Kourion & The Sanctuary Of Apollo
The Site In A Nutshell
Curium as it is known by its latin name had been a centre for culture, politics and religion for a very long time.
It consisted of 3 parts:
Kourion City & Amphitheatre
In Neolithic times a settlement was built in the area more than likely because of where it is, on a huge rock ledge over looking the sea.
A city kingdom was founded in the 12th century by Mycean Greeks.
Nearby, the stadium was built during Roman times and was used for the sports we know today during the olympics, both track and field. Long jump, running, discus and javelin throwing.
By the 5th century AD Kourion was the seat of the christian bishop.
An earthquake destroyed the area around 365 AD so the city was abandoned the the bishop moved his seat to Episkopi The city kingdom was not discovered again until 1876.
Many of the finds are in the museum in Episkopi village and also in the museum in Limassol.
This whole area sits within the Sovereign Base Area belonging to the British.
The best times during the summer to go are before 10 am or after 3 pm. Limassol port has a lot of cruise stop offs and this area is on the itinerary for the day trips.
It gets very busy with bus loads of tourists and you may have to compete for space at the mosaics!
(something I learned when I worked for a travel company and spent some time at the port area, meeting the company cruise ships for their health and safety inspection)
Make sure you have a drink with you and something to cover your head and plenty of sunscreen. A lot of this area is just open. Some the mosaic areas have a canopy roof but most of the area does not.
In the high summer you will bake, and if you need a drink you will have to come down towards the beach area which on foot is a bit of a trek.
At this site you will find the remains of:
If you watch the video at the beginning of this page you will see it is still a substantial structure.
If you are visiting over the summer months, do try and get to see a production here for the experience.
There is an annual Shakespeare play and numerous other concerts throughout the summer season, some are classical, some are of a military band type concert and some are international singing stars.
Video Credit: tks to rafair1976 on you tube for the footage.
This is a really good personal video that covers the Sanctuary Of Apollo, the Stadium (it's the bit of land with nothing in it) and the Curium Amphitheatre.
This is not at the same site as the city and the amphitheatre. Once you have finished your trip around the above, leave the area the way you came in and turn left up the hill towards Episkopi Garrison and travel for about half a mile.
The stadium is on your right hand side and signposted the Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates.
To be fair there is not much to see now except a long oval shaped wall but you have to use your imagination and think that this area used to attract about 6000 people people to watch sport.
The Sanctuary Of Apollo Ylatis
(or Hylates in some guide books and brochures)
Nearby is the more substantial Sanctuary of Apollo epitomised in every travel brochure by the outstanding column that is still there after all of these years.
How To Get There
You take the old road (the B6) from Limassol if you approaching from the east.
You take the old road from Paphos if you are approaching from the west.
The sites are very clearly marked on any map you may have.
Cost & Opening Times
The sites are open at 9 am until about 6pm but usually just a bit longer during the high summer months often until 7.30 pm.
If someone is still in the ticket kiosk, the sites are open.
Costs are 2 euros in each of the 2 sites.
If you would to know more, please visit the Limassol Govt website page about Kourion here
Want To Read About Kourion (Curium)?
If you want to read more about Kourion, frankly, you are just not going to get the information from a Cyprus Tourist Guidebook.
You need more detail and depth.
So here are a few recommendations to read before you go:
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Want To Go For Lunch?
We highly recommend Chris Blue Beach Taverna down on the beach when you have had enough history for one day!
Got Some Spare Time?
As you are in the area, this video shows you a great journey on your doorstep if you have your own rental car.
I guarantee the tour bus won't go here!
On the video the journey starts down the road from Episkopi Garrison, past the turn off for Kourion Amphitheatre/Mosaics and historical area, then the driver turns down and heads towards the beach.
He turns right to head to the beach restaurants, you were going here anyway...I guess for lunch?
He then turns round and drives towards the Akrotiri Peninsula, eventually stops for a moment to show you the distant Salt Lake and drives through Akrotiri Village and heads through the SBA (Sovereign Base Area).
Well worth the trip if you have the time, but please not at the speed of the video or if you have a bad back...lol!
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