Kythira is a roughly 280 sq. km island stands all alone, south of the Peloponnese. There are no frequent ferry connections to it, and it doesn’t have much of a tourist infrastructure. There are no other islands anywhere near, so it doesn’t get any island hopping backpackers. Also, as it is a long commute from Athens (five hours driving plus one hour on the ferry) and only a handful of people fit on the little plane that makes a daily return flight, it is not really a weekend destination for Athenians either. Instead, Kythira attracts people who come to stay longer and enjoy the quiet atmosphere of this truly unspoiled island.
In the northern part of the island you will find forests with pine and eucalyptus trees, streams and springs. The landscape in the middle of the island is very different, almost moonlike, and has a raw beauty reminiscent of the Cycladic islands. The picturesque southern part of the island is probably the most frequented, with a lot of greenery, a pretty Chora (main village) crowned by a ruined castle, and the scenic bays at Kapsali. The whitewashed Chora competes in beauty and authenticity with many of the hilltop villages in the Cyclades, but it has remained laid-back and relaxed. There are just a few small cafés, shops, rental rooms and small hotels.
Beach and walking holidays on Kythira
I would recommend Kythira for relaxed beach holidays – it has lots of great beaches to choose from (some easy to reach, others involve a bit of walking but they are worth the effort!) as well as for an active walking vacation; hikers will be thrilled to discover the variety of the landscape and the tiny, traditional villages and hamlets all over. The island doesn’t offer much in terms of nightlife, though if you need to, you can get your fix of entertainment in Kapsali.
Small hotels and other special places to stay in Kythira