The Limassol wine festival, which hundreds of thousands of visitors have enjoyed over the years, is set to begin for the 55th time.
With a long tradition in Cyprus, it is known for giving residents and tourists the chance for free wine tasting under the stars. Visitors have the opportunity to drink wine offered by local producers and eat traditional foodstuffs while being entertained by various groups. Special shows will be put on for kids who will also be able to do some grape-stomping at the traditional wine press.
The events kick off on Thursday, with the official opening at 8pm to be addressed by the Limassol mayor and opened by Minister of Tourism Giorgos Lakkotrypis. The musical entertainment will be provided by the Limassol municipality philharmonic orchestra.
On the opening night, there are also Cypriot dances by the Limassolian group Dionysos followed by wine songs by Michalis Tterlikkas and the group Moussa. At 9pm, the revival of the mythical god of wine Dionysus and his companions, the Dionysies, will be celebrated in front of the Vraka Man statue. Men dressed in traditional Cypriot baggy trousers (called vraka in Greek) will take part in the festivities taking selfies with festival goers. At the same time women dressed as Dionysies will perform the ancient Greek Theoinia dedicated to the god of wine. Visitors will have the opportunity to take a picture with the Dionysies and dance with them.
On the following days there are three locations in the municipal gardens to choose from – the municipal garden theatre, the tennis courts and the area in front of the Vraka Man statue, each with a different programme.
Highlights include musical shows, a theatrical play in sign language, magic shows, Greek and Cypriot songs and comedies. And there is more.
Behind the Vraka Man statue, a photographic exhibition entitled Cyprus and Wine: The Wine Festival 2015 shows the results of a competition featuring the events and atmosphere at last year’s festival.
Those who want something to do before visiting the wine festival can enjoy a parade of classic and vintage cars organised by the old cars Limassol club (LEPAL) on Saturday. Starting at 5pm, the cars will pass from the tourist area, the city centre and the parade will end at the south gate of the municipal gardens.
Or you could learn something more about wine by attending a lecture on the subject. On Tuesday 30 world famous oenologist Georgios Thoukis will give a lecture titled Wine of Cyprus: the Renaissance of a Historic Terroir at the Historical Archives of Limassol.
Feel you don’t know enough about wine yet? During the day, you could visit the Cyprus Wine museum in Erimi which is open from 9am until 5pm. There visitors can live the experience of over 5,000 years of wine-making while enjoying – guess what – a glass of wine.
The museum can be reached by bus routes 16 and 17 and the Cyprus Tourism Organisation will again this year be offering free shuttle buses on Fridays and weekends to the wine festival. It will provide up to two buses from each district, 110 people per district per day, with pre-booking being essential.
Reservations should be made at least two days prior to departure. In Nicosia, call 22-674264, in Larnaca 24-654322, in Paphos 26-930521 and in Ayia Napa 23-721796. For those who arrive by car, free parking is also available.
Limassol Wine Festival
A festival with lots of wine, music and dance. August 25 until September 4. Limassol Municipal Gardens, Limassol. 7pm-11pm. Adults €6, teenagers 13-18 years €4, children up to 12 years €3. Tel: 25-344402.