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Explore Kythira

Discover the unmatched beauty of our unique island


Etymology

The island of Kythira (Kythera, Kithira or Cythera), known also by its older Venetian name Tsirigo or Cerigo, is reputed in Greek mythology to be the birthplace of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. The name Kythira can be traced far back in history. Homer mentions the island in his epic work “The Iliad”, where the goddess of love Aphrodite takes on the name Kythereia (Akytheros being the person devoid of charm or attraction). However, the name Kythira appears in the works of several other important writers of ancient times; Herodotus, Dionysis, Xenofon (who uses the term Kytherian land in his work “Hellenica”), and even Aristotles - who remarks that the island was also known as Porphyrousa, after the purple dye produced from the marine rock snail Murex.

An alternative theory was supported by the geographer Isidoros (1st century A.D.), who believed that the island was named after the deity Kythereia (Aphrodite) and not the other way around. He was the first to illustrate the meaning of the verb “kefto” (to hide one's love) and it's relationship to both the goddess and the island. The verb “kefto” translates as “to hide one's love”; according to Isidores' rationale, those who make love on the island (Kythira) discover the hidden passion of love. The name “Kythira”, which in Greek is used in the plural form, could have be extended to include the population of neighbouring Antikytherians.

What, however, is the connection between the two names, Kythira and Tsirigo? Several studies suggest a relationship between the two: either both names were synonymous or one developed from the other.

Interestingly enough, a region exists on Cyprus (Aphrodite's other island) called Kythraia or Kythra, where several statues of the goddess Aphrodite have been found. The larger area goes by the name of Tzirka.

Castro Kythira
Myrtidia Kythira

Mythology

Aphrodites' mythological birth from the waves has been interpreted by palaeontologists as an allegorical attempt by the ancients to explain the emergence of island itself from the sea. This theory is supported by a large number of palaeontological findings of marine fossils across extensive areas on Kythira, Mitata and Viaradika.

Aphrodites' mythological birth from the waves has been interpreted by palaeontologists as an allegorical attempt by the ancients to explain the emergence of island itself from the sea. This theory is supported by a large number of palaeontological findings of marine fossils across extensive areas on Kythira, Mitata and Viaradika.

Climate

Kythira is characterised by a temperate Mediterranean climate. Mean annual temperatures lie around 20°C with an average annual rainfall of 600 mm (approx. 60 days of rainfall) with an average cloud coverage of four (scale 1-10). Average measured wind strength lies around 3-4 beauforts, with prevaling northeastern and westerly winds. During springtime, the southwestern wind “Proventsa” commonly brings low clouds and fog and requires special attention by fishermen and mariners. Snow is rare, with temperatures seldomly dropping below -4°C.

Demography

In 2001, the population of Kythira counted a total of 3,354 inhabitants. The most people live in the island's capital Chora with 579 inhabitants, followed by the central villages Livadi with 370 and Potamos with 400 residents. The remaining islanders are spread over 60 smaller villages across the island. Administratively, Kythira and its smaller neighbouring island of Antikythera constitute their own municipality under the Province of Kythera, which falls under the Prefecture of Piraeus. Historically, Kythera and Antikythira belong to the Ionian islands.

Kythira Mercedes

Administration

Kythira became part of Greece with the cession of the Ionian Islands (to which Kythira then belonged) to the new King George I of Greece.

From 1867 until 1929, Kythira belonged administratively to the Argolid-Korinthian prefecture and judicially to the Court of Gytheio. In 1929 the area fell under the administration of the Attican-Boeotian county and the jurisdiction of the Court of Piraeus. Finally, with the establishment of the Prefecture of Piraeus, the islands came under the latter.

On Kythira there is also a Justice of the Peace and a Magistrates' court. Previously a deputy police department resided in the island's capital, with one station in Potamos and one on Antikythira. The Port Authorities of Gytheio excercised port control on Kythira and Antikythira until 1986, with stations in Agia Pelagia and Kapsali. As of 1987 both came under the Port Authority of Neapolis Vion, while the Gytheio Port Authority became a subdivision.

There are two Customs Inspection stations, one in Agia Pelagia and one in Kapsali, which both fall under Gytheio Customs Service.

By the end of 1928 there were 22 schools operating on Kythira (and one on Antikythira): 15 boy's schools and 8 girl's schools. In 1929 they were merged into 15 mixed-gender institutions, with approx. 1500 students enrolled. The first proper mixed-gender high school was founded in 1921 in the island's capital of Chora, with approx. 150 enrolled pupils. In 1964, under the government of George Papandreou, the school system was divided into 3-year middle school (Gymnasio) and three-year high school (Lykeio). Under the military junta in 1967, the high school (Lykeio) was abolished and the 6-year Gymnasio introduced, by which time the island's population had already started to shrink due to urbanization.

