Polis Chrysochous Area
Explore the Akamas peninsula
The Akamas National Park lies on the west coast of Cyprus, a truly pictorial part of the island. It has an area coverage of 230 square kilometres containing valleys, gorges and wide sandy bays. The wildlife diversity is crucial for the ecology in the Mediterranean. In this spectacular environment there are 168 varieties of birds, 20 different reptiles, 16 species of butterfly and 12 different mammals not to mention its very rich variety of fauna. The important significance of the Akamas Peninsula has been duly noted; The European Council has included it in its Mediterranean Protection Programme. The Cyprus Government has yet to fully declare it as a National Park for tourist and local landowners reasons, although friends of the Earth and Green Peace are lobbying hard for it.
- The last coastal area in Cyprus to remain untouched by development
- A perfect haven for wildlife and flora
- A MUST for any keen walker or mountain biker
Boat along the Akamas (Blue Lagoon)
Blue lagoon is the most popular place of Akamas and thousands of people have visited it by boat.
The crystal blue waters in this small bay are so clear, you can see all the way to the underlying sea bed.
The water in this area of the Akamas Peninsula is so inviting and refreshing you will want to swim in this beautiful environment or go snorkeling and look around you underwater for metres on end.
- Choose an organised trip with a BBQ lunch cooked on board - book at the harbour
- Or hire a private speed boat - it's good value for a small group
- Don't forget your swimming costume for that dip in the blue lagoon!
- Tip: Local residents receive a discount - just ask at Latchi harbour when you book
Visit Latchi harbour
In the past few years due to its ever-growing facilities and amenities, Latchi has become a favorite stopping point after the Greek Isles and Turkey. Latchi is a small port in Cyprus where the fishermen bring in the fresh catch of the morning and supply those who are fortunate enough to have got up early that day. Taverns litter the dockside offering the local specialty “Fish Meze” and at a very affordable price, unlike some of the other harbours around the island.
- Take a stroll along the marina
- Sample some freshly caught fish in one of the tavernas.
Polis Villages (Agrotourism)
The rest of the area is made up of a number of villages with varying degrees of charm and reasons to visit. Below is a list of the ones we have been to and any particular points of interest. There are many places to stay in these locations particularly villas.
On the road from Paphos to Polis, about 13 km before you reach Polis, there is a turning on the left which will take you to the little village of Miliou nestling on the Laona plateau. Right next door to the springs is the restored monastery of Agii Anargyri which is now being used as a spa hotel. The monastery was built in 1649 and is said to be one of the first ever on the island. It was founded by two brothers who used to care for the sick and dying without taking any payment for it. It is said that this is how the monastery got its name, from the Greek meaning ‘without payment’. Miliou is one of the smallest villages in Cyprus and has a population of about 60. It is also one of the greenest villages in the area, thanks to an abundant supply of spring water, surrounded by citrus groves, almond trees and vineyards. In early spring the almond blossom is a spectacular sight and the Orange and lemon trees are laden with fruit. With far-reaching mountain and valley views and unspoilt countryside, Miliou is a delightful rural setting, perfect for long walks and for those who love nature and bird watching as the village is renowned as a nesting site for nightingales.
Pomos is about 8 miles or so outside of Polis. It is a charming little village, with a number of restaurants. There is a small fishing harbour and spectacular views, and is a great place to spend the afternoon.
Neo Chorio is a short drive from Latchi, and is the entrance to the Akamas. It offers a number of places to eat, and lots of different types of accommodation. It provides stunning views of the coast and the Akamas. It is claimed by some of the locals that land here is the most expensive in Cyprus.
The picturesque village of Droushia with its traditional architecture, narrow streets, small coffee shops, museums and Byzantine churches largely preserves the genuine traditional community unaffected by modern day civilization. With 386 inhabitants, the village stands 600 meters above sea level in a unique island region, which is rich in natural wellness right at the outskirts of the famous Akamas peninsula. The village, situated at the Laona plateau and only 27 km from the town of Paphos and 10 km from Polis, is a lovely location with stunning seaside and mountain views. Due to its altitude, a cool breeze coming from the Akamas Peninsula refreshes the village. In fact, one legend suggests that the village derives its name from the Greek word “Drosia” meaning “cool and fresh”. If you are wondering what to do during your stay, you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of sites and attractions to visit.
Wine Route 1 (Laona Akamas)
ROUTE: Pafos, Mesogi, Tsada, Stroumbi, Kathikas, Akourdaleia, Pano Arodes,Kato Arodes, Ineia, Drouseia, Polis, Pegeia.
This route is in the north-western part of Cyprus. It is of unique interest, as it is not devoted exclusively to wine. In this area, the wine lover and the gourmet can visit four wineries and taste their varied and individualistic wines, in combination with the tasty specialities of Cypriot food. Tavernas, of which there are plenty along the route, will be sure not to disappoint. Together with these delicious attractions, the visitor may enjoy a unique geography, unlike anywhere else on the island. Travel along the main roads E701 and E709, which climb to elevations providing some fascinating views, with various greenery, substantial expanses of forest and a liberal lacing of vineyards combining to attract our attention. The outstanding feature of this unique wine zone is the Akamas peninsula. The diverse characteristics of the Akamas morphology, the flora and the wildlife rightfully make it a rare habitat. The visiting explorer/wine-lover truthfully has a feast for the eye, the ears, and the taste-buds.
