Kythnos Island, Greece

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, Syros, 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.
Greek ferry chugging out of Merihas, Kythnos Kythnos - the small port at Merihas

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.
Taverna at Merihas, Kythnos, Greece. ne of the tavernas sat on the Beach at Merihas - Kythnos The beach at Merihas - Kythnos, Greece. Kythnos - Merihas beach
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.)
Martinakia Beach - Kythnos Episkopi Beach - Kythnos, Greece. Nice church on the beach at Episkopi - Kythnos, Greece 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.
Hora's main church in Kythnos Nicely shaded tavernas in the alleys at Hora, Kythnos, Greece. Kythnos - Hora church An alley in Chora, Kythnos, Greece
Hora (also known as Mesaria or Kythnos). Set on a ridge around 6 kilometres from Merihas Hora (which is also known as Kythnos) is really peaceful during the day. Hora has lots of small alleys, nice little churches and buildings, at least one hotel and quite a few cafes and tavernas. The bus stop is located in the square - there is no taxi rank up in Hora but there is a noticeboard giving taxi numbers or alternatively the taverna located there will probably help you get one.
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.
Loutra's Church (Kythnos, Greece.) The Spa at Loutra, Kythnos Harbour beach - Loutra, Kythnos, Greece The very pretty Spa Building at Loutra, Kythnos
Loutra Bay, Kythnos - Greece. The nicer beach at Loutra, Kythnos Iron ore was once mined in Kythnos, Greece.. Old gantry used to mvoe the iron ore onto waiting ships, Loutra, Kythnos
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).

 

Driopida's lovely Church (Kythnos - Greece) Nice tiled roofs at Driopida, Kythnos, Greece. Driopida's rooftops - very scenic: Kythnos, Greece. Driopida (or Horio) on Kythnos Greece. Located in the hills this fairly small village (which was once the administrative capital of Kythnos) is well worth a visit for a few hours at least. It gives the real impression of an old Greek Island Village with it's lovely winding alleys and old houses which unusually have tiled roofs. The bus from Merihas which goes to Kanala stops at the square in Driopida so it's easy enough to get there. Driopida has at least three small bakeries in the village as well as a reasonably stocked small supermarket - and perhaps somewhat surprisingly an internet cafe.
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.

Beautiful spider seen whilst walking along a Kythnos path

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.
Driopida - Kythnos views of Driopida - Kythnos, Greece Driopdia to Chora walk on Kythnos Beautiful walled paths on this Kythnos walk
Kythno's excellent little Taxiarches Moni Taxiarches Monastery - Kythnos The small Moni Taxiarches - Kythnos Keep ahead where a path goes right (to a church) - continue easily uphill on the moni-path to reach a saddle and another path junction. Keep straight ahead and shortly by a ruined building fork right along the hill. This moni-path is in between beautifully made stone walls however there are a huge number of spiders living here and they have placed there webs right across the path. You constantly have to remove the webs and sometimes the spiders. In addition the path for 100s of metres is in a terrible state - high spurge, thorns and so on making progress very difficult. The unreachable moni path - thanks road builders - Kythnos It would have been great to be able to walk this Kythnos moni-pati The path descends and the growth is so bad it's fairly impassable so that it's best to walk outside of the wall.
The path dips down and then you have to clamber through thick oleander bushes to get up onto the moni-path again. Follow this still quite overgrown path along - after a short distance it loops round to the left and starts climbing a little. It may be easier to use one of the adjacent goat-tracks initially and then clamber up the bank when the moni-path becomes noticeabley less thorny. The path arrives eventually at a goat farm. Continue past the farm and shortly arrive at an open area and a dirt track - follow the track to soon reach the beautifully shaped little Taxiarchis Monastery a few hundred metres on the left. The building is usually open but there is not a lot to see inside, however in truth the enjoyment is looking at the beautifully shaped building itself. There are some low stone walls around the Moni which are just right to sit on for a while and simply enjoy being there.
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.
Kythnos - ag. Trifou Ag. Dimitrios - Kythnos, Greece Ag. Varvara on Kythnos Kythnos - Chora views
Alleys in and around Chora, Kythnos
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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