Kythira Greece Guide – Perfect Island To Escape

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Post author Gabi

Written by our local expert Gabi

Gabi is an award-winning writer who lives on the Island of Crete in Greece. She is an expert in Greek travel and writes guides for the everyday traveler.

Welcome to your go-to guide for the enchanting island of Kythira, Greece! Picture a serene escape, nestled away from the usual hustle and bustle of popular Greek hotspots. That’s Kythira for you—a hidden gem waiting to be explored.

I vividly recall my summer visit in 2021, where the island’s charm left me in awe. Its location, a stone’s throw from the Mani Peninsula and a hop from Crete is just the start of its allure.

In this guide, I’ll share insider tips on must-visit spots, local gastronomy delights, and how to navigate this unspoiled paradise best. I’m drawing from my own experiences to ensure you get the most out of your Greek vacation.

Greece Travel Blog_Things To Do On The Island Of Kythira Greece

Kythira is an ideal retreat for those seeking a tranquil haven. Here, the melody of nature replaces the cacophony of crowded tourist spots. I was struck by how its pristine beaches offered solace even during peak summer months, a rare find in Greece. The island’s affordability is the cherry on top, especially for budget-conscious travelers.

Whether it’s exploring ancient ruins, enjoying the serene beaches, or just soaking in the island’s laid-back vibe, Kythira promises an unforgettable experience. Let’s embark on this journey together, discovering the heart of Kythira, one hidden alley and sun-kissed beach at a time!

How To Get To Kythira Island, Greece

The island has a secluded aura, making it a great destination far from the Ionian Islands. This great feature can also make it a place not so easy to reach from many popular Greek spots.

The best way to get to Kythira is by boat from the port of Neapolis, south of the Peloponnese. There are daily ferry routes, and the trip does not last more than one and a half hours.

You can also board a boat departing from the port of Gythio, also in the Peloponnese, three times per week. A few weekly connections are also departing from the small port of Kissamos on the northwestern coast of Crete.

If you need to reach Kythira from Athens, remember that just a few boats depart from the Piraeus Port, and only in summer with just one weekly boat service. The best option to reach Kythira from Athens is by taking a bus to Neapolis and then the ferry.

Kythira Island can also be reached by plane; despite being such a small island, the Kythira Island National Airport welcomes Athens all year. The trip is about an hour.

If you travel to Kythira in the summer, there are flights to Kythira departing from Zakynthos, Corfu, and Kefalonia.

What To Do In Kythira, Greece

Island Of Kythira Greece - Chora

The island of Kythira is small and tranquil, perfect for a calm vacation. However, some unique places to see and corners to discover will make you fall in love with this peaceful destination.

Hiking In Kythira

An escapist's paradise, the winding road through the majestic mountains of Crete, Greece takes you on a journey to breathtaking vistas and hidden gems found only in Kythira.

Maybe the most popular thing to do in Kythira is to explore the island on foot, so slip on your fave hiking boots and explore. The island features a myriad of ancient footpaths all over the island, both on hilly terrain and close to the coast.

They often lead to small or abandoned villages, picturesque chapels, and secluded beaches where you can enjoy swimming with no one around!

Two of the trails have been certified as Green Flag Trails. Throughout the island, there are over 30km of trails available for walking, with eight trails signposted.

The best moment to enjoy these paths is probably late in the fall when the sun is still not as hot as it can be during the summer. You can also enjoy the island’s wonderful nature if you walk in late spring when aromatic bushes have delicious fragrances and flowers blossom all over the countryside.

Valley Of The Watermills Hike

Kythira is a hiker’s dream, and the Valley of The Watermills is one of the top places to go. This route takes you from Mylopotamos to Kato Hora, and then it loops to take you back to your starting point, covering 4.8km. As you go, you’ll go past a huge waterfall that drops down around 20 meters, along with several smaller ones.

See The Waterfall Of Neraida 

Also known as the waterfall of Fonissa, this natural delight can be found in Mylopotamos village. The hiking route is incredibly pretty, with cobblestone paths and a stone bridge along the way.

The falls themselves are 20m high, and the pools where they end are open for swimming. Keep in mind that the water can be pretty chilly, though.

Visit The Old Chora And The Venetian Castle

Tourists strolling along a historical old castle in Kythera island, Greece.

High on a hill, the ancient Chora of Kythira dominates the island’s landscape and has to be one of the top things to do in Kythira. The ancient citadel faces the port and the bay of Kythira, offering unique island views.

