General Information & Reviews

Table of contents:
General infoUseful linksGallery (10)Reviews (20)

While being an Ionian island, Kythira island resembles more to the Cyclades islands from its architecture and landscape. Kythira is known as the Isle of the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite.

The ancient myth is that when Cronus severed off his father Uranus genitals, he threw them into the sea. They turned into the two rocks rising out of the sea until today, on the eastern coast of the island. Aphrodite rose from the foam created by the genitals and re-emerged in Cyprus, which is why both islands haggle over the goddess's birthplace.

Since the Second World War, most of Kythira's inhabitants have left their island for Athens or Australia, which explains why many of its villages are deserted. Kythira was never a rich island but it used to have an economic and military power. Tourism, even quite low, has brought today a little prosperity to the island.

Since tourism is still quite undeveloped, Kythira still looks like a calm refuge, with astonishing deserted beaches and an unharmed traditional life. The island has 3,000 permanent residents.


20 Reviews
  • ablutsauger 24 Oct 2016
    Very Decent
    I wrote separate reviews for all the beaches, villages and sightseeing points I visited. Here, I would just like to add beaches not listed on Greeka, which I find worth visiting, and add some pros and cons of Kythira.

    - Tens of beaches to visit. You can go to 2 different beaches every single day. The other thing is whether they are all great or not.
    - Extremely peaceful. This will go into cons as well, but for pros - quiet time at the beach, nice and relaxed sleeping.
    - Easy to get from Athens (I didn't understand the negative comment saying it's difficult, because the planes are regular).
    - Sort of, sort of "mostly asphalt" roads. This is, on the other hand, also the biggest con.
    - Very clean. Just that, the end. No garbage, the water and the beaches are clean. The island as well.
    - People and residents are nice.

    - The roads. They are mostly asphalt, but also extremely narrow and dangerous, because Kythira roads are turn after turn after turn.This will leave a tourist in shock, but on the other hand, no tourist is driving fast and this saves the day. Expect having to stop many times for the car from the other direction to pass. Just drive very slowly, be attentive and you won't find this a con.
    - Most wild beaches are pebbled. City beaches are mostly sandy, but I don't go to city beaches. Again, this is not really a con. Just take some swimming shoes with you, and you'll be fine.
    -If you go in September, you can expect pretty much "dead" island. To be clear, I looooove peace and silence and go just to such places where I will be on quiet beach and be able to sleep at night. However, when I go out at night (and I'm not talking about clubbing, no interest in that, I'm talking about a stroll at 8 p.m. and a dinner in the restaurant), I expect to see people strolling the streets and enjoying. I hope not to sit alone in a restaurant with 100 tables, sourounded by deadly silence. I want to see people enjoying the island. And it was deadly dead during night in September. Chora was a ghost town. Agia Pelagia and Livadi are better. So, I think it's better going during summer or I hope more people will visit in September. :)

    For the end, I want to suggest visiting Melidoni and Fournoi beach, because we had the nicest time there. They are sandy and very pleasant. Be careful about Kaladi, which is wonderful, but dangerous to access, and each year there are tens of broken legs.
  • lierhand 09 Oct 2013
    Island with still a really Greek Atmosphere
    Me and my partner visited the lovely village of Agia Pelagia on Kythira for a week in September. Agia Pelagia is a small village located in the North East directly at a lovely Beach. It has some small restaurants with a good menu, where you can enjoy your meal while sitting with your table directly on the beach just a couple of metres from the water. We stayed in the 9 Muses. A nice accomodation on the entrance of the village with a good view over the sea to the Peloponnese. The island can be easily discovered by Scooter and has a lot to offer. We made some nice hiking trips on which we felt one with nature.
  • billy55 02 Sep 2012
    Just what we wanted in vacations
    Me and my wife visited Kythira for ten days in July. We stayed at a beautiful hotel close to Chora with a room facing the beach of Kapsali but after a few days there, I would personally recommend a traditional apartment, it feels more like home.

    Kapsali is a pebbled beach, clean waters and quite organized but we also used the pool of the hotel a couple of times. Chora is lovely, traditional and peaceful, great for long walks. It is filled with Venetian buildings and whitewashed houses, old churches and friendly people that make you feel welcome.