The island's population is made up mostly of farmers and employess – however, the increase in tourism and the arrival of semi-permanent settlers has shifted the focus of income to tourism enterprises and rental accomodation. The island's main agricultural products are olive oil and honey. A positive factor in the growth of the tourism sector is the fact that residential development is proceeding at a controlled rate that does not seem to affect local rates. Ecumenically, Kythira constitutes its own metropolitan bishopric, which is seated in Chora.

Getting to Kythira

Kythira lies at the southernmost tip of the Peloponnese, past the island of Elafonisos and Cape Maleas, and north-west of the island of Crete. The island is easily accessible by daily aeroplane and ferry services and drakakis tours also operates a weekly bus service from Athens.

It is important to know that neither the airport or port offer public transport services, so it is advisable to have pre-booked a rental car, minibus or taxi that will take you to your destination.

Full information on how to reach Kythira is detailed below.

drakakistours Bus Service

drakakistours operate a weekly bus service to Kythira that connects with the ferry “Porfyrousa” from the port of Neapoli on the Peleponnese.

You can board the bus at Syntagma Square in the centre of Athens, or at Karaiskaki Square at the port of Pireaus. The ATHENS – NEAPOLIS trip takes approximately 5 hours and 30 minutes and the ferry crossing takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. The ferry arrives in Kythira at the port of Diakofti and the bus journey finishes in the town of Chora. You are able to disembark at any village along the main road.

The bus costs €41 per person and includes the ferry ticket.

Athens Departure Point

Corner of Syntagma Square and Ermou Street

Pireaus Departure Point

Karaiskaki Square - Gate E7


KTEL LAKONIAS

You can board one the KTEL buses that operate daily from Athens and disembark at either the port of Gythio or the port of Neapolis on the Peleponnese. The buses start from the Kifissos Bus Station and cost about €28 for Gythio and €38.50 for Neapolis. Once you disembark, you can take the ferry either from Gythio or from Neapolis.

Important:  Please be aware that the schedules of the KTEL buses do not always connect with the schedules of the ferries. We suggest that you contact the relevant local agency to find out the ferry's exact departure time and to ensure you take the correct bus to arrive in time for the ferry's departure.

KTEL LAKONIAS
  Athens: +30 2105124910
  Gythio: +30 2733022228
  Neapolis: +30 2734023222

Kythira Airport

The airport is located in the centre of Kythira, near the village of Frilingianika and on the way to the port of Diakofti.

It is important to know that Kythira airport does not offer public transport services, so it is advisable to have pre-booked a rental car, minibus or taxi that will take you to your destination.

drakakis tours now offers shared or private airport transfer services starting from only €19 per person

Distances from Kythira Airport:

  • Chora (or Kythira): 21 kilometres, approximately 35 minutes
  • Port (Diakofti): 13 kilometres, approximately 15 minutes
  • Livadi: 17 kilometres, approximately 30 minutes
  • Potamos: 10 kilometres, approximately 25 minutes
  • Aghia Pelagia: 17 kilometres, approximately 30 minutes

From Athens

The quickest way to get to Kythira is by plane from Athens.

Olympic Air (a subsiduary of Aegean Arilnes) operates a regular service, flight number A37054, which takes around 45 minutes. In peak season, the flight operates daily, however this drops to twice weekly during winter.

Sky Express also operate a service from Athens, flight number GQ 021, which runs 5 times a week during summer, and twice a week in the off season. The flight takes around 50 minutes.


From Thessaloniki

During the summer months, Astra Airlines operates 2 flights per week from the "Macedonia" Airport of Thessaloniki, flight number A2 0514 (HK). The flight takes around 80 minutes and costs approximately €109 per person.

Ellinair will also start operating a flight from Thessaloniki, however the itinerary is yet to be announced.

Useful Contact Details

Kythira Airport
   +30 2736033297
   +30 2736038039
   0242174 LGKC GR
   kakctl@otenet.gr


Olympic Handling
   +30 27360-33292
   Kit.stco@olympic-handling.aero


Olympic Air
   +30 2736033292
   +30 2736033688
  Lost & Found, +30 2736033292
   www.olympicair.com, www.aegeanair.com


Sky Express
   +30 2810223800
   +30 2810228360
   www.skyexpress.gr
   check-in@skyexpress.gr


Astra Airlines
  +30 2310 489 390
   +30 2310 489 393
   www.astra-airlines.gr
   Sales@Astra-Airlines.gr
Ellinair
  801 100 81 82 / +30 2311 224 700
   www.ellinair.com
   customer.service@ellinair.com

Kythira Port (Diakofti)

The port of Kythira is located at Diakofti on the Eastern side of the island. It has been operational since 1996 and was built on the "Makrykythira" islet. Ferry service to Kythira operate via Piraeus, Gythio Lakonia, Kalamata and Kissamos on the ferry 'Vitsentzos Kornaros" or via Neapolis, on the ferry "Porfyrousa".

