Kythnos is reputed to have 50 good beaches, 30 of them accessible by scooter; the rest by parachute. Or boat. Or foot. At Loutra, a spa town in the NE, Athenians congregate to take the waters, presumably tempted by the fact that its restaurants are staffed by waiters offhand enough to make them feel totally at home; happily you do not need to stay there and we suggest you don’t. Merichas is a sleepy port with a passable sandy beach and all buses and summer boat trips start here.
Chora, however, perched on a hill, is a revelation, an enchanting village of narrow streets, tiny squares and surprisingly sophisticated restaurants which make it the fun place to stay - walk right through it and you come to the much advertised Wind Park – which doesn’t mean the locals are particularly prone to flatulence, just that it was a good place to put up a few flapping pylons to catch the breeze.
There are plenty of beaches, notably Apokrousi and Kolonia, little over 3km away. Indeed it is a wonderful island to explore for deserted beaches, several with tavernas. The views from the spine running south from the fascinating old town of Dryopida are breath-taking.
The gateway airport is Athens. For Kea head south to nearby Milos, Serifos, Sifnos, Lavrion – it is not served from Piraeus; take the bus or hire your car, drive to Milos, Serifos, Sifnos, Lavrion, drive on to the ferry and off at the first stop, Kea. For Kythnos there are ferries from both Milos, Serifos, Sifnos, Lavrion and Piraeus. For Serifos and Sifnos there are fast ferries from Piraeus.
This group has always been very popular with the Greeks themselves, with most tourists traditionally limiting themselves to Sifnos, the largest, though Serifos is slowing catching up. Kea and Kythnos are, in our view, conspicuously under-rated and should be on every Greek island enthusiast’s list. We are trying to do our bit! It is curious that this group, the nearest to the mainland and amongst the easiest and quickest to reach, should have remained less visited than their better known neighbours to the east.
What to See & Do
Kythnos is an island for relaxing, so bring good books and snorkelling gear. You can also visit the warm baths in Loutra and even get a massage.
You can also visit:-
Loutra ("Baths")is a small village where there are hot wells, reputed for their healing waters since antiquity.
Chora is the island's capital, and is a picturesque village in medieval style. Here, you can visit the Church of Trinity.
Driopis is also a very pretty village, with typically winding streets and laid-back atmosphere. There is a small folklore museum here.
In Kanala there is a small church dedicated to the Virgin Mary, with icons of healing powers.
In Kythnos there are a few good beaches here that you can either walk or take the boat to. Episkopi and Apokroussi are very nice, but you can also stay in the harbour Merichas if you want.
There are a couple of bars on the island, and you'll find them in Chora, Loutra and Merichas. Their atmosphere is laid-back and friendly. The younger audience usually prefer Merichas.
You'll find some taverns in Chora and Merichas. The Kopanisti cheese is made on the island and worth a try. There are also a few places to eat in Kanala, Driopis and Episkopi.
In Chora there are a few shops that sell handpainted textiles in beautiful colours, leather and wood objects as well as ceramics. You can also buy strangely formed shells - a nice thing to decorate your bathroom with.
There are some bus connections on the island connecting the villages and the harbour. You can also rent a moped, or take the boat that goes to some of the beaches every day