The most beautiful landmark to visit in the area is the Venetian Castle. It is an impressive building dating back to 1503. The castle was built on top of an ancient Byzantine fortress.

In the area, it’s also possible to discover some very ancient churches that are unique and colorful.

Explore The Villages & Bays

A castle on the island of Kythira is lit up at night in Greece.

There are many little gems to discover in Kythira, but these villages and bays are a few of our favorites:

  • Agia Pelagia: under 30km from Chora, this village is home to a long sandy beach with sun loungers and umbrellas overlooking the Peloponnese. Grab a bite to eat at one of the many cafes after relaxing in the sun
  • Avlemonas Bay: this incredibly picturesque village is perfect for those who love nature. It oozes with romance and beauty. Grab a dinner of fresh fish, and make sure to visit the nearby beach of Palaiopolis
  • Diakofti Bach: for those who love to swim, head to Diakofti. White sand beaches, fresh fish, and a Russian shipwreck await
  • Kapsali Bay: another spot for beach lovers, this resort is home to Blue Flag beaches along the double bays that make up its shoreline

Discover The Ancient Bridges

The stone bridge of Katouni built by British in Kythira Greece, with big arches and round openings, sunny day.

There are two imposing stone bridges on the island that are worth visiting. They date back to the years of the English domination of the island and belong to a more complex protection system designed by foreign rulers.

The most beautiful and largest stone bridge can be visited in the area of Livadi; it’s well-preserved and an important example of the island’s past.

Check Out The Lighthouse In Moudari

On the Northernmost spot of the island, you can discover the picturesque lighthouse of Kythira in Cape Spathi.

Considered the largest lighthouse that the British ever built in Greece, the beautiful faro dates back to 1857.

Marvel at the beautiful waterfalls in Mylopotamos

Known as Neraida, this beautiful waterfall can be found in the area of Mylopotamos. The green landscape features huge plane trees and lush bushes.

The waterfall has a height of about 20 meters, and there’s a small pond beneath where visitors and locals adore swimming to get rid of the heat of summer.

Check The Imposing Castles Of Kythira

Island Of Kythira Greece - Chora, Kapsali village view at Sunset

Still, looking about what to do in Kythira? Then look no further. Years of Venetian domination on the island have left an important heritage of castles on Kythira. Besides the imposing castle on the Chora, the island’s capital, you can also spend some time visiting other fortifications.

One such building can be found in the village of Avlemonas at the entrance of its port. It dates back to the 16th century, and its primary purpose was to protect the island from enemies and frequent pirate attacks. The old stone walls of the castle still portray the engraved image of Saint Mark’s Lion, the legendary symbol of the Venice Republic.

Another castle worth a stop is the castle of Mylopotamos, located in the heart of a medieval settlement that remained inhabited until very recently.

The fortress protects many different homes and other interesting, well-preserved buildings. The place is also known by the name of Kato Xora.

Paleochora is an old village that you can visit in Kythira; it is home to one more castle, the Castle of Paleochora.

This fortification represents one of the most important archaeological sites on the island, and it is precisely the place where Kythira’s former Byzantine capital used to stand. It is a magnificent building dating back to the 12th century.

Explore The Archaeological Museum Of Kythira

Right in the heart of Kythira’s Chora, it’s possible to pay a visit to the Archaeological Museum of Kythira.

The museum exhibits a remarkable collection of vases and other objects belonging to the Minoan civilization.

Besides that, you can check the interesting Mycenaean collection of pottery and objects belonging to important historical periods and astonishing marble statues found on the island.

Pay A Visit To Churches And Monasteries

Exterior view of monastery Panagia Myrtidiotissa the spiritual center of Kythira
Panagia Myrtidiotissa

There are unique religious buildings that visitors can admire in Kythira. One of them is the Monastery of Agia Moni, in the village of Diakofti. Built in honor of the Virgin, the monastery dates back to 1840, and its stunning location is on the top of a very high mountain.

As it’s possible to imagine, the views from the sea and the village port are breathtaking.

One more monastery you can visit in Kythira is the Monastery of Agia Elesa in Ano Livadi. Elesa was a local saint who was tortured and died at the same site as she refused to deny her unbreakable faith. Visitors honor the saint’s grave, which can be visited in the yard of the building.

If you’re interested in Byzantine art, don’t miss a visit to the Church of Analipsi, also in Livadi. It is dedicated to the Ascension of Christ and is also home to the critical Byzantine Museum of Kythira.

