On the road from Paphos to Polis (B7), about 13kms before you reach Polis, there is a turning on the left which will take you to the pretty little village of Miliou nestling on the Laona plateau. You’ll know you’re on the right road when your nose starts to twitch as you near the therapeutic sulphur springs at the bottom of the hill.
Right next door to the springs is the restored monastery of Agia Anargyri which is now being used as a spa hotel. The monastery was built in 1649 and is said to be one of the first ever on the island. It was founded by two brothers who used to care for the sick and dying without taking any payment for it. It is said that this is how the monastery got its name, from the Greek meaning ‘without payment’. Another myth, spread among the inhabitants of the surrounding villages, goes like this: Many years ago a number of monks lived in the monastery and one day an argument broke out. As well as using sticks and stones in their dispute, these mild-mannered monks relieved the cellar of its supply of eggs, as it was during the period of Lent. As a result of the argument, the eggs broke and the water from the springs took the smell of rotten eggs.
Miliou is a small village; however it is also one of the greenest villages in the area, thanks to an abundant supply of spring water, surrounded by citrus groves, almond trees and vineyards. In early spring the almond blossom is a spectacular sight and the orange and lemon trees are laden with fruit.
With far-reaching mountain and valley views and unspoilt countryside, Miliou is a delightful rural setting, perfect for long walks and for those who love nature and bird watching as the village is renowned as a nesting site for nightingales. The main bird migrations, when a wide variety of species may be seen, take place in spring and autumn. If you’re more interested in seeing Mother Nature’s spectacular show of spring flowers, then visit between the beginning of March and the end of May. The aroma of the surrounding pine and lemon groves, brought in by the cool valley breeze, provides relief from the hot Cypriot sun.
Village life centres on the coffee shop where the men of the village sit in the shade and put the world to rights while some of the womenfolk work on the old-fashioned looms, making traditional cloth.
Miliou is one of the villages involved in the Laona Project, a non-profit making organisation established to implement rural regeneration and ecotourism and to help introduce the concept of agro-tourism to Cyprus. Although Miliou’s limestone houses are perfect examples of traditional rural architecture, more have been restored in the traditional Cypriot style through the Laona Project.
There is a superb restaurant in the village, however the nearest supermarket to Miliou is about four kilometres away. The beaches, tavernas, market and shops of Polis and Latchi are about a 20-minute drive away, and another few minutes will take you to the edge of the Akamas peninsula. The Troodos mountains and the Paphos forest (home of the moufflon, the island's indigenous mountain sheep) are close by and Paphos airport is a 45-minute drive away.