It is important to know that Kythira Port does not offer public transport services, so it is advisable to have pre-booked a rental car, minibus or taxi that will take you to your destination.

Distances from Kythira Port:

  • Chora (or Kythira): 32 kilometres, approximately 45 minutes
  • Airport: 13 kilometres, approximately 15 minutes
  • Livadi: 28 kilometres, approximately 40 minutes
  • Potamos: 21 kilometres, approximately 35 minutes
  • Aghia Pelagia: 28 kilometres, approximately 40 minutes

From the Peloponnese - Port of Neapoli, Lakonia

You can visit Kythira via the port of Neapolis with the ferry "Porfyrousa". The ferry operates a daily service to Kythira that takes 1 hour and 15 minutes and costs approximately €12 per person and €46 for a normal-sized car.

You can arrive at the port of Neapolis from Athens, either by car or by the Interstate Bus Service (KTEL), by crossing the Peloponnese and following the Korinthos - Tripolis - Sparta - Neapolis route (325km). Driving time is approximately 4 hours and 30 minutes.

drakakistours Bus Service

Alternatively, drakakistours operates a weekly bus service from Athens to Kythira that connects with the ferry “Porfyrousa”. The bus costs €41 per person and includes the ferry ticket.

Ticket Reservations

Vatika Bay Agency
   +30 2734024004, +30 2734029004
   vatbaydr@otenet.gr

Kythira travel agency (Chora & Potamos)
   +30 2736031390 / +30 2736031848
   mkasimati@kithiratravel.gr

KTEL LAKONIAS
   +30 2105124910 - Athens
   +30 2734023222 - Neapoli


From the Peloponnese - Port of Gythio, Lakonia

You can visit Kythira via the port of Gythio with the ferry "Vitsentzos Kornaros". The ferry operates a once weekly service to Kythira that takes 3 hours and costs approximately €13 per person and €35 for a normal-sized car.

You can arrive at the port of Gythio from Athens, either by car or by the Interstate Bus Service (KTEL), by crossing the Peloponnese and following the Korinth - Tripolis - Sparta - Gythio route (256km). Driving time is approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Ticket Reservations

LANE SEA LINES, Rozakis Agency - Gythio
   5 Vas. Pavlou Street, Gythio, 23200
   +30 27330 22207
   rozakis_agency@hol.gr

LANE SEA LINES, Livadi, Kythira
   Livadi, Kythira, 80100
   +30 2736037055, +30 2736031619
    +30 6933087777
   +30 2736037052
   info@lane-kithira.com

KTEL LAKONIAS
   +30 2105124910 - Athens
   +30 2733022228 - Gythio


From the Peloponnese - Port of Messinia, Kalamata

You can visit Kythira via the port of Messinia, Kalamata with the ferry "Vitsentzos Kornaros". The ferry runs between June - Septemner only, and operates a once weekly service to Kythira that takes 5 hours and costs approximately €28 per person and €48 for a normal-sized car.

You can arrive at the port of Messinia from Athens, either by car or by the Interstate Bus Service (KTEL), by crossing the Peloponnese and following the Korinth - Tripolis - Megalopolis - Kalamata route (234km). Driving time is approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Ticket Reservations

LANE SEA LINES, Maniatis Agency - Kalamata
   1 Iatropoulou Street, Kalamata, 24100
   +30 27210 27694 / 22492 / 25300
   +30 27210 28136
   maniatis@kal.forthnet.gr

LANE SEA LINES, Livadi, Kythira
   Livadi, Kythira, 80100
   +30 2736037055, +30 2736031619
    +30 6933087777
   +30 2736037052
   info@lane-kithira.com

KTEL LAKONIAS
   +30 2105233810 - Athens
   +30 27210 28581- Kalamata


From Athens - Port of Piraeus

You can visit Kythira via the port of Piraeus, Athens with the ferry "Vitsentzos Kornaros". The ferry operates a twice weekly service to Kythira that takes 7 hours 30 minutes and costs approximately €25 per person and €75 for a normal-sized car. The ferry departs from Gate E3 and the port of Piraeus is well serviced by buses, trains and taxis.

