Ancient Vouni

Archaeological Site in The Northwest

The ruins may be sparse but the views here are truly glorious and well worth the trip. On a superb hilltop location, this ancient site originally housed a palace and extensive building complex dating back to the 4th century BC.

The site consists of a discernible megaron (three-part rectangular room with central throne), private rooms and steps leading down to a courtyard and cistern. Here there’s a pear-shaped stone believed to have supported a windlass (a machine for raising weights).

Vouni’s origins and history are convoluted, but it’s speculated that the palace was built by a Persian ruler from the nearby city-kingdom of Marion (today’s Polis). The intent was to watch over the nearby Greek-aligned city of Soloi. However, this is unconfirmed at best, and based on scant entries by Herodotus in Book V of his Histories. It is true, however, that the stronghold does exhibit Persian palace architecture, which was added to and embellished later under Hellenistic rulers.

The palace was burned down in 380 BC (it’s not known why or by whom) and was never re-established. Today the scant remains stand lonely on its hill, commanding excellent panoramic views across the region.

The site is reached by taking the signposted turn from the main road and following a narrow, steeply winding road all the way up the hill until you reach the car park and ticket office.