Visit The Byzantine Museum

Housed in the Church of Analipsi, tourists can find one of the most important museums in Kythira, the Museum of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Art.

It features a rare collection of delicate frescoes and fragile paintings coming from different churches.

One of the most important exhibitions in the museum is an early Christian mosaic, which comes from the ruins of another church, Saint John of the River.

Hytra Island Boat Trip

Beautiful sunset view over Kapsali beach in Kythera island, Greece

Taking a boat trip to Hytra is a bit of a journey, at around 2 hours on the boat, but it’s more than worth it when you arrive. Hytra is a small island that is really rocky when you approach it, but once you dock, you’ll experience beaches and sea caves like nowhere else. The sea here is so unbelievably blue and ideal for swimming during the hottest summer months.

Check Out The Green Lake

This is another hidden gem, which sits around 1 hour away from Limnionas beach. It’s a natural rock pool, and the water inside is extremely clear, to the point where it shines a green color. You can travel the main road, or you can take a boat from Kapsali. It’s possible to hike to this area, too, but the trail is quite rocky and uneven, so make sure you wear appropriate footwear.

The Springs Of Amir Ali

If you’re looking for a natural spot to get away from it all, this is it. In the north of the island, you’ll find Karavas village, and close to there are the Springs of Amir Ali. There are small cafes close to the springs so that you can get some refreshments and lots of traditional tavernas and bakeries.

Explore Kythira’s Caves

The cave of Kalamos is located in a village of the same name. The tiny chapel of Agia Sofia guards the entrance of the impressive cave.

The cave has been largely explored by researchers who inside discovered unique pottery and other objects of everyday use belonging to the 6th millennium BC.

Another cave on Kythira is the impressive Agia Sofia in the village of Mylopotamos, about 20 km northwest of Kythira’s Chora. This impressive stalagmite cave also features a church dedicated to Agia Sofia, with ancient frescoes in excellent condition at the entrance.

Cave Of St Sophia

Agia Sofia chapel in the entrance of a cave in Kythira island, Greece.

Close to Mylopotamos in the west of the island, you’ll find the Cave of St Sophia. The cave was fully opened in the ’50s, and since then, visitors have ventured down to around 200 square meters to check out the impressive stalagmites and stalactites. It’s also refreshingly cool inside, even when summer is in full flow.

The entrance to the cave is a church that is carved into the rock, and you’ll see statues of St Sophia. Legend has it that the saint’s body was found inside the cave itself.

Islet Of Hytra

Just outside the port of Kapsali is a rocky islet that is locally known as Avgo. An incredible underwater sea cave is here, home to seals and falcons along with sapphire blue waters.

To visit the cave, you will need to hire a boat from Kapsali.

Take A Day Trip To Antikythira

Antikythira is a small island located about 17 nautical miles south of Kythira. The island is a beautiful gem with a history dating back hundreds of centuries. There are a few small settlements on the island, while most residents, about 50, live in the village of Potamos, the main settlement of Antikythira.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the island became famous when two important bronze objects were discovered at sea off the island’s coast.

One of them is a mechanism for astronomical calculations, and it can be seen in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens.

Among the landmarks to check on Antikythira, don’t miss the magnificent lighthouse from 1923, built on the side of a cliff and Plagara Hill, with perfect views of the small island and the surrounding areas.

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The Best Kythira Island Beaches

Lesser-Known Greek Islands - Kythira

You should visit several Kythira beaches, but these are the most beautiful ones in no particular order.

Kapsali Beach

Perfect place for long swimming sessions, with beautiful views of the island and the castle high in the Chora; Kapsali is a great beach to spend a day. It is well organized and features an area with pebbles and one with fine sand. There are cafés and beach tavernas open for lunch and also selling snacks and cold drinks.

Kaladi Beach

In Kythira, Greece, a boy finds solace sitting on top of a rock on kaladi beach in Kythira island,

Many consider this shore one of the most superior beaches in Kythira. And it certainly is the most popular one. The coast features small pebbles and crystal-clear turquoise waters.

It’s located on the eastern part of the island, and its most curious characteristic is that it is divided into three different parts, one of them being an impressive cave. Getting to Kaladi is not the easiest thing to do since it’s necessary to drive along a dirt road for a few minutes and then descend over a hundred stone steps. The beach is not organized.

Komponada Beach

One of the wildest beaches in Kythira is Komponada, located in the eastern area of the island, between better-known beaches, such as Kaladi and Kalamos.

