If you’re looking for a blissful escape, there’s no better place to do so than the far west of the island. Wonderfully peaceful and bucolic, it really is the stuff that dreams are made of. And with some quintessentially Cypriot villages in the mix, it’s the perfect place to set up base and truly unwind.
Here is a list of the My Cyprus Insider top five things to do, excluding the Akamas Peninsula, which is so very fabulous that we’ve dedicated a separate detailed article to it!
1. Chill out in Polis
Make Polis Chrysohous your first port of call to seep up the small town charm- a place that many locals visit during their August holidays, it’s pretty quiet the rest of the year. Once you get there, have a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants, down a swig of coffee, and take a little stroll around the central streets.
If you’re planning ahead for a summer holiday in the area and camping is your thing, check out the campsite right by the sea; a place loved by islanders of all ages who often flock to the area at the weekend to hitch up a tent under the shade of the eucalyptus trees. With the town of Polis making a great base to explore the area, there is also plenty of accommodation on offer, ranging from small apartments to villas that make an ideal set up for families.
2. Have a fishy feast in Latchi
Just a stone’s throw away from Polis along the coast is the fishing village of Latchi. Head here hungry and be sure to dig into a sumptuous fish meze at one of the restaurants dishing up fresh catch of the day, all huddled around the picturesque harbour. Latchi also boasts a decent stretch of beach lined with umbrellas and all amenities at hand.
What’s interesting, is that Latchi used to be the only commercially licensed sponge fishing area in Cyprus. Here, according to the local people, divers would descend to depths of fifty metres in search of sponges, which were either sold locally or exported. But somewhere around the early-eighties the supply of sponges became so exhausted that the industry was halted.
3. Check out some legendary baths
Keen to catch a glimpse of where an ancient goddess used to take a cool dip? Then don’t miss out on the well signposted Baths of Aphrodite as you head out of Latchi and drive towards the tip of the Akamas Peninsula. A grotto surrounded by a density of greenery, legend has it that this is where the Goddess Aphrodite met her lover, the handsome Adonis, when he stopped off for a drink while hunting. And as the story goes, he fell madly in love with her the moment he drank the water.
While the place has undeniably become a little bit of a tourist trap and you may find yourselves trying to dodge the crowds in peak season, it is none the less worth a little visit, if for no other reason than the legend associated with it. The surrounding botanical garden should also appeal to lovers of all things pretty and fragrant.
4. Take in village tradition
Fancy a bit of slow paced village life? Move higher inland to discover a whole host of charming communities dotted across the Laona Plateau including Kritou Terra, Kathikas and Arodes. If you’re looking to set up base for the night, the whole area here plays host to some lovely village accommodation giving you the chance to put your feet up in real traditional style.
5. Get lost in the wilderness
If you’re looking for real wilderness at its best, then hit the road towards Pomos with a rugged coastline and hidden beaches that you can sometimes enjoy all to yourselves. The nature here is practically untouched and delightfully tranquil, while the road stretching out from Polis to Pomos becomes more and more peaceful as you go along. If you’re looking for lush greenery with little development in sight, drive out beyond Pomos and you’ll enter territory that can be firmly crowned an absolute nature lover’s haven.