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Kythira: the outsider of the Ionian Islands

30 August 2014 / 15:08:38  GRReporter
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Kythira is like a little girl with whom the other children (the other Ionian Islands in this case) do not play, because it is located south of the Peloponnese, an hour and a half from Neapolis in Laconia, but quite far from the other islands of the archipelago. Nevertheless, Kythira does not complain because it has everything, including waterfalls, wild beaches, turquoise waters, delicious food, and even its own flower, Sempre Viva, which grows only there and which is eternal.

With its exceptional location between Crete and the Peloponnese at the point where the Ionian, Aegean and Cretan Seas meet, with 3,000 inhabitants who each year anticipate the hordes (do not be afraid of the word ‘hordes’, as the island is large enough to receive all without being crowded) of tourists coming to become acquainted with the island's beaches and history and to steal a bit of its atmosphere, with 60 villages and numerous beaches, there is room for everyone.

What to see

The most popular tourist sites on the island are Chora and Kapsali in the southern part of the island. In Chora there are many corners with atmosphere, good restaurants and traditional architecture, from there you can visit the Castle of Kythira built by the Venetians in the 16th century. However, even if castles and narrow streets do not excite you, you must try the legendary desserts banofi and lemon cake at Café Fossa.

From the picturesque Milopotamo you will get to the waterfalls, and if you want to walk, go to the other side of Neraida waterfall, to the watermills and the next waterfalls, and cool off in the icy waters that flow between the plane trees. A few kilometres away from Milopotamo you can find the cave of Saint Sofia, where, according to legend, the saint’s body was found. Inside you will see stalactites and stalagmites in various shades.

Have a walk in Potamos in the northern part of the island, where there is live music in the evening, and do not forget to go to Karavas and visit the springs of Amir Ali, and have a cup of coffee at the picturesque café.

You have to stop in Avlemonas, a calm and picturesque harbour with small restaurants, you can go bating into the sea and visit the Hutra island, opposite Kapsali, after 04:00 pm when the sun is upon the caves. Dive into the water and enjoy the underwater life.

Where to bathe

You will not easily find sand on Kythira, even on the beaches that have the word "sand" in their names. Nevertheless, the water everywhere is crystal clear and transparent. One of the few sand beaches is in Diakofti, the port of Kythira, where the water is turquoise and very clean. There you will see the famous Russian cargo ship Nordland that was wrecked off the Prasonisi rocks.

One of the most beautiful beaches is Melidoni to the south and there is a dirt road to take you there. Another impressive beach is Kaladi and you can go there after climbing 200 steps.

In Halko the water is beautiful but there are many people because it is one of the tourist sites and is easily accessible. You can also visit Komponada and Phiri Amos to the east.

Northeast, it is worth visiting Fournous and to the west, Likodimos beach with the huge rocks that secure thick shade.

How to get to Kythira

By plane (Olympic air, Aegean), or drive to Neapolis in Laconia (about 365 km away from Athens) and then by ferry (about an hour and a half), or by ship from Piraeus (about 7-8 hours).

Tags: Ionian IslandsKythiraBeachesCaves
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