Overlooking gorgeous Chrysochous Bay on the northwestern coast of Cyprus, the peaceful little resort of Polis is the perfect spot for a quiet holiday in the sun. Relaxed and laid-back, it has also got lots of wonderfully unspoilt beaches (including some turtle nesting sites), plus fantastic opportunities for water sports in the nearby harbour town of Latchi. Polis sits on the edge of the stunning Akamas peninsula nature reserve, which is ideal for hiking and mountain biking. You could also explore the spectacular Troodos mountains, home to some marvellous painted churches and some charming, traditional villages. If you’re looking for some nightlife action, a 45-minute drive will bring you to the bustling resort of Paphos.
Polis is an idyllic destination if you’re looking for peace, quiet and plenty of sunshine. You can explore the area’s lovely beaches, many of which are remote and unspoilt, enjoy some beautiful hikes through the surrounding hills, and tuck into some delicious Cypriot food at the local restaurants. Some of the best walks are in the nearby Akamas nature reserve, which is home to the Bath of Aphrodite – the pool where the goddess of love bathed, according to legend. The adjoining town of Latchi, a fishing village with a harbour and several beaches, has plenty of opportunities for water sports. Polis is also a great base for exploring the magnificent Troodos mountains, where you can visit traditional villages and the exquisite painted churches (collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site).
Wine and Dine
The traditional old heart of Polis has plenty of restaurants, largely offering Cypriot dishes, although you’ll find plenty of options that cater to international tastes. Classic local specialities include wonderfully fresh seafood (much of which is brought in freshly to the nearby port town of Latchi), such as mullet, sea bream, octopus and squid. You might also want to try one of the tasty stews – perhaps stifado, a slow-cooked beef dish, or afelia, pork simmered in wine and coriander. Meals begin with meze, a variety of small dishes and dips such as grilled halloumi cheese, koupepia (stuffed vine leaves) and talattouri (a refreshing yogurt and mint dip). Wash it all down with some delicious local wine, which has been produced on Cyprus for centuries.
A delightfully old-fashioned, traditional village, Polis is wonderful for simple family holidays in the sunshine. The sandy beaches are ideal for families with younger kids, offering a gentle slope and enough facilities (sunbeds, cafés, etc.) to keep mums and dads happy. There is a go karting track and paintball arena, and older kids might enjoy the diving, windsurfing or the banana boats and donut rings offered in nearby Latchi. You can also take some gentle strolls – or some more demanding hikes, if your kids are up for it – and bike rides around the region. Kids might enjoy visiting the turtle nesting sites on the more remote beaches. You might also fancy spending the day at the water park in Paphos (45 minutes away).
Action and Adventure
There are plenty of water sports on offer in the Polis region, including some excellent diving. You can rent equipment and book a diving trip in nearby Latchi, which also offers boat-rental outlets. If you’re a fan of hiking and mountain biking, you’ll find some superb trails in the surrounding hills, particularly in the nearby Akamas peninsula, which is a protected nature reserve renowned for its wildlife and flora. You could also explore the magnificent Troodos mountains inland, where a wide range of activities are on offer for the adrenaline junkie, including climbing, canyoning and paragliding.
Life's a Beach
The main beach in Polis is a golden curve of sand, which shelves gently into crystal-clear waters. Ideal for families with young children, it has plenty of facilities including sunbeds and a few beach cafés and bars. There is another, larger, beach at nearby Latchi, where you can rent boats and diving equipment or, if you prefer, take a diving course or book an organised diving trip. If you’re in search of seclusion, there are several smaller beaches dotting this beautiful and largely unspoilt bay. If you’re lucky, you might spot the turtles that nest on the remoter stretches of this coast: there is a conservation centre and nesting site on Lara Bay, home to some of the area's wildest and most beautiful beaches.
The main appeal of Polis is its sleepy, traditional atmosphere, so don’t expect to find lively bars and clubs in this quiet little resort. Nightlife revolves around the bars and taverns on the main square, where you can sit out on the terrace, drink in hand, and while away an enjoyable evening people-watching and chatting. Some of the bars near the beachfront or around the harbour in nearby Latchi enjoy spectacular views of the sunset. In the summer season, some bars offer live gigs and other entertainment. If you’re in the mood for some serious nightlife, head to Paphos (about a 45-minute drive away), where you’ll find a wide choice of bars and clubs.
The beautiful Polis region is where Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, once lived, according to legend. If you and your partner are looking for gorgeous, unspoilt scenery and plenty of peace and tranquillity, then Polis is for you. You can relax on the sandy beaches, toes in the turquoise waters, or find your own secluded cove for added romance. Watch the sun set over the gorgeous bay cocktail in hand and linger over a candle-lit dinner at one of the traditional taverns. You could also visit Aphrodite’s Baths, the pool where the goddess used to bathe, which is set in charming botanical gardens.
Polis is an ancient town, and the area has been inhabited since Neolithic times. Some of the region’s best finds are displayed in its interesting little archaeological museum. You can also visit the fascinating remains of the Gialia Monastery, set in a forest about 5 kilometres outside town. If you’re interested in Greek myths, visit the Bath of Aphrodite, accessed via a nature trail and some botanic gardens, is a pretty little pool fed by a waterfall, where the goddess of love is said to have bathed. The waters were long believed to encourage fertility, although bathing is now forbidden. Inland, you can explore the beautiful painted churches, collectively designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, which dot the stunning slopes of the Troodos mountains.