Located just off the southeastern tip of the Peloponnese peninsula, Kythira is surrounded by the Ionian and Aegean seas. Due to its strategic location between the Greek mainland and Crete, it has been an important trade hub and meeting point for centuries. As a result, the island exhibits influences from a variety of civilisations and cultures.
Things to do in Cythera
Spend a day wandering the whitewashed town of Kythira, which is perched atop a hill overlooking Kapsali Beach. Admire its Venetian castle dating from the late 12th century and explore the oldest of its four churches, the Church of Pantokrator, which houses beautiful frescoes. Documents dating from the 16th to 20th centuries are found within the Historical Archive of Kythira.
On the western side of Kythira is the Monastery of Panagia Myrtidiotissa, which is dedicated to the island’s patron, the Madonna of Myrtle. It is said that her image appeared to a shepherd, who built a small chapel in response. The chapel still stands today, adjacent to a majestic basilica that was constructed in 1857 and is topped by a 26-metre-high limestone bell tower.
Kythira boasts plenty of stunning beaches where you can spend your days sunbathing and swimming backed by the island’s rugged landscapes. Enjoy the views toward the Peloponnese from one of the sun beds that dot Agia Pelagia or escape to the untouched cove of Melidoni. In Kythira’s south-east is the spectacular Paralia Kaladi, which is set at the base of a high cliff.
Getting around Cythera
Alexandros Aristotelous Onassis Airport is the main aviation gateway to Kythira and has regular flights to Athens. Ferries connect to the town of Diakofti on the island’s east coast from Kalamata, Crete and the Athenian port of Piraeus. Renting a car or moped is the most convenient way of getting around Kythira.