Kythnos: A beautiful island close to Athens!
Kythnos is a beautiful Cycladic island close to Athens. Since Kythnos is small, you need no more than 30-40 minutes to reach all your destinations around the island. However, you should be careful while driving because there is only one lane in each direction.
How to get there
From Piraeus, the journey lasts 3 hours by ferry. In case you want to get there more quickly, you can take a high-speed ferry and be there in 1,5 hour!
From Lavrio, the journey lasts 2 hours by ferry so my recommendation is that you start your journey from there.
Where to stay in Kythnos
When I visited the island with my family, we stayed at Kythnos Bay Hotel in Loutra, one of the few pet-friendly hotels on the island. Other hotels in the area are the Meltemi Hotel Kythnos and the Porto Klaras suites and studios.
The centre of Kythos (chora) is not similar to the chora of other islands that you may have visited or are planning to visit. My family and I visited Kythnos at the end of August, and although we expected to see an abundance of tourists, chora was very calm. Follow the narrow streets of Kythnos and enjoy the beauty of the island! While strolling around chora, you may come across the painted walls that impressed me during my walk.
This village is famous for the church of Panagia Kanala which totally worths a visit. If you walk a little further, you will arrive at the church of Agia Kalliopi. In case you want to take a swim, there is a beautiful beach nearby.
Dryopida is located in the centre of the island. It used to be called “Chorio” (Village) but during the reign of King Otto, the place was named “Dryopis” in honour of an ancient tribe. The church of Agios Athanasios houses both the Byzantine Museum and the Folklore Museum. Another interesting museum is the Agromuseum with its agricultural instruments. On a hill outside the village, you will find the Monument of the Fallen. Heading east, you will see the church of Agios Minas and the little chapel of Agios Athanasios, both located outside the village. However, the most important site close to Dryopida is the cave Katafyki.
Beaches in Kythnos
To describe this beach, no words need to be spoken… The following photograph speaks for itself!
In Loutra beach there is a small hot spring with thermal waters where you can take a dip! The beach is surrounded by taverns and bars, so don’t miss the chance to taste the traditional cuisine of Kythnos and enjoy your drinks next to the sea.
Caves in Kythnos
Katafyki cave is said to be the most famous cave and the most important site of Kythnos. It has two names, Katafyki and Georgios Martinos. The first name, which means shelter, is because earlier the residents used it as a shelter to protect themselves, first from pirates, then from Franks and Turks but also during the Second World War. The second name is in honour of a geologist from Kythnos who has dedicated his life to the exploration of the cave. The cave is right at the edge of Dryopida at an altitude of 190 metres. The temperature is always 17°C.
The cave is accessible by sea if you have a boat or by land, in case you want to rent a car. I would advise you to start from Loutra and then to head north towards Kefalo beach.
If you are not accompanied by a local, it is difficult to find this impressive cave and admire its stalagmites. If you are in Kanala, you can ask the local fishermen to guide you there.
Note that if you visit the sea caves by boat or if you scuba dive, it is possible to come across monk seals! In the inland caves that can be found everywhere on the island, lives a small endemic species named Cordioniscus Kithnosi that only exists in Kythnos!
Where to eat
Chophouse “Sti Ladokolla”
As its name suggests, you will mainly find delicious meat dishes served in wax paper instead of plates.
It is a beautiful fish restaurant next to the sea. Due to the high popularity of the restaurant, it would be wise to reserve a table.
Souvlaki at “Pano stin ora”
This is the place to be if you want to eat souvlaki. Note that there are no tables and chairs, so it’s only for take-away.
Tip: Go as early as possible because it gets crowded.
Its name means kitty, maybe because of the cats that walk around it? I may not have the answer to this question but I know for sure that here you will find wonderful casseroles and that the service is very quick. Reservations are recommended.
Restaurant “Chartino Karavi”
For me, this is one of the best restaurants we have been to during our holidays in Kythnos. It has a little bit of everything, and again, reservations are highly recommended.
Kythnos may not be a famous Greek island but its wild beauty will amaze you. While driving around, you will pass through mountains. You will explore wonderful beaches, some of which are not included in this article. So, I hope that I have convinced you to choose Kythnos as your summer holiday destination!
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