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The enchanting secret of the Cyclades

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Kythnos: The enchanting secret of the Cyclades

Just a couple of hours away from the port of Lavrio, Kythnos is an emerging tourist destination that offers its visitors a complete Cycladic recreation package.

Its bare arid hills standing over a lacy coastline, with dozens of dreamy coves and captivating beaches. The spa tourism center has so many hot springs that the island’s was first named "Thermia".

Its unique monuments of folk culture, that testify to the special identity and opulent cultural heritage of the island, include 359 whitewashed picturesque chapels, scattered in various parts of the hinterland. Traditional island gastronomy enthusiasts shall find the special flavours of Kythnos, while alternative holiday seekers will enjoy the simplicity and authenticity of everyday Cycladic life, generously depicted in its picturesque villages.

Routes & Attractions

Start your walk on the island in the picturesque, cobbled streets of Chora (Messaria). Discover the charming Aegean settlement that has been standing here since the 17th century, its vaulted paths, whitewashed houses and traditional hilltop windmills.

Do not forget to visit the Archaeological Museum, which was recently inaugurated (2023), housed in a neoclassical building in Chora. Its exhibits include findings from excavations at important sites of Kythnos, such as Vryokastro and the Mesolithic settlement of Maroulas, which testify to the rich history of the island from prehistoric to post-Byzantine times.

Take a tour to the mountainous Dryopida to discover the beautiful traditional settlement that masterly brings together the Cycladic architecture with red-tiled roofs. Explore the dozens of small churches that adorn the neighbourhoods of Galatas and Pera Rouga and stop at the main square to enjoy a traditional coffee.

While you are in Dryopida, enter the Folklore Museum, reminiscent of a traditional Thermian house. In its collection you will admire local costumes, textiles, historical engravings, tools for agricultural use and other everyday objects from the island’s rich history.

Don’t forget to visit the famous thermal springs of Loutra, the first hydrotherapy centre of the newly-formed post-revolutionary Greek state. The springs were inaugurated in 1857 and since then they offer physical relaxation and well-being to their visitors.

Of all the religious monuments of the island that attract visitors, the Monastery of Panagia Kanala is the oldest monastery of Kythnos, as well as its patron saint. 

The historic monastery of Panagia Nikous, just outside Chora, is also of particular interest as it hides a unique legend. According to tradition, the miraculous icon of Theotokos Nikopoios was placed there after the Fall of Constantinople before it was stolen by the Venetian conquerors of the island. Today, the icon is found in the church of St. Mark in Venice.

Finally, do not forget to walk up the legendary Castle of Oria, the capital of Kythnos during the Venetian occupation. Here you will find both (of once 100) historic churches of Agia Triada and Agia Eleousa and enjoy panoramic views of the Aegean Sea

Beaches & Activities

A circumnavigation of Kythnos reveals the hidden beauties of its laced coastline, with enchanting landscapes, pristine beaches, and blue waters.

The impressive Kolona, a strip of sand that connects the land of Kythnos with the island of Agios Loukas, is the most photographed beach of the island. It divides the sea in two and offers two opposite sandy beaches with crystal clear waters. You can reach there by boat by sea, or by car along a dirt road.

Apokrousi is one of the largest sandy beaches of the island; Agios Sostis is the most sheltered, in the north of Kythnos; Agios Dimitrios is the southernmost with coarse sand and the famous Gaidouromandra in the southeast with its fine sandy shore is relatively isolated with difficult access, through a dirt road and steps. Episkopi near the port, has easy access and a beach bar, while at the beaches of Kanala, Loutra and Agios Stefanos you will combine swimming with food in traditional tavernas.

Tastes of the island

Kythnos’ gastronomy is based on seafood. A special dish of the island is the Savoro fish, marinated and fried in sour sauce. Other local delicacies are the traditional Cycladic sfougato, which are cheese croquettes made of local grated cheese, the famous strapatsada (omelette with eggs, zucchini and syglino), the covered spinach cheese pie, known as "kalopi", which also has rice, and the cheese pie of Thermi, called "pitaro".

Snacking options concentrate on the local rusks which the locals call "barley rusks" and come with kopanisti cheese, oregano and tomato. Of course, the local red wine of Thermi is a must, while sweet local delicacies include pasteli, traditional almond sweets and exquisite thyme honey.

Don’t miss...

Visit the Katafyki cave in Dryopida, an amazing geological monument that was an old mine and shelter during World War II. The locals used to gather under its impressive rock formations and magical stalactites to celebrate the Resurrection.

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