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Quick Facts: Kythnos
Pronunciation Key-thnos
Alternate Spelling Kithnos
Transportation Ferry, Catamaran
Main Attractions Thermal Baths
Food Good seafood and Greek fare
Accommodations Good accomodations

Kythnos Characteristics

Kythnos has a land mass of 99 sq. km. and a coastline of 98 km. The population of Kythnos is about 1,500 individuals. This western Cycladic island is 52 nautical miles from Piraeus. 

Mountainous Kythnos has several lovely beaches and many coves and is well known for its therapeutic springs or loutra.

greece greek islands cyclades  kithinos kithnosgreece greek islands cyclades  kithinos kithnosLike its neighbor, Kea, very few tourists visit Kythnos and it is an ideal place to find and see the real Greece. There are many Greeks visiting the island, seeking relief in the thermal springs.

There is some basic night life in Merihas, Hora, and Loutra. The islanders are extremely friendly and most tourists are Greeks seeking the therapeutic springs. Kythnos is a good island for hiking.

Island Features

greece greek islands cyclades  kithinos kithnosgreece greek islands cyclades  kithinos kithnosgreece greek islands cyclades  kithinos kithnos

Kythnos generates its own electricity from wind and solar power. Its azure waters and sandy beaches offer good swimming and good fishing.

Kythnos was an iron rich island until the ore became depleted in 1940 and islanders now farm, make wine, honey, ceramics, weave baskets and catch fish. Figs grow well here and there are decent local wines. You can still see farmers working the fields with donkeys and other examples of a rural Greek lifestyle that have all but disappeared from the more fast-paced lives of most Greeks.

In 1974, a massive stone wall was built around the harbor to allow ships to dock and business has grown slowly from that time.


greece greek islands cyclades  kithinos kithnosMerichas is Kythnos' main port, and offers the most convenience and has a beach close by. The harbor is in a tree-lined bay where some tavernas are found. The locals encourage and feed a raft of ducks living along the sandy beach.

Merichas has fairly typical but laid-back fishing harbor. Fishermen sell the day's catch in the mornings near the ferry dock and yacht berths.

greece greek islands cyclades  kithinos kithnosIt is busiest just after a major delivery by ferry boat when you may see drays and forklifts delivering foodstuffs and bottled liquids to its tavernas and shops.

The main church is Panagia Flambouriani. The small islet of Agios Loucas is connected by a narrow strip of land.

A short walk up the harbor steps leads to the nicer beach of Martinaki with rooms to let and some good taverns. This nice beach is popular with families.

Merichas bars hold the only promise of nightlife to be found on the island.


Just north of Martinaki are the unexcavated ruins of Hellenistic period Vryokastro. Famed for proving impregnable to attack in 198 BC, Vryokastro survived when the rest of island was pillaged.

Below Vryokastro lie the pretty  white beaches of Apokrousi and Episkopi. These are two of the islands loveliest beaches, although a bit further along and you find the nicest beach of the island, Kolona. It's an easy walk or reachable by caique or water-taxi.

Kythos Town or Hora, the capital

greece greek islands cyclades  kithinos kithnosThe capital Kythnos Town is in the mountainous center of Kythnos. It's 8 km north of the port Merichas. It has no hotels and only a few rooms to let.

The narrow, picturesque alley-like pavements of Kythnos Town are covered with painted designs of fish, flowers, mermaids and spiral patterns. It is a real Greek village with a character all its own. There are several churches among which the most notable are Aghias Savvas (1613) and Aghia Triada with its beautiful wood-carved screen, single-aisle basilica. Other churches claim icons made by Cretan-Venetian master Skordilis, including The Prodromos or Scout of St. John Church.

Just outside Kythos Town is the solar park and modern power-generating windmills. The steady wind keeps the windmills spinning.

Loutra, thermal springs and the north

greece greek islands cyclades  kithinos kithnosThe two iron-saturated springs at Loutra, Kakavos and Aghia Anargyri are the most important spas in the Cyclades. Both are used for bathing and as a cure for gout, eczema, rheumatism and something known by the antiquated term 'woman's problems'. Loutra is a small resort with some holiday villas, a few tavernas and rooms to let as well as the Xenia Hotel which houses the Hydrotherapy Center and boasts ancient carved marble baths from which steaming water bubble forth.

greece greek islands cyclades  kithinos kithnosOver the headland are two small bays hiding the small pebbled Aghia Irini Beach and Schinari which gets the brunt of the north wind. The oldest Mesolitic settlement found in the Cyclades is on the promontory just to the north.

