Vouni Palace was built by the Persians in about 500 BC on a hilltop 250 meters above sea level. It’s a beautiful setting with panoramic views. The name Vuni or Vouni was taken from Greek and means “mountain peak”. Vouni Palace was built to spy on the coastal town of Soli who had joined with the Greeks to revolt against the Persians.
The palace is believed to have had 137 rooms. The bronze, silver, gold treasures and statues found here during excavations hints at a lavish lifestyle.
Vouni also had an extensive system of water cisterns, and its swimming facility contains one of the earliest known examples of a sauna. The water needs of the palace were covered by storing rainwater in cisterns. The palace also had a fountain and it has become a symbol of Vouni.
Excavations in the 1920s were carried out by Swedish archaeologists and some of the artefacts found can be seen in the Museum in Stockholm.
From the palace you can see the small island of Petra Tou Limnidi. This is one of the oldest places in Cyprus that has been inhabited. The excavations took place at the same time as the excavations at Vouni and archaeologists found items that can be traced back to the Stone Age, articles such stone tools, agricultural implements and sculptures.
A few years ago a four wheel drive vehicle was needed or alternatively a long hike to get up to Vouni Palace. Now there is a newly constructed narrow road up, with railings between the road and the rocks. It is now easy to reach by car.
Even if you do not have any interest in antiquities, the trip is well worth the amazing views.