For a reason, perhaps not valid, we cannot consider real summer vacations if we do not visit at least one island. That’s why we decided during our 15-day trip to the Eastern Peloponesse to invest a good 5 days in the not-that-famous island of Cythera!
Cythira is an island of cerulean waters, rugged landscapes, and of course ancient stories. It attracts mostly people who love nature and we could say that its competitor in Greece is Skopelos island. Moreover, the feeling of tranquility is there since Cythera is not that small island and you barely confront traffic or overwhelmed places with tourists during the day.
How to reach Cythera island
Nestled in the azure embrace of the Mediterranean, Cythira, often referred to as Aphrodite’s Island, is a destination that promises both adventure and serenity. If this Grecian jewel is on your travel radar, we have compiled the essential details to ensure a smooth journey to its shores.
Kithira Airport (KIT) is the gateway for those choosing to fly. Regular domestic flights operate from Athens, making the island easily accessible from the Greek capital. It’s a relatively short flight, and as you approach, the panoramic aerial views of the island provide a stunning prelude to your trip.
For those who relish the romance of sea voyages, there are ferry services that make the journey delightful. Regular ferries ply between the Peloponnese port of Neapolis (15 minutes from the world-famous beach Elafonisos) and Cythira. These sea routes not only offer a different experience but also allow travelers to bring along their vehicles, which can be handy for exploring the island at one’s own pace. By the way, Cythera’s port hosts one of the most beautiful beaches on the island with incredible azure waters and an instagrammable two shipwrecks reminding Zante!
Regardless of your choice, it’s advisable to book your tickets in advance, especially during the peak tourist season. Cythira awaits with its ancient legends, pristine beaches, and the warmth of its people. Whether you soar through the skies or sail the Mediterranean waves, the journey to Aphrodite’s Island is the beginning of a memorable adventure.
Where to eat in Kythera
Kythera like every other Greek island has a tasty Mediterranean cuisine. We have to give extra credits to a restaurant that stands out and could even get acknowledgment from Michelin. Without any exaggeration the tavern Karydies amazed us with their unique dishes and traditional recipes performed like nowhere else. Once again we have to mention that our opinion is objective and we didn’t receive any complimentary for advertising the incredible eatery.
On our 5-day trip, we visited Karydies twice and we tried almost everything! Will suggest ordering Tagliatelle with Staka, Seafood spaghetti, Byzantine Beetroot, Zucchini meatballs, Kebab with feta cheese, and tzatziki with carrot. Not the classic one. Moreover, we tried the day dish Seftalies which was absolutely a dream!!
The second restaurant that we really liked in Cythera was the Belvedere Cythera! It is located in islands capital offering stunning views of the lit-up castle and the scenic Kapsali bay. The dishes are presented with artistic flair and boast unique, delicious flavorswith fine wines and some of the best brousqettes we ever had!
Dive Deep Into Cythira’s Waters – Where to swim!
Cythera’s beaches, each with its distinct character, promise a blend of relaxation and adventure. We tried to visit as many as we could and we made a short list of our favourite places to jump into the water!
Kaladi Beach is renowned for its crystal-clear waters, making it a snorkeler’s paradise with its vibrant marine life just below the surface while the mountain and the small cave provide natural shadow during the day and picturesque landscape!
Kapsali and Sparagario beaches
Kapsali is one of Cythera’s most beloved coastal destinations, gracefully situated on the island’s southern tip. Shaped like a crescent, its twin bays embrace the shimmering Aegean waters, providing a safe harbor for boats and an inviting locale for visitors.
The waterfront is lined with quaint cafes and tavernas, where one can savor local delicacies while enjoying panoramic views of the sea and the imposing Cape Malea. If you are looking for a more liberating beach experience, Sparagario Beach, an unofficial nudist beach, is just a 15-minute walk away.
Diakofti Beach is the first beach that you will probably discover upon your arrival to the island if you come with a ferry. We were just amazed from the azure waters and the beautifull landscape.
Tucked away on the eastern coast of Cythera lies a tranquil slice of paradise the Avlemonas Beach. This small, picturesque bay enchants visitors with its crystal-clear turquoise waters, framed by rugged rock formations and quaint white-washed buildings.
The sheltered cove is ideal for leisurely swims and snorkeling, revealing an underwater world teeming with marine life.
Where to stay in Cythera
We could say that Cythera can offer plenty of options regarding accommodation especially if you plan early your trip. There are boutique hotels, a couple of luxury resorts, and a lot of guesthouses.
Moreover, it may look like a small island on the map but it will take you at least an hour to cross it from one corner to the other and we are sure you do not want to waste your time on the commute. We chose to stay in a wonderful hotel in Agia Pelagia called Romantica Hotel Apartments with an amazing view and very modern rooms. We had even our own jacuzzi in the room! The downside of this decision was that Agia Pelagia is a bit far from the capital and the island’s popular southwest side.
If you’re leaning more towards authenticity and wish to immerse yourself in the local culture, Cythera has a range of traditional guesthouses and bed & breakfasts. Often family-run, they provide a personal touch with home-cooked meals, stories of the island’s history, and insights into hidden gems. For those on a budget or seeking longer stays, there are self-catering apartments and holiday homes available. These options are particularly popular among families and groups, offering both privacy and the comfort of home-like amenities.
Our favorite spot on the island is Avlemonas and perhaps will become your favorite spot as well. Avlemonas Beach in Kythira holds a special place in Greek mythology. According to the myth, it was on its shores where Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, emerged from the sea foam. You will definitely feel that the aura of Avlemonas Beach is different and if we return once more to Cythera we will book one of the unique accommodations on that small peninsula or at least nearby!
Your 5-Day Itinerary in Cythira
A comprehensive itinerary for Cythira could look like the one below. As Danny Devito said once, “Just add water” which in our case choose one out of the tweenty, more or less, swimming spots in Cythera!
Day 1: Kapsali Dreams
- Settle into your chosen accommodation.
- Explore the twin bays of Kapsali. If lucky, spot dolphins!
- Sunset at Kapsali Lighthouse for unparalleled views.
Day 2: Delve into History
- Visit Paleopolis early.
- Lunch in Chora with its panoramic views.
- Tour the Castle of Chora and its surroundings.
- Traditional dinner and folk music in Chora.
Day 3: Aquatic Adventures
- Morning at Diakofti beach with its exotic vibes.
- Scuba diving or snorkeling excursion.
- Late afternoon relaxation at Kaladi Beach.
- Beachside BBQ (some places offer it – a must-try).
Day 4: Discovering the North
- Explore the mesmerizing Neraida Waterfalls – in case you visit the island during the spring.
- A quaint lunch in Avlemonas.
- Visit the Cave of Agia Sofia and its chapel.
- Star-gazing in the evening – Cythira’s skies are magical.
Day 5: Flavors and Farewells
- Shop for souvenirs and local crafts in Potamos Market.
- A grand farewell dinner, preferably outdoors with live music.
Embarking on a journey to Cythira is more than just travel; it’s about creating stories, understanding histories, and forming bonds – with the place and its people. So, as you set sail or take flight to this Grecian wonder, let your heart be open, and your spirit be free. Dive deep, climb high, and eat well. Let Cythira etch memories that you’ll lovingly recall for years. Safe travel! 🌊🌞🇬🇷