It’s a pebbled beach with no organization while the waters are deep and transparent. Like many other beaches on Kythira, this shore lacks organization; however, it’s not difficult to access by car since there’s an asphalt road that heads you all the way to the entrance to the beach.

Diakofti Beach

Beautiful view of Diakofti beach in Kythira island, Greece during high tourist season

Probably the most exotic area on Kythira, the beach has shallow, turquoise waters and incredibly white sand. Diakofti is on the northeastern side of the island, and it is a fabulous spot for young children since it’s calm and shallow. There’s a limited organization, but you can find some magnificent traditional tavernas serving delicious fresh fish.

Avlemonas Beach

Perfect for families with kids, the beach is located in the gorgeous village of Avlemonas. The area is well organized, and there are several tavernas for meals, cold drinks, and Greek coffee. The place is ideal for small children who can learn to swim here in complete safety.

Where To Eat In Kythira 

Greek outdoors cafe with empty table and chair on pavement at Kythera Ionian islands Milopotamos village destination Greece. Yellow pots with flowers everywhere.

Greek food varies from island to island, and Kythira has many great places to enjoy the local cuisine and spend all afternoon sipping on Greek coffee or cocktails. Check out one (or all) of these:

Psomoladea, Avlemonas

Psomoladea is a fantastic restaurant featuring delicious Mediterranean cuisine in an impressive 400-year-old building. The place serves a tasty selection of local dishes with fresh products from the island.

Taverna Filio

The place is located in Kalamos, and a beautiful garden surrounds it. Filio is a taverna well-known for its Kytherian and other regional gastronomy. The venue also serves local wine from grapes of the Arikaras variety. Greek cuisine, Greek music, and a lively atmosphere combine for a unique experience both at midday and in the evening.

Pizza Vitsio

Head to Livadi to taste a great pizza in Kythera. Both adults and kids adore the variety of toppings you can get on your pizza when dining in this place. Serving both lunch and dinner and coffee any time of the day, the food is simple but delicious. Other than pizza, check snacks, sandwiches, and pasta.



Best Places To Stay In Kythira, Greece

It’s a great idea to stay in Chora, the island’s main town, on the southern coast. You’ll find many accommodation options, restaurants, bars, and tavernas here.

Another good great place to stay is in the area of Kapsali, perfect if you are on Kythira, mainly to take advantage of the pristine sea and the magnificent beaches. If you’re looking for a more traditional environment, then stay in Avlemonas, a fishing village with a fantastic Cycladic atmosphere made of whitewashed buildings.

Staying here will allow you to combine the authentic spirit of the island with the comfort of being close to the largest beach on the island, Paleochori.

Best Budget Kythira Hotel: Abramis Studios

Greece Travel Blog_Guide To Kythira Island_Abramis Studios
Photo Credit: Abramis Studios

Abramis Studios is a comfortable home in the village of Mitata; upon request, guests can enjoy a traditional local breakfast served in a basket outside your door. On the property, there are a beautiful garden and barbecue facilities.

Click here for more information and the latest prices.


Best Mid-Range Kythira Hotel: Paleopoli Villas

Greece Travel Blog_Guide To Kythira Island_Palaeopoli Villas
Photo Credit: Palaeopoli Villas

Check out the beautiful Paleopoli Villas in the village of Avlemonas. These self-catered villas are perfect for a romantic stay in the area without spending a fortune.

Click here for more information and the latest prices.


Best Luxury Kythira Hotel: Kythea Resort

Greece Travel Blog_Guide To Kythira Island_Kythea Resort
Photo Credit: Kythea Resort

If you’ve made up your mind to splurge on the island, then book a luxury room at the breathtaking Kythea Resort in the area of Agia Pelagia. Check out the beautiful outdoor pool and well-rated restaurant among the property’s main features.

Click here for more information and the latest prices.



When is the best time to visit Kythira?

May to September is the best time to visit, as all of the tourist sites and restaurants on the island will be open.

How do I travel around Kythira?

Buses are available during the summer season, as are taxis. We recommend you consider renting a car if you want more freedom to track down hidden gems.

How many days are needed to visit Kythira?

2-3 days will allow you to see most of the sites.

Which town should I stay in when visiting Kythira?

Chora is the best option as it’s the main town on the island. Kapsali and Avlemonas are other good options if you are looking for something more traditional.

Kythira Island, Greece, awaits your arrival; you only need to book your relaxing getaway. 

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