Turning the pages of a book with little consciousness of doing so, feeling the raw emotions of each character and breathing in the scent of the beautiful location that the story is set in can only be the signs of a well-written novel. Even more so when said novel inspires you to visit a particular destination, which is exactly what Victoria Hislop’s The Sunrise has achieved. Cyprus is next on my travel wishlist and I’m here to tell you why…
A small, almost untouched town on the north-west coast of Cyprus, Polis appears to have the feel of a traditional Cypriot fishing village for those looking to relax and unwind in the Mediterranean sun. With a square lined with quaint cafes, tavernas and stores selling souvenirs, it seems to have that perfect holiday vibe to sit down and watch the world go by. A few minutes from the square is a pretty golden sand and pebble beach, where a novel and an iced tea in hand would work ideally. And being only 45 minutes from Paphos by car, it seems to be the perfect quiet retreat while still being within reach of a more lively surrounding. For those perfect The Sunrise vibes, a visit to Famagusta would be a must and doable in a two-and-a-half hour road trip along the idyllic southern Cypriot coast.
Stay in a cosy villa
Staying in an apartment or villa is always more peaceful than staying in a hotel. For a stay in Polis, Cyprus, a James Villa could not be more suited. With a selection of six to choose from within the area of Polis, there’s one for every style, and a private pool at each one provides the perfect level of relaxation and intimacy for a dreamy getaway. My favourite? The Limni Beach Villa for those unspoiled sunset (and sunrise) views. Following my most recent holiday to Mexico – where our hotel turned out to not really be our scene – I would definitely choose to stay in a villa or apartment next time for that cosy home-away-from-home feel. Returning to a quiet villa with nothing but the sound of the ocean and the clinking of wine glasses as you settle down to watch the sunset could not sound more appealing after a busy day of exploring.
Explore the Troodos Mountains
If you can peel yourself from the beach and the blue Mediterranean sea, the Troodos Mountains are located around two hours away for a perfect day trip. With cosy mountain villages, millions of years of history and breathtaking views, the Troodos Mountains are said not to be missed. As someone who cannot just sit by the pool all day, exploring the local area and seeing as much as I can in a short space of time equals a successful holiday in my eyes. There is nothing I love more when on holiday – and here in the UK! – than wandering through a small village with cobbled streets, cute houses and a souvenir shop or two. Even better when said village has a square or a beautiful church to admire, such as the Kykkos Monastery.
Discover art in Polis
Not far from the square in Polis is the small 16th century Church of Agios Andronikos with its restored wall paintings of scenes such as the Birth of the Virgin Mary and the Pentecost. With the history of Polis dating back 3000 years, there is also plenty to discover in the Archeological Museum, where excavations have lead archeologists to find out about two ancient cities, Marion and Arsinoe, that existed before. Perfect for experiencing Cypriot culture on the doorstep of your villa. Since volunteering at the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum here in my hometown, my appreciation for art has spiked from my initial interest back in school. One of my favourite holiday activities is visiting the local museum.
Above are just some of the reasons why visiting this quiet, laid-back part of Cyprus is next on my travel wishlist. Culture, history and peaceful surroundings are three of the top things I look for in a holiday, making Polis my ideal destination for a getaway.
Have you been to Polis? What do you look for in your ideal getaway?
In collaboration with James Villas.