Cyprus has a rich and long history, with archaeological evidence suggesting it has been inhabited since Neolithic times. From proof of early trade networks to evidence of major civilizations that once ruled the land, the island has an abundance of historical sites for visitors to explore. In this guide, we’ll explore the ancient ruins of Cyprus and introduce some of the best sites to visit on the island.

Archaeological Sites in Northern Cyprus

Cyprus is one of the most culturally diverse islands in the Mediterranean, with its northern section under Turkish rule and the southern section belonging to the Republic of Cyprus. In the northern part of the island, tourism is booming, with numerous ancient sites scattered across the countryside, and cyprus real estate for sale is a popular option for tourists and locals. The following are some of the must-see sites in Northern Cyprus.

Church of Apostolos Varnavas

Located on the eastern part of the island near the foothills of the Troodos Mountains, the Church of Apostles Varnavas is one of the oldest standing churches in the Middle East. It was built in the 4th century and is home to a variety of ancient frescoes depicting biblical stories. As a key part of the island’s history, this site serves as a reminder of the Mediterranean’s shared cultural heritage.

Saint Hilarion Castle

Less than 20 miles west of Kyrenia is the Saint Hilarion Castle, one of the most scenic fortresses on the island. It was constructed in the 10th century and was thought to have been the residence of a French knight. From its commanding hilltop position, visitors can look out over the sweeping views of the Kyrenia mountain range.

Kantara Castle

At the center of the Kyrenia mountain range is Kantara Castle, a 15th-century fortress built by the Lusignan dynasty. It now stands in ruins but there remains rooftop and terrace views. Back in its heyday, this castle was key in protecting the island from foreign invasions.

Archaeological Sites on Southern Cyprus

The archaeological sites in Southern Cyprus are some of the most well-preserved in the Mediterranean region. While a visit to the whole island is recommended, the following sites should not be missed:

Kition Archaeological Site

The Kition Archaeological Site is one of the most important historical sites on the island. The original structures of this site date back to the Early Bronze Age. There are various ancient temples at the site, including ones devoted to the gods Zeus and Ashtaroth. The site has also attracted the attention of archaeologists for its countless artifacts, such as terracotta jars and ornate jewelry.

Kourion Archaeological Site

Kourion is one of the ancient city-kingdoms of Cyprus believed to have been established around the Iron Age. Here, visitors can explore a variety of archaeological sites, such as the Temple of Apollo Hylates, the House of Achilles mosaics, and the 4th-century St. Stephen’s Basilica.

Amathus Archaeological Site

Amathus is the other major city-kingdom of Cyprus believed to have thrived during the Iron Age. Ruins of the city remain, which include various temples, houses, and public baths. At the site, visitors can also explore the vast necropolis and check out the remains of the amphitheater.

Ancient Art and Culture

In addition to its archaeological ruins, Cyprus is also home to some of the most breathtaking works of art and culture in the Mediterranean region. Much of it dates back centuries and is still visible in various locations throughout the island.

PAPHOS, CYPRUS - January 29 2023: Columns and structures are part of the ancient romans ruins in Paphos Archaeological Park - Cyprus. At the background the lighthouse This site is an UNESCO World Heritage site

Cyprus Museum

The cupola-style Cyprus Museum in Nicosia houses a large collection of artifacts, artwork, and figurines that have been discovered from archaeological sites around the island. It also houses some of the most impressive Roman and Byzantine relics, including marble sculptures, ivory-inlaid furniture, and early scripts.

Byzantine Art and Architecture

Cyprus is known for its many impressive Byzantine monuments. Among the most notable is the 11th-century Bellapais Abbey, the Kyrenia Castle, and the Gothic Cathedral of St. Nicholas, built in Famagusta. Each of these sites is a testament to the island’s religious and cultural heritage.


The ancient ruins of Cyprus are an impressive sight to behold and a must-see destination for any traveler looking to explore the rich history of the Mediterranean region. From remarkable Greek and Roman temples to stunning examples of Byzantine architecture, Cyprus offers a variety of experiences for tourists. With a wealth of ancient sites, the island of Cyprus is definitely a place worth visiting.

Image Source: (Licensed)


Related Categories: Travel, Reviews