Vouni Palace was built by the Persians about 500 BC. The ancient settlement is located at the top of a mountain peak, 250 metres above sea level, in Lefke on the west coast of Cyprus. The name Vouni comes from Greek and means “mountain peak”. Vouni Palace was built to spy on the coastal town of Soli, which had joined the Greeks to revolt against the Persians.
Vouni Palace is believed to have had 137 rooms. The bronze, silver and gold treasures and statuettes found here during excavations suggest a lavish lifestyle. Vouni also had an extensive system of water cisterns, and its bathing facility contains one of the earliest known examples of a sauna. The palace water requirements had been covered by storing rainwater in the cisterns. The palace also had a fountain which today has became a symbol of Vouni Palace.
In 1927-1931, the Swedish Cyprus Expedition, with archaeologist Einar Gjerstad in the lead, carried out several excavations of ancient sites in Cyprus. One of the sites excavated was Vouni Palace and several of the items that were dug out are today on dısplay at the Mediterranean Museum in Stockholm.
From the ruins of Vouni Palace you can see the small island of Petra Tou Limnidi. The island is one of the places that were the first to be inhabited in Cyprus. Excavations of Petra Tou Limnidi were carried out at the same time as the excavations of Vouni, and the objects the archaeologists found here, such as bone needles, stone tools, agricultural tools and sculptures, date as far back as the Stone Age.
Previously, you needed a four-wheel drive to get to Vouni Palace, but since a few years back there is a new, narrow road equipped with a weighing rail so that passenger cars can manage too. Visiting this ancient place is a nice getaway. Even those who have no greater interest in ancient remains will appreciate the location of its scenic tranquility and stunning views of the west coast. From here, you have a real view in all directions!
If you visit Vouni Palace can also take the opportunity to go to the excavations of the city of Soli, which are nearby. Erson Hoca’s Organic Farm or Ambeli Village Restaurant are nice restaurants to stop for lunch.