Things to do in Polis Cyprus

Polis Chrysochous is a rural, peaceful area. Tranquility, tradition, and beautiful nature are its hallmarks, and attractions and activities in the area are in accordance with them. Attractions and activities mainly relate to the sea and nature, culture and tradition, and ancient and religious monuments. There is nightlife, but it is not exuberant. You must also discover and exploit the beauties of Polis town, the small, idyllic villages surrounding Polis, and the gastronomy of the region.

Polis and Latchi is the tourist center of the region. So, here are the best things to do near and around Polis and Latchi.

 

Polis Chrysochous Blue Lagoon

Table of Contents - What is included in this article

Things to do in Polis Cyprus

Discover the beauties of Poli Chrysochous

Visit the wonderful beaches of Polis Chrysochous

Enjoy water activities and water sports

Visit Blue Lagoon

Local Archaeological Museum of Marion – Arsinoe

Byzantine Museum of the Diocese of Arsinoe in Peristerona village

The Steni Museum of Village Life

Ancient Monasteries in Polis area

Visit Akamas National Park

Walk the Nature trails in the area

Visit Baths of Aphrodite

Dams and water reservoirs in Polis area

Things to do with kids

 

Three daily itineraries from Poli Chrysochous. Three excursions you will definitely enjoy.

Visit Coral Bay from Polis

Visit Stavros tis Psokas

Visit the villages east of Polis

 

Discover the beauties of the small yet beautiful town of Poli Chrysochous

Polis Chrysochous, or just Poli as it is called by the locals, is the administrative, economic, cultural, and tourist center (together with Latchi village) of the region.

Its traditional center with the central square of the town is well worth your visit. There are many good restaurants, cafeterias, and coffee shops here to find what is to your taste.

The local museum of Marion and Arsinoe, with exhibitions of the two ancient cities that flourished in the place of today’s Polis Chrysochous, is also worth visiting.

Agios Andronikos church and the small park next to it is a good place to visit as well. The church dates back to the 16th century, and it was converted into a mosque during the Turkish occupation of Cyprus. The church was restored to its ancient glory recently. The frescoes unearthed belong to the 16th century. The surrounding area is configured as a park, and it is a place for people who are seeking relaxation in a green, peaceful environment.

 

Enjoy the Sea

 

Visit the wonderful beaches of Polis Chrysochous

There are many nice beaches in Polis area, however, if you stay in Poli town, it might be a bit difficult to visit, unless you rent a car or even something like an electric bicycle. Otherwise, from Polis town, you will have to walk from 10 to 30 minutes to go to the beach.

The three best beaches near Polis are the Polis Municipal Beach, the Latsi Beach, and the Polis Camping Site Beach. You can go to all three of them on foot from the very nice pedestrians pathway that connects Polis with Latchi village. You will enjoy wonderful views, however returning from the beach under the summer sun of Cyprus after e few hours of swimming and sunbathing, I find it good for maybe one day. But to do this every day, I believe it is a bit problematic. So, in my opinion, from Poli Chrysochous the easiest beach to visit on foot is the beach at Polis Camping Site, which is about 1km / 15 minutes walk away. To visit other beaches, even those at Latchi village, you will need transportation.

If you stay at Latchi village, the two best beaches in the area, Latchi beach, and the Polis Municipal beach are very easy to visit. Both are just a few minutes' walk away from the holiday accommodations of Latchi.

To find out about all the beaches in Poli Chrysochous area, please read our dedicated article. Links to dedicated article about beaches in Polis Chrysochous region in Paphos Cyprus

 

Enjoy water activities and water sports

While at the beach, snorkeling and diving are two activities many people like and enjoy. Snorkeling only requires a water mask to admire the bottom of the sea, the rocks, and maybe small fishes swimming around. If you like diving, there are professional companies that provide all the necessary equipment. You can go for a dive, you can take some lessons, or even you can take a certificate, as most of the professionals are PADI certified and eligible to offer lessons for diving certification.

There are many other water sports available at the beaches of Polis. Waterski and parasailing are very popular, but there are many more activities on the water to enjoy. Among them, are self-drive boats or jet skis, sea kayaking/canoeing, windsurfing, and paddleboarding, to name a few.

