Kea is located on the northernmost island of the western Cyclades, and it is not far from Athens. Kea is an island that is covered in myths and history. It is also called Hydroussa because of the abundance of water sources and thick vegetation. The island houses one of the largest natural harbors in the Mediterranean that houses the shipwreck of Britannic in the surrounding area. The island offers tourists the chance to experience local Greek lifestyle with its traditional vibes. It is also surrounded by majestic archaeological sites, stunning seashores, pristine beaches, picturesque sceneries, and verdant valleys to explore.
You will find Ormos Pisa, a small bay on the W coast of Ak Makropoundha, and it is opened to the W and S. It experiences Meltemi, which makes it uncomfortable, it is best to anchor 4-8m close to the head of the bay.
Another notable anchorage in Kea is the Ormos Kavia, which can be found in W of Ak Makropoundha. You should be careful at this bay because waves break on it, and you will quickly see it. You can anchor your yacht 3-6m on the sand and rock. You will find a good holding in the E cove while the W side is mediocre, and it is best to ensure that the boat is well anchored to the bay.
You can also head to Ormos Polais, which is an open-bay located on the SE coast of Ak Tamelos. You will find a small islet joined by a reef to the shore in the middle of the bay. Anchor your crewed charter yacht to the E of the islet and the reef in 3-4m.
Kea can be found only an hour away from Athens, the capital of Greece, which makes it a popular weekend getaway from the capital. The island has a unique and varied landscape different from other islands on the Cyclades as it is dotted by oak forests, rugged rocky slopes almond groves, and stunning summer homes to explore. You will love the traditional vibes of the island, which makes it a perfect destination to go to for culture lovers. Kea is an ideal destination for tourists that are looking for a chance to escape from the crowd.
Places of Interest
Panagia Kastriani Monastery
This monastery has a rich history and a top tourist destination not to miss while in Kea. According to local tradition, this monastery was constructed by sheepherders after finding the Virgin Mary icon on top of Kastri hill. Both the exterior and interior of this church will surely give you a nerve-wracking sensation once you see it. The highlight of the monastery is that it offers mesmerizing views of the surrounding islands.
Korissia Beach is the main beach of Korissia Village, and it is not far from the port of Kea. The beach is well equipped with sunbeds, numerous beach bars, and umbrellas for visitors.
This is another famous beach in Kea which features clean waters and majestic tourist facilities.
Vourkari is the best place to go in Kea for a thrilling nightlife. You are going to find restaurants, cafes, hip bars, and a club around the dock. It also offers visitors a picturesque scenery while enjoying a drink or eating a meal.
Ioulida is a large town that is situated downsloping cliffs, and it features a natural landscape which gives it enchanting sceneries. One of the best places to go in the town if you want to enjoy this scenery is by heading to the Panorama café. You will also be awestruck by the panoramic sunset views from the café.
Archaeological Museum of Kea
This museum is a top destination not to miss for history and art lovers while on the island. The museum houses collections of ancient artifacts that date further back before the four archaic city-states of Kea were formed. The highlight of the museum is the 13 terracotta figurines of bare-breasted women.
Karthaia is among the four historic city-states of Kea, and it is located in a remote twin cove. It dates back from 8th century BC to 7th century AD, and you can access it by foot or boat. The best thing about Karthaia is that it is not crowded with tourists and you will get enough time to explore the area. Karthaia features the remains of the Temple of Apollo Pythios on the lower part while the Temple of Athena is located at the top, and it dates back from 530BC to 500BC. You will also find a theatre down below, and it once can accommodate 880 people.
History of Kea
Kea history is an island in Cyclades that has been inhabited since the late Neolithic times. It was called Hydroussa, and it is surrounded by vast springs and fountains, which makes it the home of nymphs. According to mythology, the island is characterized by vast springs and fountains which houses the nymphs. The gods got jealous of the beauty of the island, and they chased away the nymphs with a fierce lion. The inhabitants then carved a lion statue on the rocks to please the lion. The island became dry, and it was ruled by star Sirius. The locals were not happy and had to seek the help of the son of Apollo Aristaios and the nymph Kyrini. They also built a temple for Zeus, who was pleased with this gesture and brought the rain, and then the nymphs returned.
Apart from the prehistoric settlement that was found in the Agia Irini area, one of the most prominent histories of the island is the Persian invasion and the battles of Salamis and Artemisium. Kea fought alongside Athens with both of them, and it was the only Cyclades islands to fight on the Greek side with Tinos, Naxos, and Kithnos. In 479BC, the Persians were defeated at Plataea, and the 31 fighting states dedicated a trophy to Apollo. During the War of Independence, it was also the first island of Cyclades to join the fight. During the 20th century, the island prospered, and it developed some industries like the factory of Enamel, but after a large part of the inhabitants migrated, most of them are closed. During the junta of 1967-74, Makronissos, which is a small island between Kea and Attica, was used as an exile location for communists.