    A small tour in the villages of Kythira will fascinate you for their excellent scenery, interesting history and local food. In Avlemonas, we had the greatest lunch, spaghetti lobster, you should not miss this plate and some nice local wine. Good beaches are Chalkos and Lykodimou. If you want to drive, remember that some streets are dirts.
  • john.lunniss 25 Sep 2011
    Yet another great holiday
    My wife and my daughter have just returned from Kithira and another perfect holiday and even free wi fi. This place just gets better.
  • coleen 08 Mar 2010
    Windy but magical
    Kythira is a magical island and we spent a great time there. Some beaches were a little bit too windy but always beautiful. The hotel was comfortable with a nice view and excellent owners who made our stay in Kythira wonderful. The restaurants were not too much expensive and we always had a nice dinner. We bought a lot of honey and brought it back home, even if it is a little bit too expensive there. The island doesn't have many historical monuments but the sights it has are all kept in good conditions.

    Generally, in Kythira we didn't meet many problems, but I have a couple of points for the way there. The road from Patra to Nafplion is without signals in our alphabet and we got lost for a few times. And the credit card is not so easy to use. A lot of hotels do not accept it. In Gythio, we stayed two nights and they said that we have to pay with cash and not with credit card (even if it was written on the hotel door that we could pay with credit card). Conclusion? Always have cash with you (especially in places off the beaten track) because cards are not much accepted in Greece.
  • Ainara 15 Feb 2010
    My most romantic memories
    It's been about 10 years since I last went to Kythira and all these years I wanted to come back. Postponing things is a bad habit, my friends! Going back once more last summer was one of my dreams for all these years. I had missed Kythira so badly that this was almost a last-minute trip. Few things have changed over the last years, for the better fortunately. Some roads are not track anymore, new studios have been constructed in the beaches and there is a ferry that goes directly from Piraeus to Kythira! All the way through Peloponnese to take the ferry from Neapoli was much trouble, don't you think?

    Chora and Kapsali are just as beautiful as we left them, although a little more developed. What is adorable in Kythira is that it is yours every time of the year. No crowds, no noise, no loud music, just you and Kythira. Swim in the beaches of Lykodimou, Kapsali and Halkos and if you have car go in the inland. You will see many monasteries on the way. Ring the bell and the nuns will open the door for you. Agia Pelagia and Kapsali are probably the only developed tourist resorts on Kythira and they have lovely fish taverns. I have the most romantic summer memories from Kythira and I am sure you will, too! I suggest you forget your problems and totally relax.
  • oilu243 21 Oct 2009
    Memories from childhood
    Kythira is one of my favorite islands although it is not so popular as others (thank God, you can even experience true vacation and relax there!). Kythira is strongly connected to my childhood since I have spent most of my summers in the village of Avlemonas. All night long beach parties in the farm region, the local Sunday bazaar in the square of Potamos and the fresh fish in Avlemonas!

    Generally if you are keen on underwater fishing, there you will find quite a snip as blackfishes, scups etc so get your harpoon gun ready (and your oven also!). I have spotted also a lot of foreign birdwatchers since the island has remarkable bird species and wild life.

    Although as a kid, I was haunted by the deserted Byzantine town of Agios Dimitrios which was sacked by the famous pirate Barbarossa (in Paleochora), now that I am a grown-up, I can make out the value of those old relics and frescoes there.

    When then I passed on my romantic stage of my teen life, I used to walk on the stone bridge in Katouni and the locals said that it was built by an English army commander, so that he can look all the time his girlfriend's house in the village.

    Give a try to Kythira, it is too close to Peloponesse and so beautiful!
  • vavavoom70 16 Jun 2009
    One of the most beautiful Greek Islands
    For me, Kythira is one of the most beautiful greek islands and I was quite sad to read many of the negative reviews it has received. If you intend to explore the island then, yes, hire a car or a moped - Greece doesn't claim to have the most reliable public transport - everyone knows that. If you want nightclubs, then go to Mykonos or stay in Athens. Kythira offers gorgeous and varied beaches - great for snorkelling, wonderful food - Maria's fish tavern, the fab bakery (one of the oldest) with the best bougatsa, in Karavas, lots of things to do, walks, beautiful monastries, waterfalls and villages with the most vibrant dances, wine festivals, squares. It's appeal is that it is full of "Greeks"- so I support the fact that it isn't that easy to get to, there are no starbucks or macdonalds, tourists of the wrong kind. Maybe Kythira isn't for everyone and maybe that is a good thing. Do your research and go visit Kythira. Snorkel with the fish, read a book whilst the sun sets over the sea, paint a picture, share an ouzo and a game of backgammon with one of the locals in Potamos, talk to one of the priests in the monastries way up high about the history of the island, for me the list is endless...I HEART KYTHIRA!
  • haratr 28 May 2009
    Nothing to do and see
    I read all good reviews about Kythira and I wonder, was I the only one that I didn't like the place? Yes, Kythira has many green spots and other impressive rocky landscape, but apart from that it had nothing: no buses, no good roads, no sandy beaches, no sights, no activities, no nightlife. No to mention how difficult it is to go from Athens. It doesn't even have a direct line from Piraeus and planes were fully booked two months before we travel!! I traveled with a couple of firends who both didn't like it, so I guess I am not the only unreasonable here! If there was something nice, this was Agia Pelagia and its beach. This is the only village on Kythira that can accept tourists. The beach is clean (all beaches were clean actually) and it has some nice taverns. Visit Chora but do not stay there in any case. You will get bored.
  • agnest 18 Apr 2009
    Be prepared for a primitive island
    The island itself had very beautiful nature and villages, but all the rest caused us some discomfort.