Go on an adventure to Cedar valley & Stavros tis Psokas in Paphos Forest
The area is located in the northwest part of the Troodos mountain region. Its boundaries overlap with the boundaries of the Main Forest of Paphos, which represent 96% of the site. It covers a large area from sea level up to the peak of Tripylos at 1,352 metres. This particular area is the most important area of Cyprus for nesting raptors. It supports the highest number of breeding Bonelli's eagles and Goshawks.
Cedar Valley: A must for nature lovers, Cedar Valley in Tilliryan Troodos is a thing of beauty. However, the cedars in this secluded valley are no ordinary trees, but the indigenous Cyprus cedar - Cedrus brevifolia, a close relative of the famous cedars of Lebanon, and which number in the thousands here.
Stavros tis Psokas (Cyprus Mouflon): This area contains the Cypriot mouflon (a wild sheep, Ovis musimon, inhabiting the mountainous regions of Sardinia and Corsica, the male of which has large curving horns considered native and unique to Cyprus). This breed of animal was almost extinct during the 20th century, yet the moufflon is now healthily populated within the Paphos Forest, Cedar Valley, and particularly the Tripylos area. Near the Stavros tis Psokas Forest Station, there's a Moufflon enclosure near which will be featured in an upcoming blog post.
- A new tarmac road now takes the pain out of getting there (via Panagia)
- Make sure you walk up to Tripylos from the picnic site in Cedar valley - the views from 1362m are spectacular
- Stop at a monastery to sample the "home brew" (wine!) on the way back - Chrysorrogiatissa or Ayia Moni
- And stop in Panagia to see where Archbishop Makarios was born
Drive up to Pomos & Pachyammos Villages (Saint Rafael Church)
The areas near the small villages of Pomos and Pachyammos are majestically beautiful and the mountains lead straight into the sea.
Pomos village, hanging on the cliffs of west coast Cyprus, lies about 20 km afar from Polis Chrysochous, on the way to Akamas nature reserve. It is a laid back village very peaceful and quiet. It is ideal for those wanting to live the authentic Cyprus way of life, away from the hassle and bustle of tourist's resorts.
This tranquil and calm area prides itself with amazing views of the coastline and sandy beaches, making it the ideal place for rest and relaxation. Pomos is one of the remaining unspoiled and undisturbed areas of Paphos. An ideal location to get away from it all..
The main point of interest is the impressive church of Agios Rafael in Pachyammos village, an important pilgrimage site for the faithful due to the belief in the miraculous curing powers of the saint.
Pachyammos Village Beach is an idyllic refuge for those seeking a remote and private stretch of bay to enjoy their day in tranquility.
Located within a rich fertile plain in the foothills of the Troodos mountains, the small town of Polis, which in Greek simply means ‘town’, overlooks the beautiful bay, with its warm, clear and safe seas. With its quaint sandstone buildings around a pedestrianised town centre with its restaurants, bars and souvenir shops, it is a delightful place to hang out on a summer evening. Don’t miss the Church of Agios Andronikos near the town square, with its 16th century wall paintings, which for 400 years served as a mosque and today stands as a monument. The 18th century church of Agia Kyriaki is also interesting or the open-air naive sculptural exhibition. The small church of Agios Nikolaos in the pedestrian precinct is also used for Catholic masses. A small eucalyptus wood lies between the town and the sea, providing shade for a camping site by the beach. Polis is a 45 minute drive from Pafos airport and just over two hours from Nicosia.
Officially, the town’s full name is Polis Chryssochous, which means the ‘town of gold’, thanks to the nearby copper and gold mines. It is believed that Mycenaean Greeks first settled in the area about 3000 years ago, while legend has it that returning heroes from the Trojan war established a city here. One of Cyprus’ ten great city-kingdoms, called Marion, flourished here thanks to the nearby mines and the resulting trade. Marion had strong ties with Athens but subsequently fell to the Persians. When Kimon, the great Athenian general, tried to free Cyprus from the Persians, Marion was the first city he liberated. A statue in memory of Kimon stands in front of the Polis cultural centre. Later Marion was destroyed during the success struggle following Alexander the Great but was finally rebuilt by Ptolemy II who renamed it Arsinoe after his wife and sister. The Polis archaeological museum in the heart of the town has finds from Polis’ glorious past. The ruins of this great ancient city, Marion-Arsinoe, can be seen near the hospital.
- The Polis Archeological Museum is open every day and closed on Sunday.
Opening hours Monday - Friday: 8.00-16.00 Saturday: 9.00 - 15.00
Tickets € 2,50
- Agios Andronikos church, open only on Sunday 09:00 – 16:00, Entrance, free.
Splash about in the warm waters of the Mediterranean indulging in all kinds of water sports. Go water skiing or wakeboarding, or just bounce along in the wake of the boat on a donut or a banana.
The steady predictable westerly winds make it a great place for windsurfing, or sailing and you could also try your hand at kitesurfing.
- Scuba diving in the clear waters along the Akamas
- Water ski behind a jet boat
- Maybe sea-kayaking or even paragliding?
- All these watersports can be found down in Latchi.
Stunning Sunset & Sunrise
The beautiful surroundings and marvellous sunsets and sunrises make this area a special place for holidays. The best sunset experiences in Polis region, in specific areas such us Akamas Peninsula, Latchi Beach, Argaka Beach, Droushia village and Neo Chorio village. Another favourite for a sunset view is the coastal area of Pomos & Pachyammos villages.