Moving to Limassol
Situated between the ancient towns of Amathus and Kourion, the site of Limassol has been an important trading centre of the Mediterranean since several millennia BC. Playing host to the Greek and Armenian civilizations, Romans, Norman crusaders, the Venetian, Ottoman and British Empires in turn, Limassol bears many architectural and cultural souvenirs of its chequered history. Not least among which is the nearby Akrotiri Sovereign Base Area, still a British Overseas Territory.
The economy of this ancient town is still based on the port, whence agricultural produce like citrus fruits, grapes and wine are exported, as well as the newer economic activity of tourism, to which Limassol’s many beaches and hot climate make it well suited. The traditional cultural mix of Greeks, Turks and Armenians has recently seen greater variety through a large influx of expats. Among the immigrants people from post-Soviet nations make up the largest group with 3% of the population now speaking Russian.
These immigrants are not just attracted by the weather. Landmarks from the medieval castle to the Greco-Roman theatre give this seaside town the feeling of existing between the ages, with eons of history at one’s fingertips. The town also has a vibrant social scene with and holds many festivals celebrating everything from wine to drama. The excellent local produce, prepared in the traditional Mediterranean way, can be sampled at all of them.
Thinking of moving to Limassol?
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Moving to Limassol From the UK
While Russians are the most numerous of immigrants to Limassol in recent years the city still has a large British contingent. Tourism and the nearby air bases also ensure that English speaking is widespread and so making the transition from the UK to Limassol shouldn’t throw up too many barriers to integration.
The metropolitan area of Limassol has a population of just over 183,000 inhabitants so residents of small UK towns shouldn’t feel overwhelmed (that’s about the same size as Swindon - though much warmer of course).
Many of those moving to Limassol are retirees with an independent source of income rather than people who are looking for paid employment in Cyprus. Nevertheless you should look carefully at living expenses in Cyprus (see the next section) as they can often exceed expectations of British immigrants who then have no choice but to return home.
Despite the recent banking crisis leading to precipitous drops in property prices a three bedroom villa in Limassol could still set you back in the region of €300,000 (£253K). That might represent a bargain to cash buyers who expect prices to rise again in the future but can also be prohibitive to those looking for a cheaper place in the sun.
Comparing Limassol vs London
The Mediterranean climate of Limassol brings summer temperatures which make London’s look positively anaemic. Average highs in Limassol reach 33 °C in July and August compared with just 23 °C in London. Sea breezes make these high temperatures bearable though and there’s no underground to sweat on like in the UK capital. Limassol also wins hands down in the sunshine stakes and experiences about 30% less precipitation per annum on average.
Rents and property prices are much lower in Limassol than in London, leading to lower living costs overall when combined with cheaper transport, cheaper utilities, cheaper meals out and mostly cheaper groceries. Bread, rice and dairy products do cost more though and internet access isn’t as cheap as in the UK.
Inhabitants of Limassol, on average, report themselves as feeling safer than Londoners, experiencing better healthcare, see less pollution and spend less time commuting. Lower local salaries lead to reduced purchasing power however.
As well as the many historical sites and the festivals that Limassol hosts, attractions include the folk art museum, a large zoo and several beautiful beaches.