Visited on May 10th, 2013. Rating 5 out of 5
The site outside of ancient Kamiros itself, oozes of the simple and yet wonderful scenario, founding the everyday life of the common Kamirosean(?) thousands of years ago. Lush green mountains and hills on one side, and the blue ocean on the other. Who would not want to live here in these surroundings?
Entrance to the actual site was €4 per adult, which we found fair. There are no souvenir shops, tavernas nor anything tourist trap-like about the dig, the only real moderne convenience is a toilet building and a water/soda dispenser by the entrance (bring cash euros).
The dig itself is nothing short of amazing! This place has housed one of the first known european citylike settlement, if not the first, and now, 2500 years later, we stand in the middle of what was their everyday life. Destroyed partly by a devastating earthquake around 226BC, followed up by complete destruction following another earthquake in 142BC, the city is now more or less a rebuilt image of the leftover ruins discovered in the mid 19th century and finally dug out the second quarter of the 20th century.
During our stay, we were fortunate enough to have hit a less crowded time of the day. There were other tourists – russian, german, danish and english – but it was possible to wander around by yourself with your own thoughts and awe of what this once was. From the Temple of Athena atop the hill, looking over the entire city towards the ocean, through the second level of the town, offering the main living and commercial quarters as well as several other temples. Around 600BC, a water reservoir was built close to the temple of Athena, offering running water to up to 400 families in the town. How amazing is that!
The rebuilt wall stubs gives an impressive view of farms, shops and houses as they were laid out prior to the destruction of the town. Both walking around the town on the hillside path as well as taking a stroll down the main street, gives an impressive view of the size of this place at its heydays. Not too much information on the site is given, so the workers, working on reestablishing some of the building structures, are very friendly and gladly gives explanations to the area in english. A very nice touch, being able to hear about grecian history from a local grecian.
This place is absolutely well worth visiting – maybe not with small children, but with kids in their late teens, who are able to comprehend the time that has passed and how old this place really is, they will have a great time here. Unfortunately, to see some of the smaller stuff like vases, statues, etc, you have to go to British Museum and The Louvre.