    First of all, it took us almost two days to go from London to Kythira. Unfortunately, there is no direct ferry from Athens to Kythira, so you have to take the bus to Neapoli Laconia (about 6 hours from Athens) and then take the ferry from Neapoli to Kythira (2 more hours). If only I knew the island had an airport! I learned it when I got there. The good thing is that I managed to book plane tickets to return to Athens, otherwise the road trip back would be exhausting!

    Moreover, transport on Kythira was awful. The first two days we used the bus. Itineraries wouldn't go to many places we wanted to go and buses were at least 20 minutes late. So, we had to wait under the hot sun. The third day we rented a motorbike so that we could spend the remaining week with some dignity.

    The third bad point was that there were not enough Internet places on the island. I could have Internet access only in the hotel and sometimes it was cut off suddenly. But, I had to wait for that, hadn't I? All travel guides were speaking of a pretty remote island.

    Anyway, as I said, the island itself was beautiful. The only organized resort seemed to be Agia Pelagia. Nice beaches are found everywhere but roads are pretty difficult sometimes. Chora is also a nice village with simple architecture. Walk to the Castle and see the view.

    Ask your hotel if there is any panigiri while you are on Kythira. It is a truly joyful experience. We went to one in Mitata and liked it a lot.
  • loukiach 29 Jan 2009
    Good beaches and poor nightlife
    There is a variety of beautiful beaches and countryside on Kythira. For me, the best beaches were Kapsali and Paleopolis. There are not many sights to see on Kythira, except for the cave of Agia Sofia in the centre of the island, but the road to go there is quite dangerous.The island is clean in general. The locals take good care of it. Nightlife is very poor. Do not expect anything else than a couple of bars with soft music round and there.
  • gianna 23 Dec 2008
    Excellent for relaxing holidays
    The villages and the beaches (mostly Chalkos beach) in Kythira are so beautiful. Nightlife is calm. It doesn't have many places to go, but wherever you are the view and the people make your holiday a dream. Excellent island for some relaxing holidays.
  • enricomedico 29 Oct 2008
    A small guide of the beaches of Kythira
    Among Kapsali and Agia Pelagia, the more spectacular lines of coast are found. Departing from Kapsali, doubled the C. Groso, where the coast pierced of caves goes down to lead in the sea, the beach of HALCOS is found that can be reached by the village of KALAMOS through an excavated road. Not to lose the beach of KAKOPLAKA, a heaven of pink sand that serves as background to the sharp rocks of the point Goumena. Notable the beach of FIRI AMMOS, where the rock him of rust, sulphur and limestone creating strong contrasts. Turquoise is instead the sea to KALADI, a bay frequented by yachts and boats of fishermen. Beautiful beaches crown the oriental line of the bay of AGIA PELAGIA. KALAMITSI, LORENTSOU and LIMNI are reached following the road that brings from the church of Agios Nikolaos up to the throat of KAKI LAGADA, where it opens a lake contained between the sea and the rock. From Potamos the beach of DIAKOFTI can be reached. Continuing towards south, the bay of AGIOS NIKOLAOS is reached, where 3 beaches are there: ASPROGAS, KASTRAKI AND AVLEMONAS. From KATO CHORA an excavated road conducts to one of the more beautiful sandy beaches of the island: LIMIONAS.
  • alessandrob 15 Oct 2008
    Live the sea all over the island
    I discovered the island on a magazine and then I went deep in the information through this site. As an introduction, I have to say it is a quiet island. Not so many attractions really worth a visit (i.e. forget the waterfalls in Mylopotamos) but almost all the beaches are very nice (pebbles, stones, just few sand, so clear water). I didn't experience any of the possibilities for nightlife on Kythira (is there any?). The Castle has a nice landscape but not a lot more. Villages are little but nice, different that others, as you can see on the Cyclades for example. As for accommodation, we have been so lucky to rent an apartment at Filio, in Kalamos. In the same site they have maybe the best taverna of the entire island, once you try it you never feel the need to try any other place! There is just one thing to do on Kythira: relax and live the sea all over the island starting from the sunrise, or maybe just a bit later...
  • ioannatse28 29 Jul 2008