Port of Piraeus - Gate E3

Ticket Reservations

LANE SEA LINES, Piraeus
   22 Akti Kondyli Street, Piraeus, 18545,
   +30 210 4197420 / +30 210 4274011
   +30 210 4274013
   info@lane.gr
   www.lane.gr

LANE SEA LINES, Livadi, Kythira
   Livadi, Kythira, 80100
   +30 2736037055, +30 2736031619
    +30 6933087777
   +30 2736037052
   info@lane-kithira.com


From Crete - Port of Kissamos

You can visit Kythira via the port of Kissamos, Crete with the ferry "Vitsentzos Kornaros". The ferry operates a weekly service to Kythira that takes 4 hours and costs approximately €17 per person and €55 for a normal-sized car.

You can arrive at the port of Kissamos, which is located 43 km from Chania, either by car or by KTEL. Driving time is approximately 45 minutes.

Port of Kissamos, Crete

Ticket Reservations

LANE SEA LINES, Choreftakis Agency - Crete
   33 An.Skalidi Street, Kissamos, 73400
   +30 28220 23250

LANE SEA LINES, Livadi, Kythira
   Livadi, Kythira, 80100
   +30 2736037055, +30 2736031619
    +30 6933087777
   +30 2736037052
   info@lane-kithira.com

East

Beaches on the east coast


Avlemonas

Avlemonas
Avlemonas
Location:North
Closest Village:Avlemonas
Beach:Small, rock platforms
Access:By road (Asphalt)
Facilities:
local_drinkDrinks
local_pizzaFood
restaurantCafés/Restaurants
wcToilets
shopping_basketShops

Diakofti

Diakofti Kythira
Diakofti
Location:East
Closest Village:Diakofti
Beach:Medium, sand
Access:By road (Asphalt)
Facilities:
restaurantCafés/Restaurants
beach_accessUmbrellas & Sunbeds
local_drinkDrinks
local_pizzaFood
wcToilets
shopping_basketShops

Kaladi

Kaladi Kythira
Kaladi
Location:East
Closest Village:Paleopoli
Beach:Medium, small pebbles and sand
Access:By road (Asphalt) & steps
Facilities:
local_drinkDrinks
local_pizzaFood

Komponada

Komponada Kythira
Komponada
Location:East
Closest Village:Livadi/Karvounades
Beach:Large, pebbles & sand
Access:By road (Asphalt)
Facilities:
beach_accessUmbrellas & Sunbeds
local_drinkDrinks
local_pizzaFood
wcToilets

Limni Paleopoli

Limni Paleopoli Kythira
Limni Paleopoli
Location:East
Closest Village:Paleopoli
Beach:Large, small pebbles and sand
Access:By road (Dirt)
Facilities:None

Lorenzo

Lorenzo Kythira Map
Lorenzo
Location:East
Closest Village:Agia Pelagia
Beach:Small, small pebbles and sand
Access:By road (Dirt)
Facilities: 

Paleopoli

Paleopoli Kythira
Paleopoli
Location:East
Closest Village:Paleopoli
Beach:Large, small pebbles and sand
Access:By road (Asphalt)
Facilities:
beach_accessUmbrellas & Sunbeds
local_drinkDrinks
local_pizzaFood
wcToilets
restaurantCafés/Restaurants

Platia Ammos

Platia Ammos Kythira Map
Platia Ammos
Location:North East
Closest Village:Platia Ammos
Beach:Medium, sand
Access:By road (Asphalt)
Facilities:
beach_accessUmbrellas & Sunbeds
local_drinkDrinks
local_pizzaFood
wcToilets
restaurantCafés/Restaurants

Agia Pelagia

Agia Pelagia Map
Agia Pelagia
Location:North East
Closest Village:Agia Pelagia
Beach:Large, Small pebbles and sand
Access:By road (Asphalt)
Facilities:
beach_accessUmbrellas & Sunbeds
local_drinkDrinks
local_pizzaFood
wcToilets
shopping_basketShops
restaurantCafés/Restaurants

Fournoi

Fournoi Map
Fournoi
Location:North East
Closest Village:Karavas
Beach:Medium, small pebbles and sand
Access:By road (Dirt)
Facilities:None

Fyri Ammos of Kalamos

Fyri Ammos Kalamos Kythira
Fyri Ammos of Kalamos
Location:South East
Closest Village:Kalamos
Beach:Large, pebbles
Access:By road (Dirt)
Facilities:
beach_accessUmbrellas & Sunbeds
local_drinkDrinks
local_pizzaFood
flagBlue Flag

