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While it’s just an hour from Athens, Kea Island has remained a well-kept local secret, popular with Athenians who enjoy it for summer escapes or a relaxing weekend. Its accessed via ferry from the lesser-known port of Lavrio, which may be a bit more difficult to reach but worth the effort to enjoy the mainland’s closest Cyclades getaway, yet one that feels so much further away. Minus the big tourist crowds, enjoy relaxing on the beach, fantastic diving and snorkeling, exploring ancient ruins and dining on mouthwatering local specialties.Read More
Kea Island At A Glance
Population of Kea Island 2,500
What to See in Kea Island Visit the Archaeological Museum of Loulis, Monastery of Panagia Kastriani, the unspoiled beaches for swimming, snorkeling & diving
Towns or islands to visit near Kea Island Athens, Kithnos, Siros, Tinos, Andros, Mykonos, Giaros, Serifos
Things to do on Kea Island
Archaeological Museum of Ioulis
Artifacts from the island’s most important archaeological site, Karthaia, can be viewed at this museum. Karthaia was first settled during the Late Bronze period, but it peaked in the Classical period. The temple of Athena and an ancient theater was discovered by a French expedition in the early 20th century and is now exhibited here. The museum houses a collection of historical times from the 7thcentury BC to 2ndcentury AD, with pottery, coins, sculpture and inscriptions from ancient Kea. There are also findings from the Neolithic settlement of Kefala and the Bronze age settlement of Agia Irini.
Monastery of Panagia Kastriani
Located in a remote region some four miles east of Otzias, this monastery sits atop a rock rising above the sea and is considered the island’s most important religious center. It’s worth visiting for the view alone, but if you happen to be here on August 15th you can experience the big celebration to honor the Virgin Mary that includes food, wine and music.
The main thing to do on Kea is to go to the beach. Mavrabeli is the most remote and uncrowded, accessed by boat or a walking path about five miles from Ioulida. Gialiskari is one of the island’s most popular beaches, a sandy by with clean, clear water and a number of tourist facilities. Koundouraki is a Blue Flag beach on the northwest coast of the island, popular with yachters. It’s especially scenic, protected from winds and features some restored stone mills as well as several taverns
Swimming, snorkeling and diving
Swimming, snorkeling and diving are popular activities on Kea. The reef off Koundouraki is one of the country’s top diving spots, and those who enjoy exploring shipwrecks can dive down to view the HMHS Britannic, one of the world’s most renowned. It sunk in 1916 and was discovered by Jacques Cousteau in 1975. With an outstanding selection of tranquil, warm shallow bays, there are lots of opportunities for a leisurely swim or snorkel too.
Trips to Kea
Athens - Poros - Poliegos - Folegandros - Santorini - Antiparos - Paros - Delos - Mykonos - Syros - Kythnos8 NightsFrom $3,560 ppA luxury Greek islands small ship cruise visiting the key highlights of Greece including Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos, along with lesser known destinations including Folegandros and Syros. Enjoy an overnight stay in a 4 star hotel in Athens prior to boarding the cruise.
Athens - Kea - Delos - Mykonos - Santorini - Rethymnon/Crete - Kythira - Monemvassia - Nafplion - Hydra - Delphi - Athens10 NightsFrom $4,395 ppExplore Athens, Delphi, Acropolis and the Greek islands of Crete, Mykonos, Santorini, Hydra and more on this luxury 11 day Greece small ship cruise tour
Athens - Kea - Delos - Mykonos - Santorini - Rethymnon/Crete - Kythira - Monemvassia - Nafplion - Hydra - Athens7 NightsFrom $3,190 ppAn 8 day luxury Greek islands small ship cruise visiting the best of Greece including Athens, Santorini, Mykonos, Crete with lesser known destinations including Hydra, Monemvassia and Kythira. Enjoy an overnight stay in a 4 star hotel in Athens prior to boarding the cruise.
Our Favorite Restaurants & Bars
To Spiti Sti Hora
Set on the slopes of Kea village, To Spiti Sti Hora offers a tranquil atmosphere and a beautiful setting that looks out to the magnificent Chora and the vast blue expanse of the Aegean Sea. Enjoy dishes based on local ingredients using traditional recipes with a creative twist, including everything from kritharoto with truffle mushrooms and tuna tartare to aubergine rolls, goat cheese bruschetta and sea bass.
All can be accompanied by fine local wine, and often music too. Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and for cocktails in the bar, this is one of the hottest spots on the island.
One of the top seafront restaurants in Vourkari, Seiros is renowned for its seafood- and fish-focused menu, fresh-caught right from its own boat. The main focus is on whole grilled fish, beautifully presented. Portions are very generous and include starts like fried anchovy balls, hot and crispy served with homemade tartar sauce and mains like fried squid with grilled cubes of halloumi and fresh mint pesto.
The chef cooks up great specials too, like truffles and crayfish or gnocchi with lobster and saffron. Not matter what you order, save room for the dessert, it’s on the house.
Located by the beach in Koundouro, Porto Koundouros offers an ideal setting complete with beautiful sea views for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Look forward to traditional Cycladic breakfasts along with fresh, daily changing dishes focused on local meats, grilled fish and vegetarian options.
It’s a great place just to come to sip coffee or a relaxing beverage while gazing out at the breathtaking scenery while underneath shady trees or umbrellas. With the sea easily accessed, one could easily spend the entire day here swimming, relaxing and dining.
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