- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Cyprus is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Turkey. After Sicily and Sardinia, Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Although the island is geographically in Asia it is politically a European country and is a member of the European Union.
A mysterious blend of Greek, Assyrian, Persian, Roman, and Turkish influence, it’s no wonder Cyprus is rife with so many ancient villages, archaic ruins, and medieval castles for tourists to explore. The past has certainly proven eclectic for this island country, and the historic attractions of Cyprus visually tell the island’s diverse and volatile story.
Kalavasos-Tenta , or just “Tenta” to the locals, this ancient Neolithic settlement dates back to eighth millennium BC. Bring your walking shoes to explore the ruins at Kalavasos-Tenta that include the winding walls that remain of the circular village huts.
Amathus contains the archeological remains of Cyprus’ most ancient settlement on the island. Dating back to 1050BC, Amathus was believed to have begun as a Eteocyprians village that, over time, was home to communities of Greeks, who worshipped the Cult of Aphrodite; Phoenicians; Persians; Ptolemies; and Romans. Even though Amathus was abandoned in the late seventh century, several well preserved tombs, an acropolis and temple for Aphrodite, an agora, public baths and the remains of a palace (dating back to eighth century BC) can be explored here.
First build as a thirteenth century fortification by the Knights Hospitallers in 1210, Kolossi Castle was restored as a castle in 1454 by Frankish, Louis de Magnac, who’s coat of arms still graces the castle walls.
The archaeological site near Paphos Harbour, Cyprus dates back to fourth century BC. At one time, this flourishing island capital housed an impressive ancient theatre, the famous Ancient Roman villas that boast the mythical houses of Dionysos, Orpheus, and Theseus, the remains of an agora (public square),and the Byzantine Castle of Forty Columns, or “Saranda Kolones”, which is an impressive granite-column fortification built in seventh century AD.
Kourion (or Curium), an archeological site located near Limassol, Cyprus, has ancient Roman and Byzantine roots. The ruins explain a history of the first Neolithic settlement here in 4500-3900 BC, Argive inhabitation during the thirteenth century BC, Persians support during the Cypriot in fifth century BC and betrayal in support of Alexander the Great’s defeat of the Persians in fourth century BC. Today, visitors to Kourion houses the remains of many Roman and Byzantine buildings, monuments, and structures, including an ancient theater that once sat 3,500 spectators, a Roman market with public baths, as well as the impressive House of Achilles with its intricate mosaic floors and gladiatorial stadium, dating back to fourth century AD.