Kythnos is like a modest beauty. It is not famous, no pictures of Kythnos are seen on the cover of magazines. However it is truly beautiful and genuine, and very “well behaved” too. It is approachable, friendly, joyful and hospitable. A holiday destination out of the ordinary, this is one of its greatest virtues. Kythnos, or Thermia, with its warm baths, belongs to the West Cyclades group of islands, and is located between Kea and Serifos. It covers an area of 92 square kilometres and has 1,700 permanent residents. It is frequently hit by strong winds, but the sun shines almost all year round. With its beautiful Cycladic landscape, Venetian castles and old churches, charming beaches and hot springs, Kythnos makes an ideal destination for those who seek relaxation, good health, but also an acquaintance with the history and culture of the place. In Kythnos, the warmth and hospitability of the residents are the epitome of “welcome”. According to tradition, the island was named after Cythnus, leader of the Dryopes, who settled in the island from Euboea. The northwest part of Kythnos, from the islet of Agios Loukas to the Kefalos cave, is of particular natural interest, and has been included in the Natura 2000 network.
•Panagia Kanala: This monastery, dedicated to the island’s patroness saint, is situated at a beautiful spot at the village of the same name. The icon of the Virgin Mary is considered to be miraculous and, according to tradition, it was created by Apostle Loukas. A major feast takes place in the church of Panagia Kanala on 15th August.
•Castle Orias, Vryokastro and Maroulas : Castle Orias, the former medieval capital of the island, overlooks the Aegean, featuring the remains of houses and two churches. From here you can enjoy the superb views, as long as you mind the rough path that leads to the fortification. Vryokastro is the ancient capital of Kythnos – among the relics here you can see the acropolis, aqueduct and temples. Last but not least, in the area of Maroulas lies a Mesolithic open air settlement (the only such discovered in Greece), with important findings.
•Cave of Katafiki: Located at the north side of Driopida village, it is one of the largest in Greece and partly open to visitors, with impressive stalactites and stalagmites.
•Thermal springs: It’s no coincidence that the island’s original name was Thermia (meaning “baths”). Located at the area of Therma /Loutra, Kythnos’ two hot springs and modern spa centre attract many visitors annually.
Events, products and specialties: The traditional year-round festivities add a special touch to the character of the island. The most famous ones are Agia Triads in June in Chore, Agii Apostoli on 28 June in Dryopida, Panagia Kanala and Panagla Nlkous on 15August. “Kythnia”, a host of music and dancing events and art exhibitions, takes place in Chore every summer, from 1 to 10August. The traditional delicacies of Kythnos Include local sausages, the trimma and kopanisti cheese products, honey, and the tasty barley breed rolls. The most popular local recipes include savor (seasoned fish), sfougata cheese croquettes, the pitaro cheeseple, syglina (salted pork), and kolopia (pies with rice, wild greens, spinach and various herbs). Look for local macaroons If In Loutra: definitely one of the best delicacies to take back home !
Activities: If you like hiking, this can be a fun activity on Kythnos island in spring and autumn, when the weather is not very hot. Hiking trails are usually not signposted, but they are easy to follow. A nice hiking trail is from the port to Chora or Driopida, the two main villages of Kythnos, or from the port to the lovely beach of Kolona.