Book early! There are only two apartments and two studios at Xenónas Fos kè Chóros, the guesthouse of Dutch Albert and Anita on Kythira. Done in a beautiful ‘modern traditional’ style, charming and spacious, and very reasonably priced, they go fast. In the summer people come to Kythira for the obvious – beach holidays – while in the low season Xenónas Fos kè Chóros (“light and space”) is sought after by people who are interested in calm island life and walking, as well as ‘alternative’ holidays. Albert and Anita organise olive-harvest weeks in the autumn, hiking weeks, culinary Christmas and ‘mindfulness and silent’ walking weeks in the spring. The self-catering accommodation is in two gorgeous twin buildings, each with an apartment on the ground floor and a studio on the floor above, all with sea (and sunset!) facing terraces. The apartments have a living room with two single mattresses on a sleeping platform and a double bedroom, perfect for families, while the open-plan studios are great for couples. Interiors reveal impeccable taste, with polished concrete floors, kitchens and bathrooms, wooden ceilings, simple but pleasing furniture and thoughtful decorative touches. This is a really wonderful place to stay.
En-suite bathroom (shower)
Television with DVD/CD player
‘Alternative’ holidays (set dates): silent walking, hiking, olive-picking, yoga, mosaic workshops, culinary Christmas…
All four units have kitchens, so you can prepare your own meals if you want to. I do suggest however that you try the Fos kè Chóros breakfast, which is totally delicious. Albert served me an omelette (village eggs of course!) with honey-baked tomatoes – an absolute treat – freshly squeezed juice, fresh bread, homemade jams and creamy yoghurt, absolutely worth the small supplement. When you are not in the mood for cooking, you have a few traditional Greek restaurants at walking distance. Albert and Anita recommend a restaurant called “Maro”, and they will also give you list with recommendations for other restaurants and tavernas on the island. Albert and Anita, by the way, are excellent cooks, but only prepare meals for their guests during the ‘special weeks’ such as the olive harvesting programme.
You can definitely bring your little ones to Xenónas Fos kè Chóros. The apartments have a space off the living room with two single mattresses on a sleeping platform, and the studios have space to sleep one child. Cots, highchairs and toys/games are available. As each studio and apartment has its own kitchen, you can prepare meals for your children, so you don’t have to go out all the time. Kythira is a great island for family holidays, especially if you want to avoid the busy tourist resorts. It has plenty of beaches and even in August, the busiest time of the year, you can still find relatively quiet beaches on the island. If your kids like walking, you can explore the beautifully varied landscape of Kythira on foot with them.
Xenónas Fos kè Chóros is in the centre of the island of Kythira with views over the hills to the open sea. It is right outside the village of Aroniadika, and close to Pitsinades. The main village of the island is about 20 minutes by car, and (many!) beaches are between 15 and 25 minutes’ drive from the guesthouse.
Kythira can be reached by plane (one daily flight from Athens) and by ferry (daily connections from Neapoli near the south-western tip of the Peloponnese, and less frequent services from Gythio in Mani and Kissamos on Crete). When you arrive at the port of Diakofti, you follow the road until you reach Aroniadika, where you turn right on to the island’s main north-south road, in the direction of Agia Pelagia. After about 100 m, in a double bend, you turn left towards Pitsinades. The guesthouse is on your left after 350 m.
I stayed here and it is everything you’d hope to expect on a Greek island. It is as close to perfect as one can get! A classic island style with contemporary design. Every detail has been worked out. It is aesthetically pleasing and user friendly. The owners, Albert and Anita, are charming. I only wish to find another place like this on other islands. Sigh……