Kea Travel Guide
General information about Kea
Kea is particularly suitable for visitors who want to experience the original Greece and do not want to share the beach with tons of package tourists. The Greeks often know kea under the name Tzia (emphasis on the "a"). Kea is the northernmost island of the Western Cyclades and is located between Euboea and Kythnos, more or less across from Attica. The island is mountainous with a highest elevation of 567 m. Many fertile valleys adorn the island. Vines, fruits and grains are grown in abundance. Much of nature is untouched, if not always easy to get to. Take the time to hike through nature on the small footpaths. Around the island there are lots of smaller bays, peninsulas and steep slopes.
On Kea you can still see the famous image of the ancient Greeks sitting in front of their houses, drinking coffee and talking, as well as beautiful, small fishing ports and enchanting sandy beaches.
The Agios Nikolaos Bay on the northwest side, in which Korissia, the ferry port of Kea is also located, is one of the safest natural harbors in the Aegean. The main town of Kea is Ioulis in the interior of the island, 6 km from the port. It is worth visiting the main town of Ioulis or simply "Chora" - as the island Greeks generally call their capitals. Ioulis is located in the same place as the ancient city and is now a picturesque village with white, two-story, but tile-roofed houses that lean against the surrounding hills for protection, winding alleyways and ornate churches. There were four ancient cities on Kea, but only remnants have survived. Various excavation finds from the Bronze Age have been collected from all over the island and are exhibited in the Museum of Chora, a classicist building from 1902. Windmills, chapels and monasteries are scattered all over the island. Further sights are the town hall, the Venetian castle (great view all the way to Attica), as well as the "Lion of Kea", a gigantic sculpture carved out of the slate rock in the sixth century BC. The large bay of Kountouros with the settlement of the same name offers the visitor all imaginable holiday amenities. Interesting churches are Ag. Marina (church holiday July 17th) north of Poisses and Panagia Kastriani = island patron saint in the northeast, 16 km from Ioulis. While Ag. Marina impressed by the simple Cycladic architecture, it is at Panagia Kastriani the special location on a high rock ledge with the view over the wide Aegean Sea that surprises and captivates the visitor.
Getting there - How to get to Kea
The ferry to Kea can be reached daily via Lavrion harbor, the crossing takes about 1 hour. You can also get to Kea via Syros-Kythnos. The Lavrion Port Authority can provide information on ferry times.
You can easily reach Lavrion via the "Attiki Odos" motorway, but also via the beautiful Athens-Sounion coastal road (Leoforos Posidonos).
From the station "Larissis"
The metro station is opposite the train station. Take the metro to Omonia Square. There you take the train towards Kifissia and get off at the first station (Viktorias). After a 100m walk you will reach the stop (Pedion tou Areos) of the regional bus KTEL. Departure every half an hour, info: Tel. 210 8230179, 210 8213203.
From the airport "El.Venizelos"
From the airport with shuttle bus to Lavrion via Markopoulon Attikis (info on tel. 22990-40738).
From Athens (Omonia Square)
From Omonia-Platz you take the train to the station "Viktoria". After a 100m walk you will reach the stop (Pedion tou Areos) of the regional bus KTEL. Departure every half an hour, info: Tel. 210 8230179, 210 8213203.
From the port of Piraeus
Take the train to the station "Viktoria". After a 100m walk you will reach the stop (Pedion tou Areos) of the regional bus KTEL. Departure every half hour.
Means of transport
Buses and taxis await you on arrival. These are the main modes of transport on the island. But you can also rent a car or moped.
Kea is an island that does not reveal its wealth of flora at first glance. The summer vacationer especially enjoys the beautiful beaches and possibly hardly sees the oak forests (Quercus ithaburensis, ssb. Macrolepis), which cover large areas in the interior of the island. On the beach we find the protected water lily (Pancratium maritimum). Campanula reiseri is another very rare plant in Greece that is under conservation.
