Part of a valley that runs from the lush Paphos mountains, down to the stunning Mediterranean sea, the cute little village of Polis has become something of a tourist haven thanks to its prime location on the rugged and untouched far west coast of the island. And there is so very much to take in, from its wonderful views, famed dining and entertainment scene, and the spectacular surrounding areas which include the quaint fishing village of Latchi, the wild Akamas National Park, Aphrodite’s Baths and the cliff-side village of Pomos.
Thinking of spending 24 hours in Polis? Here is how My Cyprus Insider recommends you spend your time.
1. Wake up at Natura Beach Hotel
As the name so aptly suggests, Natura Beach Hotel is all about the nature. This cosy yet spacious ECO resort not only produces, sells and serves its own organic biological food, it also powers itself using solar panels and has its own recycled water irrigation system. The rooms are simple and unpretentious without scrimping on comfort or convenience; but seeing as the hotel has a relaxing swimming pool and a huge expanse of lush green garden, which ends on a stretch of private beach, we doubt you’ll spend much time in your room.
As can be expected from a family-run hotel which genuinely cares about the local environment, the hotel is extremely friendly and the home grown food at breakfast and dinner is simply delicious. Wake up at Natural Beach Hotel and have organic eggs and homemade honey on local bread for breakfast.
Where? Chr. Papanikopoulos St. Tel: (+357) 26-323111
2. Pay a visit to the Byzantine churches of Agios Andronikos and Agia Kyriaki
A stroll around the centre of Polis village will take you on a journey through the ages, with plenty of examples of different architectural styles and traditional buildings including the Archaeological Museum with its rooms full of archaeological finds from when Polis was known as Ancient Marion or Arsinoe.
photo credit: www.panoramio.com, griff51
The real architectural gems of the village though, are the charming Byzantine churches. Located near Polis Square, the Church of Agios Andronikos is a 16th century example of a traditional aisle-less barrel vault church, and the interior of the building boasts some important wall paintings from the Venetian period.
Adding interest to the churches history, Agios Andronikos was used as a Mosque under the Ottoman occupation and only returned to Christian use in 1974. The quaint little 18th century single nave Church of Agia Kyriaki in the centre of the village is also well worth a visit.
Where? Polis town centre.
3. Indulge in coffee and cake at Art Café
Far removed from the tacky “Full English Breakfast” tourist cafés that can be found in the island’s most popular resort areas, Art Café Kivotos 3000 is a quirky little corner of peace and creativity just outside the centre of the village.
photo credit: Simona Serdiuc
The outdoor garden seating area is covered by the dappled shade of gnarled old trees, making the café a cool oasis in the hot summer months. The terrace is all mismatched furniture and eclectic arts, crafts and sculptures, with books, magazines and board games available for entertainments. And best of all? The mouth-watering homemade cakes which German owner Tina serves in generous portions washed down with a traditional Cyprus coffee or and ice cold frappe.
Where? Polis Tel: (+357) 99-555183
4. Jump in the deep end at Limni Dock
The beach is undoubtedly one of the best things about the stunning and less developed West coast of Cyprus. However, for an exhilarating change from the run-of-the-mill splash around in the shallows, head a couple of kilometres out of Polis village towards Argaka and you’ll find the Limni Dock – a great location for a spot of fishing, an impromptu photoshoot, or – if there aren’t any fishermen around – a swim.
Photo Credit: Spiros Christofi
The dock isn’t that high above the sea level and doesn’t go out too far, so even the most timid swimmers will be able to jump in, however for those who prefer a gentler entrance to the water, there are also ladders and lower entry points.
Where? Marion Road, outside Polis towards Argaka.
5. Indulge in a fishy lunch just at Yiangos & Peter Tavern
It may not be in Polis city centre, but Yiangos & Peter fish tavern in the neighbouring fishing village of Latchi is well worth the five-minute drive. The building, which doubles up as a 10-room hotel, serves up some of the best fish this side of the island. And with views of the Akamas Peninsula in the distance and the sea lapping right at your feet, it doesn’t get much better than this. The service is always with a smile and football or politics enthusiasts will surely enjoy a heated conversation with the owners on the latest scores or elections.
Where? Next to the police station in Latchi Port. Tel: (+357) 26-321411
6. Get a nature hit at the Akamas National Park
There are a number of ways to explore the Akamas National Park. You can trundle across the dirt tracks on quad bikes; rent a boat for a couple of hours and sail the peninsula; drive through in a 4×4, or take the seriously brave and adventurous hiking or cycling routes. Whatever way you decide to traverse this stunning patch of untouched nature, make sure you do so responsibly and without leaving a trail of litter or anything else behind you.
Where? Akamas Peninsula.
7. Pitch your tent at Polis Chrysochous Campsite
There is nothing quite like spending the night out in the wild, sleeping under the stars, with the sound of the sea lapping against the shore. And you can do just that at Polis Chrysochous Campsite.
The campsite is covered by a sky high canopy of leafy green eucalyptus trees which create ample space for tents. Facilities such as bathrooms, washing areas and a little beach bar are all available for paying campers and the stunning stretch of pebble beach is the perfect place to grab a picnic rug and a couple of cold Keos and enjoy a spectacular sunset over the Akamas Peninsula.
Where? Chr. Papanikopoulos street. Tel: (+357) 26-815080
8. Dine out in style at Old Town Restaurant
Regularly described by locals and island residents as the best place to eat in Polis, Old Town Restaurant effortlessly merges a high quality menu focusing on seasonal produce and fresh locally sourced produce with a more modern and contemporary haute-cuisine twist.
The place has embraced its Cypriot heritage with a traditional tavern-style setting and décor, while the outdoor seating is a tranquil garden lush with olive trees and bougainvillea. Run by a husband and wife team famed for their attention-to-detail and their extensive knowledge of the menu and the complimentary wine list, the restaurant has also been acclaimed for its extremely friendly service.
Where? 5 Georgiadi Kyproleondos. Tel: (+357) 99-632781