Salamis Ruins is an ancient metropolitan city that was formed up by series of three successive civilizations: The Bronze Age, Iron Age and what to became known as Enkomi in medieval era, which now then called Famagusta. Salamis was founded after Enkomi had been destroyed by an earthquake and would be abandoned in the age of the Arab conquests. Like the other Cypriot kingdoms, Salamis had Assyrian and Egyptian overlords. The rule of the Persians would last two centuries, from the second half of the sixth century to 330 c. BCE. Occasionally, there were tensions. A revolt by one Onesilus, a member of the royal family, is mentioned by several authors, including Herodotus of Halicarnassus.
Hellenistic Age: After the death of Alexander the Great (in 323 BCE), his successors fought about possession of Cyprus (the naval battle of Salamis in 306), the city became Ptolemaic possession. There were two officials: the Strategos (governor) and Antistrategos (supervisor of the copper mines). Salamis, theater In 58 BCE, Salamis became Roman (under Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis). The city fell under the Roman rule and directly receiving order from the Empire, it flourished through trade, especially in wood and copper. It was certainly the island’s greatest trade hub. The monuments you can visit today, date back mainly to the Roman age. From the earliest times, Salamis’ main god was Zeus, but his cult was of course not the only one. In the year 117 CE, the city was largely destroyed in the conflict between the Jews and the Romans but was rebuilt
Tourism & Attraction: 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.