- 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 Minoan trade hub. 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.
You can get there by airplane, or by ferry from Peiraias, Peloponissos (Gytheio and 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 preferable.
Karavas – Plateia Ammos – Lighthouse
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 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. 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 – Ag. Pelagia – Logothetianika – Northwest coast.
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 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 (if it is open). 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 ever 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.
While on Agia Pelagia, my favorite swimming beaches are Firri Ammos and Lorentzou. Kaleris is a good choice for food.
On your way to Aroniadika, you can visit the ruins of Palaiochora, the old 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 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, picturesque village. It also has a small venetian castle (Castello) and is generally a lovely village for a stroll.
You can eat at Skandeia (Palaiopoli, tavern) or Psomoladea O.E. (Avlemonas, mediterranean). For meze, check limanaki. 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, both can get pretty busy.
Mirtidia Melidoni Livadi 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 (ideally around 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 Toxotis. For grabbing food on-the-go, 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 (which is apparently open for one last season as of 2019). 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. Have brunch, crepes and snacks at Votsalo. Fish at Apagio. 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 kytherahiking.com