On Kea we find 16 out of 1300 plants that only grow in Greece. Of the 16 indigenous Keas plants, 5 have been characterized as rare. According to the Bern Convention, Fritillaria graeca is one of the strictly protected plants. This law was signed by the European Council for the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Ecotopes. The southeast side of Kea has been included in the NATURA 2000 program. Mainly we find shrubs and bushes in great variety (Sarcopoterium spinosum, Centaurea spinosa). Most of the rock we find slate. The streams only carry water periodically. Large areas of vegetation (posidoniases) adorn the sea floor.
Kea is home to some of the few Royal Oak forests that can still be found in the Aegean Sea. The oak grows in the inland keas and on the eastern side. In earlier years, when the tannery was still in operation, the oak guaranteed the residents a good income. The fruit of the oak, the “hamada”, was collected from July to September. Then it was placed on a stone surface to dry. In all areas with oak forests, large ovens were built for processing.
In cooperation with the forestry department, the ovens were built, the combustion process controlled, the production of the end product and the transport monitored. Then the traders sold the tanning agent to tanneries in Europe. As a result of this activity, large parts of the oak forest were destroyed. Today the forests are closely monitored. After the war, chemical products replaced this raw material and today the oak tree only offers shade. Besides oak, however, Kea achieved great success with the production and trading of charcoal.
The flowers of Kea
Indigenous plants of the Cyclades and all of Greece, wild orchids, countless pharmaceutical herbs, aromatic shrubs, multi-colored lichins, ancient chestnut trees and "fides" (Juniperus phoenicea), "kokoretsies" (Pistacia terebinthus), "koutsoupies" (Cercis siliquastrum), crocuses Iris, campanula, anemones, wild roses, wild gladioli and many more give a picture of unique beauty and remain in the visitor's memory.
Events on Kea
The New Year celebrations
On the last afternoon of the year, the Keas Cultural Association organizes a door-to-door tour. Singing and accompanied by the traditional musical instruments "Tsambouna" and "Tumpi", you say goodbye to the year and greet the coming.
Many events for young and old take place during the carnival season. The festivities culminate on the last day of Carnival with a large parade through the capital Ioulis. The municipality of Keas offers visitors wine, suvlaki and rice pudding.
The religious festival in celebration of Aghios Haralambos
The day of the protector Keas, Aghios Haralambos, is celebrated with great solemnity and deep religiousness. Every year, on the first Sunday after the celebration of Aghios Haralambos, the Association of Keans organizes a great festival in favor of the protector. This service is held in the Church of St. Dimitrios in Neo Faliro. After the service, the participants gather in a restaurant where the traditional New Year's cake is cut. The respective mayor is also present and gives a short speech on community issues.
The fairy tale festival
In the last few years the fairy tale festival has been so well received that it will also take place in the future. Between August 19 and September 4 there are various hikes to specific spots such as clearings, rocks and mystical rock or tree formations, and traditional fairy tales are told about the respective area.
The History of Kea
Once upon a time, nymphs lived in the woods of Kea near the springs. At that time there was a humid climate on Ydroussa, with lush vegetation and plenty of water, just as the nymphs loved.
One day a lion appeared and chased away the nymphs. The nymphs left Ydroussa. Thereupon the brightest star in the sky, Sirios, sent its rays of fire to the earth and burned the earth of Ydroussa and the other Cyclades islands.
The island suffered from the drought and the inhabitants asked the demigod Aristeos of Thessaly, son of Apollo and the nymph Kyrine, for help.
Aristeos, ruler of the arcades, came to Ydroussa and made sacrifices to the god of rain, Ikmeos Zeus. The gods calmed down and the drought subsided. Since then, every year when the Megalos Kynos is on the constellation, strong winds (Meltemia) have blown for 40 days.
Aristeos settled in Ydroussa. He taught the inhabitants agriculture, animal husbandry and beekeeping and initiated them into the basics of religious rites.
The hero Keos, son of Apollo and the nymph Rodoessi, came to Ydroussa.
Keos was the leader of the Lokron of Nafpaktos who occupied the island. Hence Kea got its current name.
