Kythnos

Kythnos
KythnosKythnos, beautiful and picturesque, is the first island that the visitor meets on the way to western Cyclades. It is found between Kea and Serifos and is located 52 nm from Piraeus. It is a mountainous island, that is characterized by the classic Cycladic landscape and its extent reaches the 99 sq. km. It is a picturesque Cycladic island, with small villages built in accordance to traditional architecture. Cobbled streets, white houses, squares, churches and windmills compose a perfect setting of vacations for those who select calmness and peacefulness near nature.
The island is inhabited since the ancient years and demonstrates appreciable archaeological sites and monuments.
As any island automatically means sea, in Kythnos visitors can enjoy a swim in its splendid beaches. Closed bays, windless ports and golden sandy beaches promise unforgettable hours of joy.
Kythnos had never been over flooded by uncontrollable tourist development and still maintains intact its beauties. It offers quiet vacations to visitors, without however missing any occasions for entertainment. As long as it concerns accommodation, hotels and groups of rented rooms that function in the island, satisfy any needs and requirements that each traveler may have.

KythnosKythnos took its name from the head of Dryopes and first settler of the island “Kythnos”, though his existence is doubtful. Another version mentions that the name comes from the root “kyth”, which emanates from the verb keftho (crypto) and is reported in the place where somebody is hidden, probably a place with forests, valleys, caves or mines.
Recent excavations in the Maroulas region, brought to light discoveries that prove that the island was inhabited at Mesolithic period, which means that perhaps here existed the most ancient settlement in the Cyclades. On the13th century B.C., according to Herodotus, the Dryopes are expatriated form the island, signs of that constitute the cyclopean walls and temples that they left behind. The Iones were the next who settled on the island. In his “Kythnian State”, Aristotle reports of the ideal state that the above populations created.
During Persian wars, Kythnos participated with a trireme and then becomes a member of the Athenian Alliance.
Later it constituted a part of the Roman state while afterwards is included in the “Subject of the Aegean” from the Byzantines.
During Venetian domination it is occupied by the noble Markos Sanoudos and begins to be named Thermia (due to the hot springs of the island). Then it comes under sovereignty of the Kasteli and later to the Gozadini family. It remains under sovereignty of the family even after the raid of Barbarosa (1537), after the pact of peace between the Turks and the Venetians, while at the duration of the Russian-Turkish war it is occupied by the Russians. In 1827 the island is named once again Kythnos and participates in the revolutionary struggle against the Turks.
In the years of king Otto it was a place of exile of rebels and political opponents. In 1862 mutineers from Syros, aiming at the release of detainees collided with the army of the Government in the bay of Agia Irini. The conclusion of the conflict was the repression of the movement with victims the mutineers Leotsakos, Moraitinis, Skravelis and other banished.
Today residents of Kythnos deal with tourism, without having abandoned their rural and other occupations. The visitor is offered the perfect combination of a beautiful Cycladic landscape, with its spotless seas, its local products (meat, dairy, vegetables) and its fresh fish.
Hora
Hora of the island is Kythnos or Mesaria, a traditional Cycladic settlement built on the slopes of a hill. In Hora you will walk in narrow cobbled streets under picturesque “steadia” (galleries), next to white stone built houses, and will visit the beautiful churches: the Agia Triada, a royal basilica with dome that is the oldest church of the island, Sotiras, Agios Ioannis with its wood carved iconostasis from the 16th century, the historical church of Agios Savvas with a sign above the door from1613, that in the years of the Frankish occupation functioned as an Orthodox and as a Catholic church. In your tour in Hora you must not omit to visit the Archaeological Collection of Kythnos, where you will see interesting discoveries from excavations in the island. At a distance of 800 metres from Hora, on an elevation, we find the monastery of Panagia Nikous, a marvellous royal basilica with dome.

Merichas
The harbour of the island and port of Dryopida is a place with a tourist infrastructure. It is a settlement full of life any time of the day. The Byzantine Museum, where you will see icons, old books and ecclesiastical utensils is found in Merichas. In the Folklore Museum you will observe objects of past periods.

