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Also known as Tsirigo since the Venetian occupation, Kythera is a hidden gem located between the Peloponnese and Crete. Kythera stands out for its medieval architecture, reminiscent of Mani, its remote beaches and its unique natural environment. In fact, according to mythology, it is the birthplace of Venus, as it was mentioned in Homer's Iliad. The island is ideal for those who seek a ""lively"" tourist destination, but also for those who seek calm and relaxing holidays. The most touristic places of Kythera are Avlemonas, Agia Pelagia, Chora and Kapsali, while if you explore it a little more, you will discover its ""hidden"" locations - small villages on cliff tops, hidden beaches and solitary monasteries... The surprises that await you are many! One of the most iconic attractions to visit in Kythera is the Venetian Castle, above Chora, the capital of the island. This castle boasts panoramic views of the Aegean Sea and the southern coast of the Peloponnese and is the ideal spot to admire the sunset in the most romantic setting. Apart from the Medieval Castle, do not forget to visit the monasteries of Agia Moni, Agia Elesa and Myrtidiotissa, as well as the church in the cave of Agia Sophia. This island will take your breath away with its beauty! And of course, it is necessary to take a walk in Paleochora, the ghost village of Kythera, as well as a dip in the beach of Lagadas.


The history

Greek mythology says that Kythera was the birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite, which is why there was a sanctuary in her honor on the island. The history of Kythera began in the Minoan times, with the Minoans using Kythera as an intermediate stop for their journeys to the West. In ancient times, Kythera was mainly under the control of Sparta, but was often occupied by the Athenians, as they were located in an extremely strategic spot in the Mediterranean Sea. During the Byzantine period, Kythera was the seat of a Bishop. In the 7th century AD, the Byzantine emperor Constantine donated the island to the Pope, who in turn gave it to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. In 1204 the Franks occupied Constantinople, as well as many islands. Markos Venieris conquered Kythera in 1207 and became a Marquis of Kythera. During the Venetian occupation the island was renamed Tsirigo and is divided into three provinces: Milopotamos, Agios Dimitrios (now Paleochora) and Kapsali. The Venetians observed the strategic position of the island and as a result settled there and began to build many fortifications around it. One of them is the strong castle above Chora that survives to this day. On May 21, 1800, the Treaty of Constantinople established the semi-independent Ionian State (which also included Kythera) under the supervision of the Sultan. The inhabitants of Kythera participated in the Greek Revolution against the Turkish occupation. On May 21, 1864, the Ionian Islands were united with the rest of Greece. The wave of migration intensified in the early 20th century when people were leaving en masse for America and Australia. During the First World War, Kythera participated in the political movement created by Venizelos, formed an autonomous administration and strengthened the Allied Forces. The occupation of World War II by the Italians and the Germans increased immigration, which became even more intense after the war.

Venetian Castle

The Venetian Castle of Kythera is definitely the most characteristic monument of the island. It was built between the end of the 12th century and the beginning of the 13th century in Chora during the Venetian occupation. Due to its strategic location, providing good observation points in the Ionian, Aegean and Cretan Seas at the same time, they named it "Eye of Crete". The castle was built in various phases but most of it was completed by the Venetians in 1503 AD who did some additional work and repairs. On the left side of the entrance of the castle there were the prisons while on the right there was a huge cistern dating from the Venetian occupation. Inside the castle there are four churches. The oldest church is the church of Pantokrator, built in 1545 and has impressive old frescoes. However, the largest church of the castle is Panagia Myrtidiotissa, built in 1580. Initially it was Catholic, but in 1806 it became an Orthodox church.

Thyme Honey

It is the most famous product of Kythera and this is due to the taste, since it is produced from thyme that gives the best taste from other honeys. Even the Tsar of Russia, Alexios, chose only honey from Kythera! In Kythera, among others, there is the Beekeeping Cooperative of Kythera for the support of producers, the improvement of the product, the correct standardisation and the increase of production. You can try the thyme honey of Kythera on your breakfast or as a dessert and of course, don't forget to take a jar back home! You can buy thyme honey from the local farmers of the island or from the Beekeeping Cooperative.


Useful information

Weather conditions in Kythera



Kythera Airport (KIT)