The Greek islands Antikythira HOME Kythira

The island of Antikythira in Greece

Antikythira is a small dry and rocky island situated half way between the west of Crete (on the south) and the island of Kythira and the Peloponnese (in the north). It is part of the Ionian islands. Kythira is located about 38 kilometers away and Crete is a little bit closer. The island is 29 km2 in size and has a population of about 115 people. The main town of the island is the village of Potamos which concurrently also serves as the por. There are not many other places on the island where people live. In the mountain village Galaniana there are some more inhabitants. Only in the 80's the island had the electricity connected.

Antikythera does not get much visitors by ferry because not many people live here and the island is so isolated. Only the ferry service between Kissamos (on the island of Crete) and Piraeus on the mainland does occasionally stop at Antikythira.

Antikythera is not really known as a tourist attraction, but rather by the discovery of the Antikythera Wreck that had on board the Mechanism of Antikythera, a 2000 year old bronze astronomical clock mechanism that can now be seen in the Archaeological Museum of Athens. A beautiful bronze sculpture that was in the wreck was also moved to Athens.

Antikythera Excavations have shown that Antikythira was already inhabited 3500 years ago. There are traces of the Minoan civilization. The island was a base for Cilician pirates (4th century BC to 67 BC) and was part of the Roman and Venetian empire. In northeast Antikthira are remains of a Cilicisch fortress and there are old churches and windmills on the island that you can go see. Close to the fort the remains of a temple that was dedicated to Apollo has been found. A marble statue was found here which is now on display at the Archaeological Museum of Arhene. Birdwatchers sometimes also find their way to the island because there are special birds and there is a bird observation point on the island. Many migratory birds make their way to the island and other birds have their breeding ground here.

Accomodation options in Antikythira island are quite limited. There is no hotel here, there are only some rooms for rent. If you are lucky enough, you may be able to stay at the room of the municipal guesthouse (currently, the best option to stay on the island). If you are not lucky enough, then expect to stay in a tidy room with shared bathroom. The construction of a small hotel with modern rooms is in progress, just outside the main settlement of Potamos.

Hans Huisman, 2014
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