Kythnos is a harsh, rocky island with healing waters and a nice variety of
things to do, lazy days by the sea and a good, but not too busy
Even though it is practically without vegetation, the locals live off growing olives and making wine besides tourism. The island is a little bit different from the other Cycladic islands, since its architecture is quite varied, and parts of the villages are quite modernized.
The island is believed
to have been settled by the Driopes in the 12th century BC, and their
leader was called Kythnos. They were very well organised, and their
society impressed even the likes of Aristotle.
The wells of the island were well known even in ancient years, and people from the mainland and the neighbouring island would come here to be cured from various diseases.
Kitnos was conquered by the Macedonians in the 4th century BC, and the Romans cane in the 2nd century BC, using the island as a place for exiles.
The Venetians came in the beginning of the 13th century, and were to rule here until the Turks invaded in the 16th century. This was a very unhappy time for the islanders, since they not only had to suffer constant pirate raids, but the plague as well.
What to see
: 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.
What to 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..
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.
The best thing to do is to take a direct flight to Athens - the ferry from Pireus to Kythnos only takes about three hours. Kythnos is also connected with other Cycladic islands like Milos, Serifos, Sifnos and Santorini.
Facts about Kythnos
Size: 85 sq.km
International code: 0030
Population: about ca.1500
Local code: 22810
Cash machine: Yes
Port Police 32290
Tourist Police: 31201
Price rate: below average
Telephone company (OTE)