Kythnos
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THE ISLAND OF KITHNOS OR KYTHNOS IN THE CYCLADES IN GREECE
map of Kythnos Nederlands

Kythnos lies in the group of the western Cyclades islands at is about 3 hours away by ferry from Piraeus. The island is 86 km2 in size, and has a population of about 1500 people. It is a friendly and a rocky island with few facilities for tourists. The island has few attractions and is more a place where people come to on a search for peace and quiet.

The three main villages on the island (the port, the Chora and the village Driopida) and the rest of the island remain unspoiled and the landscape on Kythnos is little dramatic. However, there are many old churches in the hills of the island (but many are closed because some people couldn't keep their hands in their pockets and therefore quite a few icons have disappeared).

The port Merihas is the place where the ferries arrive. It lies in a bay on the west side of the island. Behind the bay the houses rise up the barren brown mountains. In this village there are a few accommodations for rent. In the village there is a beach with pebbles and sand in front of the quay, where you find a few tavernas and shops and where there are also some trees. The village is dominated by a large hotel that does not really fit into the picture in terms of size and architecture. Although this sounds not so romantic Merihas is not at all bad. Nearby, just north of the port are a few good beaches (Apokrissi and Fikiado).

Occasionally there is a bus that connects the port with the main villages on the island. On a hilltop lies the brown capital of Chora (also called Kythnos) with its windmills. It is a quiet and authentic old town with white houses. Along the main road that runs through the village are a few tourist shops but there are no hotels or other accommodations in the village. In the traditional village the friendly residents live and you see a lot of donkeys. There are ancient churches and narrow streets. On top of the hills are also beside the old windmills some modern ones that generate energy. Chora is actually the most picturesque village on the island. A little hidden in a small garden next to the main road are also some remnants of buildings from the ancient time.

In the north of the island is still the 19th century spa resort / fishing Loutra where you find a few hotels. The village of Driopida lies in a fertile valley at the bottom of a hill and is a bit more attactive. The houses in this village have red roofs. In the village lies the Cave Katafiki that is one kilometre long and has several lakes (unfortunately it is closed). The rest of the island is quite bald with brown hills and terraces (against erosion) and here and there is wild thyme growing. There are not so many trees on the island, but fortunately there are actually trees on a number of beaches. The best beach of the island is located on the east side at Agios Stefanou, but because Kythnos not so specialized in tourism, there is no bus to it. In case you want to visit the beach that means that you'll have to go hiking.

The beach of Fikiado is not unpleasant. It lies just west of the port Merihas and you can cross on foot to the small island of Agios Loukas in front of it. There are beaches in abundance on the island and actually too many to mention. Some beaches are small, some big and there is a bit of everything. On the map a blue dot indicates where there is a beach to be found. Flambouria (or: Flabouria), for example, on the west side of the island has a large sand / pebble beach. On a rock in the sea there is a beautiful large church, the Panagia Flabouriani. Also near Kanala on the southeast side of the island there are big beautiful sandy beaches.

ACCOMMODATIONS - HOTELS, APARTMENTS AND STUDIOS ON THE ISLAND OF KITHNOS OR KYTHNOS IN GREECE

Most accommodations on the island of Kythnos can be found in the harbour of Merihas and also in the spa resort Loutra there are a few hotels. Here and there spread across the island beaches rooms can be rented (and there are quite a lot of beaches given the size of the island) for example in Schinari, situated just above Loutra, and at Lefkes on the east side of the island.

FOR ALL HOTELS, APARTMENTS AND STUDIOS ON THE ISLAND OF KYTHNOS IN GREECE - CLICK HERE.

Kythnos Hotels - Kontseta Studios in Merichas - very good reviews
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Located in Merichas Village of Kythnos, the traditionally-built Kontseta offers self-catering units with free Wi-Fi and views over the Aegean Sea. It lies within 30 metres from Kythnos Port and 50 metres from Martinakia Beach. Opening to a balcony, the studios of Kontseta are fitted with stone-paved floors, built-in beds and white-washed walls. Each air-conditioned unit has a kitchenette with fridge and cooking hobs. A TV, a hairdryer and free toiletries are available. Guests will find restaurants and shops within a short walk from Kontseta. The scenic Kythnos Town is at 7.5 km, while the traditional village of Driopida is 5 km away. The famous Kolona Beach is at 8 km. Free public parking can be found on site.

Check availabilities and prices & book Kontseta in Kythnos - click here.

Kythnos Hotels - Hotel Xenonas Afroditi in Loutra Beach - very good reviews
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Xenonas Afroditi is just 20 metres from Loutra Beach and 50 metres from the sandy Sxinari Beach in Kythnos. It features air-conditioned rooms with free Wi-Fi and balcony overlooking the Aegean Sea or the garden. Featuring bright colours, rooms at the Afroditi have a seating area with sofa and an LCD satellite TV. Each is equipped with a mini bar and safety deposit box. The modern bathrooms are stocked with toiletries and hairdryer. A buffet breakfast including cheese pies, fresh orange juice, homemade bread and cakes is served in the dining area with views of the sea. Breakfast in the room is also possible. Fish taverns, seafront cafés and shops are within 50 metres from the property. The bus stop to beaches such as Agios Sostis is 15 metres away. Kythnos Port is at 13 km. Staff at the 24-hour front desk can arrange car rental.

