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Vacation Ideas

The island of Kea, or Tzia, is one of the most popular tourist destinations.

It is just 1 hour from the port of Lavrio, near Athens.

 

The island offers its own unique charms, with intriguing alleyways, idyllic beaches, an oak forest, a network of 12 stone-paved trails for hikers and plenty of gastronomic delights. Kea combines relaxation, a cosmopolitan air and natural beauty.

In the Archaic period (7th-6th century BC), Kea was known as Tetrapolis, because of the four cities established on the island at that time: Korissos, Ioulis, Poiiessa and Karthaia.

 

The famous Kouros of Kea was found in Korissia and is now on display at the National Archaeological Museum. It is worth visiting the prehistoric settlement of Agia Eirini in Vourkari, where the Korai, or “young maidens”, of Kea were found. These are now exhibited at the island’s Archaeological Museum in Ioulis.

 

Ioulis is the only one of the four ancient cities located further inland. It features a medieval castle and charming trails for hiking. The mythical Leon of Ioulis, an Archaic sculpture of the 6th-7th century depicting a 6-metre-long lion carved into the rock, can still be viewed there

In Poiiessa, the modern-day village of Poisses, you can see the remains of ancient walls, while northeast of Poisses, the five-storey Tower of Agia Marina rises to a height of 20 metres. It was built during the Hellenistic period (4th century) and is one of the tallest surviving monuments in the Mediterranean.

 

And finally, at what remains of the ancient coastal city of Karthaia, you can see the ruins of the acropolis and the ancient temples of Athena and Apollo, as well as part of the town’s ancient theatre. The more significant findings from the city of Karthaia are on display at the Archaeological Museum in Ioulis.

Beaches

The two nearest beaches on the island worth visiting are Gialiskari and Otzias. Equally beautiful but further away are Koundouros, Sykamia, Spathi, Kalidonychi and Poisses.

Nightlife

Vourkari is the liveliest spot for a night out in Kea. This cosmopolitan corner of the island features a variety of café-bars and restaurants with a unique ambiance. As the capital of Kea, Ioulis also offers a number of impressive establishments for gastronomic delights and an enjoyable time.

Getting there

Kea can be reached daily by sea from the port of Lavrio, located about 30 minutes from the “Eleftherios Venizelos” Athens International Airport.