Located in the Pafos (Paphos) region, Polis Chrysochous (known simply as ‘Polis’) is a thriving sub-district that has expanded to become a popular tourist destination in its own right and ranks amongst the most naturally beautiful areas of the island. Just 35 km northwest of the town of Pafos, it can be reached by following the B07 route, or by taking the E701 coastal route, and then the E709.
The area’s rich history dates back to the time it used to constitute the ancient kingdoms of Marion and Arsinoe. Marion flourished during Classical times, whilst Arsinoe prospered in Roman times. Lengthy and meticulous archaeological excavations spanning over 20 years have brought to light many archaeological treasures that are now exhibited at the local Archaeological Museum.
The interesting sights of the area include the Baths of Aphrodite – a fresh water grotto shaded by a wild fig tree – where legend tells the Ancient Greek Goddess of Love and Beauty would bathe. There are also a variety of nature trails that take in rare, endemic plants and where nature lovers can spot local fauna and migrating birds.
Also noteworthy is the church of Agios Andronikos with its 16th century frescoes. The church was converted into a mosque from 1571 by the Ottomans, who also covered the frescoes up with plaster additions. After 1974, the Antiquities Department painstakingly uncovered the wall paintings in a delicate and time consuming process, and restored them to their former glory for visitors to admire once more.
With its unrivalled natural beauty, Polis Chrysochous is also a favourite spot for camping, and its campsite is located in a fragrant eucalyptus forest that borders a Blue Flag pebble beach. The campsite and beach also herald the start of a picturesque coastal walkway that leads to Latchi Harbour, which is known locally for its wonderful fresh fish, served at the surrounding restaurants.
Courtesy of the CTO