Cyprus opens the old port Amathus for tourism, in an attempt to recover the industry
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Demetrius the Siege, a powerful warrior king and one of Alexander the Great's successors, is said to have built the ancient port of Amathus on the southern coast of Cyprus 2.400 years ago to counter a potential naval invasion by the ruler of Egypt, Ptolemy I. another heir of Alexander.
French archaeologists, who initially studied Amathus, believe it is an incomplete military fortification work, whose three pillars would have housed the best of the ships of the ancient world, ready to repel any attack. Located just a few meters underwater, just 200 meters from the coast, near the town and resort of Limassol, the port will soon be the newest tourist attraction in Cyprus, where adventurous travelers will be able to snorkel over the ancient remains.
The old port of Amathus will be reopened for tourism
The COVID-19 pandemic has almost put the tourism industry on the brink of an island that relies heavily on this revenue, so the Cypriot authorities are trying to find new attractions to rekindle the interest of those who choose to travel. Cypriot Department of Antiquities official Yiannis Violaris says what makes the port unique for the entire eastern part of the Mediterranean is its state of preservation, combined with its proximity to the coastline.
The fact that Cyprus got the best marks for its beaches and the cleanliness of all the other nations of the European Union for the second year in a row is also a big bonus. Specialized diving teams are currently cleaning the vegetation port and will mark the underwater routes that swimmers can follow on their tour.
Tourism accounts for about 13% of Cyprus' economy. According to the latest available figures, the number of tourists in January-February this year decreased by 86% compared to the same period in 2019, when Cyprus reached an all-time high in the number of travelers who opted for a holiday on the island. Tourism officials hoped the industry would return this month after Britain and Russia - Cyprus' top two markets - put the island on the "green" list.