Kythnos Things to Do

We have compiled a list of the Best Things to Do in Kythnos, which includes the absolute must-sees and must-dos while vacationing on the calm Cycladic island: places to visit, sights, beaches, tours, where to eat, activities, and more.

In brief, the top things to do during your stay is to visit the exceptional beaches, explore the quaint settlements and the island's nature, and rejuvenate in the local thermal springs.

Open the table of contents to see our suggestions for the 10+ best things to do once on Kythnos Island.

1. Visit the impressive Kolona Beach

Category: Beaches

Kolona is certainly the most famous beach in Kythnos, and rightfully so, as its morphology makes it unique among the almost 100 beaches on the island. It is a 250m sandy strand that connects Kythnos with the islet of Agios Loukas, like a small isthmus. It creates two opposite bays, one on each side, making for an impressive scenery with sparkling golden sand and crystal-clear waters, suitable for all ages.

The most convenient and safe way of reaching Kolona beach is by water taxi from Merichas Port. It is also accessible by road, but it is fairly dangerous to drive, while hiking takes several hours.

Discover Kolona Beach

2. Swim in the waters of magnificent beaches

Category: Beaches

Because of its geomorphology, Kythnos’ coastline forms an array of small bays, which is why there are more than 90 beaches on the island. Most of them are not organized and remain unspoiled from touristic activities, as the island is a fairly calmer and more tranquil destination than other Cycladic islands. However, they showcase equally beautiful seashores of sparkling golden sands and crystal-clear waters.

In addition to the renowned Kolona Beach, Martinakia, Apokrousi and Episkopi are the few organized beaches of Kythnos, all quite close to each other on the west side of the island.
At the same time, numerous secluded beaches are part of Kythnos' coastline, perfect for those who seek absolute serenity and privacy.

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3. Stroll around Chora

Category: Villages

The Chora of Kythnos, also known as Messaria, is the island’s capital. The settlement was founded during the 17th century and is a prime example of traditional Cycladic architecture, with cubic white buildings combined with vibrant strokes of color, not only because of the hand-painted murals on stores and houses but also due to the delightful bougainvillea flowers.

It is worth taking a stroll in the narrow cobblestone alleys, stopping by the picturesque windmills, or having a snack in one of the charming cafes of the village. Additionally, there are numerous churches and monasteries famous for their distinctive architecture, such as the church of Saint Savvas and the church of the Holy Trinity, which is the oldest one on the island. On the northeast part of the town, visitors can also see the first wind farm to ever operate in Europe.

Discover Chora

4. Stay in a lovely resort

Category: Hotels

In Kythnos, you will find various types of accommodation, from luxurious villas in secluded and private spots by the beach to traditional guest houses that perfectly showcase Cycladic architecture. As many are located on hills, they guarantee a magnificent view of the Aegean Sea, combined with all the modern comforts one needs for a tranquil vacation in a delightful location.

Our recommendations concerning accommodation on the island are:
Kastellas Villas, a group of polished villas and guesthouses with access to a gorgeous infinity pool that offers unobstructed views of the Aegean.
Porto Klaras, a modern complex featuring neat and aesthetically pleasing rooms, studios, and apartments facing the cute natural port of Loutra
Chora, a hotel that showcases traditional Cycladic architecture while providing its guests with all modern amenities, including a wonderful pool.

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5. Eat delightful dishes

Category: Eat & Drink

Finding delicious food in Kythnos is never a problem, as there are numerous charming restaurants all over the island. They mainly specialize in traditional Greek and Mediterranean cuisine, offering wonderful seafood dishes and fresh fish, as well as several meat and vegetarian options covering any taste. Have a meal in a picturesque Cycladic environment while admiring the magnificent sea views, or meet the locals in a friendly tavern. Moreover, in the bars and cafes, visitors can start the day with an energizing coffee, fresh juice, or a tasty snack or experience the lovely nightlife of Kythnos, which is not as lively as in other Cycladic islands yet very welcoming.

Chartino Karavi in Driopida, Margiora in Chora and Arias in Agia Irini are three of the best restaurants in Kythnos, all serving Mediterranean cuisine.

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6. Explore Katafiki Cave

Category: Sightseeing

Located in the picturesque Driopida village, Katafiki Cave is one of the most important sites of interest on the island, showcasing a unique geological formation. It consists of passages that were naturally created because of the flowing water or opened up by the inhabitants of the island in order to operate as an iron mine.

In the past, the cave was also used as a shelter (katafigio) when the island was under attack, where it also got its name . The most impressive part of Katafiki is the stalactite room, which encloses a large number of distinctive rock formations, created centuries ago and presenting various shapes and sizes. Stalagmites and stalactites are also visible in other parts of the cave, which resembles a labyrinth, covering about 3500 m2 in its entirety.

