Kythnos’s atypical beauty satisfies all types of travelers with wild natural beauty, numerous beaches (both crowded and isolated even when the island is full of visitors), traditional villages and delicious food.
Spend the day on the postcard-perfect Kolona beach — a thin strip of golden sand connecting two headlands and creating a pair of aquamarine bays. Then soak your tired limbs in the natural hot springs of Loutra and enjoy a hydromassage treatment.
Located on Kythnos’ west coast, Merichas is the island’s main port, where ferries from Lavrio and Piraeus dock. The village has retained its traditional appearance and is a good place to get a feel for the local culture. It is also the ideal point of departure for excursions to other islands. The beach of Kolona is nearby, which makes it a great option for anyone looking to relax on the island’s beautiful beaches.
Chora of Kythnos, or Messaria, was founded during the 17th century and has a picturesque layout. Its cubic white buildings contrast with the vivid strokes of color from the blooming bougainvillea flowers, creating a truly Cycladic settlement. There are many taverns, cafes, bars and sweet shops in this charming town. Whether you’re searching for a place to eat, buy souvenirs or simply admire the beautiful architecture, you’ll find it here.
In addition to the lovely beach near Foinikas Studios, Kythnos boasts two folklore museums that showcase the island’s heritage and culture. Located in Chora and Driopida, these museums have a variety of household items, tools and clothing that reflect the life of the people who have lived on the island for decades.
Kontseta is a guesthouse in Merichas, owned by one of the oldest families on the island. The guest house offers three types of apartments, each decorated in shades of white and reflecting traditional Cycladic style. The hotel is within walking distance to the port and offers a number of amenities, including free Wi-Fi, a kitchenette and a balcony with stunning views of the sea. Additionally, it is within easy reach of natural sights such as Episkopi beach. Guests love the fact that they can easily walk to local restaurants, cafes and shops.
Kythnos is a beguiling island that hasn’t really developed as a tourist destination, so the main town and villages retain their authentic character. Its enchanting charm lies in its sandy beaches, magical sunsets, traditional architecture, and hospitable residents. It also boasts a long tradition in ceramic pottery and a medieval castle to explore. It’s no wonder that Kythnos is one of the best places to visit in Greece!
The island’s capital is Chora. A stroll around the main street will reveal charming, stone-built houses and paved alleyways lined with cafes and restaurants. It’s also home to the famous monastery of Panagia Kanala and unique windmills.
For a more quiet stay, opt for a hotel located deeper into the village of Chora. Many of the hotels in this area offer simple rental rooms that are well-maintained and cozy, and they’re usually surrounded by verdant vegetation and a tranquil atmosphere. For a beachfront option, choose a hotel in Aelia Kithnos or Paralia Episkopi. Both of these resorts are family friendly and have access to a beautiful beach.
A vacation to Kythnos isn’t complete without sampling some of the local food and drinks. Some of the island’s most popular dishes include amigdelota (almond cookies), thyme honey, and sausages. The cuisine also features seafood, as well as meat dishes like lamb and beef.
The island of Kythnos is a small place, and the best way to get around is by car or scooter. The main towns and villages have buses that connect them to each other, but for the most authentic experience, it’s recommended to rent a car or jeep. Bouriti Eleni Tzamaros is a great option for families, as it offers a range of amenities, including a pool and kid’s club. It’s also within walking distance of all the best sights and attractions on the island.
Kythnos’ unique geography offers a rich underwater world with sea walls, reefs and crystal-clear waters. The island’s diving centre at Loutra is a one-stop shop for all the know-how and specialised equipment you’ll need to explore the marvels beneath the surface.
The traditional village of Driopida is another highlight worth not missing out on. The settlement was built between hills to protect its inhabitants from pirate attacks and now it is a charming sight, with narrow cobblestone alleyways and beautiful squares. Its name most likely reflects the ancient Dryopes who were the first residents of Kythnos.
You can find numerous charming shops in the villages of Kythnos, where you’ll be able to buy anything from traditional sweets and liquors to cosmetics made with ingredients found on the island. You can also purchase local handmade pottery, which is a long-lasting tradition of the islanders.
While on the island, you should try some of its delicious cheeses. The Greek poet Herodotus ranked the cheeses of Kythnos among the luxury items of the ancient world and it is not hard to see why. The most famous of the local varieties is Kountoufi, which has a rich aroma and a velvety consistency.
As Kythnos is not as touristy as other Cycladic islands, you’ll be able to enjoy its natural beauty and cultural heritage at a slower pace. There are lots of hiking paths to discover, with some following old farming trails that end at a beach and others leading to impressive archaeological remains or panoramic viewpoints. Kythnos is also home to three museums, namely the Byzantine Museum, the Folklore Museum and the Agricultural Museum. The perfect time to visit Kythnos is spring and autumn, when temperatures are milder and the island is at its most pristine.