Check availabilities and prices & book Hotel Xenonas Afroditi in Kythnos - click here.

Kythnos Hotels - Hotel Meltemi in Loutra Beach
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Just 100 metres from the sandy Loutra Beach in Kythnos, the Cycladic-style Meltemi Hotel features a bar and a stone-paved sun terrace amidst its fragrant gardens. It offers free Wi-Fi in public areas and air-conditioned rooms with a balcony. The simply decorated rooms of Meltemi enjoy views over the Aegean Sea, the mountain or the village. Each unit is equipped with a fridge, a TV and a private bathroom with shower. Guests can start their day with a buffet breakfast served daily at the dining area. Coffee, drinks and light meals can also be enjoyed at the on-site bar throughout the day, while restaurants can be found within a walking distance. Meltemi Hotel is situated 12 km from Kythnos Port and 5 km from the scenic town of Kythnos. The traditional Dryopida Village is at 9 km. Car rental services can be provided and free public parking is possible on site.

Check availabilities and prices & book Hotel Meltemi on the island of Kythnos - click here.

THE SIGHTS OF THE ISLAND OF KITHNOS OR KYTHNOS IN GREECE

The Castle of Oria - In the north of the island lies the Venetian castle of Oria on top of a mountain. It is located close to Cape Kefalos and it was the ancient times the capital of the island. When the Turks in 1570 destroyed it, the Venetians moved to Messaria. There are some remnants of castle walls, of houses and two churches. The castle is difficult to find because the path that leads to it is quite unclear.

The Katafiki Cave in Driopida - As I wroe earlier this one kilometre cave (one of the longest in Greece) in Greece is certainly an attraction, but the question is whether it is open ...

The settlement of Maroulas - This settlement dates from 9000 - 8000 BC. Round constructions have been uncovered and skeletons and stone utensils have been excavated.

The Monastery of Panagia Kanala - This monastery is on a cliff near the village Kanala and contains an icon of the Holy Virgin Mary that, according to the Greeks can perform miracles (but such kind of miracles making icons are usually found on every Greek island). The monastery is richly decorated and there are beautiful murals.

The Monastery of Panagia Nikous - The business card of the island. This monastery is located at 800 meters away from Chora is pictured on all postcard of Kythnos. It's big, white and walled and lies abandoned in the barren brown landscape. According to a legend it once housed an icon that was brought to the monastery after the fall of Constantinople. wand which now can now be seen in the St Mark of Venice.

The Byzantine Museum in Driopida - In the Agios George Church in Driopida there is a small museum with special Byzantine and ancient icons.

Vriokastro - In the north-west of Kythnos lie the remnants of the old capital Vriokastro. It was a great city that was inhabited from the 10th century until the beginning of the 7th century BC. Some pieces of the thick city walls are still intact and there are a temple for Demetra and a Acropolis, as well as other buildings. In 2001, there was a temple found on the ground, where some 1500 objects were excavated, including jewelry and various objects of gold, silver, coral, glass, ivory and semi-precious stones.

FERRIES FROM PIRAEUS AND OTHER ISLANDS TO THE ISLAND OF KITHNOS OR KYTHNOS IN GREECE
ferries Lavrio - Kythnos ferries Piraeus - Kythnos

There are daily connections between Piraeus (the port of Athens on the mainland - see picture right) and the island of Kythnos. In the morning hours with Ventouris Sea Lines the trip takes about three hours. Kythnos is the first island the ferry calls upon. On some days there is a faster boat by Aegean Speed Lines, which takes about one hour and 45 minutes. Ventouris Sea Lines sometimes has an extra connection in the afternoon. GA Ferries has a couple of times a week a crossing that what takes place later in the day. For the exact times you check their websites. Also from the port of Lavrio (see picture left), there are connections to Kythnos. This harbor would have wany my personal preference that is much smaller and not as chaotic as Piraeus. In order to reach Piraeus you also have to go from the airport through Athens and that makes harbours of Rafina and Lavrio morepleasant as an alternative. Karystia Shipping Co goes directly from Lavrio goes to Kythnos without a stop in Kea. The trip takes two and a half hours. Also NEL-Lesvos Maritime goes occasionally to Kythnos but with a stopover at Kea (3 hours travel time). Also Goutos Lines regularly goes from Lavrio to Kythnos and then back again. In short: choice enough. The connections between Kythnos and the mainland are really good.

You can check the times and prices and if you like you can book a ticket ahead on the site of Ferries in Greece. Especially if you want to be on a superfast ferry during the high season this could be a good plan.


© Hans Huisman, http://www.angelfire.com/super2/greece/ 2013
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