Cyprus tries to attract tourists by showcasing ancient undersea harbour

It’s said that Demetrius the Besieger, a mighty warrior king and one of Alexander the Great’s successors, built this harbour on Cyprus’ southern coast 2,400 years ago to thwart a potential naval invasion from the ruler of Egypt, Ptolemy I, another of Alexander’s heirs.

French archaeologists who initially studied the ancient harbor of Amathus believe it to be an incomplete military fortification work, the three piers of which would have accommodated the best of the ancient world’s naval ships, ready to repel an attacking force.

Lying just a few feet underwater a mere 200 feet off the coastline near the resort town of Limassol, the harbor will soon be Cyprus’ newest tourist attraction where adventurous holidaymakers can snorkel over its submerged stone remains.

It’s a novel direction for Cyprus’ tourism authorities, who are looking beyond the east Mediterranean island nation’s long-held “sun and surf” product to reach out to specialized tourism markets.

The Covid-19 pandemic has slashed tourism arrivals for an island that relies much on that revenue, so Cyprus authorities are taking a fresh look at what the island has to offer visitors, to re-ignite interest among those who do opt to travel.

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