Loutra
It is a coastal settlement, port of Hora, with an organised marina and tourist infrastructure. It took its name from the medicinal sources that are found in the region.

Dryopida
Dryopida or Horio or Syllakas, constitutes a separate picture of the island. The settlement includes two-storied houses with tiled roofs, something that is not extensively used in Cyclades. The Piatsa and the district of Galatas, but also the beautiful churches of the settlement, are some of the sights of Drypida.

Lefkes
On the south-east of Dryopida lays the small settlement of Lefkes with its lovely beach, with sand and pebbles and enough shade from the tamarisk trees. An old mine of iron and manganese is found near the settlement.

Vryokastro
The ancient city of Kythnos, which was inhabited from the 10th B.C. up to the 7th A.D. century, with a peak in the classical and roman years, was found north of Merichas, near the beach of Episkopi, in the region Vryokastro. The space is full of ruins of walls, foundations of temples and altars.

Kolona
A narrow band of sand links landscape with the islet of Agios Loukas,thus shaping a natural shelter for the ships and an impressive beach that astonishes any visitor.It is found on the north-west of Merichas, in the place Kolona. The homonym church is found in the islet of Agios Loukas.

Kastro
This is the medieval capital of Kythnos that is found in the northern utmost of the island. Parts of walls of a Venetian castle, as well as ruins of houses and two churches are still preserved. The city was destroyed on the 16th century from the Turks.

Monastery of Agia Kanala
The monastery of Panagia Kanala-protector of the island-with the exceptional icon of Panagia;work of the Cretan painter Antonis Skordilis from the 17th century, is found south of Dryopida, on the eastern coasts, built on a rock near the settlement of Kanala.

Wind and Solar Park
The Wind and Solar Park is found near the space of the helicopter deck, outside Hora. Wind generators and solar collectors are used for powering of the island. It functions from 1982 and includes 5 wind generators with a production capacity of 500.000 KW hours per year.

The so called “festival” is one of the most important events in Kythnos. Big or small festivals give to Thermiotes the opportunity to exercise their religious duties. Festivals also constitute the reason for big all night fests which start from the previous evening & last throughout the next day. People enjoy & sing along with the “zies” –combination of local musicians (violin & lute) which constitute a… full orchestra.
When you come to the island, ask whether & where a festival takes place & how easy it is for you to visit it. You will experience one of the rarest & authentic events & you will also see the famous “Thermiotiko balo”. For that matter, Manolis Glezos writes about the dancing capacity of Aegean people. All Cycladians spin round & round in the vortex of dance overwhelmed by the breeziness of life. They know how to express their feelings through the dance. That is the reason why all of them are exceptional dancers. However, according to my subjective evaluation first come Kythnos’s residents. The absolute harmony of movements & music…
Among the most important events we should consider the festivals that take place in honor of Holly Mary, 15th August (Panagia of Nikous, Panagia Kanala, Panagia Stratolatissa) & in September 8 (Panagia Flanbouriani) as well as “Kythnia” which are organized every summer by the municipality of Kythnos.

August 15 : Dormition of Theotokos
Panagia Kanala
Panagia Stratolatissa
Panagia Nikous

September 8: Nativity of Theotokos
Panagia Kanala & Kalolivadiani

Tip: Local tradition: The Sfougato is organized each summer on Kythnos, which is a gastronomic festival centered on cheeses of Kythnos.

Walking in Kythnos is an occasion for relaxation in a splendid and varied natural environment, where chapels, old bridges, stone fences, sources and many endemic plants of the Cyclades provide a wealth of images to the hiker.
Proposed routes:

1. Hora-Dryopida.
This is a beautiful route in the hinterland of the island.

2. Dryopida-Lefkes.
South-east of Dryopida,we find the small settlement Lefkes with a sanded beach, with pebbles and enough shade. An old mine (in Kythnos there are old abandoned mines of iron and manganese) is found near the settlement.