Learn more about Katafiki Cave

7. Relax in the regional thermal springs

Category: Sightseeing

Anyone who seeks a rejuvenating and relaxing experience can visit the thermal springs of Kythnos, located in the village of Loutra (literally meaning baths), about 6 km from Chora.
Additionally, a hydrotherapy center operates there from June to September, ready to provide high-quality services to the guests.

There are two separate springs at a 50-meter distance from each other. The water of one reaches 38°C while the second one's temperature is around 52°C. They contain specific minerals and salts that have been proven to have therapeutic properties for certain conditions, such as arthritic and gynecological diseases.

8. Visit the traditional Driopida village

Category: Villages

The traditional village of Driopida is one of the largest settlements on Kythnos and is located just 8 km from Chora. It was built between hills to protect inhabitants from pirate attacks, so it is not visible from the sea. Driopida is certainly worth a visit, as it is one of the most picturesque spots on the island, with narrow cobblestone alleyways, beautiful squares and charming shops and cafes.

What is interesting is that the settlement does not represent the typical Cycladic architectural style; even though the buildings are white and blue, they also have characteristic tiled roofs, as the residents have a long tradition of ceramics, a trademark of the village. Moreover, there are a lot of fascinating attractions you can visit, including the cave of Katafiki, several delightful churches, and three museums - a Byzantine, a Folklore and an Agricultural one.

Discover Driopida Village

9. Go on a hiking adventure

Category: Sports

As Kythnos is one of the less popular Cycladic islands, its natural beauty has remained pure and unspoiled to a large degree; that is what makes it the ideal place for hiking!

The mainland of Kythnos is made up of two ridges that merge at its highest point, the church of Prophet Elias, at an altitude of 336, accessible on foot. Hikers can follow numerous trails, some of which are marked while others are not, and their difficulty highly depends on the type of soil. Several of them were used as paths by the inhabitants for decades before modern roads were opened. When hiking, you will be able to pass through traditional villages, archaeological sites, churches, windmills and magical secluded beaches that vehicles cannot reach.

See the available sports

10. Explore the sites of historical interest

Category: Sightseeing

Apart from beautiful beaches and magnificent nature, Kythnos is also home to several sites of historical interest, as well as museums that showcase the island's rich culture and heritage. According to excavations that have been conducted, it is apparent that many parts of the island have been inhabited since ancient times, although not every site has been explored up until now.

• Archaeological Sites: Vriokastro is the most important of Kythnos’ archaeological sites, revealing that people settled in during the 10th century BC. Building ruins, sculptures, inscriptions and ceramics have been discovered, among other artifacts, while underwater searches have brought an ancient port to light. Other archaeological sites on the island include the ancient site of Maroulas, the temple of Demeter and the castle of Oria, where residents moved to after leaving Vriokastro.
• Folklore Museum: Kythnos has two folklore museums, one in Chora and one in the picturesque village of Driopida. They house a large collection of household items, tools, traditional costumes, textiles and other objects that represent the culture and life of the islanders from the past decades. Additionally, in the Agricultural Museum in Driopida, guests can observe tools that were used for farming.
Byzantine Museum: The Byzantine Museum is also located in Driopida village, housed in the church of Saint George. It exhibits around 150 Byzantine and post-Byzantine icons, ecclesiastical books, manuscripts, religious clothing and crosses, some of which are very rare.

Discover the sights

11. Try scuba diving

Category: Sports

Visitors who seek adventure have the opportunity to try scuba diving or snorkeling. It constitutes a great way of exploring the majestic underwater world of the Aegean Sea, with its colorful marine life. Additionally, you can even reach a captivating shipwreck dating back to World War II. Located at Loutra Beach, a water sports facility offers scuba diving courses and trips, perfect for introducing participants to this thrilling activity.

Find Scuba Diving Centers

12. Create your own ceramic souvenir

Category: Shopping

As Kythnos has a long tradition with ceramics, pottery shops, galleries and workshops can be found on the island. Guests can not only purchase wonderful creations by local artists but also take part in interactive pottery lessons, mainly in the capital of the island. Professionals provide all the guidance and utensils necessary to create beautiful, personalized pieces that you can then take home with you. This is definitely a fun activity for those who wish to incorporate art into their trip, as well as a start to developing a new skill.

13. Shop local products

Category: Products

In the scenic villages of Kythnos, you will discover an array of charming little shops that offer a wide variety of local products. From traditional sweets and liquors to cosmetics made with ingredients from the area, you can find the perfect gift for friends and loved ones or a useful souvenir to bring back home. It certainly is a great way to get more familiar with the delightful Greek flavors and aromas.

See where to find local products