 

Visit Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon is a small bay that is very popular among tourists and locals. There are many boats visiting Blue Lagoon, starting from the fishing port at Latchi. The trip to Blue Lagoon doesn’t take long and you will enjoy the sea and the views of the Akamas coast. At Blue Lagoon, if you like, you will dive into the crystal-clear waters and swim in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea. However, because of the popularity of Blue Lagoon, you may find yourself surrounded by many other people, also enjoying their bath, while from the many boats you will listen to loud music. Many people like this, others don’t. Absolutely your choice and decision.

 

 

Culture and Tradition - Museums in Polis area

With a long history dating thousands of years and very rich tradition, there are a few museums in Polis well worth your visit. The Archaeological Museum of Polis exhibits the ancient glory of the area. The Byzantine Museum at Peristerona village shows the religious past and present of the area, while the Museum of Village Life at Steni village shows how was life about 100-150 years ago.

Archaeological Museum Polis Cyprus Local Archaeological Museum of Marion – Arsinoe

The Museum of Marion-Arsinoe consists of two rooms and an atrium. In the first room of the museum, it exhibits an interesting collection of antiquities discovered in the region.

Each of the two rooms of the museum represents one of the ancient cities – kingdoms of Marion and Arsinoe. These ancient kingdoms flourished at the same place as today's Polis Chrysochous thousands of years ago, one after the other. The second room exhibits come from the vast and rich necropolis of these ancient kingdoms.

Useful information about the museum

Telephone: +357 26 32 29 55

Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 08:30 to 16:00, Saturday 09:00 - 15:00

The museum is open all year round. It is closed on Sundays and on Public Holidays.

Entrance: FREE

 

Byzantine Museum of the Diocese of Arsinoe in Peristerona village

The main exhibits of the Museum are hand-painted icons from the 13th until the 19th centuries. Other exhibits include silver religious items, religious wood carving items like crosses and incenses, rare religious books and manuscripts, and other ecclesiastical items.

Telephone: 26 32 29 55

Museum opening hours

Summer, April 01 to August 31: Monday - Friday: 10:00 - 13:00 and 14:00 - 18:00, Saturday 10:00 – 13:00

Winter, September 01 to March 31: Monday - Friday: 10:00 - 16:00, Saturday 10:00 – 13:00

The Museum is open all year round. It is closed on Sundays and on Public Holidays.

Entrance Fee: €2,00

 

The Steni Museum of Village Life

The Museum represents very well the rural life of Cyprus between the years 1800 and 1950. Its exhibits include scenes from the everyday life of the village during the reference period, rural tools, and house items like handicrafts, kitchenware, pots and jars, and traditional clothing.

Telephone: +357 26 35 24 10

Opening Hours: Daily, 10:00 to16:00, all year round. The museum is closed on Public Holidays.

Entrance: FREE

 

Basket Weaving Museum, Ineia (or Inia) village

Ineia is a village on an elevated position at the borders of Akamas Peninsula National Park, with wonderful views across the peninsula. This small local museum houses a collection of traditionally made baskets of all types. You can also see other woven artifacts like trays, wall decorations, containers, and fish traps.

Museum Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 11:00 to 16:00, Saturday 11:00 to 13:00, closed on Sundays.

Telephone: 26 33 25 62

Entrance: FREE

 

 

Ancient Monasteries in Polis area

There are two ancient monasteries in the Polis Chrysochous area. Each of them is many centuries old, and each of them is well worth a visit. They are now abandoned, under the care of the Antiquities Department. You can combine your visit to them with a visit to the wider area of the monasteries.

 

Visit the ancient Monastery of Panagia Chrysolarkounas

Located on an elevated position outside Steni village, this monastery was dedicated to Virgin Mary. From the findings during the excavations, it seems like it was built around the 12th century. While the buildings of the monastery were destroyed and vanished through the centuries, the church of the monastery was fully reconstructed by the Antiquities Department. An interesting short visit to see the monastery and the beautiful views of the bay of Chrysochous.

 

Visit the ruins of the Monastery of Panagia Chrysogialiotissa near Gialia village

The Gialia Monastery is a ruined medieval Georgian Orthodox monastery, near the village of Gialia, in Paphos forest. The monastery was founded in the 10th century, around 970 AD. Dedicated to Virgin Mary and known as the Monastery of Panagia Chrysogialiotissa, it was under the auspices of the Kingdom of Georgia, the today Caucasus country. During the excavations they discovered part of frescoes, showing that there was a church dedicated to Agios Georgios, Saint George, in the monastery. In its heydays, it was one of the richest monasteries and a center of the Georgian culture in Cyprus.

