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KYTHNOS


This description provides information of ancient sites, seaside resorts, churches, monasteries, landscapes and small towns and villages. Additional details can be found in various books printed on Greece, such as the 'Blue Guide to Greece.' The names of places conform to the accented Greek pronounciation which would be the one a traveller would face upon a potential visit.

For a general map of the Kyklades, click here!(55K).

To go back to the Kyklades main page, click here!


Kythnos is an island situated between Kéa and Sérifos and directly opposite of Síros. It is 19 km long and covers an area of about 80 square km. Mainly flat, the highest peak is Prophet Elia, at 326 meters altitude. Barren of trees, the only green shade, in the heat of the summer, is provided by fig trees scattered everywhere. The main communities are Kythnos (also called Hóra), Kanalia, Messaria and Loutrá.

First inhabitants of Kythnos were the Káres, who after a while gave up the island to the Cretans. The island then passed to people from Evia, the Dríopes, who under the command of Kythnos gave his name to the island. They were more interested in going to the fertile valleys of Cyprus and thus left and the island passed to the Ionians. In the North part of the island, there are the ruins of castles from that era.

In more recent times(about 200 BC), the island was attacked many times by the Romans who never succeeded in taking it. The capital then had more than 12000 people all congregated in the northwest part.

Later the capital was moved to what is known as Kefalókastro today. It was rebuilt around the time of Christ and destroyed by marrauding people only to be rebuilt and be destroyed again by Pirates in the 13th century.

Today the island is a haven for Greeks who head for its many Spas, all located in the North Eastern part of the island. The water there is supposed to have medicinal properties. One of the springs offers water which is always at about 52 degrees C(about 120 F) and another one which provides water at a temperature of 38.6 degrees (about 90 F) and which is also slightly radio active.

The island is a great haven for passing Greek Easter because the locals put up quite a sight. Easter, the most religious of all Greek Christian activities, is a place where local folklore dances, sometimes weddings in the old style, taste of the wild weeds (called localy as Alifónia) and trying the local Mizíthra cheese all take place.

The island is famous for local folk products, handmade or handwoven textiles and handmade bamboo objects.

Transport: From Piraeus, there are daily ferries in the summer and 4 times per week in the winter. The trip takes 4 hours (info: 01/ 4226000). From Lávrio, there are are five crossing per week in the summe and two in the winter and the trip takes 2h30m (info: 0292/25249).


KYTHNOS - HORA
Kythnos, the capital of the island is littered with beautiful white houses and wonderful churches not to be missed. The Church of Agía Triádas, Metamórfosis, Agiou Panteleímona and Agiou Ioánnou are a must-see. All of these churches were both for Orthodox and for Catholic pilgrims, the first praying on the right side and the latter on the left.


DRYOPITHA
This was the ancient capital of the island located south of Hóra. Today's village is traditional and has some windmills (used in the past for grinding flour). Nearby there is also the location of Katafíki, a famous cave which has been destroyed by the iron ore mines, shafts of which can also be seen.


PANAGIA KANALA MONASTERY
This famous Monastery, almost at the southern end of the island, is dedicated to the Panagiá, celebrated every August 15. The Monastery, when open, offers basic amenities and food. A beautiful beach is also available for those that just cant wait for a cool dip.


BRIOKASTRO (RIGOKASTRO)
The site of the alleged ancient capital of Kythnos, it is full of tombs, walls and other artifacts from ancient times including artificial caves built into the rock faces.


LOYTRA - SPAS
This is the Spa town of the island, full of hotels and pensions catering to the Athenians who descent every year in search of a (sometimes) mythical cure.

Here is located the Castle, which was built around 1650, ruins of which are much in evidence.

In Loutra, there is plenty of opportunity for spearfishing and snorkeling, with wonderful underwater settings, especially north of the town.


Hotels
LOUTRA
Kythnos Bay, 0281/31218 (Apr-Oct)
Ksenia Anagennisis, 0281/ 31217 (Jun-Oct)

Apartments, Rooms for rent
LOUTRA
Meltemi, 0281/ 31271 (May-Oct)
There are rooms for rent and apartments in Agios Dimitrios, Lefkes, Loutra, Merihas, Panagia Kanalka and Flambouria Dryopidas. Enquire upon your arrival or call any hotel number above for more information.


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