Rimowa Salsa Air cabin case
Hire car from Europcar
Total travel time 5 hours from London
There are several options in Polis for your stay, providing a wide-range of hotel accommodation from luxury hotels all the way through to budget apartments. You can also easily rent holiday villas which are self-catering and most have a private swimming pool (although, it’s worth noting, not all heated).
One standout hotel in the region worth noting is the Anassa. After a recent multi-million Euro refurbishment, this hotel sets a high standard for hotels across Europe. It is perched on a cliff edge overlooking the Akamas peninsula. The grounds are beautiful, with all-white Italianate-style villas, luscious well-tended gardens which slope gently towards the beach. There are several pools included one indoor, one heated and an infinity pool. There is also an excellent spa and gym.
The newly refurbished and decorated rooms are light and airy with marble floors as throughout the hotels, the top end rooms come with private pools on the balcony. Finally, we found the cuisine to be excellent, consistent and our favourite meal of the day, breakfast, is provided in the form of an extensive buffet.
Close to the hotel, there’s much to do, most of it achievable by bike. Early within the week we visited the little fishing port of Latchi. It has a wide range of seafood restaurants and, as with the rest of Cyprus, they are all reasonable value. If you are looking for some real fun, we found the best thing to do in Latchi is to rent a boat, which we hired from Latchi Watersports Centre. After a brief introduction to the boat and where you can and can’t take the boat (ie. Syria), which is easy to navigate, you are off and left to your own devices. There is plenty to see on the Akamas coast, however, the highlights include the Blue Lagoon – where you can enjoy a swim and snorkel in the crystal blue water, the shipwreck and the ‘secret’ pristine beach right on the end of the peninsula which we’d recommend.
Other exciting things to do around the area, especially around the Anassa region, is to hire a mountain bike which we hired through Wheelie Cyprus, who can drop off and pick up a bike from either your hotel or villa. There are plenty of trails all heading up to Akamas National Park or you can keep on the road and also head towards the same way and all the way up to the Baths of Aphrodite.
Finally, another place to visit by car is Avakas Gorge, although be warned. We drove there in our regular hired car and it ended up being rather an off-road track, so unless you have a car suitable for the journey, it is recommended you take a tour there instead. At the gorge there you can enjoy a reasonably challenging walk all the way through the gorge. While challenging, it is a fun terrain while walking through limestone cliffs, boulders, and a whole host of trees, all while enjoying the wildlife as well, you can spot lizards and if you’re lucky some mountain goats. Bring plenty of water.
There is plenty of great foody locations in the region, but two places stood out for us in Polis. Polis Herb Garden Restaurant is one of these places. A 2500 square meter garden is used to provide all the produce which goes into this modern Cypriot cuisine. Sit outside on a nice pleasant Cypriot evening and take in all the surroundings, we highly recommend the Herb Garden mixed grill and the crepes suzette. Another great place to enjoy in morning or during the day is Coffee Island, good coffees are usually hard to come by while being in these parts of the world but Coffee Island provides great coffee and has some indulgent treats such as giant donuts. The place always seems busy and it’s easy to see why once you enjoy a drink and snack!
Although Polis provides a great alternative to other parts of commercialised Cyprus, should you still want to see some of it, it is available close by. If you are staying at the Anassa you can easily go to their sister hotel, the renowned 5-star Almyra and enjoyed the wide range of amenities and grounds there.
The Almyra has been long-standing destination for Short Motivation, over the years, particularly out of season. What do we like about this hotel? Apart from the super-friendly team, the incredible spa includes both an indoor and outdoor pool (which can be either bizarrely warm or incredibly cold). With a kids-club on site, it’s easy to drop off the children on a morning and head to the adult-only spa area and have some ‘me’ time in the sun. The food at the spa is very health-friendly, too and recommended. Be warned though, the sunbeds around the spa pool fill up very quickly – we’ve arrived at 9am and been unable to secure a lounger.
The rooms at the Almyra are functional, basic but clean. Luckily the hotel is having a refurb for 2017, as Paphos is the European Capital of Culture, so expect some rooms to have a refresh. It’s worth asking in advance if you can secure one of the refreshed rooms. In addition to a room refresh, the hotel is receiving a brand new third pool, which will reduce some of the pressure around the spa.
Within the Paphos region there is one great restaurant to visit, 7 St George’s Tavern. A very humble looking place, the family at 7 St George’s Tavern serves homemade Cypriot food, all organically grown. We would recommend some food, but the Tavern does not have a menu and serve what’s been freshly picked on the day. A must visit.
In summary, Polis is a great place to visit in Cyprus for a week, you can lie by the pool and relax if you want, but you should really mix it and enjoy all the outdoor activities, great food and atmosphere from the region.