An impulsive decision, on May 1st, brought me (in good company) to the beautiful island of Kythnos. The intention was to spend a calm long weekend on an island near Athens. Kythnos never let us regret that decision.
It is merely 3 hours away from Pireaus and just 2 hours if you choose to leave from Laurium. Boats leave almost on a daily basis.
The boat will bring you to Merichas, the main port with the pretty little taverns and bars. From there, you can rent a vehicle – but this requires booking in advance, due to low availability.
Next station: Dryopida, the island’s oldest village; it still has the same name as in antiquity. Here, you will find tiled roofs, wonderful side streets and two museums (folklore and historical).
In the southeast, Panagia of Kanala (a church named after the miraculous icon found in the channel) is waiting for pilgrims among the pines.
Τhe island’s capital, called Chora, lies in the north, next to a beautiful little plateau. A typical example of Cycladian architecture with arches, lime-washed walls and narrow side-streets, it offers few yet excellent choices for food, drinks, desserts, ice-cream – even shopping.
Finally, the last village with a population of more than 200 inhabitants is Loutra in the northeast part of Kythnos; it has a remarkable bay and the thermal waters that King Otto and Queen Amalia so favored.
The island has more than twenty beaches – all of them easily accessible and with crystal clear waters. The most famous one is Kolona, a narrow slice of sand between two little bays.
Τhe specialty of Kythnos is a dish called sfougata (croquettes filled with goat’s cheese). It is also worth trying the local cheese-pie, herb-pie, biscuit-pie, as well as the local honey.
However, what makes Kythnos (otherwise called Thermia) special is the unaffected kindness and hospitality of its inhabitants. Away from social vanity, the islanders remain warm, simple and cordial hosts. If only for this reason, they deserve the preference of all well-meaning visitors, who seek calmness and quality for their vacations.
Finally, let me remark that the prices of both goods and services are very reasonable; let me also stress the restricted vehicle availability – a fact that makes timely programming paramount.