Being part of the Ionian group but located under Peloponnese
and resembling much more of islands of the Cyclades...Seems like Kythira is a strange mixture (but strange in the good way). And indeed, its location separates it from all Greek islands and at the same time it combines the peculiarities of all groups - the cubical whitewashed houses of the Cyclades, the bright blue water of the Ionian and the greenery of the North Aegean. The remoteness from all bigger ports of Greece has helped Kythira preserve its authenticity and the island is still unspoiled.
Kythira may be written in English also as Kithira, Kythera and Cythera. The island has a small airport serving flights from Athens, and a port which connects it with the ports of Neapoli and Gythio, south Peloponnese. There are also ferries from and to Kissamos, north Crete
. The journey takes from 1.30 to 5 hours, depending on the point of departure. Ferries arrive at Diakofti
on the east coast.
The capital is Kythira, or Chora, in the southernmost part. It is a scenic village built on the slopes of a high hill, with narrow streets, old churches and a Venetian castle on the top which is illuminated at night. From the castle spectacular views are revealed toward the sea and the village of Kapsali
with two large sandy bays. Other seaside settlements that provide tourist facilities are Agia Pelagia
and Platia Ammos
, the last two being quite small. The mountainous village of Mylopotamos is proud with its springs, the waterfall Fonissa and the gorge where in the past 23 watermills were working. Today only one of the mills is in good condition, the place is very good for a walk and lunch in the hot summer days. The west part of Kythira is wilder and almost uninhabited, with desolate pebbly beaches that are harder to access.
Sandy and party organized beaches can be found in Agia Pelagia, Langada, Diakofti and Kapsali but the most exotic ones are with small pebbles. Such is Kaladi, the most photographed beach on the island, with a big rock and caves around it. It lies near Avlemonas. Other beautiful beaches are Firi Ammos (with red pebbles around the shore), Komponada and Chalkos. Komponada has a pleasant beach bar working in the summer.
Interesting places and sights on Kythira:
- The capital Chora with its castle. Within the castle walls you can still see many old churches
- Paleochori, ruins of the ancient capital of the island near Agia Pelagia
- The cave church of Agia Sophia in Mylopotamos
- The castle of Kato Chora, one of the oldest settlements of Kythira
- The village of Avlemonas, with its small beach between sea cliffs which looks like a canal
- The waterfall and Phill`s watermill in Mylopotamos
- The caves near Agia Pelagia, Kalamos
- The church of Agios Georgios (Saint George) on the rocky promontory which divided Kapsali bay into two
- The rock pool in Feloti area, west of Chora
- The islet of Hytra opposite Chora. It is hollow and has a big sea cave inside, boats enter the cave and you can swim in the blue water