Kea Things to Do

We have compiled a list of the Best Things to Do in Kea, which includes the absolute must-sees and must-dos during your stay on the closest-to-Athens Cycladic island: places to visit, attractions, where to swim, activities, tours, where to eat, and more.

In brief, the top things to do are exploring Ioulida (the island's capital) and swimming in the beautiful beaches' blue waters.

Open the table of contents to see our suggestions for the 9 best things to do once on Kea Island.

1. Stroll around the quaint Ioulida

Category: Villages

The settlement of Ioulida comprises the capital and one of the four ancient cities of Kea. The setting is extremely picturesque since it has preserved its traditional architecture. Cars are not allowed in the town, making the whole village pedestrian and the ambiance tranquil.
Strolling around Ioulida during the evening or night is a representation of real Greek village life; inhabitants and tourists wandering, savoring local dishes, or enjoying a cold beer. It’s an unparalleled depiction of insouciance and leisure that offers utter refreshment to visitors.
In the heart of Ioulida, one can admire the historic town hall designed by the renowned architect Ernst Ziller. On the northeastern part of the village lies the ancient district of Kastro, while the infamous Stone Lion of Kea is also located in proximity to the settlement.

Discover Ioulida

2. Enjoy a day at the beach

Category: Beaches

Kea is the Cycladic island closer to Athens, so it is not infrequent for people to visit for a short trip and take advantage of its beautiful beaches, especially during the summer.
The coastline of Kea is able to offer bathers of different tastes the right place to swim. Even though it doesn’t boast fully-organized beaches like other islands, both partly-organized and secluded beaches are found on the island.
Gialiskari, Koundouros, Pisses, and Otzias are among the most popular swimming destinations among travelers who prefer equipped beaches. All of them are sandy with clear waters and some tourist facilities around.
On the other hand, numerous pristine hidden beaches are available for those who hanker for privacy and tranquility; Xyla, Orkos, Liparo, and Lygia are just a few examples of swimming regions.
All beaches have azure and clean waters at their disposal, while many of Kea’s beaches lie within small coves that protect them from the winds.

Explore the Beaches

3. Stay at the best accommodation

Category: Hotels

You can select from a wide range of facilities regarding your stay in Kea. From camping facilities to luxurious hotels and villas, accommodation options are able to meet every traveler's budget.
Beautiful lodgings are scattered along the island to fulfill all guests’ setting preferences; many of them co-exist in harmony with the Cycladic landscape since they feature stone elements.
Some of the best hotels are Orso Blue Villa and in Ioulida, Porto Kea in Korissia, Spathi Beach Suites in Spathi, and Vourkari Village in Vourkari.
All establishments are diligently designed and equipped with several amenities to make your stay in Kea a bed of roses.

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4. Visit the historical sites

Category: Sightseeing

Kea’s age-long history is evident through its monuments and historical sites.
The sites of archaeological interest include Ancient Karthea, which boasts the oldest Doric temple in the Cyclades, and the Lion, the island’s trademark, which lies in Ioulida and dates back to the 6th-7th century BC.
At the Archaeological Museum, finds from the Neolithic period until the 2nd century AD are exhibited, including 50 clay figurines from the prehistoric settlement of Agia Irini and reliefs of the temple of Athena from Karthaia.
Sights of the 19th-20th century include the Enamel Factory in Korissia and the two lighthouses of the island - one in Korissia and one in Cape Tamelos.
Finally, a visit to the Folklore Museum in Mylopotamos allows the visitors to immerse themselves in the cultural heritage of Kea’s populace.

Discover more Sights

5. Savour local dishes

Category: Eat & Drink

Kea boasts excellent local produce, meat, and fish which you can taste in plenty of restaurants. Most establishments are traditional or more modern taverns mainly located in Ioulida, Vourkari, and Korissia and offer great views of the Aegean and the mainland.
Regarding the traditional Greek type of dining, we recommend O Filippas for delicious meat options and To Steki tou Stroggyli for fish and seafood dishes. However, in places like ZERAT in Koundouros and Aigis in Vourkari, guests can enjoy a more fine dining experience.

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6. Watch a movie at the open-air cinema

Category: Other businesses

Watching a movie at an open-air cinema is like a summer tradition for Greeks. The starlight and the light breeze make up the ideal combination to enjoy a movie screening while vacationing in Kea. The only open-air cinema on the island is named “Cine Korissia” and is located in the homonymous region. There, the latest movies are projected in a wonderful ambiance. A bar also lies within the facilities, where you can purchase snacks and beverages during the showing. Adequate parking space is offered for vehicles, too.

7. Shop local products

Category: Products

Kea Island is renowned for its bee-related products, including thyme honey, pasteli (honey sesame bar), and beeswax.
There are two great places to buy honey: Anthea’s in Mylopotamos, which has been awarded a 2-star Great Taste Award for its Raw Thyme Honey, and La Maison Vert Amande in Spathi.
Except for apiculture-related products, visitors can purchase several other products at local stores. Tyrakeion in Ioulida is a favorite spot for shopping for local dairy products such as cheese, milk, and ice cream.

See where to buy local products

8. Explore the shipwrecks via scuba diving

Category: Sports

Kea is considered one of the best places for scuba diving in the country.
Its seabed is home not only to reefs that are bursting with marine life but also to shipwrecks.
The underwater scenery is accessible via scuba diving to both amateur and experienced divers.
Kea Divers is officially affiliated with PADI and provides scuba diving sessions to people of all ages. Depending on the participants’ experience, different submarine spots can be approached.
Visitors not interested in scuba diving can schedule snorkeling trips around the island instead.

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9. Hike the regional paths

Category: Sports

Kea is the perfect destination for vacationers who feel like venturing the island by walking.
Boasting a total of 12 hiking paths ranging from 1.700 meters to 11.850 meters, Kea allows walkers to explore and encounter unique sights of the mainland scenery, as well as quaint villages and sites of historical interest.
The most famous trails include Route 1 (Ioulida to Otzias), Route 2 (Ioulida to Korissia), and Route 6 (Stavroudaki village to Ancient Karthea).
Wooden signs with useful and practical information are situated on every path, while metal signs indicate each route's number.

Discover the routes