jump to navigation

A road less travelled September 6, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Paphos.

If you want a relaxing day out, take the coast road from Paphos (or Polis) to Pomos

The coastal route to Pomos is a road less travelled. This is a trip for those who haven’t the appetite or the wallet for purpose-built tourist strips and pricey restaurants; it’s a trip that brings back memories of a slower pace of life. Another bonus, the traffic on this beautiful coastal road is minimal, so take your time, drive slowly, relish the marvellous and relatively unspoilt scenery – on one side you have the deep blue sea, the other, lush vegetation and the cultivation of bananas, almonds, walnuts, avocados, olives, and pistachios.

There’s also clusters of small market gardens producing vegetables and citrus fruits and, despite a proliferation of new building which seems inevitable in the Paphos region, the area still maintains a dignified, traditional, feel.

Driving along the main road, if the urge suddenly hits you for a quick paddle it’s only a matter of parking up on the verge and you are a few steps away from the pebble beach that runs the entire length of the coastline. As you dip toes in the clean clear water, look behind you, there looms the imposing mountain range which falls almost vertically to the sea.

Our first stop is the Church of Saint Raphael in Pachyammos, just round the headland from Pomos. This is the famous church of miracles – the name Raphael means ‘God has healed’ – and it is here that hundreds of pilgrims come from all over the island to pray to the saint in the hope of being healed.

An imposing structure, the church of St Raphael is relatively new, having been built in the late eighties to replace the tiny white washed church still standing just a few metres distant. Its setting is absolutely perfect, hanging limpet like on the rocks with stunning views of the surrounding seascape. Inside bold, bright wall paintings illustrating biblical stories cover every available inch of wall and ceiling space.

In one corner rests a collection of discarded walkers, crutches, leg braces, and sticks abandoned by those whose prayers for a cure have indeed been answered.

Walking through the village, there are many picture postcard scenes, an old lady dressed in black, snoozing under a vine covered pergola made from an old brass bed which also doubles as a washing line. Small gardens back on to the narrow road filled with herbs and flowers growing in old olive cans and in the tiny courtyard women gathered, knees cradling bowls as they go about the daily task of peeling potatoes, stripping beans, and gossiping.

You can then drive on through the village and beyond Pachyammos there’s a rough road which takes you on a 45 minute detour to avoid the enclave of Kokkina, a Turkish army base. This area was one of the key flashpoints in 1964 which resulted in Turkish jet fighters strafing it, resulting in very heavy casualties throughout all the Greek villages in the area.

It’s not an easy route surface wise, but you do pass some long-abandoned, almost ghost-like, Turkish settlements on the way to the coast at Mansoura, where there is a small, almost deserted, beach and a picturesque medieval bridge.

Returning back either from Mansoura or from the Church of St Raphael, you have two good choices for lunch. The first is set right down on the spur of Pomos Point, follow the signs to the Kanalli Fish Restaurant and Porto Pomos. There is a small, man-made harbour sheltering around a dozen locally owned fishing boats, so the fish doesn’t get any fresher. A few metres away is a small, sandy beach for customers so you can easily go for a quick dip and get your appetite stimulated, before sitting down to eat.

We decided to carry on down the road, taking the turn off to Gialia aiming for lunch at the Mylos Restaurant, 2km from the turn off on the Gaila-Stavrou road. Again it’s well signposted, just follow the winding road to arrive at a sign directing you up a small hill. There, in the old converted schoolhouse you can sit on the veranda, drink a cold beer and enjoy the scents, scenery, and silence of this lovely forest based taverna. We enjoyed the best tasting and freshest selection of stuffed vegetables I have tasted in a long time, home made bread, crisp salad with deep purple succulent olives and a platter of very good, home-made sheftalia.

This is very much a chill out, no hassle, great for the soul type day trip, aided by the feeling that St. Raphael would indeed have agreed that healing is also about putting yourself in a mindset where good things do indeed happen, ours was experiencing this lovely day trip.

Milos Restaurant
Pano Gialia
Tel 26 342676
Open seven days a week lunch and evenings.

%d bloggers like this: