The Greek island of Kythira is the perfect destination to enjoy during your trip to Greece. The capital city of Chora is positioned on the southern part of the island, making it a good place to call your home base for your visit. In addition to inviting beaches, the island also boasts a variety of museums, monuments, and ancient ruins. Here’s a look at some things you can do while visiting this island:
In the village of Avlemonas, you will find the Venetian Castle. Simply known as Castello to locals, this towering structure features Venetian, Byzantine, and medieval elements. As the fortress of Saint Francis, Castello is distinguished by the lion of Agios Markos that sits atop of the main entrance. While touring Castello, you won’t want to miss the ancient canons that are still present on the grounds. While in the area, be sure to check out the churches of Agia Moni and Agios Georgios Vounou and the historic settlement of Paleopoli.
Cave of Agia Sofia
For a cool escape from the Mediterranean sun, you will want to visit the cave of Agia Sofia. This cave is situated in close proximity to both Kapsali and Mylopotamos. Inside the cave, explorers will find stalactite and stalagmite formations. With an average temperature of just 16 Degrees Celsius, this cave provides a nice respite from the heat regardless of the time of year that you visit. In addition to the geological formations, you can discover the church with an open roof that is home to various icons and gorgeous frescoes.
Also known as the Castle of Kythira, the Chora Castle is the most iconic monument on this idyllic island. The castle was constructed in the late 12th century and early 13th century by the Venetians. Towering over the island, the castle provided a great vantage point to gaze out over the Ionian, Cretan, and Aegean Seas, making it a key way for the Venetians to watch for invaders. Chora Castle houses four distinct churches, and you will want to consider visiting all of them. If you love frescoes, you will absolutely want to visit the Church of Pantokrator, which is the oldest of the churches.
If you love history, you won’t want to miss the chance to visit the Archaeological Museum of Kythira, which is located in Chora. It was founded in 1963 and has been providing exceptional learning opportunities since. The first of the two halls offer a history of the prehistorical and Classical time periods, including a 6th-century lion constructed of marble. While visiting the second hall, you will discover gems such as a Renaissance marble statue of Aphrodite with Eros and more recent excavations.
If you’re looking for an outdoor recreational activity, you will want to consider a trip to the Water Mills of Milopotamos. At the top of the gorge, you will find a trail that leads down into a lush and vibrant jungle. A guide will show you around the first water mill that you encounter on your trek along the trail. Cool off in the many swimming holes and streams that you will discover on the journey. This hike requires a moderate fitness level. Be sure to bring along plenty of drinking water and snacks as you will not find comfort amenities here.
You will not regret making a visit to Kythira an integral part of your Greek vacation. This island is a spectacular destination to dive in and explore all of the rich history and culture that Greece has to offer its visitors.