Chora, also known as Messaria, is the capital of the island, built on the mountain ridge along which houses are situated. Walk along the labyrinth: along the paved paths, under ornate arches and flanked by white houses, all of them closely packed. At each corner, you will see paintings by local residents who represent many aspects of island life, and you will also feel the calm among the churches, mills, fountains and small squares.
The area on the northeast side of the island is well known for its hot springs, frequented by King Otto and Queen Amalia in the 19th century. Today there is a hydrotherapy center with organized facilities. The underground waters, rich in salts, sulfur and iron, offer a pleasant, warm bath with therapeutic properties for many ailments. Enjoy every second!
Quiet, far from the sea and its winds, this small village lends itself for walks in its alleys. You will be impressed by the originality of the houses, all with roofs of tiles, probably remnants of the local tradition in ceramics. In the square, the only square in the village, you can enjoy a coffee and while ascending to the neighborhoods of Galatas and Pera Rouga admire the majestic churches.
On this beach, there is a narrow strip of land that is surrounded by the sea creating two independent beaches. The deep blue, crystal clear waters and the uniqueness of the landscape justify its description as one of the most beautiful beaches in the Aegean.
The Monastery of Panagia Kanala
In the only pine area on the island, perched on a rock, is the Monastery of Panagia Kanala, in honor of the patron saint of the island and one of the most important pilgrimage sites of the Cyclades. The miraculous image of the Virgin, supposedly a creation of St. Luke, is found here. Tradition tells that the icon was found by fishermen on a starry night in the strait between
Kythnos and Serifos. On August 15 of each year, there is a great celebration with a procession and recreation of the discovery of the icon of the Virgin.
The Monastery of Panagia Nikous
Just 800 meters from Chora is the monastery, whose main church still stands glowing in the style of the island, with curved and whitewashed stone walls. Legend says that it was here that the icon of Panagia Nikopios was transported from Constantinople, later stolen by the Venetians and now located in San Marcos in Venice. On August 15 of each year, there is a big celebration followed by a big party.
The Castle of Oria
At the elevation of Katakefalos, where the island’s capital used to be, there are remains of houses and two fortress churches that flourished during the Venetian occupation. It is believed to be the legendary Oria castle, which resisted the 12-year-old Turkish siege and fell because of a traitor who seduced the beautiful Oria to open the doors for him. Relive the myth while looking at the sea, the view of the Aegean Sea is unique.
The popular museum
This museum, which is located in Driopida, is worth visiting, whether for regional costumes and other objects of everyday use exposed that belong to times past. This will give you a special insight into the lifestyle of local people.
Visit the church of Agios Minas in Driopida with the best carved wooden altarpiece, the traditional handmade bishop’s throne and the ornate Santo Bier.
In Chora, do not hesitate to visit the church of Agios Savvas dating from 1613 and the church of Metamorfosis tou Sotira with its frescoes, the work of some of the most outstanding painters of Cretan icons.