- Karavas - Plateia Ammos
- Potamos - Ag. Pelagia - Logothetianika
- Aroniadika - Mitata - Viaradika - Avlemonas - Diakofti
- Milopotamos - Limnionas - Fratsia
- Mirtidia Melidoni Xora Kapsali Kalamos
- Local tastes
Kithira is a quiet little island located northwest of Crete and South East of Peloponissos. 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 recent cultural heritage is a mix of influences from Crete, Mani, Eptanisa, Venice and England.
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.
You can get there by airplane, or by ferry from Peiraias, Peloponissos (Gytheio or Neapoli) and Crete (Kissamos). Check Kithira Travel for booking ferry tickets.
You will need a car/motorcycle to get around. Either bring or rent one. Cars with ground clearance are preferrable.
I have broken down places to visit and things to do by proximity and grouped them into distinct days. From north to south:
Visit the forest of Gerakari. There is Sideronero springs too. You might be able to have a swim at Routsounas off west, if you find the path.
Karavas is full of 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, you can swim at Fournoi (Φούρνοι).
Plateia ammos is the northernmost village of Kithira. You can swim there and snack in Kantina. You can also check the bar/restaurant/bistro called Odysseia (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 is the biggest village in the north. It has a scenic church and square, where a centuries-old local Bazaar takes place every Sunday. It has coffee shops and restaurants, as well as most nightlife in the northern part of the island. On August 15, there is a traditional festival where you can go dance greek folk music. Check Maneas shop.
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 wild, 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.
Agia Pelagia is a more touristy place and has the most hotels on the island. While there, swim at Firri Ammos and Lorentzou. Eat at Kaleris.
If your are near Aroniadika, you can visit the ruins of Palaiochora, the old island capital, sacked by Barbarossa.
Start your day with a breakfast at Aroniadika at the traditional kafeneio of Grigorakis.
If your are up for a hike, you can head over to Mitata. The area around Mitata and Viaradika springs and gorge is great for that.
For a swim, several options:
Diakofti, a sandy beach with caribbean-blue waters right off the port. Easy choice for folks with kids, shallow waters.
Kaladi, probably the best-known, most photographed beach of Kithira. To access, you need to go down a fair amount of stairs. There is a canteen right before the stairs where you can grab something to drink or eat.
Palaiopoli and Limni near Avlemonas are good options too. Check Aphrodite's baths while in Palaiopoli.
You can eat in Skandeia (Palaiopoli, tavern).
Around sunset, visit Avlemonas, a very beautiful, picturesque village. It also has a small venetian castle (Castello) and is generally a lovely village for a stroll.
For drinks, great music and live happenings, visit Araxtopoleio.
Milopotamos is a unique village with interesting architecture. You can start your day there with breakfast/coffee in 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, both can get pretty busy.
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).
You can go to the kafeneio at Pitsinianika for a quick tsipouro and meze.
Chora is the island's capital. Wonderful to stroll around, especially in late afternoon.
- 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). It's good for breakfast too.
Livadi is a busy village where you can grab a bite either at Pierros or at the Souvlaki place which is under new management and awesome. It's also more of a shopping center, where you can buy things like electronic devices etc.
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 Votsalo.
- 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 kytherahiking.com