    Better signs on the road
    The villages and the beaches of Kythira were so beautiful!! Nightlife is calm but there aren't many places to go. Whenever you are, the view and the people make your holiday a dream! Food was really good and clean. Definetely swim at Chalkos, which is trully picturesque but be careful on the road. There aren't enough signs which road to follow and if there are signs, there are no distances. We got lost all the time in Kythira.
  • pakotini24 01 Apr 2008
    Wonderful impressions
    I'm Greek and this was the first time I've been to Kythira. We went to Neapoli, Laconia, by car and then we took the boat to the island, but I do not recommend you to do the same mistake, it is easier and less tiring to take the boat from Piraeus. The beaches of the island are unique, especially Kaladi. To tell the truth, there aren't many historical monuments and the nightlife isn't wild at all, so you'd better visit Kythira only if you are looking for absolute relaxation. My only suggestion to the authorities would be to improve the ship itineraries to and from the island.
  • nick_m 16 Dec 2007
    Rugged beauty
    The beauty of the Island is in its rugged beauty / simplicity and not at all as busy commercial as other tourist islands. The food in the tavernas at Agia Pelagia was remarkably delicious. Also visited Kapsali where we had heard that the fish would be excellent but..we were very disappointed leaving most of the food on the plates.
  • f.r 15 Oct 2007
    Beautiful island with Good wine
    The attractions on Kythira are of very high level, classified as beautiful, one of the most beautiful places of Europe. It's a shame that the place of Paliochora is closed and in decandence! They should maintein in better condition the archeological and historical site, Paliochiora first of all, its something amazing, fantastic... and closed! Fantastic food, good wine even if the bad influence of the barrique is pollutioning the taste of the local wine, excellent and true local food, exactly the opposite than in Athens, where the food in the Plaka restaurants has the taste of Carrefour... The beaches were excellent, although it was very windy. From all the villages I went to I mostly liked the villages of Chora and Kapsali. For the night I recommend Philio and then Hydragogio, and I really think that the wine of this area should be better promoted. And a tip for future visitors: Not to go there in August if possible, too much hot!
  • Roberto_Mamoli 06 Oct 2006
    I want to live in Greece
    Nationality: Italy

    Age: 41

    Countries visited: 10-15

    The Trip: I arrived on the island by Plane. The trip was very good with no delays.

    Reasons for going to Kyhtira: Lonely Planet Guide

    Idea before arriving: Kythira is a beautiful island, very quite, beautiful beaches, fantastic people and of course great cuisine. Weather we are in Greece sun sun sun and sun. Gooooodddd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Favorite things about the island/area

    -Best Beaches: Limniokatis beach(maybe) in centre/west of island

    -Best Villages: Avlemonas/Kythira/Diakofti

    -Best Activity: seeing the castle in hori and the ruins in mylopotomos

    -Best Bar/Pub/Club: Nothing

    -Best Restaurant: Taverna manolis in Diakofti

    Negative opinion about the island: I want stay two months........this is my 13 trip to greece islands: corfu, zante, crete 2 times, rhodes, astipalea (my love), mylos, kos, samos, chios, skiatos and now kythira. I want live in Greece!!!!!!!

    Recommendations for future visitors: Kythira is a must!!!! You must go!!!! You must see: beautiful beaches around the island, the cave of aghia sofia, the castle of Kythira town, and of course the sympathy of Greece people.

    Rating of the overall quality/organization/services of this island/area in comparison with other countries


  • sandrine 25 Sep 2005
    Much to see and do
    I went to Kythira in Greece with my sister and a friend;

    we stayed at a camping which was in the village of Kapsali, near to town (1 kilometre by foot); the camping was great: shadowed, with various amenities and cheap.

    On the other side of island (on the west part), we found wonderful waterfalls and caves with stalactites and stalagmites.

    We went to various beautiful beaches with clear waters and ate at lovely taverns. The only negative thing was that the island didn?t had buses and that we were obliged to do everything by foot or do hitching.

    But I heard that it has changed and that they have a bus line now. Easier.