LIMASSOL, Cyprus, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- Fine wine offered for free immersed the Cypriot city, bringing thousands of visitors from different parts of the world to the annual Limassol Wine Festival.
Without providing specific numbers, organizers of the festival said the opening on Thursday night saw a record number of wine lovers.
"It was quite evident that more people than ever before packed the Municipal Children's Garden along the city's waterfront," they said.
Visitors washed down local delicacies with as much wine as they could take.
"It is very nice, with all these nice surroundings and free drink," said a man from Germany, with a bottle of wine in hand.
"I am in Cyprus for a second time, I like it very much ... this atmosphere which is full of life, the surroundings, the wine," said an ecstatic visitor from Greece.
But it is not just an event for tourists. It is also an opportunity for local people to have a family outing at a very good price.
For just a fraction of what a family could pay in a restaurant, they can have a dinner out at one of the several open air restaurants set up under the trees.
Locals and visitors alike can dance away the night to the tunes of bands catering for all tastes -- local and international.
The Limassol Wine Festival was held since Cyprus became an independent state in 1960.
The Cypriot Ministry of Commerce, which is also in charge of tourism, has turned the event into a tourist attraction and as a means of publicizing Cypriot wines.
Limassol Mayor Andreas Christou said that the wider Limassol area has been considered as the oldest wine producing region of Europe.