The first settlers of the New Stone Age settled on rocky hills near the coast so that they could overlook both the sea and the land. Finds from the first settlement on the headland of Kefala testify to the cultural influences between Kea and continental Greece and bring the Cycladic culture to light. This settlement was established during the Neolithic (3,300 BC) on the northwest coast of the island. At the foothills of the hill is the cemetery. This place was inhabited for about a century.
The inhabitants of Kefala, fishermen and farmers, began to deal with the processing of metals. The Bronze Age began.
Our knowledge of Kea mainly relates to the findings of the excavations on the Aghia Irini peninsula, near Kefalas.
From the Bronze Age to the end of the Mykinean Era, the settlement of Aghia Irini made its mark on the history and early culture of the Aegean Sea.
During the 16th century, when the settlement became a junction between the Minoan and the newly emerging Mykinean cultures, Aghia Irini became the Cretan-Mykinean center. Their location in combination with the safe haven contributes to the economic and social upswing. Not only the irrigation system and other great works testify to this, but also selected decorations of the works of art.
The city was destroyed by a powerful earthquake around 1450 BC. destroyed.
Archean and Historical Times
During the Archean epoch (7th to 6th centuries), Kea experienced a prosperous time as a colony of the Ionians. Four independent, economically and culturally strong cities are founded: Ioulis, Karthea, Piiessa and Korissos. With the exception of Piiessa, each city minted its own coins.
All cities were surrounded by protective walls, while towers were built in selected places to observe the surroundings. A dense road network connects the city-states with one another.
Each city had its own policy and administrative strategy while working together on foreign policy. Meetings were called by the administration and the citizen had a large say.
The historical and artistic contribution of Kea
Kea was known for its political administration system. The great philosopher Aristotle also dealt with it. His manuscript "Keon Politia", which refers to the exemplary organization Keas, could only be saved except for a short extract.
The lawgiver Aristides, one of the seven wise men of antiquity, was from Kea and became famous throughout Greece for the introduction of his strict and original laws. One of these Laws was the "Kion to nomimon". According to this decree, citizens were allowed to poison themselves after the age of 70, after their mental and physical powers were no longer of use to the state. The person was required to communicate the reasons for his decision to the leaders and at their discretion he was given permission to commit suicide. As at a family festival, the fellow citizens gathered around him and he dutifully took a sip of Konio, a juice made from the mandragora plant.
During Christianity around the 3rd century BC. this custom was settled.
The ancient Keans were great athletes. 69 victories at the games of Istmia, Nemea and Olympia are mentioned by Kean poets.
Simonidis of Kea was one of the first intellectuals of ancient society (556 BC -468 BC).
Only fragments of his poems have survived. Simonides was the first poet to write about ordering and payment.
Vakhilidis, a nephew of Simonides, was one of the most famous lyric poets of ancient Greece.
In addition to the poets, the spiritual life of the island of Kea brought many other personalities to great esteem, for example the sophists Thiramenis and Xenomidis, the famous doctor Eristratos, the philosopher Pythaklidis, who served as a teacher to Pericles, Prodikos, teacher of Thucydides, Evripides and Isocrates , Ariston and many more.
Byzantine times - Frankism
With the establishment of the Byzantine Empire, Kea was one of the provinces of Greece and was subject to the rule of the Eastern Roman Empire. During this time the autonomy and the socio-political cooperation of the four cities come to an end. Ioulis becomes the only political center on the island. One of the Eneti leaders built the castle (Kastro) on the site of the acropolis of ancient Ioulis. During the dynasty of the Justians and the Enets (1207-1566), Kea was successively occupied by different dynasts: Valets, Michelen, Bartholomeans, Gozadins and many others.
At that time, Kea became a haven for many pirates and suffered raids and looting for over three and a half centuries. The number of inhabitants decreased from 1470 to 200.
Place names, labeled sources and temples (Aghia Anna and Episkopi near Ioulida, Aghii Apostoli in Kato Meria, Aghios Panteleimonas in Ellinika) bear witness to the Byzantine influence on the island.