Kakia Lagada

Kakia Lagada Kythira
Kakia Lagada
Location:North East
Closest Village:Agia Pelagia
Beach:Medium, small pebbles and sand
Access:By road (Dirt)
Facilities:
beach_accessUmbrellas & Sunbeds
local_drinkDrinks
local_pizzaFood
wcToilets
flagBlue Flag

Kalamitsi

Kalamitsi Kythira Map
Kalamitsi
Location:North East
Closest Village:Agia Pelagia
Beach:Small, pebbles & sand
Access:By road (Dirt)
Facilities:None

Limni Kakia Lagada

Limni Kakia Lagada Kythira Map
Limni Kakia Lagada
Location:North East
Closest Village:Agia Pelagia
Beach:Small, pebbles
Access:By road (Dirt)
Facilities:None

South

Beaches on the south coast


Chalkos

Chalkos
Chalkos
Location:South
Closest Village:Kalamos
Beach:Small, pebbles
Access:By road (Dirt)
Facilities:
beach_accessUmbrellas & Sunbeds
local_drinkDrinks
local_pizzaFood

Kapsali

Kapsali Kythira
Kapsali
Location:South
Closest Village:Kapsali
Beach:Large, small pebbles and sand
Access:By road (Asphalt)
Facilities:
beach_accessUmbrellas & Sunbeds
local_drinkDrinks
local_pizzaFood
wcToilets
shopping_basketShops
restaurantCafés/Restaurants
rowingWater Sports Rental
flagBlue Flag

Vroulea

Vroulea Map
Vroulea
Location:South
Closest Village:Kalamos
Beach:Small, small pebbles and sand
Access:By road (Dirt)
Facilities:None

Feloti

Feloti Map
Feloti
Location:South West
Closest Village:Chora
Beach:Small, small pebbles and sand
Access:By road (Dirt)
Facilities:None

West

Beaches on the west coast


Lykodimou

Lykodimou Kythira Map
Lykodimou
Location:West
Closest Village:Logothetianika
Beach:Medium, small pebbles and sand
Access:By road (Asphalt)
Facilities:
beach_accessUmbrellas & Sunbeds
local_drinkDrinks
local_pizzaFood

Melidoni

Melidoni Kythira
Melidoni
Location:South West
Closest Village:Drymonas
Beach:Small, small pebbles and sand
Access:By road (Dirt)
Facilities:
beach_accessUmbrellas & Sunbeds
local_drinkDrinks
local_pizzaFood

Agios Leftheris

Agia Leftheris Map
Agios Leftheris
Location:West
Closest Village:Logothetianika
Beach:Small, Coarse sand
Access:By road (Asphalt)
Facilities:None

Kalami

Kalami Kythira
Kalami
Location:West
Closest Village:Mylopotamos
Beach:Small, pebbles
Access:On foot from Panagia Orfani
Facilities:None

Limnionas

Limnionas Kythira Map
Limnionas
Location:West
Closest Village:Mylopotamos
Beach:Small, sand
Access:By road (Asphalt)
Facilities:
local_drinkDrinks
local_pizzaFood
restaurantCafés/Restaurants

North

Beaches on the north coast


Agios Nikolaos

Agios Nikolaos
Agios Nikolaos
Location:North
Closest Village:Karavas via Platia Ammos
Beach:Medium, small pebbles and sand
Access:By road (Asphalt, Gravel)
Facilities:None

Kapsali

Kapsali, perhaps the most famous village of the island, lies on the south coast beneath Castro, the impressive fortress of Chora. The seaside town offers shops, restaurants and bars, which cover the visitor's every need.  From here, you can take a short boatride to the islet of Chytra, visit the monastery of Agios Ioannis tucked into the hillside overhead, or simply enjoy a swim in the crystal clear waters of Kapsali and nearby Sparagario.


Chora (Kythira)

The island's capital, Chora is often also referred to simply as "Kythira".  Here you can take a stroll through the picturesque narrow streets filled with small shops and traditional architecture. A definite must-see is the impressive Venetian fortress, Castro, with its majestic view over the bay of Kapsali.  Take the opportunity to try some local Kythirian sweets, purchase some souvenirs to take home, or simply relax in the 'plateia', the town square.


Mylopotamos

Located in the western part of the island, the charming village of Mylopotamos is a destination not to be missed. One of the greenest areas of the island, the visitor is truly spoilt for choice: take a walk along the path by the watermills, visit the hidden waterfall of Fonissa, the stunning cave of Agia Sofia, the secluded beach of Kalami or admire the beautiful sunset from the castle in lower Mylopotamos.


