Would you like to explore one of the renowned Greek islands, but you wish to avoid the tourist masses? The secluded island of Kythnos is your perfect choice! Although it is one of the first islands to be reached by ferry from Athens, the island of Kythnos has remained an unexplored paradise, a true gem of the Cyclades islands.
Traditional villages with Cycladic architecture, a superb coastline with more than 90 beaches, a significant history dating back to the Mesolithic era, agricultural fields, hot springs, numerous hiking trails, one of the largest caves in Greece and the delicious local cuisine will undoubtedly offer you the best authentic active holidays on a Greek island.
Day 1: Athens – Kythnos
On the first day, you will take the ferry either from Piraeus or from Lavrio port and within 3:10 or 1:40 hours respectively you will reach the beautiful island of Kythnos.
After check in at your hotel, you will have the day free* to relax by the sea or stroll around the village’s narrow alleys and shops!
In the evening, you will enjoy a welcome dinner with your tour leader and your fellow travel companions, having a first taste of the local cuisine and discussing your program of the coming days.
*The program of this day is free of activities, since we don’t know your exact arrival time (depending on the ferry schedule). We can, however, organize a hike or other activities, if you arrive early in the morning.
Day 2: Hiking to Vryokastro – Apokrousi – Kolona
Our hiking trail today will takes us to the island’s ancient capital, Vruokastro, and then to the probably most stunning beach of the island, Kolona! Ashort hike up will take us to the hill of Vryokastro, a currently abandoned archaeological site and one of the most important prehistoric settlements in the Aegean. Archaeological research has brought to light findings dating back to the Mesolithic Age. According to the findings and underwater excavations, that town was constantly inhabited from the 10th century B.C. to the 6th century A.D.
Afterwards, we’ll descend to the white sandy beach of Apokrousi, where we’ll make a stop to relax and swim. Next comes one of the island’s highlights, the unique beach of Kolona. It is actually a strip of sand joining Kythnos with the islet of Agios Loukas, creating a landscape of unparallel beauty! Once there, you can enjoy swimming and snorkeling, as well as lunch at the only tavern on the beach (if open) or snack lunch.
You will later be transferred back to your hotel.
Total Hike Duration: 3 hours / 4 – 4.5 hours incl. stops | Total Distance: 5.5 – 6.5 km
*Breakfast and dinner
Day 3: Hiking Loutra – Castle of Oria, the Thermal Springs & Pottery Lesson
Today’s breathtaking hike will offer you amazing views and authentic encounters with the island’s history! After breakfast, you will be transferred to the north part of the island and specifically to the village of Loutra, a popular stop over for sailing yachts. Once there, we will follow an ascending path in order to reach the striking Castle of Oria, located on a steep hill at the northernmost tip of the island. This fortified acropolis that overlooks the Aegean Sea was the capital of the island during the Byzantine times and the Latin occupation; but it seems that it had already been inhabited since prehistoric times. 100 chapels flourished there during the Venetian Rule, of which only two still stand today.
You will have time to relax, enjoy the panoramic views and take some wonderful photos, before we return back to Loutra from the same path. You will have the afternoon free to relax at the Thermal Springs of Loutra, known for their therapeutic qualities. You can also enjoy your lunch and/or coffee in one of the seaside restaurants/cafes.
Later on, a short hiking trail will take us from Loutra to Chora, the island’s capital. Chora is a fine example of traditional Cycladic architecture, with white-washed houses, stone-paved mule paths and arcades which will drive you to endless walks in narrow alleys ending to small squares and churches. Once in Chora, you will also enjoy a pottery lesson* by a local artisan in Chora and you will have the chance to create your own pottery clay!
Early in the evening, you will be transferred back to your hotel.
Total Hike Duration: 3 – 4 hours / 4.5 hours incl. stops | Total Distance: 8-10 km
*The pottery lesson is available until the end of September.
Day 4: Hiking Dryopida – Kanala, cave exploration & cooking class
Enjoy a good breakfast today, as we will explore hiking the best of Central and Southeast part of the island! You will be transferred to Dryopida village, one of the most picturesque and traditional settlements of Kythnos. Once there, we will follow a hiking trail that will soon take us to the peaceful beach of Kalo Livadi, decked with a small church on a rock. A large beach with stone slabs, pebbles and golden sand, as well as big and very old cedars create the ideal setting for a stop and of course sunbathing and swimming in the summer. The sound of the waves will be most probably the only sound you will hear in this pristine scenery. Behind the few houses that make up the small settlement, a fertile little meadow spreads out planted with fig trees, vineyards and a few groves that gave its name to the homonymous settlement.
Our next and last stop of today’s hike is the well known coastal village of Kanala that took its name after the monastery of Panagia Kanala, dedicated to Virgin Mary. Here you will also find the only pine forest in the island. The monastery hosts the miraculous icon of Our Lady which, according to tradition, was found by fishermen floating in the narrow channel between Kythnos and Serifos and is said to have healing powers.
Once our hike is completed, you will be transferred back to Dryopida village, where another surprise is waiting for you! Get ready to explore Katafiki cave, one of the largest caves in Greece, most of which remains unexplored to date. Located at the edge of Dryopida village, at an altitude of 190 meters above sea level, the cave maintains a constant temperature of 17 degrees and is considered to cover an area of 3.500 sq.m.
Once we explore this hidden gem, you will participate in a cooking class and learn how to prepare some traditional local delicacies, such as “sfougata”, Greek salad, “tzatziki” and much more!
Total Hike Duration: 2.5 – 3 hours / 4 hours incl. stops | Total Distance: 6.5 – 7 km
*Breakfast, Lunch (cooking class)
Day 5: Departures – Kythnos to Athens
Today you are free to enjoy your last morning on the island the way you wish, before boarding the ferry back to Athens (or other nearby islands).
If you are traveling as a family with young children or are not interested in long walks, instead of crossing the Vikos Gorge we suggest another less demanding 3-hour path through the bridges and stone villages of Zagoria.
Price per person in double room from 550 €
- Tour leader & local guides.
- 4 days of accommodation in traditional guesthouse, based on double occupancy.
- All meals, as indicated on the trip notes (4 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners).
- Return Ferry tickets from Athens to Kythnos.
- All necessary ground transfers on the island.
- Cost for all activities included in the tour program (guided hikes, cooking class, pottery lesson).
- All taxes
Price does not include:
- International airfares.
- Travel insurances.
- Accommodation in Athens.
- Transfers to/from Athens airport and to/from Piraeus port.
- Any meals not specified in the itinerary.
- Any beverages or alcoholic drinks during meals.
- Optional activities that are not included in the day-to-day itinerary.
- Other expenses of personal nature and tips