At Kythnos northern tip, an hour's walk from Loutra is the deserted medieval Castle Kastro Katakefalos. This medieval ciadel was abandoned in the 17th Century.

Dryopida and Kanala

greece greek islands cyclades  kithinos kithnosFrom Merichas another road leads up to Dryopida, the only other real village on the island. Dryopida was once the island capital. Its snow white houses are built on either side of a dry river bed. Its Katafiki Cave was used by islanders in times of attack. The cave is at the southern edge of the village. It has many decorative stalagmites and stalactites.

Dryopida is nestled on the sides of a small ravine. Its red-tiled roofs look Spanish or Italian. It's divided into two area– agrarian Pera Rouga by the river valley and Galatas the upper village, where there are crazily paved streets and almost no cafes. Galatas was once a great ceramics center, now only one pottery remains belonging to the Milas family, still in business after five generations.

greece greek islands cyclades  kithinos kithnosFrom Dryopida the bus continues to Kanala a popular summer area overlooking the sea with many villas and a grouping of sheltered coves with some small sandy beaches. The church dedicated to the island's patroness, Panagia Kanala, is located here. There's a venerated icon in the church, supposedly painted by St. Luke, but probably painted by one of the Skordilis family. The icon was reputed to have been found in a canal, hence the Virgin Kanala appellation. The church is surrounded by shaded picnic grounds, which fill up with pilgrims on her feast days, Aug. 15 and Sept. 8.

From Kanala, a rough path leads down to Flamboura beach on the west coast.

Drinking and Dining

There are good eateries in Kythnos, some are within the hotels. Merichas has several good spots. There are fewer choices in Dryopida, Loutra, and Kanala but you can find food in every village.


The oldest Mesolithic settlement yet discovered in the Cyclades was found on Kythnos north of the port of Loutra. It dated from about 7,000 BC.

Much later the Minoan's had a trading center here during the Mycenaean period. The semi-mythical tribe called Dryopes, fleeing Heracles on the mainland, occupied the island and are responsible for its present name as well as the name of the old capital Driopida. Kythnos played an active part in the Persian wars and joined the Athenian league and was later subject to the Macedonians, Romans and the Byzantines.

In 1337 Kythnos was taken by Marco Sanudo and came under the domination of the Venetian Cozzadini family who held on to power even after the attack of the Turkish pirate Barbarossa in 1537. The Cozzadini paid taxes both to the Turks and to Venice for 200 years. The Turks finally overwhelmed the island in 1617. During King Otto of Greece's reign it was a place of exile.

In the 17th century Kythnos was a center of icon painting whose most talented were the Skordilis family of painters whose works can still be seen.


Walkers enjoy the dramatic and rugged interior of Kythnos.

Unless you're packing a sleeping bag and plan to sleep on the beach, make sure you keep track of the bus schedule and don't miss the last bus back to Merihas in the afternoon.


greece greek islands cyclades  kithinos kithnos

greece greek islands cyclades  kithinos kithnos

The Complete Details

Helpful Information
Transportation Facts
  • By Ferry: Daily from Piraeus via Serifos, Sifnos and Milos
  • Thrice weekly from Lavrion (via Kea and) Kimolos, Folegandros, Sikinos, Ios and Santorini
  • By Hydrofoil: from Piraeus' via Kea once a day
  • Buses run to Lavrion from Athens 2 hrs
  • On the island buses go to Hora , Loutra, Dryopida, and Kanala.
Island Resources
  • Kythnos Port Authority, Tel: 32290
  • Tel. code: 2281
  • Port Authority: Tel: 32290
  • Kythnos Taxi, Tel: 31272
  • Dryopida Taxi, Tel: 31290
  • Post Code: 84006
  • Hora Tourist Police, Tel: (2281) 31201
  • Loutra Hydrotherapy Center, Tel: 31277  (8-Noon)


Ikaria - Armenistis
New Maisonettes

Price: €209,000
 -  125 m2
Bedrooms: 3  Baths: 2


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