Avlemonas

On the eastern coast of the island lies the traditional fishing village of Avlemonas. Perhaps the most picturesque village (in keeping with the old style) of Kythira, visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll through the old harbor, a fresh seafood lunch in one of the restaurants, and take a relaxing swim in the small bay.


Diakofti

A little further north from Avlemonas lies Diakofti.  Apart from being the main port of Kythira, Diakofti also has one of the few sandy beaches on the island.  The clear and shallow waters and available facilities make it ideal for families and small children.


Potamos

Situated in the northern part of the island, Potamos is one of the two main business centres of Kythira. The architecture is characterised by traditional mansion-style houses and there are many shops, cafes, restaurants.  The village is always busy, especially on Sunday, when people gather from all over the island for the weekly market, where locals sell their products and meet for a coffee to share news.


Livadi

Like Potamos in the north, Livadi is the business centre for southern Kythera.  Livadi has shops, cafes, rooms to let, and also has a few of the islands most famous restuarants.  Livadi is also surrounded by smaller villages and settlements, and from here you can visit the historical 'Katouni Bridge'.  If you are in the southern part of Kythira, it is impossible to not pass through Livadi, and if you are here on a Wednesday evening in the summer, you can enjoy the local market from 5pm to 9pm.  The main office of Drakakis Tours is also in Livadi, so make sure you stop in and say hi!


Agia Pelagia

Northeast of Potamos lies the coastal village of Agia Pelagia.  As a former port town, the village has a well-developed infrastructure of hotels, tourist facilities and restaurants.  Many of the restaurants spill onto the beach, which has shallow clear waters, good facilities and a view of the Peloponnese.


Mitata & Viaradika

High on a mountain at the center of the island, surrounded by the rich vegetation of the valleys, lie the beautiful villages of Mitata & Viaradika.  Take a hike through the peaceful landscape, making sure to make a rest stop at the natural springs of Vryssi, and visit the main square of Mitata with fantastic views of the island.  You can also see the ruined church, which was greatly affected by an earthquake in 2006.

Monastery of Myrtidiotissa

In the western part of Kythira, through the village of Kalokerines and sheltered between the pine trees, lies the Monastery of the Virgin Myrtidiotissa ("of the Myrtle Tree"), who is considered the patroness of Kythira.  A visit to the miraculous icon of the Virgin, and to learn of it's history, is an experience that no visitor should miss out on.


Katouni Bridge

Behind the central town of Livadi lies the impressive stone bridge of Katouni. Commissioned during the British occupation by Colonel Macfell, this is the first and largest stone bridge in Greece still functional today.  Resting on 13 arches, the bridge measures 110m in total length, with a height of 15m and width of 6m. Construction started in 1821 and was completed in 1826 by forced labour.

Rumour has it that the bridge was built for the sake of Macfell's mistress; while the colonel lived in Katouni, she lived in the opposite village of Livadi.  In order for the two to meet more easily, the English Colonel ordered a bridge to be built across the dividing valley.


Chytra

Opposite the bay of Kapsali lies the island of Chytra, nicknamed "the Egg" or "Kettle" by locals.  Around 40acres in size, the islet is easily accessible by boat and harbours a large open cave which is perfect for snorkelling.  


Fortress of Chora (Castro)

In the south of the island, overlooking Chora and the bay of Kapsali, lies the Venetian fortress of Chora (or Castro), the namesake of today's capital which was established in 1503. From here you have a splendid view across the south of the island, Crete and Antikythira. The cannons date back to 1660, marking the fortification as a modern settlement that was inhabited by noble families and refugees. The fortress of Chora also houses the Kytherian Historical Archiveon.


Cave of Agia Sofia in Mylopotamos

A visit to this unique cave is bound to leave a lasting impression on any visitor. First mapped by the famous Petrocheilos couple (Kytherian Spelaeologists), the cave radiates a sense of enchantment, not only through its impressive stalactites and stalagmites, but also with the many stories that surround it. The cave has a total depth of 2,200m, however the route that is open for visitors only spans a length of 275m. The cave starts at 60m above sea level and finishes at 30m under ground. It is the largest of three caves on Kythira with the same name, and legend has it that they are all connected. Upon entering the cave you pass a small church built in 1875, which holds a service every September 17th, in celebration of Saint Sophia.

Visiting hours: Please contact the Municipality of Kythira on +30 27360 31213


Paleochora

In the North eastern part of the island, just east of Potamos, lies the old capital of Kythira. This fortified settlement harboured a large part of the Kytherian population for over 3 centuries and was destroyed and looted by the pirate Barbarossa in the mid-15th century.

