The Greco-Roman city of Salamis is five miles north of the north Cypriot town of Famagusta. It’s not as impressive a site as, say, Ephesus in Turkey, but it is situated much more beautifully right by the sea. In fact, you can walk from the site directly on to the beach and take a swim. If you bring a snorkel, you can see old chunks of pottery littering the sea floor in places and, at the far south tip of the site, ancient Roman sarcophagi can be seen in water about six feet deep. Bring your underwater camera. Salamis is a big site and if you’re serious about Roman ruins you should give yourself a few hours, maybe with a swim in between, so wear your suit under your clothes and bring a towel. The site is not well marked and good maps are a bit hard to find though you can get a general map when you buy your entry ticket. There’s a good account of the main parts of the site in the guide ‘In a Contested Realm: An Illustrated Guide to the Archaeology and Historical Architecture of Northern Cyprus’, which you can get from any on-line booksellers (you cannot get it in Cyprus itself, so buy it ahead of time). There’s a beach at the entrance to the site as well and a wonderful patio-style restaurant that serves pretty good food—not fancy—at fair prices. There’s not a lot of shade so bring your hat and good walking shoes. It’s just one of the many highlights in this immediate region, along with Famagusta, the ruins of the Bronze Age City of Enkomi, the Greek Orthodox church and monastery of St Barnabas, and the Kings Tombs.
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