Kythira and Antikythira



Kythira is a rather remotes island and not particularly well known. There is a reason. It may technically belong to the Ionian Island Group but it is far away. It is situated between the Peloponnese and Crete. For this reason the island in some publications isn't even mentioned as part of the Ionian group.

Kythira is quite big. It has an area of 300 km≤. Only about 3500 people live there. Tourism never really arrived there and they don't seem to have anything else to compensate for it. The island is poor. Most locals left and went to Australia. These expats are pretty much the only tourists visiting the island. In summer they come for a few weeks and that's it.

Kythira
Picture: © Andreas Karelias - Fotolia.com

There is very little infrastructure or development that would attract tourism so there is little hope for the future. At least they got one famous daughter. Greek mythology names Kythira as the birthplace of the goddess of love; the most wonderful and legendary beautiful Aphrodite.

Diakofti: Is the main port of the island. It is situated in the east. Other than that it is a small town with nothing to offer. There are a few restaurants and rooms to rent but not even a bus.

Agia Pelagia: The port in the north of the island is the stop for ferries from the Neapoli on the Peloponnese. There is some tourist infrastructure one can even rent a bike.

Potamos: The commercial capital of the island is situated 10 kilometers south of Agia Pelagia. The town is all right but there is little to see.

Mylopotamos: The small town is situated in the very heart of the island. It's probably the most interesting place on the entire island. It has a rather beautiful church.

Hora: The local capital is the main tourist destination on the island. That doesn't say much though. It has a castle and a small museum. If you like your peace and quiet Hora is probably good choice. There are enough nice restaurants and accommodation is relatively cheap.

Antikythira

 If you like it even more quiet Antikythira is a good choice. The island south of Kythira (on the way to Crete) is even less developed. Only about 40 people live there. This figure alone gives you a good idea what's going on there (nothing). The island has an area of 20 km2. There is one tavern that offers rooms to rent. There is a small shop with a very limited choice and no ATM. Outside of the main season you better bring your own food. The very few people living there are very nice though.

Accomodation on Kythira

In all places mentioned there are rooms to rent available. They range from cheap to moderate. In July and August prices go up significantly. For the rest of the year you will get a bargain. Recently a few upbeat hotels were built. Rumour has that you can now book from abroad to stay there.

Busses on Kythira: There is pretty much no public transport on the island. The few busses you see are school busses. The only sensible choice is renting a vehicle.

Getting there

There is daily boat from Neapoli on the Peloponnese. It stops in Agia Pelagia. To Diaftoki there is a boat from Gythion (Peloponnese). It may not go every day but is pretty frequent. There are a few ferries a week going from Diakofti to Antikythira and the on to Kastelli-Kissamos on Crete. In winter there are obviously even fewer boats. Now and then 9probably depending on demand) there is ferry from Athens to Kythira. The island has a small airport near Potamos in the north. There is a daily flight to Athens but thatís about it.

 

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