Kythera is the most southern of the Ionian islands and lies about 20 km off Cape Malea at the southern tip of the Peloponnese. The island is about 26 km long (north to south) and has a maximum width of 16 km. This gives it a total surface area of 278 km2 and a coastal line of 52 km. Presently there are about 4000 inhabitants living on Kythera.
There are many villages on the island, 60 settlements some small like Trifilliánika, Strapódi and Vouno. Slightly larger villages are Chóra and Livádi in the south and Potamós up north. Each village has its own unique atmosphere, you will experience it by just sitting down at a small taverna or a town square.
People on Kythera are hospitable and friendly, always curious to know where you are from. If you appreciate the wonderful light and quietness on the island, you will fall in love with Kythera!
There are many lovely beaches on Kythera varying from fine white-sanded beaches and beaches with small and sometimes large pebbles to really rocky beaches as well. Some are easily accessible, some are playing “hard to get” in which case you really need quite some perseverance. Here’s a list of beaches starting at Diakófti and going clockwise around the island:
– Diakófti Beach (Diakófti): sometimes called the blue lagoon of Kythera with perfectly fine white sand and very easily accessible. Partly equipped with sunbeds and a little bar and some quieter areas, but definitely and utterly agreeable. The sea is quite shallow there, ideal for families with young children.
– Piátsa Beach (Paleópoli): the longest sandy beach on the island, stretching between Paleópoli and Avlèmonas with a small part that contains a little beach bar with sunbeds to let…
– Vóthonas Beach (Paleópoli): the entrance road to the beach is right opposite Skandeia restaurant with a combination of sand and pebbles.
– Límni Beach (Paleópoli): a quite secluded beach with sand and pebbles. To get there you’ll have to walk passed a rocky river bed, but totally worth the effort.
– Kaladí Beach (Paleópoli): probably the most picturesque beach of the island with small pebbles, but accessible only by a natural stone staircase counting about 120 steps…
– Komponáda Beach (between Paleópoli and Kálamos): accessible from the road passing through Goúdianika. A beautiful remote long beach with large white pebbles and a well equipped beach bar during the summer months, and sometimes even: midnight to dawn beach parties…
– Fíri Ámmos Beach (Kálamos): not so easily accessible following the sometimes bumpy road, but certainly worth the effort. It’s a long beach with mostly pebbles and a small cave where you can swim in (on the right side of the beach).
– Chálkos Beach (near Kálamos): relatively small beach with pebbles and sunbeds and umbrellas for rent. Could be a bit crowded during the summer months.
– Kapsáli Beach (Kapsáli): alongside the boulevard of Kapsáli there are many cafes and tavernas, but the adjacent sandy beach is also very agreeable and easily accessible. The view towards the islet of Chítra and the castle of Chóra complement the scenery.
– Melidóni Beach: on the south side of the island not so easily accessible through a rough road but still quite popular and beautiful.
– Limniónas Beach: on the western part of the island accessible by following the road passing through Mylopótamos and Káto Chóra. Not so much an easy road but breathtakingly beautiful. There’s a little canteen owned by Níkos (who loves to play loud but authentic greek music).
– Kalámi Beach: perfectly beautiful small beach… but you must be in a good physical condition to get there. Passing through Mylopótamos driving towards Panagía Orphaní and from there a half hour walk towards the west and finally a difficult climb downwards and then: the rope…
– Lykodímou Beach: also on the western side of the island, accessible through yet another beautiful road passing through Logothetiánika. Swimming is not always possible because of the sometimes strong western winds, but still a site for sore eyes.
– Agía Pelagía Beach: easily accessible and alongside the boulevard of Agía Pelagía with many tavernas there is also a nice sandy beach with a shower and some beach cabins for changing clothes. Ideal for families with little children.
– Fíri Ámmos / Kalamítsi / Loréntzo / Laggáda Beach (Agía Pelagía): these beaches can be found when following the coastal road from Agía Pelagía on the northern part of the island. Laggáda beach has a nice beach bar and was awarded a Blue Flag for 2017.
The Minoans inhabited Kythera around the 5th millennium B.C. and lived in the port of ancient Skandia, today known as Paleopolis. For the Minoans, Skandia was an intervening point for their voyages to the West. They created the settlement of Skandia as a place to rest in the middle of their long journeys. People had developed an important civilization in Scandia. They used to worship goddess Aphrodite there, the Kytherian Aphrodite, as she was called because, according to their tradition, she was born in the Aegean Sea near the shores of the island. Traces of a Minoan temple were found near Scandia.