 

Enjoy the Nature

Polis is ideal for nature lovers. Surrounded by forested mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature.

 

Visit Akamas National Park

Akamas is the biggest national park in Cyprus. There are excursions from Polis exploring Akamas. Exploring Akamas with a quad bike supervised by a local guide is a very popular option that we recommend. To read more about Akamas, please read this article, dedicated to Akamas National Park.

 

Walk the Nature trails in the area

If you like hiking, there are many nature trails in the area to walk. The difficulty degree varies from trail to trail. These trails are the Adonis Nature Trail, Aphrodite Nature Trail, Smigies Nature Trail, and Anerades Nature Trail (near Miliou village). For more information about these trails please download this PDF from the website of the Cyprus Tourism Organization.

https://www.visitcyprus.com/files/Routes/nature_trails/Cyprus_Nature_Trails_2013_EN(1).pdf

 

 

Visit Baths of Aphrodite

According to the ancient myths, Aphrodite, the Goddess of beauty and Love, used to come here to enjoy her bath in this little pond.

Baths of Aphrodite are in a relatively remote area, on the outskirts of Akamas National Park. The road connecting Polis and Latchi to the Baths is surfaced and in good condition, but a bit curvy. Once you are at the Baths, there is ample free parking near them.

As we said, according to the myth, Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, used to come here to this idyllic area to take her bath. The Botanical Garden (with free entrance) which surrounds Aphrodite’s Baths is very interesting and with wonderful views of the Mediterranean Sea. Take the opportunity to walk in it and see some of the local plants of Cyprus. After the baths, there is a dirt road following the coastline next to the sea. This road eventually becomes the entrance to Akamas National Park from the north.

There is a restaurant nearby where you can eat or just have a refreshment. Located at an elevated position, it overlooks the Bay of Chrysochous, with the coastline of Polis area as background. If you are brave enough to go down the very steep slope to the sea, maybe 30 to 50 meters high, there is a nice beach to enjoy the sea. But remember, you will eventually have to go up this slope 😊

 

Dams and water reservoirs in Polis area

 

Evretou Dam

Evretou is the biggest dam in the area. Surrounded by dense greenery it is a very beautiful area to visit and explore. While you are here, there is a place or two nearby to enjoy a refreshment or to eat.

If the chance occurs, you may also visit the other dams (water reservoirs) of the Poli Chrysochous area. There are three more dams at Argaka, Pomos, and Agia Marina villages. All water dams create artificial lakes surrounded by greenery. A very nice and well worth visit, especially if you are with children.

 

Kremiotis waterfall

Lying near the villages of Tera and Kritou Tera, it is about 8-9km from Polis. Yes, there are waterfalls in Cyprus! Some of them are seasonal, they only have water during winter until early summer, depending on how much it rained.

 

 

Things to do with kids

 

 

 

Other interesting attractions, monuments, and sightseeing

Visit the Medieval, stone-built Skarfos Bridge and Skarfos Watermill

They are on Stavros tis Psokas river, who creates the water reservoir at Evretou Dam. About 3km after the Evretou Dam, you can visit by car. A good idea is to combine this visit with a visit to Stavros tis Psokas.

 

Herb Garden at Pano Akourdaleia

 

Visit the Information Center of Akamas Geology and Paleontology in Pano Arodes.

 

Negative Gravity Road

 

Attractions

Baths of Aphrodite

Negative gravity road

Herb Garden at Pano Akourdaleia

 

Activities

Wine tasting in the wider area of Polis

Explore the villages: Explore the small, beautiful, traditional villages on the hills around Poli Chrysochous or on the road to Pachyammos. The road follows the sea and the villages are beautiful and inviting.

Water sports

Scuba diving

Explore Akamas National Park with a quad buggy

Walk the nature trails in the area

Visit Blue Lagoon

 

3 daily itineraries you can enjoy from Polis area

Here I propose a few excursions, with each one of them requiring a day to do. Each of these combines at least 3 to 4 of the attractions and activities in this article. If you find them interesting, then follow any or all of them. Of course, you can only do one of these excursions during a day. An excellent way to enrich your holidays and discover a bit more about Polis, and the Paphos area in general.

