Avlemonas at the east side is probably the most beautiful village of Kythira.
a small, rocky bay with a marvellous view, clean waters sooths the mind and eye.
Visit for coffee or food or even stay there
At the south-east part of Kythira Island, close to Avlemonas village lies Kaladi.
This pebbled, rather isolated beach offers a spectacular scenery and is worth one visit or more, if there is enough time on the island...
Chora is one of the most interesting parts of the island. its architecture is a combination of northern Crete and Classic Aegean.
Climbed on the slopes of the hill, with its impressive Venetian castle, Chora seems to require the security this grand stone building provides.
Follow the path through the tall campaniles and white houses, along narrow streets with cafe-terraces to the sea, corner shops and street bars
At Mylopotamos village, the mountain prevails. Following the path down to the "Fonissa's" Waterfall, the vegetation grows thicker.
Fonissa means, in Greek, woman murderer.
The waterfall in combination with the trees and bushes set the natural colours free, floating and playfully changing with the sunlight.
Swim in the water if you dare, it is very cold!
Taking the "Glass bottom" boat (really the bottom of the boat is from glass) from Kapsali you can visit the Chitra or Avgo rocky island twice a day (15:00 and 18:00 during summer season). There is no life in the island and no beaches.
But there is a huge cave where you enter with the boat and then Spiros gives you a mask and guides you to the whole cave.
It is an amazing experience and it is better to go on the 1800 hours tour as this time of the day the sun is entering the cave.
All around Kithira and especially to Kapsali there are brochures of this "Glass bottom" tour.
We had left the mainland in a hurry with only sleeping bags and towels. In Aghia Pelagia, at the entrance into the village, we found a wide ditch with gravel more or less covered by wood chips. We unfolded our towels and spread the sleeping bags and here was our one night thousand stars hotel, for free!
Note 1: I felt that I should not put this tip under "hotel"
Note 2: I have blurred the faces on the second photo.
The road is steep between the chora and Kapsali (first photo) and it is good to have some rest along the way !
However, it is far better when there is some shade (second photo), especially when at noon it is scarce !
The first photo shows what seems to be the seat of the Blue Sea line.
The second photo is a close up that says that departures to Cyprus and Haifa are at 5PM. I do not know if the tender suspended in front of the company’s seat is for real use or as an advertisement as the seashore is not that close!
Kapsali is a harbor and a village 3 km east from the Chora. It stands along a bay divided in two parts by a narrow and rocky peninsula
We walked the 3 km from the Chora to Kapsali. The road passes over a steep hill with Kythira’s Venetian castle and winds down to Kapsali.
The first photo was taken almost from Kythira’s castle (appearing on the right) and gives the first view on Kapsali’s bay.
The second photo is an enlargement that focus on the center of the bay, with the peninsula where stands the chapel of Agios Georgios. On the main land and in the foreground, the monastery of Agios Ioannis Theologos, built in the16th century, stands on a sharp rock.
The third photo shows the general landscape of the bay, shot from further down.
Photo number 4 shows better the monastery of Agios Ioannis Theologos on its hill.
Photo number 5 was shot at an even lower elevation and shows only the first part of the bay. The chapel of Agios Georgios can be better seen.
Though Kythira is said to be the birth place of Aphrodite, it has no major ancient’s Greece ruins. Neither has it any churches or palaces of major architectural interest. It has many small beaches but many of them are not easily accessed. Thus, though the islander live mostly on tourism, it has remained out of the mass tourism flow and has kept a lot of its character.
The first photo shows a bell tower near the top of the chora. I do not know the name of this Byzantine church standing close to the Venetian castle.
The second photo shows a three bells church with the bells hanging freely, on top of the entrance of another chapel.
The town of Kythira, the « chora » (capital) lies in the south of the island. It is also named Tsirigo. It is actually a very little town with only 267 inhabitants (2001 census) and amazingly, it is not the largest town in the island: both Potamos with 96 inh and Agia Pelagia with 281 inh are larger.
Though historically a Ionian island, its geographical situation at a cross road between the Adriatic and Ionian seas and the Aegean sea have printed both western and eastern influences on its architecture.
If you look at the different photos of this tip, you will find that it does not look like the other Ionian (“true” Ionian islands) islands but more like the architecture in the Sporades and the Cyclades. I feel that there is even a touch of Northern African influence!
This small church is actually a small cave in the hill up from Kapsali. It is believed that in this cave Saint John the Theologe (Agios Ioannis Theologos) began to write the Apocalypse.
The church is in the middle of the photo up to the hill.
It is not open for the public but it is celebrated on 29th of August, day that someone can visit it.
This monastery is located in the south-west side of the island.
If you stay in the balcony you think that you can fly. The hight is about 600 m and the sunset is amazing from upthere (when the sky is clean, without west winds/clouds).
The story of Agia Elessa:
She was a young girl who lived around 350AC in Peloponesse. She and her mother were Christians. When her father found this out she was obliged to leave her house but the father run after her.
She arrived at Kythira up to this hill. When her father was approaching her she prayed asking God for help. And suddenly the rock separated in two leaving a small passage only for her.
You can see this small passage and her whole story is painted inside the church.
The monastery celebrates 1st August.
It is a very nice monastery with a very nice bell tower.
In the basement (under the big church) there is another small church and this is the place where the icon was first founded by a shepherd.
When he founded the icon in a brush of myrtle he brought it to his house deciding to build a church dedicated to her grace.
But the icon the next morning was not in his house. He went and found it in the same myrtle.
After this happened twice he understood that Mary wanted the church in this place.
A big church was build.
Four years ago the whole surrounding area of the monastery was extensively burned by a fire.
But the fire stopped by itself and did't burnt the monastery.
It is one of the three caves on the island and the the only that is open for visitors.
If you visit it you are going to reach a depth of about 250m. The inner chambers are very beautiful with stalactites, stalagmites and little lakes.
The tour is guided and it costs 3 Euros.