When the Enetian dynasty came to an end, Kea was integrated into the Royal Empire of Naxos and the Dodecanese, until this too had to surrender to the Ottoman Empire.
The Keans felt drained from centuries of oppression, but they upheld humanity and the national conscience.
After the Venetian occupation, the Ottoman one followed. The main interest of the Turks was income from taxes. The Kean community was administered by elected potentates and delegates. They were responsible for the administration of the public issues and the income of the taxes for the benefit of the "Hohen Bogen". The majority of the population lived scattered in the countryside.
Around 1870 Lampros Katsonis put together his own fleet and built his fortress on the island.
With his daring deeds he animated and promoted hopes for freedom 30 years before the revolution of 1821.
On Kea, some became members of the "Filiki Eteria", e.g. Andreas Sofianos, Gerasimos Pagalos and many others.
With its independence, Kea experienced an economic boom through the distribution and export of its main products, acorns and barley.
Information source: www.kea.gr
The main settlements of Kea
Please click on the names on the map to go directly to the description of this place.
Beach and Bay of Otzias 5km from Korissia, along the coastal road towards Vourkari, we reach the Bay of Otzias with its rare natural beauty. With a length of approx. 700m, its shallow waters and the dense tree population, this is the largest beach on the island.
Otzias is a place of relaxation
The churches of Aghios Sostis and Aghios Georgios are located at both ends of the bay. After a swim or a walk, vacationers have the choice between two taverns with a view of the sea.
Recommended beaches in Otzias:
Panaghia Kastriani is the protector of the island. The church can be reached in two ways - via Ioulis and via Otzias.
The impressive monastery is located on a rock on the hill of Kastriani.
It is not by chance that the monastery was built there. You could say the Holy Mother of God wanted her house there, especially since this is where her icon was found. The shepherds of the area saw a glow on the hill in the evening. Together with residents, they discovered where the bill came from. The glow came from the icon of the Holy Mother of God. Thereupon they decided, despite the difficult terrain, to build the Church of the Holy Mother of God on this site. In fact, in the late evening the sun throws its last rays exclusively on this hill and illuminates the church in golden rays.
The icon of the Holy Mother of God is inside the monastery, which consists of 2 churches, the old and the new from 1910.
Accommodation can be found on the monastery grounds at a symbolic price. The dining room and other auxiliary rooms are available to customers.
On August 15th, the monastery becomes a place of pilgrimage for the residents of Kea.
The road to Kastriani leads us to the sandy beach of Spathi. A tavern awaits us there. On the way to Spathi we pass two beautiful bays that are difficult to reach on foot.
Vourkari, once a small fishing village, is about 2 km from Korissia. Despite the strong tourist development, it retains its traditional character. The bay of Vourkari is the safest natural harbor in the Mediterranean and a popular destination for sailors in the high season. Inevitably, the harbor mile of the small village is fully booked in summer and the yachts and sailors outdo each other at the berths. It is worth strolling here in the evening to enjoy the atmosphere.
Along the harbor mile there are many small taverns that serve fresh fish and the well-known “Astakomakaronada” (lobster with pasta).
The nightlife takes place here (bars, cafes and ouzeris). In between is the well-known art gallery Keas «Vourkariani», with exhibitions of many well-known Greek artists such as Tsarouhis, Fassianos, Mytaras, Stathopoulos, Stefanou, Parmakielis and others.
Opposite Vourkari is the Aghia Irini peninsula. In addition to the church, the visitor can visit the archaeological site from the Bronze Age to the Mykinean era.
This was one of the most important prehistoric settlements in the Aegean Sea, a thriving city and center of trade in goods. Approx. 1700 BC. a protective wall was built around the city. At the same time the temple was built. During the post-Cycladic I and P periods (1600-1450 BC) an extensive building program came into effect and many of the buildings still visible today were erected at that time.
The city's neighborhoods were linked by an excellent road network.
Excavations brought to light marble statues, pots, clay ovens with decorations and “Depous amfikypellon” (a narrow and long pot with two handles) from the early Bronze Age.
The “Koren” from the late Bronze Age are among the most impressive finds.
