Kea (also called Tzia) is an island close to mainland Greece and the port of Lavrio. It belongs to the Cyclades archipelago but like Andros it differs from the other islands of the group - the whitewashed buildings and blue-domed churches are replaced by roof-tile houses and rather green landscape. The only ferry connections, though frequent, are with Lavrio and the neighbor Kythnos which makes it away from the mass tourist flow and one of the least visited Cyclades destination. Those who dare to visit the island, however, enjoy genuine Greek meals, relaxing atmosphere and idyllic landscapes.
Kea has both green hills and sandy beaches with vivid blue water. The capital Ioulis (Ioulida) is the most picturesque settlement on the island, built amphitheatrically on elevation in the inner part. The port where ferries arrive is Korissia on the west, set in a curved bay with a couple of beaches. The rest settlements are small seaside resorts, such as Otzias, Pisses and Koundouros. The east coat coast has numerous small coves on which you can happen to be the only visitor. Historical sights are also present, like ancient Karthea with ruins of temples (and a nice beach below it), and the Stone Lion in Ioulida, a sculpture from pre-historic times.
highlights: green hills and hiking trails, island in Cyclades Islands, Greece