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Kythnos:
The Unexplored Island of Cyclades

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Discover Kythnos

Kythnos is just two hours away from Athens and is among the least explored of the Cyclades. This tiny island with its barren landscape and crenelated coastline is a paradise full of heavenly beaches, fairytale villages, and attractive folk architecture. It is made still more picturesque by the hundreds of white chapels dotted about its bare hills.

Peaceful and unassuming, Kythnos offers authentic hospitality to lovers of simplicity and freedom who want to get back to nature on a different kind of holiday. And if you are a fan of wellness tourism, the famous hot springs of Loutra promise a wonderfully rejuvenating experience at a historic thermal spa.

4 memorable experiences on Kythnos
  1. Kythnia, the cultural festival held every summer on the island. It showcases Greek and foreign performances of dance, music, and theatre, as well as other events.
  2. If you choose one of the ferry tickets to Kythnos, don’t forget to go on a boat trip to discover the treasures hidden around its irregular coastline.
  3. Exploring the neighbouring island of Agios Loukas, with its church, ancient ruins, and wonderful caves.
  4. Seeing some of the island’s 359 churches and chapels, unique works of folk architecture that symbolise the difficulties of life here, an unforgettable experience for religious tourists.
Beaches of Kythnos

There is an extraordinary variety of landscapes among the island’s more than 60 beaches, offering experiences to suit every mood. As most of them are unofficial and far from a main road, they remain relatively unspoiled. Don’t miss:

  • The much-photographed Kolona, where a narrow strip of sand joins Kythnos to the islet of Agios Loukas, bisecting the limpid blue waters. The exotic setting is ample reward for the relative difficulty in getting here (by dirt road or by sea).
  • Apokrousi, which curves around a dazzling bay with crystal-clear turquoise waters. It has a large expanse of soft sand and plenty of tamarisk trees for natural shade, as well as beach-bars and tavernas, while there is good access by road.
  • The splendid Holy Saviour, a sand and shingle beach in north-east Kythnos, which owes its name to the nearby church. It can easily be reached via a reasonably good dirt road.
  • Agios Dimitrios, near the village of the same name in the south of the island. It is frequented by families and has tamarisk trees and pretty sand lilies.
  • The lovely and secluded Gaidouromantra, a location of astounding beauty with a long stretch of golden sand and clear blue-green waters. There are only a few tamarisk trees to protect you from the sun, and no amenities, so make sure you have everything you need before you go. Access is relatively difficult (via a dirt road and steps).
  • Megali Ammos, near the village of Kanala. It is long and sandy and the sea is shallow, making it a favourite with families. There is a beach-bar, while Kanala has various cafes, tavernas, and other places to eat.
  • Episkopi, which is well-organised and popular with all ages. It has a large expanse of sand and the sea is shallow, which makes it ideal for families. There is a beach bar and a watersports club here.
  • Martinakia, a small beach next to the port of Merichas. It attracts large numbers of people thanks to its gorgeous turquoise sea and very good facilities, which include umbrellas, sun loungers and tavernas.
Postcards from Kythnos: 7 things not to miss

Dryopida
This small mountain village with narrow winding lanes and age-old fig trees is renowned for its lovely homes with traditional tiled roofs and neoclassical elements. Admire the churches in the neighbourhoods of Galatas and Pera Rouga and make time to enjoy a coffee at the main square.

The Monastery of the Virgin Mary of Nikous
This historic monastery, where a school operated for forty years before and after the 1821 War of Independence, is of interest for more than just its superb folk architecture. It is said that an icon of the Virgin Mary was brought here after the fall of Constantinople, only to be spirited away by the Venetians, and that the sacred relic is now held in Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice.

Loutra
This popular tourist resort first came to prominence in the 19th century, thanks to the hot springs that have been attracting the great and the good to the island since Greece’s first spa opened here in 1857. Today, the iconic hotel and the marble baths used by King Otto and Queen Amalia are protected cultural monuments.

The Monastery of the Virgin Mary of Kanala
Built in 1869, the oldest monastery on Kythnos is dedicated to the island’s protectress. Its marvellous architecture is captivating, while it has exceptional views of the Aegean.

Kythnos Town (Mesaria)
The capital of Kythnos is a fabulous 17th-century settlement with arched passages, whitewashed houses, pretty churches, and windmills. It is worth going for a stroll there and stopping for food at a traditional taverna.

Oria Castle
The island’s medieval capital is still an impressive sight with its ruins overlooking the Aegean. Discover its old murals and make a stop at the churches of the Holy Trinity and Divine Mercy, the only ones to have survived of the hundred or so that once stood here.

Katafiki Cave
One of the most breathtaking geological formations in the Aegean, with imposing rocks and remarkable stalactites. Once a mine, it served as a shelter during World War II, while at Easter, worshippers used to gather in the evocative main chamber to celebrate the Resurrection.

Tastes of Kythnos

Kythnos follows the gastronomic tradition of the Cyclades. Try the excellent local syglino (cured pork) and sausage. You should also sample sfoungato (a type of cheese croquette made with both salted and unsalted cheese), kolopi (spinach pie with cheese and rice), tarachta (scrambled eggs with courgette and syglino), and pitaro (a kind of cheese pie).

If you choose one of the itineraries to Kythnos, don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy double-baked barley rolls with spicy kopanisti cheese, tomato, and oregano. Lovers of seafood should sample savoro (sun-dried fish marinated in a sour sauce and pan-fried) and the well-regarded red wine that is produced locally. Don’t leave the island without tasting its famous amygdalota (almond sweets).

MAP OF KYTHNOS
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