The “koren” are clay statues with long robes with their hands folded in the middle.
All the finds from Aghia Irini are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Ioulis.
A little further on, the Kokka peninsula is lonely and deserted. This industrial region was one of the most important coal loading points in Greece and a source of life for the Keans.
The coal depots and houses of the coal workers built at the end of the 19th century lie lonely as abandoned contemporary witnesses. In front of them is the former ship loading point.
The land spit of the Lambros Katsonis
The road ends at the Lambros-Katsonis-Spit. This passage recalls the important role that Kea played in the period before the Greek Revolution of 1821.
Lambros Katsonis was married to a Keaner, Maroulio Sofianou, and his fleet was stationed in the bay of Aghiou Nikolaou. After the Turks blocked the harbor entrance, there was only one way for the skipper to escape. With the help of the locals, he had to bring his ship across the isthmus near Kokka in order to avoid the Turkish fleet.
The lighthouse of Saint Nicholas
From the Lambros-Katsonis-Enge the path leads to the lighthouse of St. Nicholas. From there you can watch a unique sunset.
The lighthouse of Saint Nicholas was the first to operate in the Cyclades in 1831 and was the second lighthouse in Greece.
The lighthouse was built on the ruins of the sacred temple of Poseidon.
Recommended beaches in Lambros Katsonis:
Gialiskari, Tris Ammoudies
Gialiskari is on the way to Vourkari, about 1km from Korissia. This small bay with its golden sand attracts many tourists thanks to its infrastructure and location. Gialiskari is easily accessible on foot from the port in Korissia. At the beach bar under the tamarisks, you can enjoy a coffee or a soft drink. In the nearby village you will find accommodations with a wonderful view of the bay and the sunset.
The bay of Aghios Nikolaos in the natural harbor of Korissia is the first port of call for visitors to Kea after the stormy Cavo D’Oro. You arrive here by ferry.
The street in the port of Korissia, the ferry pier, restaurants, cafes, shops of all kinds. This picturesque coastal village is the center of tourism. Fishing boats and yachts complete the overall picture.
With a pleasant stroll along the pier you will find fish restaurants and taverns, cafes, shops with gift items, SuperMarket, hotels and other accommodations.
Unsuspecting, the visitor walks through the ancient city of “Korissos”, on which today's port of Korissia is located. Particularly eye-catching is the 45m high chimney of the former largest enamel factory in the Mediterranean area, which is now abandoned.
The “Association of Friends of the Enamel Factory” would like to use this area as an exhibition site, for which many of the machines have already been repurchased. They are currently being exhibited in a public place.
Recommended beaches in Korissia:
At the end of the harbor mile is the beach of Korissia with its crystal clear water. Although one would assume from the ferries and fishing boats that this bay is not exactly ideal for swimming, the beach is surprisingly clean and calm. If you have your accommodation in Korissia, you don't have to walk far, but have a supermarket, shops, beach and taverns in the immediate vicinity. The beach of Korissia seems to be protected by St. Georgios, whose chapel stands on a rocky promontory.
If we continue our walk along the coast, after 1 km we will reach the village of Galiskari. We are amazed at the sight of the golden sandy beach with its turquoise water and we cannot avoid having a soft drink at the beach bar and enjoying the peace and quiet.
If we want to get to Ksyla, we have two options to choose from: the shorter (4km) via Stavroti or the longer coastal path (6km) through Marades and Melissaki? Both roads are not paved and lead through an area without vegetation. If the bay of Ksyla suddenly appears, you hurry to jump into the wonderfully crystal clear water. This small sandy beach is an absolute “must” for vacationers. We recommend equipping yourself with drinking water and a snack so that you can enjoy this bay for a long time.
The hisstory of Korissia
The ancient city of “Korissos” is located above the present-day settlement and extends to the western end of the bay of St. Nikolaos. The “Kato Acropolis” used to stand on the hill of St. Savas and you can still see the remains of this settlement. On the northern part of the “Ano Akropoli” (on the hill of Aghia Triada) a temple was discovered, where to this day it is uncertain to which god it was dedicated. It is mentioned that there was the temple of Smynthios Apollonos and the altar of the Dioskouren.
