Greek Guide

Kythnos Day Trips Greece Kythnos

Kythnos Tourist Attractions Day Trips Greece Greek Travel Guide

By day Kythnos invites you to explore its pretty inland villages, ancient sites, traditional tavernas and domed churches. The island is only 19 kilometres long and eight kilometres at its widest point so you won't have too much trouble taking in all it has to offer. Use a bus, taxi or moped to reach the main destinations then set off on foot to uncover the more inaccessible reaches of this charming unspoilt island where foreign tourists rarely tread.

Chances are you'll be staying in the small port of Merihas where the majority of the island's small selection of holiday accommodation is centred. It's not the most attractive spot on Kythnos so head out to the island capital Hora (also know as Messaria), six kilometres north east of the port, where you'll find a typical Cycladic village with some beautiful Byzantine churches, twisting narrow streets dotted with whitewashed houses and a sprinkling of cafes and tavernas where you're likely to be the only foreign visitor. The town's stone pavements and patios are adorned with lime painted folklore motifs of flowers, fish and sail boats courtesy of local artists.

Hora is built around the 17th century churches of Agios Savas, founded by the Venetians, Metamporphosis tou Sotira (Transfiguration of the Saviour) which houses some precious religious icons and Agia Triada (Holy Trinity). The latter is the oldest church on the island a domed single aisle basilica with well preserved frescoes and icons from the post Byzantine period. Ancient sculptures and inscriptions have been found in the area around the church.

Dryopida, in the centre of Kythnos about six kilometres south of Hora and six kilometres east of Merihas, is one of the island's most picturesque villages with winding streets, cobbled courtyards and red tiled roofs. The village was the capital of the island in the Middle Ages and takes its name from the ancient Driopes people who were the first settlers here as far back as 7500 BC. The town straddles a ravine and was built around a famous cave, the Kaftaki, at the head of a fertile valley. There's a small folklore museum which opens its doors in high season and a good local ouzeri called O Apithanos.

At Kanala, on the east coast about six kilometres south of Dryopida, there's a good beach with views of Serifos and Sifnos and the church of Panagia Kanala which houses the island's most venerated icon of the Virgin Mary (the island's patron saint).

The sole reason why many visitors come to Kythnos is to take the mineral rich waters of Loutra, on the north east coast, which for centuries have attracted those seeking a cure for everything from rheumatism and arthritis to heart and gynaecological problems.

The sulphurous, radioactive thermal springs can reach temperatures of 52C, producing steam from the cool waters of the Aegean Sea. For a few Euros you can have a health check and take the waters at the state run Xenia baths complex.