The Greek Island of Kythnos - Holiday, Beaches, Walks and Photos guide.
Kythnos is a fairly small Greek holiday Island located in the Western Cyclades and a good choice to visit if Greek Island Hopping. Travelling to Kythnos Greece.
There is no airport on the island however travellers have a quite good ferry service available from Pireaus - both superfasts and
normal car ferries. The nearest island neighbours of Serifos
and Kea are only a quick ferry ride away - with Sifnos
, Kimolos and Milos all fairly close as well making some or all of them perfect for a quite compact island hopping holiday.
There are two travel agencies selling ferry tickets at Merihas one of which also handles foreign exchange. Remember that you cannot buy your ticket when you get
on a Greek Ferry - also note that the superfast ferries can be very booked up especially on Fridays and Sundays. There is a small information booth just along
from the quay in the port - though it's opening times are somewhat variable. Kythnos is also known locally as Thermia - at one time Loutra was a very popular destination for people wishing to use the spa and hot springs located there.
Getting around and about, sightseeing and touring on Kythnos Island.
A bus service runs between Merihas - Hora - Loutra however in early July there was not too frequent a service - with buses leaving at 10:45, 12:45 and 18:00. However if any ferries are due to arrive the buses will wait for them before leaving. The other bus route is Merihas - Driopida
- Kanala with that serivce leaving at the same time as the other service so ensure you get on the right one. There is a taxi rank at the port but not many actual taxis - we beleive there to be just four operating on Kythnos - and note in the afternoons quite often two of these will be unavailable as the drivers are on siesta. A taxi from Hora back to the Port cost 8 Euros which would
indicate that they are charging around 1 Euro per kilometre on the Island (at the time of our visit to Kythnos so this may well have increased by now).
Kythnos Island rooms and tavernas. The island's port is at Merihas and there are plenty of shops, tavernas and rooms available.
Kythnos rooms tend to be quite old-fashioned/out-dated but nevertheless are still quite expensive - very early in July we were offered a small room for 45 Euros per night and this when the
Island was obviously quite empty of visitors. We did look at several other rooms in the Port and all of them were of similar standard and price.
Apparently accommodation and rooms are also available in Loutra and Kanala and a limited amount can be found up in the capital (Hora). Merihas does have some nice tavernas along it's front - in fact many of them are
located actually on the narrow sandy beach - along with several beach bars and cafes. There are also the usual souvenir shops as well as several supermarkets at the port.
Merihas has a fairly long beach however it's quite narrow and what would probably be the best parts of it are taken up by the tavernas which have put their chairs and tables everywhere. (Note if using one of these "beach" tavernas
- we found that a huge number of bugs were attracted by the lights in the evening - if using one of these tavernas then insect repellant is required. The beach area also
has quite a few tamarisk trees and it's quite usual to have a caterpillar or two drop into your meal and/or wineglass.)
The other Kythnos beaches easily reached from Merihas are at Martinakia and another 20 or so minutes walk further the much larger and nicer Episkopi Beach. These are reached by leaving the port area on the Hora Road (signposted) or you can use the Hora bus which will drop you off on the main road above the beach and then
you have to walk quite steeply down (and of course back up...). Episkopi beach is fairly well lined with tamarisk trees for necessary shade - there are also several bench seats provided along the shoreline - and finally there is a taverna. Just remember that stiff climb back up though.
Kythnos Island Greece - Loutra. Famed for it's health giving spa waters making Loutra extremely popular many years ago you can still see the remains of the spa area however the spa
buildings now look somewhat derelict. The modern version of the spa is located within a very horrible concrete structure and looks like a military barrack block. It's still worth having a wander around though - there are several water channels which still have plenty of fresh spa water rushing through them - though sadly even these
are now contained in horrible concrete culverts. Loutra has a small harbour which is mainly given over to the Yachting brigade although there are a few fishing boats there as well.
The harbour is used as a backup for small ferries during poor weather should Merihas become unuseable. Loutra's harbour beach is filled with taverna chairs at one end and the rest of
it is a large dusty open space which is bordered by a car park - not in truth that attractive to use.
However there is another beach which is much nicer and just a five minute walk away - go past the tavernas and continue up and over the coast road and drop down to this tree-lined beach. If you have lots of time there is another beach at Agia Irini which looked really nice (we could not go all the
way to it as we had a bus to catch). It's quite a long walk away along the road - leave on the road going from the scruffy end of Loutra harbour beach - the road is marked to Agia Irini 1km though we think it's somewhat further than that!. Up until the second world war the island produced iron ore - this was shipped out from Loutra and there are still a couple of structures to look at from this period (photos above).
The main reason we went to Driopida was because there is meant to be an excellent walk starting off there which takes you over the hills and back into Hora - this walk is described below but there were to say the least a few problems with it.
A 6.5km Walk on Kythnos Island in Greece going from Driopida to Hora.
This walk can be difficult underfoot and annoying at times. Firstly there are a couple of things to take note of before doing this walk.
Firstly if you dislike or are scared of spiders (arachnophobia) then probably it's best not to even start - there is a fairly long section of the walk which goes between high stone walls and the spiders are here in large numbers - they have spun their webs right across the path around 4 feet above the ground and you come across them every two or three metres.
Secondly for several sections of the route the walled paths are full of thistles and thorn and quite difficult to walk along - wearing long trousers and also walking boots is a really good idea if you don't want to get lacerated. Finally always remember to take plenty of water with you even though this is quite a short walk - it get surprisingly hot in between these high walls and we found it very humid at times.
Starting off from Driopida's main square bus stop and looking down at the valley below go right and shortly turn left down the alley by the bakery (where you can get some nice food to take for lunch).
Follow the alley down for 37 steps and then go left down more steps passing another smaller bakery on the left to reach an old concrete track. Turn left still going down the valley and then at the bottom by some springs bear left on a dirt track - follow this track and look for and go up white painted rocky steps on the right.
Then keep left at a path junction and follow this path round the hill-side - you can now clearly see your onward path which goes down and then between
the low hills.
From the monastery head on to the main road where you turn left. This whole area has been heavily bulldozed where the main road has been created - the old monipath should leave on the left but it is impossible to reach because there is now a very steep scree bank. Following the road you can see below you
the obviously really nicely paved monipath which crosses the valley via an equally nice old stone bridge and heads back up the other side to Agia Trifou church. This destruction of the access to such a beautiful path which can no longer be used can only be described as a criminal action by the island's authorities. The main road eventually reaches the church of Agia Trifou.
We could see several paths in the valley but as we did not have a map and the weather was extremely hot we did not risk going out to try an alternative way of getting to Hora
so ended up continuing along the road - at least having the pleasure of passing the two nice churches of Ag. Dimitrios and Ag. Varvara as we walked. When you get into Hora just make your way through the narrow streets and alleys to reach the square where there is a bus stop, tavernas or where you can phone for a taxi if needed.
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