3. Merichas-Vryokastro.
The ancient city of Kythnos, that was inhabited from the 10th B.C. up to the 7th A.D. century, with a peak in the classical and roman years, is found north of Merichas, near the beach of Episkopi, in the region Vryokastro. The space is full of ruins of walls, foundations of temples and altars.

4. Merichas-Kolona.
A narrow band of sand links the land with the islet of Agios Loukas, shaping a natural shelter for the ships and an impressive beach that astonishes the visitor (two sandy beaches in the same beach!), is found north-west of Merichas, in the place Kolona. The homonym church is found on the islet of Agios Loukas.

5. Loutra-Kastro.
The route leads to the medieval capital of Kynthos, to Kefalokastro or Kastro of Katakefalo or Orias, in the northern utmost of the island. Parts of walls of a Venetian castle, as well as ruins of houses and two churches are still preserved here. The city was destroyed on the 16th century from the Turks. The north-western part of Kythnos, from the islet of Agios Loukas to the cape Kefalos, presents a particular natural interest and is included in the network Natura 2000.

6. Baths-Agia Irini.
This is a small route with splendid views, which leads to the small picturesque settlement of Agia Irini,where we trace the monument of “Kythniakon” and a beautiful beach.

7. Dryopida-Cave Katafyki.
Near Dryopida, in the locality Fires, we find the cave Katafyki, with stalactites and stalagmites. In the main chamber of the cave (that substantially is the watercourse of an underground river) the residents of the island used to celebrate after the Resurrection.

How to Arrive
Kythnos is connected coastwise with Piraeus and with speedboat with Marina Zeas. Ferry boat connects the island with the remaining of the Cyclades, Crete and the Dodecanese.
For more information:
Port Authority of Kythnos, Tel. +30 22810-32290, Port Authority of Piraeus, Tel. +30 210 4226000-4, +30 210 4593140, +30 210 4593150
Port Authority of Rafina, Tel. +30 22940 22300
GREEK TELECOME: 1440

Local transport
Transport takes place with buses, taxi, rented cars and motorcycles, and with fishing boats that execute regular itineraries towards the most distant beaches.
For more information:
KTEL: 2281032250
ΤΑXΙ: 6947605251, 6944276656

Useful telephones
POLICE +30 22810-31201
PORT AUTHORITY +30 22810-32290
MUNICIPAL AUTHORITY +30 22810-31277
HEALTH CENTRE +30 22810-31202
Rural Surgery of Dryopida +30 22810-32234

Webpage of Kythnos: http://www.kythnos.gr/site/index_en.html

KythnosIn Kythnos you will find innumerable creeks, bays and beaches with crystal waters: the Episkopi, the Apokrousi with sand and shade, the big beach Flampouria where the church of Panagia Flampouriani dominates, the Agios Sostis-a beautiful beach at the northern point of the island and Naoussa with its view to the church on the rock. Kouri and Zogaki which are linked with each other with staircases, the Kalo Livadi withe the chapel of Panagia Kalolivadiotissa and the magical Fykiada.
At the southern point of the island we find Agios Dimitrios, a long beatiful sandy beach which is stretched out infront by the homonym settlement. Further south of Dryopida, on the eastern coasts, we find the settlement Kanala, above the long sandy beach Megali Ammos.

Local Products
Out of the tasty products of Kythnos the first places possess its local sausages, dairy “trimma” and “kopanisti”, its honey and its marvellous barley breads. Out of local recipes very popular are “savoro” (marinated fish), the tyrokroketa “sfougata”, the Thermian cheese pie “pitaro”, “syglina” (pork salted) and “kolonia” (pies with rice and spinach). If you go to Loutra, seek the local marzipan cakes: for sure they will give you the answer in the question what you take with you when leaving the island!

Local Recipes
The most popular dishes of Kythnos are: “savoro” (marinated fish), “sfougata” (cheese croquettes), “pitaro” (cheese pie), “syglino” (smoked pork meat) and “kolonia” (pies stuffed with rice and spinach).

Sources: www.cyclades-tour.gr, kythnos.gr, greek-islands.us