Those who have visited Kythira, will always return. This is not a conclusion but a certainty, as the beauty and atmosphere of this unique island leaves visitors in awe. Kythira is located just after the south edge of Peloponnese; it is seemingly remote compared to other islands, yet this is part of its allure. Enchanting caves, ancient castles, exotic beaches and traditional villages constitute the profile of this destination. The Guardian recently described it as “the perfect Greek island”.
Kythira is easily connected by ferry with the port of Neapolis in the Peloponnese. Ferries also start from Gythio in the summer and drive to other islands like Antikythira and Kissamos in Crete. Occasionally you can also take the ferry from Piraeus. So what are you waiting for?
# What to see
Kythira has a variety of must-see destinations, including villages, sites of archaeological interest, as well as natural wonders and caves. The island’s capital (Chora), is characterized by the typical Cycladic architectural style, with whitened residences and small, picturesque backstreets that lead to the castle. The famous “Fortetsa” as it is called, dates back to the 13th century and the Venetian influence is evident to the visitor. The view is breath-taking and offers a spectacular outlook to the Aegean and Crete.
Do not also miss the view from the lighthouse at the cape of Spathi, at the northern part of the island. If you are a lover of natural wonders, do take the boat available from the port to visit the small islet “Hytra” (or “Avgo”) to see the magnificent sea cave with the bright, turquoise waters and the rare species of flora and fauna. Regarding the villages, the one of Avlemonas is renowned for its picturesqueness, while the village of Mylopotamos definitely worths the visit, as the nearby cataracts of Neraida are a marvelous sight, a small paradise within the scenic, orgiastic nature.
# Where to swim
Kythira does not only provide a variety of beaches, but boasts some of the most scenic ones in Greece. Kaladi is considered to be the best one in the entire island, followed by Melidoni (which has an amazing view to Hytra islet and is organized with beach bars) and Kalamos, a lengthy beach with sparkling, crystal-waters. The sight of Diakofti beach is also unique, as the landscape resembles an exotic one, while for the lovers of adventure, do include in your schedule the beach of Kalami, risky to reach yet the scenery will reward you. The beaches of Lorentzou and Kyriakoulou are also excellent choices.
# What to eat
Kythira are known for the production of supreme quality honey that continues to this day. The taste is incomparable and, while the price might be a bit higher because of the limited production, you should definitely take a jar back home. The olive oil is also exceptional, while the local wine (mostly in white and rosé varieties) is a must at every occasion and accompanies local delicacies (such as the tasty rusks) perfectly. Fresh fish and seafood is always available in large quantities, while the local meats and sausages are used to make delicious, mouth-watering dishes. The cheese called “voutirotsikouda” is very rare to find but of amazing taste, while you should definitely try the traditional pies and sweets, including mostly honey and almonds.
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