At the eastern edge of the hill, excavations have uncovered a cemetery at the site where the famous Kouros of Kea, now on display in the National Archaeological Museum, was found.
A clear sign of the island's industrial activity is the enamel factory on the Korissia plain.
The only Greek enamel factory was in operation from 1927 to 1957 and was of great importance to the people of Kea both financially and socially. About 300 people were employed in the factory. Before the outbreak of war, household appliances and signs (street signs, advertising signs) were mainly produced.
In 1936 the first state order for the manufacture of helmets and drinking bottles for the military came. From 1939 to 1941 it was produced exclusively for the war industry.
In 1957 the factory had to shut down.
In 1991 the factory was placed under monument protection by the responsible monuments office.
In 2002 a small group of former workers founded the Friends of the Enamel Factory.
After a painstaking search, the association was able to refund many machine parts, production plans and products. The aim of the Friends of the Enamel Factory Association is to establish an exhibition center on the factory premises.
The capital of Kea called Ioulida is located about 5 km from the port on the slope with a view towards the mainland
The small white houses of the main town Ioulida can already be seen from the ship.
Ioulida is the island's capital and an important clue in the island's history.
The footpath from Korissia to Ioulida via Milopotamos with the water mills has a length of 5.5 km. The path leads through oak forests past chapels and stone houses typical of the island.
At the much-sung source of the Rokomenos we leave the car because the roads to the capital are very narrow. When we climb into the Hora, we are enchanted by its sight.
The entrance to the village is the archway, the walls of which were painted by the artist Aleko Fasianos. Ioulida was built on the foundations of the ancient city and reveals its beauty while walking through its narrow streets.
Ioulida enchants visitors with its infrastructure: stone-paved alleys, the island's typical Stegadi, the interplay of colors ... The Kastro with its medieval Stegadi offers a unique view.
On the way to the town hall square (Platia) we pass the Archaeological Museum. The building was erected in 1970. There we can see finds from the New Stone Age to the end of antiquity.
The town hall, built in 1902 in neoclassical style, is located on the Platia, the village square. The roof corners are decorated with clay figures of Apollo and Hermes.
Near the “Tria Pigadia” spring is the former school of Ioulis, a characteristic example of neoclassical architecture. The building is below the church of "Panaghia Chryssospiliotissa" and as the name suggests, the church is built in a cave.
Around Ioulida there are valleys with springs and fields. On Kea we find the largest cluster of windmills in the Cyclades. These windmills are typical of Kean architecture and are of particular tourist interest. We reach it by going up the town past the springs “Mamas” and “Aghios Dimitrios”.
Kea is a hiker's paradise. Footpaths across the island start from Ioulis and reveal the beauty of Kea. One of these paths leads to the “Lion Keas”, a sculpture carved into a huge rock in the archaic years.
If we continue the hike we will reach the "source of Benjamin" with its centuries-old plane tree. There you can rest and enjoy the enchanting view.
The history of Ioulida
Of the four ancient cities of Kea, Ioulis is the only one that is inland. Located on a hill, it overlooks the north side and the sea. The city was founded during the Archean Period on the site occupied by the Kastro during the Middle Ages. Two protective walls, still visible today on the west and east sides, surrounded the city. Unfortunately, only a few systematic excavations have been carried out to date, so there is little information material about ancient Ioulis.
Ancient writers mention the existence of a temple of the gods Apollo and Athena. Inscriptions confirm the cults on the gods Athena, Artemis, Apollon, Hermes and Dionysus. In the Archaeological Museum there is a section of the inscription of the Ioulite community (3rd century BC), which sets the administration of the money for the restoration of the temples of the city.
There we also find the torso of a male body, dressed in a long tunic, which was discovered at the “Kurentis” spring.
