You don’t have to go to Pompeii to see ancient villas and intact mosaics in a paradisiacal landscape. Cyprus’s Kourion excavation has it all, without the crowds of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Built in the 2nd century B.C.E., the site is home to a fully restored ancient amphitheater (about one kilometer to the west of the main site). A bit further out is an archaically lovely sanctuary of Apollo Hylates. The ruins themselves are noted for the mosaic-floored rooms of ancient Roman villas like the House of Eustolios and the House of the Gladiators.
By Gretchen Kelly, AFAR Local Expert