. The exact time period when the city was founded is unknown. According to a sign at the Amathus Archaeological site: During the 11th century BC, “first occupation of the site, probably by Eteocypriots (pre-Greek population) driven away from Paphos by the first Greek settlers.”
In 77-78 AD, an earthquake destroyed the city. However, Amathus was rebuilt, yet later destroyed by raids in 649-691 AD. In the 7th century, the already struggling city of Amathus was further destroyed and later abandoned. While the ancient city declined, the tombs were plundered and stones from the ruins were transported to Limassol for construction purposes. The city of Amathus has two main levels: the lower, Agora (market) and the upper city, the Acropolis. There are also ruins scattered throughout the surrounding area. The Agora dates back to the Hellenistic period and it was the traditional place for commercial and political activities.
One of the most valuable and definitely the greatest treasure found in ancient Amathus is the huge limestone jar, exhibited in the Louvre Museum in Paris. The colossal cistern could contain the amount of water needed for the rituals in the temples on the acropolis. A French expedition in 1865 persuaded the Ottoman authorities to give the jar to France. A replica of the jar can be seen in Amathus Avenue and on top of the Acropolis.
How to get to the meeting point for the car trip, coming from the Hilton hotel area: Get yourself on Makarios Avenue, heading out of town and set your odometer to zero as you drive past the Nicosia Hilton hotel. At the 0.1 km reading you reach traffic lights (with the Apoel club building on your right), go straight. At the 0.5 km reading you reach another set of traffic lights, go straight. Driving along, you pass a few more traffic lights, staying on this main road (named Leoforos Lemesou/ Limassol Avenue). At the 2.1 km reading, you reach a principal set of traffic lights. Set your odometer to zero again and turn right here. You are now in Leoforos Athalassas, a very busy avenue. At the 0.2 km reading you see a large empty space on your right and the Handicrafts Centre (a single-storey building) on your left. Park in the parking area. We meet here. The Handicrafts Centre is next to the church of St. Barnabas.
How to get to the meeting point for the car trip, coming from the Presidential Palace area: Get to the round-about next to the Presidential Palace. From downtown Nicosia you reach this along the Kyriakou Matsi avenue or along the D. Severi avenue. Set your odometer to zero on the round-about and drive along the principal road towards Strovolos. At the 0.3 km reading you reach traffic lights. Go straight. At the 0.6 km reading you reach a 2nd set of traffic lights. Set your odometer to zero again and turn left. You are now in Leoforos Athalassas, a very busy avenue full of shops. At the 2.6 km reading you see a large empty space on your left and the Handicrafts Centre (a single-storey building) on your right. Park here.
Google Maps: Here is a map for those coming from the Hilton area to the meeting place for the car trip http://tinyurl.com/phjc6s7
Google Maps: Here is a map for those coming from the Presidential Palace area to the meeting place for the car trip http://tinyurl.com/neo9duy
Disclaimer: If you attend a Cyprus Strollers walk you do so entirely at your own risk. The Cyprus Strollers is a social club and neither the organizers nor the leader of the walk are responsible for the health and safety of those taking part. If you do not wish to receive further e-mails, reply to this message, stating so.