Paleochora was the island's first capital. The small town, initially called Agios Dimitrios, is believed to have been built by Monemvasians in the late 11th or 12th century. The area had the geographical advantage that it was not visible from the sea and had a plentiful freshwater supply from springs in the nearby valley. The first settlement was probably built around the year 1000 with protective stone walls, parts of which are still preserved today. According to the legend, the fortress contained 70 churches, an exhorbitant number in relation to the total area of Paleochora. The fortified city was destroyed by the fleets of Haiderin Barbarossa who, under the command of the Turkish sultan, took the state by storm in 1537. Victims of the ensuing massacre are estimated around 7000.


Lighthouse of Moudari

Built by the British in 1857, on the northern coast of Kythira on Cape Spathi, the lighthouse of Moudari is one of the largest in Greece. The path to the lighthouse passes through a beautiful landscape and is an ideal destination for walkers.


Byzantine Musuem

After years of continued efforts, the First Department of Byzantine Antiquities presents the collection of Byzantine and late-Byzantine art, hosted in the late-Byzantine Church of Ascension in Lower Livadi. Here you can see Byzantine frescoes and small portable works of iconography on display, such as images and objects of ritual.

Visiting hours: please contact the museum on +30 27360 31731.


Archaeological Museum

The original Archaeological Museum in Chora was demolished in 2006 after it suffered heavy damage from a powerful earthquake. Since 2014, a new museum has opened in it's place and is definitely worth visiting.  The museum's collection includes tombstones, coins, vases, statues such as Aphrodite and Eros and the famous Archaic period statue, the Lion of Kythira.

Visiting hours: Please contact the museum on +30 27360 31739


Kytherian Folklore Collection

The Kytherian Folklore Collection documents the personal efforts of the now retired teacher Dimitri Lourandos, who has collected traditional objects from Kytherian everyday life over many years with the help of his students.  Today the collection is hosted in the old Town Hall, next to the police station in Chora.


Water Mills

For many visitors, the enchanting settlement of Mylopotamos is a small slice of paradise.  The name 'Mylopotamos' literally translates to 'Water Mills', and the village houses old traditional water mills that were used in the past for grinding wheat.  These mills are still standing to this day and there is a small walking path along the riverbed which leads past them.


Waterfall of Fonissa

Further along the path that leads past the Water Mills of Mylopotamos you will find the secluded waterfall of Fonissa, which falls from an overhanging ledge around 20m high. The cascading waters form a clear, cold pool at its base, where in hot summer months some brave few swimmers test the icy temperatures. According to local legend, a little girl drowned here long ago, giving the waterfall its name (meaning "murderess"). Besides its beautiful scenery, this green water hole offers cool shelter during the summer heat waves.

Monastery of the Virgin Mary “Myrtidiotissa”

In the western part of Kythira, through the village of Kalokerines and sheltered between the pine trees, lies the Monastery of the Virgin Myrtidiotissa, protector and patroness of Kythera.

The monastery was built during the 19th century, on the site of an older church. According to the legend, the miraculous icon of the Virgin was found here among the murtle bushes by a shepherd, giving the church its name (meaning “of the myrtle”). The icon’s face was worn away with no discernible features left, thus appearing to be black. Some people believe the icon to have been painted by Luke the Evangelist himself. The monastery celebrates the 15th of August, while celebrations are held on August 15th. During Dekapentismos (1st -15th of August), the monastery opens its doors and extends hospitality to pilgrims who participate in fasting and prayers.


Monastery of Agia Moni

East of the mountain above Diakofti lies the holy monastery of Agia Moni. Legend has it that Theodoros Kolokotronis (nicknamed the “Old Man of the Morea” for his wisdom) helped renovate the monastery as a promise to the Virgin Mary for her help in the Greek Revolution.

The monastery of Agia Moni was built in 1840 after a shepherd reportedly found an icon of the Virgin in a bush scorched by lightning. The icon depicts the Virgin Mary with the inscription <<The monastery of all hope>> on one side and Agios Giorgos (Saint George) on the other. The monastery celebrates on Palm Sunday and hosts festivities on its nameday, the 6th August. Besides the breathtaking view, the building’s fine construction and special candlemaking chamber are definitely an interesting attraction for any visitors.


Monastery of Agia Elessa

Located to the east of the island, near Livadi lies the monastery of Agia Elessa.  Elessa was the daughter of a pagan officer from the Peloponnese. Raised as a Christian by her mother, she came to Kythira in 375 A.D. to become a nun. Her father, however, did not accept her faith and followed her to the island. Pursued by her father, Elesssa managed to escape momentarily through a split in the rocks that suddenly appeared, however she was not spared her fate and was killed by her father shortly after.

