Kea Island, also known as Tzia, is a small island in the Cyclades archipelago in the Aegean Sea. Despite its proximity to popular destinations like Mykonos and Santorini, Kea has managed to remain relatively undiscovered by mass tourism, making it a perfect destination for travelers seeking a more authentic Greek experience. With its charming villages, crystal-clear waters, and stunning landscapes, Kea Island is a hidden gem that is waiting to be explored.
How to get to Kea island
Getting to Kea Island is easy, as there are regular ferries departing from Athens’ port of Lavrio, which is only an hour’s drive from the city center. The ferry ride takes around one hour and a half, and the views of the Aegean Sea are breathtaking. Upon arrival, visitors are greeted by the island’s main town, Korissia, a picturesque port that is filled with colorful boats, charming cafes, and traditional tavernas.
Stunning beaches in Kea
One of the most remarkable things about Kea Island is the variety of landscapes that it offers. The island is home to several stunning beaches, from secluded coves to long sandy stretches. Koundouros Beach, located on the island’s southern coast, is a popular spot for swimming and water sports, while Otzias Beach, on the north side, is ideal for families with young children due to its calm waters. For those seeking a more secluded experience, Pisses Beach is a hidden gem that is only accessible by boat or on foot.
Hiking trails in Kea island
Aside from its beaches, Kea Island is also known for its hiking trails, which offer visitors the chance to explore the island’s natural beauty. The ancient stone-paved trails that crisscross the island lead through rugged landscapes, past ancient ruins, and to hidden coves. One of the most popular hikes is the trail that leads to the Karthea archaeological site, where visitors can explore the ruins of an ancient city that dates back to the 5th century BC.
Charming villages in Kea island
Kea Island is also home to several charming villages, each with its unique character and charm. Ioulida, the island’s capital, is a picturesque village that is perched on a hill and offers stunning views of the Aegean Sea. The village is home to several museums, including the Archaeological Museum of Kea, which houses artifacts from the island’s ancient past. Another must-visit village is Vourkari, a fishing village that is known for its excellent seafood restaurants and lively nightlife.
Kea Island’s cuisine is a highlight of any visit. The island’s traditional cuisine is based on fresh, locally sourced ingredients, including seafood, vegetables, and herbs. Visitors can enjoy traditional dishes such as grilled octopus, stuffed vine leaves, and cheese pies, accompanied by local wines and ouzo.
In conclusion, Kea Island is a hidden gem in the Cyclades that offers visitors a unique and authentic Greek experience. With its stunning landscapes, charming villages, and delicious cuisine, Kea is the perfect destination for those seeking a quieter and more off-the-beaten-track destination. Whether you are a nature lover, a history buff, or a foodie, Kea Island has something to offer for everyone.