(The legendary sculpture of the Lion of Ioulida is one of the oldest sculptures in Greece without religious significance)
The Lion of Kea
Numerous legends and traditions envelop the mysterious and silent lion of Kea. When the nymphs started killing the women, the residents wanted to leave the settlement. A priest of the god Zeus asked him for help and he sent the lion. The residents then carved a lion into the rock to scare the fairies.
The settlement used to be around the Kastro, which was built on the foundations of the ancient city. The guidelines for the expansion of the village were given by the water points (Rokomenos, Mama, Kurentis, Benjamin), to which all roads lead.
The residents of the capital Ioulis, mainly farmers, also maintained houses in the countryside.
With the arrival of tourists, they began to leave the city to retreat to their country houses.
The Milopotamos Valley is 2 kilometers from Korissia. This is where the source of Flea rises, the water of which covers part of the needs of Ioulida.
Those who like to hike can take the old stone-paved path from Korissia to Ioulis from here.
There are 11 water mills along the river bed. In past years the water mills and windmills were in operation all year round, grinding grain and supplying the villages with flour and animal feed.
The watermills are an excellent example of Kean architecture. Most of them are deserted while a few are inhabited.
Discover the Kean tradition by walking along the cypress-clad slopes of the river bed.
The beach of Sikamia can only be reached with off-road vehicles, but is therefore a beautiful beach that you hardly have to share with others. The Pera Meria region on the northeast side of the island. The mountains covered with the royal oak are impressive. On the coast there are many small bays such as Spathi, Kalidonichi, Sikamia, Psathi, Orkos.
The large amount of rainwater collected in the springs of Messaria, Sotiras, Christou, Karias, Tria Maderika creates deep gorges that shape the landscape over many years.
Personally, I liked the stretch of coast in this region best. It is sometimes only possible to reach the beaches with off-road vehicles, but the way is worth it. Sikamia and Psathi offer beautiful beaches which, due to their inaccessibility, have very few parts. If they don't come in August, you might even have the beaches to yourself. The bays naturally offer no infrastructure. It is therefore advisable to stock up on beverages and food in order to be able to fully enjoy your stay. Please also take all rubbish with you, as these bays are not cleaned by the municipality.
In the heart of the island, facing east, are the country houses of Ellinika. Fertile fields run on the small plateau, but also smaller segments on the typical island terraces of the steep slopes. This area has been inhabited continuously since ancient times.
11 km from Ioulis is the fertile valley of Pisses, which is still cultivated by the residents today.
Pisses is a quiet town with a large beach.
Vacationers will find a wide variety of accommodations. The only campsite on the island is also located here, 50 m from the sea.
The history of Piiessa
Ancient Piiessa (that's the original name) was an agricultural town. The city, whose gates are on the eastern side, is surrounded by a protective wall with towers.
The temple of Apollo used to be on the site of today's church. The tower of Saint Marina is located at the crossroads of ancient roads that connected Piiessa with Korissia and Ioulis. This tower was built during the late Classical / Hellinistic period and is one of the tallest preserved archaic monuments in the eastern Mediterranean.
Kato Meria on the southeast side is the most rural area of the island. This is where we find most of the country houses. Around the church of Aghios Nikolaos, the residents of Kato Meria will find basic services: elementary school, warehouse for agricultural products and a shop. Stone-paved hiking trails lead from Kato Meria to the coast of Karthea. There you can visit the impressive temple ruins, the theater and the harbor. The sources Vathypotamos, Kalamitsi and Kalodoukas enable the farmers to cultivate their fields far away even today.
The church of Aghios Simios stands on the hill of the same name and was built on the ruins of the temple of Aphrodite. There he welcomes many residents of the island to a great festival every September 1st.
On the north side of the hill a gorge leads to the coast of Aghios Filippos. Above the gorge we find one of the largest springs in Kea, Vrisses, which supplies water to the area's “hanging” fields.
In the south of Kea, 16 km from Ioulis, lies Koundouros.
Koundouros is a settlement with a beautiful sandy beach and impressive weekend houses. Here you will also find accommodations and taverns.
Koundouros, Aghios Emilianos, Kampi, Liparo, Bouri, Frear, Chiliomodou, Panagitsa, Ligia