The opening in the rock face is quite impressive and can be seen in the cliffside to the west of the monastery. The monastery was built in Elessa’s memory by fellow Christians from the Peloponnese, who lie buried in a tomb next to the cliffside. Nearby stands the tree from which her father hanged her. The new church was erected in 1871; overlooking the southwest coast of the island where visitors to the monastery can enjoy a beautiful sunset.


Monastery of Osios Theodoros

Situated in the center of the island, near the village of Aroniadika, lies the Monastery of Osios Theodoros.  A lovely courtyard with cypresses leads into the peaceful interior of the monastery. In the early 10th century, the monk Theodoros came to Kythera to devote his life to God. The monk died on May 12th in the year 922 A.D. His body was found by some passing Monemvasian sailors several years later, who buried the saint’s earthly remains in 925 A.D.  During the 12th century, craftsmen from Monemvasia came to the island to rebuild the monastery at its old site. The building was the seat of the diocese during the Venetian occupation. Inside the church lies the tomb of the saint.

Thyme Honey

Famous for its fine quality and characteristic taste, and considered by many who have tried it to be the greatest honey in the world, Kytherian thyme honey is a regular award-winner at major exhibitions. The rich flora of wild island herbs and hard work of local beekeepers produces a product worthy of its reputation and history - evident from the first spoonful!


Fatourada (Spiced Raki)

A traditional drink of Kythera, this heady brandy is based on the island's local grape pomace, tsipoura (or raki) . The spirit was originally produced at home by the locals, and the most common recipe is prepared with cinnamon and cloves. A tasty digestive with a sweet characteristic aroma, Fatourada is drunk warm, cold, with crushed ice or in cocktails. Some rarer homemade varieties of the lighter Fatourou also exist, which are likewise produced from tsipoura and natural fruits. The original recipe contains only tsipoura and natural flavours, with no industrial alcohol or colourings added.


Olive Oil

The systematic cultivation of olives began on Kythira under British rule. Today, olive trees are the economically most important crop on the whole island. The most common varieties grown are Koroneiki. The low acidity and exquisite taste palette ranks Kytherian olive oil among the finest in Greece.


Sea Salt

Coarse salt, pure and crystalline white, an unrefined natural product which brings the ocean breeze onto your plate. The salt flats on Kythira are locally owned and are rented out to salt castors, or "alatares" as they are called on the island, who manually collect large slabs of sea salt before reducing them to the salt we use.


Sempreviva

A small, robust yellow flower, its name means 'always alive' and comes from Latin sempre = always and vivere = to live.  It was given it's name by the Venetian conquerors, who noticed that when cut and hung to dry, the flower would stay fresh rather than wither over time. Collected along the rugged southern coast of Kythera and islet of Chytra, this hardy plant favours rocky substrates.  It is unique to Kythera, however there are closely related species growing in remote parts of Crete.


Pasta

Traditional pasta produced in a Kytherian family workshop; the secret to the delicious taste and exceptional quality is the use of pure local ingredients such as fresh island eggs and goat's milk.


Ladotiri (Oil Cheese)

Cheese made from goat's milk and bathed in oil after at least 2 months of drying. It has a smooth texture and a strong and distinctive flavor.


Ladopaximada (Oiled bread rusks)

The handmade Kytherian rusks, produced with local virgin olive oil, are easily among the best in all of Greece. Although many have tried to copy the recipe, the locally baked original is not to be matched in taste and quality. A characteristic product of Tsirigo, Kytherian oil rusks are shipped to many areas of Greece. However, rusks are still traditionally prepared in local homes today, baked in the oven and using excellent local olive oil. Varieties include wheat, whole grain (wheat), and the less common smigadera (half-half mix of wheat & barley flour).


Xerotigano

Finely crafted into a delicate flower-like shape, this crispy sweet is certainly an aesthetical masterpiece. Made from flour, egg and sugar, the thin pastry is sprinkled with fine honey, cinnamon and sesame. A traditional Kytherian sweet that is typically offered at festive events such as weddings or christenings.


Rozédes

A fine almond-based Kytherian sweet with a recipe originating from urban homes. A smooth blend of thyme honey, almonds, sugar, semolina and cloves, coated by a thin layer of caster sugar (white-rosé colour). For a healthier alternative, opt for the uncoated version (dark rosé colour).


Pasta Mylou

A very tasty sweet that originated from urban home recipes. Ingredients are almond milk, semolina, eggs, vanilla and bitter almond. They are served with sweet a white glazing.

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