Travel to Polis to find one of Cyprus’ best kept secrets. In the northwestern corner of the country, settled in between the Troodos mountain range is an unspoilt region that takes visitors back to a simpler time.
Unlike many of the other towns and cities across Cyprus, Polis has remained largely untouched by tourism and has retained its traditional charm. The Latchi fishing port is a constant hive of activity with local fishermen heading out to source the latest catch, as such, it would be an absolute crime not to stop by one of the restaurants and try this delicacy for yourself.
It’s not just a quaint fishing village; Polis can boast an amazing coastline with a number of Blue Flag beaches. Forming part of the Khrysokou Bay it is not just a place to top up the tan but also where you can spot a number of nesting sea turtles.
Unspoilt piece of Heaven
There is a totally different vibe in Polis compared to the rest of Cyprus. It is a haven of tranquillity with the odd fishing boat floating in and out of the harbour. Things move a little slower in this part of the country making it the perfect location if you’re simply looking for a place to chill out for a couple of days or so.
Polis offers a tonic to the liveliness of the likes of Larnaca, Paphos and Ayia Napa. It sits close to the beautiful Akamas peninsula, a glorious nature reserve which is home to the Baths of Aphrodite. According to Greek mythology, this is where the goddess of love and beauty Aphrodite met her beloved Adonis.
The nature reserve is not just a destination to learn more about Greek mythology, it is also a sanctuary for loggerhead turtles. If you’re lucky enough, you will be able to spot some of these happy creatures flopping around on the white sands. It is also home to a number of gorges such as the Androlykou and Petratis which makes it an amazing place to hike and explore.
Spend a week or so in Polis and you’ll let all the stresses and strains of everyday life simply melt away. What could be better than that?
Why go to Polis?
If you’re looking for a little slice of paradise where nothing seems to matter then Polis is the place for you. This beautiful part of Cyprus offers a retreat for a week or two of pure relaxation. Spend your days relaxing on the beach or wandering around the quiet town; and by night tuck into delicious fresh fish dishes caught fresh that morning.
It is the perfect destination if you’re looking to create a romantic couples holiday and somewhere that is a refreshing change from the other livelier parts of the island. Flight times are just over 4 hours and 30 minutes from the majority of UK airports with transfer times from Paphos International Airport lasting just over an hour, encompassing a beautiful drive through the Cypriot hills.
It is here where Aphrodite would regularly bathe and also where she met her beloved Adonis who had stopped by the spring to drink. The pair instantly fell in love and visitors will no doubt fall head over heels for these incredible surroundings. Get lost in the extraordinary beauty of the Bay of Polis and sink into the peaceful serenity of this wonderful part of Cyprus.
The main attraction of the Polis area is undoubtedly the Akamas Peninsula, an intoxicating nature area protected by UNESCO. As one of the few truly undisturbed parts of the country, you can spend hours wandering through the forests, cycling over the hills or taking a dip in the lagoons. It is also home to host of wildlife including butterflies, birds and even loggerhead turtles which lay their eggs on the shores.
Learn about the history of Polis by stopping by the Archaeological Museum in the heart of the town. The museum of Marion/Arsinoe features pieces from the Cypro-Archaic period and charts life during the Neolithic era with artefacts dating back as far as 850 BC. Alternatively, you can enjoy a spot of culture in the aptly named Polis Culture Centre.
Open since 2001, the centre regularly holds theatre productions and concerts while there is also a host of exhibitions taking place throughout the year. Check the listings before you leave and you can catch the latest show.
A holiday in Cyprus wouldn’t be a holiday in Cyprus if there wasn’t a spot of mythology involved. Polis is no different and you can discover the legends for yourself. Hidden away on the Akamas Peninsula is the Baths of Aphrodite where it is believed that Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty, would bathe in the crystal clear waters.
They say that good things come to those who wait and that is no more appropriate than Lara Bay in the Akamas Peninsula. It is quite the incredible journey to this hidden beach as you wind your way along the paths and through the forest and you will find your reward. Lara Bay is a breathtaking shore seemingly untouched by tourism, or even humans for that matter. It is a blissful place and you may even see and handful of loggerhead turtles making their way into the sea.
Closer to the town is Latsi Beach, a pebble beach area a favourite among the locals and smattering of tourists that visit the area. Here you can relax for an afternoon and then stop by one of the restaurants and cafes that populate the shoreline.
The calm tranquillity of the Polis area is epitomised by its beaches. Along the coast is the glorious Akamas Peninsula, arguably the most beautiful part of the country. It is home to the Baths of Aphrodite, where the Greek goddess of love is said to have bathed, as well as a loggerhead turtle sanctuary. However, the pièce de résistance is its pristine beaches. Miles upon miles of unspoilt white sand make it the perfect place to while away the day.
For a town that revolves around its harbour then sampling the fresh fish in Polis is an absolute must. A big favourite is Karouzis Taverna on Verginas where you can try the latest catch of the day served in a traditional Cypriot style; maybe treat yourself to a classic meze Cyprus’ take on Spanish tapas.
As you would expect from a destination with a busy fishing port, Polis is awash with excellent seafood restaurants. Stop by Miki’s Tavern & Fish Restaurant and try the latest catch from the specials board or even opt for Miki’s fish meze, which is an incredible 18 course tasting menu – perfect if you’re travelling in a big group.
Across the way from Miki’s is Arsinoe Fish Tavern which has been serving the very best seafood to locals and visitors alike for the past 30 years. Taste interesting dishes from sardines, squid and halibut to more exotic cuisines such as lobster and octopus.
Of course, if you’re in the mood for something a little less fishy you can find a host of international restaurants around Polis. From succulent steaks at The Chix-Chox Restaurant to homemade Italian dishes at Volare and if you’re just in the mood for a snack there is an abundance of cafes and tavernas ready to satisfy your hunger.
You may think for a destination as hidden away as Polis that the choice of restaurants would be limited but that couldn’t be further from the truth. From the cosy tavernas serving the very best Cypriot food to the international restaurants with their range of food from around the globe, there is something for every tastebud here.
A favourite watering hole is Savvas Cafe in Polis Town Square. The cafe has been a feature of the Polis nightlife scene since the 1980s and is run by brothers Savvas and Demetros. It serves up a simple menu throughout the day while at night it becomes a place where people meet to start their evening with a cocktail or a couple of beers.
If you’re looking to catch a little live sport then head to the Elias Inn Pub, short distance away from the Akamas Peninsula. Perfect for breakfast, lunch and dinner it shows live football matches from across the globe and you can even get involved in its regular pool tournaments.
Paradise Place in Pomos is a great place to check out live music while the Fly Again Irish Pub on Argaka Beach Road in Polis not only offers tasty meals and a wide range of drinks but also amazing views over the beach.
Polis may not have the immediate nightlife draw of Ayia Napa, Paphos and Larnaca but if you’re looking for chilled out night of good food and drink then this is the place to be.
Polis offers a much more refined nightlife than other parts of Cyprus. While Ayia Napa will be catering for holidaymakers looking for foam parties until the early hours, Polis is a much more relaxed experience with a handful of bars and tavernas. It is a much more traditionally Cyprus destination with locals and tourists mixing throughout the evening.
There are plenty of options if you’re looking for a little spot of retail therapy.
While it may be a fairly small resort there are a handful of shops dotted around Polis to pick up souvenirs and any essentials you may have left behind. Like many places in Cyprus, there are numerous shops specialising in leather goods making for a unique memento of your trip. Maybe pick up some scents from Andri Georgiou Perfumery or spend a little time wandering Winters Home Plaza.