 

Visit Coral Bay from Polis

Time it takes to do the excursion: from three, up to seven-eight hours. Depending on how long you stop at each point of interest.
Can do by car or bus. Obviously, it will take longer by bus.
Bus route from Coral Bay (Corallia Beach) to Peyia, Kathikas, Arodes, Inia (Ineia), Droushia, Polis Chrysochous. Taking the bus from Polis, the route is the same, but in reverse order.

What you can see en route to Coral Bay:
Negative gravity road: you will find the spot 2-3 km after taking the road which connects Polis with Coral Bay. Test for yourself whether it is true that a gear-free car really goes uphill!
Center for Geology and Paleontology of Akamas and the ancient church of Agios (Saint) Kalandionas at Pano Arodes village.
Make a small detour and visit the village of Kritou Tera and the beautiful Kremiotis Waterfall. Try to find out if it rained the previous winter, otherwise, you may visit the area, but the waterfall will be without water. This detour will take a maximum of one hour.
The next village you will meet is Kathikas. At Kathikas you can enjoy wine tasting at the two wineries in the village. A visit to the Donkey Park is also nice, especially if you are with kids. Kathikas is well known for its very good restaurants and tavernas, so if it is lunch or dinner time, take advantage of it and eat here. (Link to article for Kathikas)
When in the Coral Bay area, visit Paphos Zoo and swim at Coral Bay beach. Also, see other things to do. (Links to articles for Coral Bay, Coral Bay things to do)

 

Visit Stavros tis Psokas

Time it takes to do the excursion: from four, up to seven-eight hours. Depending on how long you stop at each point of interest.
From Poli Chrysochous to Steni, Peristerona, Evretou Dam, Skarfos Bridge and Skarfos Watermill, Lysos, Stavros tis Psokas. The road is in good condition and the trip is nice through the Paphos forest for most of its part.
At Steni village see the Museum of Village Life and the ruins of Panagia Chrysolakournas, a restored, very ancient church dedicated to Mary. It was first built in the 12th
At Peristerona village visit the Byzantine Museum of Arsinoe Bishopric.
At Lysos village enjoy horse riding at Maria’s Horse Trekking
At Stavros tis Psokas enjoy the nature, see the moufflons, and have a coffee at the square.
Return from the same road as you came, or:
Visit Panagia village and Panagia Chrysorroyiatissa Monastery.
At Panagia village visit the small museum at the house of Makarios. Makarios was the first president of Cyprus since its independence. He was born and raised in this small house, before becoming a monk, and eventually Archbishop and President of Cyprus.
Enjoy wine tasting at the wineries of Panagia. Finally return to Polis via the alternative route from Panagia through the villages of Kannaviou, Thrinia, Lasa, and Simou. After Simou, take the main road connecting Paphos with Polis. This second route will take about an hour-plus to drive.

 

Visit the villages east of Polis

Time it takes to do the excursion: from two, up to four-five hours. Depending on how long you stop at each point of interest.
A very beautiful road next to the sea will take you to the last village in the Polis region, which is Pachyammos village. The villages you meet en route to Pachyammos are Argaka, Gialia, Agia Marina Chrysochous, and Pomos. What they have in common in these villages, is that they are built just next to the sea. For long pieces of the road, you drive with the village on your right-hand side and the sea just a few meters to your left. There are restaurants and cafeterias in these villages, offering various opportunities for food and drink. Argaka and Gialia have very nice beaches for swimming. Some of the beaches are protected because the Careta-Careta turtles use them to come here and lay their eggs.
At Argaka village visit the dam (water reservoir) of Argaka and its artificial lake. Similar dams can be seen in the villages of Agia Marina and Pomos as well.
At Gialia village visit the ruins excavated of Panagia Chrysogialiotissa, in Paphos forest. The monastery was one of the oldest built in Cyprus. The first buildings date to the 10th century, and the monastery was built by monks coming from Georgia, the Caucasus country.
At Pachyammos visit the church of Agios Raphael.

Hint: After the village of Pomos towards Pachyammos, there is a small fishing port hidden from the road, with a fish tavern next to it, namely Kanali. You cannot see them from the road, so take care to see the road signs leading there. They always offer very fresh fish from the fishermen at the fishing port just below the tavern. A fantastic opportunity to enjoy fresh fish overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, with views of the coastline which is rocky and rugged in this area, and the beautiful fishing port.

 

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