Kourion Archaeological Park

Kourion Archaeological Park



4.9/5 Pros

  • Huge archaeological site
  • Some very interesting places
  • Good guide leaflets
  • Amazing value for money Cons

  • Too little water supply

My wife and I really enjoyed our trip to Cyprus in October 2022. So far, I have introduced you to hotels, some logistics and attractions like the amazing Cyprus Museum. However, the excavation sites are the true gems, which beautifully illustrate the rich history of the island. My favorite of the trip was definitely the Kourion Archaeological Park, so that it feels like an urgent need to introduce you to it.


Kourion Archaeological Park – Location & Admission

Kourion Archaeological park is located West of Limassol and just a short detour South of the A6 motorway. Due to the complex political situation, the whole excavation site is in fact not located in the state of Cyprus, but part of Great Britain, who still run and control the Southern peninsula of Akrotiri. However, apart from slightly different road sign, this will not impact you as a visitor. There are no border controls, some military sites around must not be photographed, though. I recommend to go to the Archaeological Park by car, as the location is a bit of remote. You might also take a bus tour or organize a taxi connection. The nearby city of Episkopi (polically in Cyprus) also hosts the Local Archaeological Museum of Kourion, which is an interesting visit.

Like most of the historic sites on Cyprus, the archaeological park is driven by the Department of Antiquities, their website has very precise and good information about the locations. From mid September to mid April, the Kourion site is open from 8:30 to 17:00 daily. In the summer months, there are prolonged times from 8:15 to 19:30. Last admission is 30 minutes before close, I would suggest to at least plan for a two hour visit. On top of that, you can visit the historic stadium grounds (see below) West to this exhibition, which is not guarded and can be visited any time. Admission to Kourion Archaeological Park is 4.50 EUR.


Kourion Archaeological Park – The Visit

You already pay your admission at the warden at the entry gate you see on the pictures below, before you drive on to the major parking ground. Most information is in English and Greek. I loved that they also had some information in braille. On top of that, there are leaflets explaining all places you can visit in several languages. The site requires quite some walking without or very limited shadow, which you should bear in mind. Some areas might be tricky if you have mobility issues, but at least the key sights are easy to explore.

House of Eustolios and Amphitheater

Two of the most impressive places of the Kourion site are located just right next to the visitor center. The remains of the House and Baths of Eustolios are covered and thus rather nice to visit. The key rationale for the roof above the site are the large and imrpressive mosaics on the floor. This part of the historic site is in fact dated as of the 4th to early 5th century A.D., by the way, and thus a rather modern part of the area. From the edges of this part of your self-guided visit, you have amazing views of the South coast of Cyprus.

Apart from the rich ornaments on the ground at multiple places, the amphitheater has been the most impressive part of my visit of Kourion. Despite it has been built in the 2nd century B.C., it is still in excellent state and is still in use for cultural events. It is just amazing to walk along the theater and also enjoy the views from there and around.

Roman and Christian Remains

The other sights of Kourion are located West of it. Some are even on top of a hill, which I did not visit due to the weather (too warm). Nonetheless, the huge excavation site is really interesting. Among Roman remains and baths and similar facilities, there are also remains of an early Christian basicila, which is roughly about the same age as the Eustolios premises. This part of your visit is really huge. If you are a history geek, you might be able to spend a huge lot of time in there.

House of the Gladiators and House of Achilles

The very Western part of the visit features another highlight of your visit: the House of the Gladiators is another impressing place, mainly due to the very rich and beautiful floor mosaics, which are amazingly preserved. The area also features the House of Achilles right next to it, which should likely receive more attention than we gave it – but the covered area you visit right before is just too outstanding. If you visit by wheelchair, you can access this area through a special entrance as well.


Kourion Stadium – Services

West of the main archaeological park, you can also visit Kourion Stadium. Even though it is not as well preserved as the main attractions of Historic Kourion, it is at least an interesting short stop to feel the sheer size of that place. There is free parking in front of the site, which you can hardly miss.


Kourion Archaeological Park – Services

The visitor center is providing a souvenir store as well as snack machines. Of course, you should not drink while being in the excavation sites as well. Exploring the whole area without one or two bottles of water already felt impossible in October, so I highly recommend to care staying hydrated in warmer weather. Unfortunately (in contrast to other sites like Nea Paphos), there are no snack machines / drink machines on other spots of the premises.


Kourion Archaeological Park – My View

Kourion Archaeological Park is outstanding. The value for money, the rich historic sites you visit are amazing. Ideally, you visit this play not on a burning hot day, though – there are just very few spots which allow you to relax in the shade. The leaflets you receive are excellent, so that a self-guided visit will give you a lot of information. Kourion is a fantastic place to visit!


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