Kithira is a quiet little island northwest of Crete. Some say it is the perfect Greek island. In ancient times, it was associated with the cult of Aphrodite and was a trade hub for Minoans. It’s contemporary cultural heritage is a mix of Cretan, Maniot, Eptanisa, Venetian and English influences.

It has some of the cleanest, crispest swimming waters I know of. The scenery varies wildly, from rocky, rough, dry terrain to green patches, forests, springs and waterfalls. Ideal for hiking, canyoning and canoeing.

Getting there

You can get there by airplane, or by boat from Peiraias, Peloponissos (Gytheio and Neapoli) and Crete (Kissamos).

You will need a car/motorcycle to get around. Either bring or rent one. Cars with ground clearance or SUVs are preferrable.

Karavas - Plateia Ammos - Lighthouse

Visit the forest of Gerakari. There is Sideronero springs too. You might be able to have a swim at Routsounas, if you find the path.

Karavas has Peloponissos-style houses, beautiful neighbourhoods and springs. Visit Amir Ali and Keramari Springs (probably the island’s best drinking water). Eat at Lemonia. Check Karavas Bakery for all your rusk needs.

Further north from Karavas, swim at Fournoi, and grab a cold beer/snacks in the Canteen there. If you are into spicy stuff, check their hotdog.

Plateia ammos is the northernmost village of Kithira. You can swim there and snack in Kantina. There is also a new (as of 2017) bar/restaurant called Odyssey.

Further north, is the lighthouse of Moudari. On lighthouse day you can go inside. There is a beach next to it called Ag. Nikolaos and yet another very beautiful boat-access-only one called Ammoutsi.

Potamos - Ag. Pelagia - Logothetianika

Potamos is the biggest village in the north. It has a scenic church and square, where a local Bazaar takes place every Sunday for centuries. It has coffee shops and restaurants, as well as most nightlife in the northern part. On August 15, there is a traditional festival.

Eat at Panaretos and have drinks at Astikon or Avli. Astikon usually has live music acts during the summer. Try their homemade lemonade with or without alcohol. Or try cocktails and Greek beers in Avli.

The northwest has some of the most beautiful, unspoiled beaches you will find. You might need a boat to access some of those. Others can be accessed by SUV. Check Likodimou, Ag. Eleftherios, Ohelles, Ligia and Koufogialos.

On Agia Pelagia, you can rent SUP and Mountain bikes or arrange for canyoning Kakia Lagada and more. While there, swim at Firri Ammos and Lorentzou. Eat at Kaleris.

On your way to Aroniadika, you can visit Palaiochora, the old byzantine island capital, sacked by Barbarossa.

Aroniadika - Mitata - Viaradika - Avlemonas - Diakofti

You can start your day with a breakfast at Aroniadika at the traditional kafeneio of Grigorakis. Then you have several options for swimming.

Diakofti, a sandy beach with caribbean-blue waters right off the port. Easy choice for folks with kids, shallow waters.

Kaladi is probably the best-known beach of Kithira. To access, you will need to go down a fair amount of stairs. There is a canteen right before the stairs.

Palaiopoli and Limni near Avlemonas are good options too. Check Aphrodite’s baths while in Palaiopoli.

Around sunset, visit Avlemonas, a very beautiful and picturesque village. It also has a small venetian castle (Castello) and is generally a lovely village for a stroll.

You can eat in Skandeia (Palaiopoli, tavern) or Psomoladea O.E. (Avlemonas, mediterranean). For drinks, great music and live happenings, visit Araxtopoleio.

Or, head over to Mitata and eat at the local tavern in the village square. The area around Mitata and Viaradika springs and gorge is a Good hiking destination.

Milopotamos - Limnionas - Fratsia

Milopotamos is a unique village with interesting architecture. You can start your day there with breakfast/coffee in Kamari or Platanos. If you are lucky, there has been rainfall in the winter and the waterfall in Neraida is not dried out. There is a Venetian castle in Kato Chora. Visit neromyloi for a nice scenic hike. Then, optionally, head off to Ag Sophias cave.

Several options for swimming: Kalami, my favorite beach, is nearby. Fair warning, the access is difficult, be sure to wear proper shoes. An easier option is Limnionas. You can have some Meze/Ouzo there too (highly recommended). Finally, something different: Swim in a natural pool, formed by sea water, about 40 min walk from limnionas.

Eat in Platanos (tavern, Mylopotamos) or for something more gourmet, Familia (Fratsia, kretan/mediterranean gourmet). Be sure to book a table in both, they can be pretty busy.

Mirtidia Melidoni Xora Kapsali Kalamos

For swimming you can try Melidoni (one of my faves, organized, dirt road for about 3km), Chalkos (organized) and Firri ammos (Off Kalamos, big, organized).

Chora is the island’s capital. Wonderful to walk around. If you want to buy stuff, check the souvenir shops and boutiques. Visit the Museum. Head to the castle (best to do it in sunset). For drinks and nightlife, Mercato (Cocktails, nice vibe, cool staff, can be crowded during high season). For dessert, Fossa (homemade desserts, try the lemon pie and the cheesecake)

On the road to Kapsali, visit Koukos bar. Great music and cocktails. Kapsali is a graphic village 1 km from Chora. You can swim there or in Sparagario. Book a Glass Bottom Boat ride to Xytra with captain Spyros. Eat Krepes and snacks at Vanilla. Check Xrysopsarro.

Local products / dishes

  • Oil Rusks (from Potamos or Karavas Bakery)
  • Thyme honey (can be pricey, worth tasting though)
  • Pasta mylou (dessert)
  • Fatourada (raki-based liquer, strong cinnamon taste)
  • Rozedes (dessert. Honey, almond/nut paste and spices)
  • Ksinoxontros. A kind of Trachana (also: ksinoxontros me melitzanes)


There is one in Kapsali. It is full of trees, providing adequate shadow in the mornings. It’s facilities are quite old but clean


Kithira is an excellent hiking destination. Check