Κύθνος – Cyclades

Kythnos is an extremely peaceful and quiet island doing its own thing. Which is mostly farming. And imagine an island with two competing Chóras! I would not say that any of these are of the most interesting though. The only village with any sort of tourist appearance are the tiny port. An undeservedly bad-mouthed place which is very pleasant to stay in. But like its neighbor Kea, holiday homes are starting to sprout even here, so things might change in the future.

Another similarity with its neighbor island is a very bad bus system. Not even the locals seemed to use it, I don’t think anybody knew anything about its timetable. The few buses I saw were empty, except for one doubling up as a school bus. But instead you can walk the roads on Kythnos, traffic is minimal.

Not known for being any sort of green island (to say the least), in early June (2007) it still had a fairly greenish appearance. It actually also had a bit of rain.

The port town Mérihas has an extremely friendly restaurant named Byzantio.

Selected walks: For possible walks on this island see Walking, hiking and trekking on KYTHNOS by Raymond Verdoolaege or Travel, Holiday and Visitor Guide for Kythnos, Greece by Foxy’s Island Walks. A good Road Editions (1:40000) map exists (see above). Also check out Santorini, Sifnos and the Western & Southern Cyclades by Dieter Graf.

•1 MÉRIHAS – EPISKOPÍ – APOKROÚSSI – KOLÓNA (+ return to MÉRIHAS) (my total time 4h32, includes stops for photography, drinking and a swim in the ocean; +-563m, 5 laps): The description of (most of) the walk can be found as walk 4 in the page Walking, hiking and trekking on KYTHNOS by Raymond Verdoolaege.

I did not see any paths towards Apokroússi at my visit and had to stroll the road to Chóra and take the signed option left just before that village. A very long detour.

On my return I hunted out an interesting alternative route from Apokroússi: Follow the initially nice walled footpath around the next headland. Very beautiful. Soon you will have to pass some animal pens by scaling a few stone walls using make-shift stiles, then pick up a faint path on the other side. This way you should quite easily get yourself to the dust track above Episkopí. The very last part towards the track is rather overgrown, below holiday homes, but some sort of path should be possible to identify.

•2 MÉRIHAS – DRIOPÍDA – AG. STEPHANOS (+ return to MÉRIHAS) (my total time 4h58, includes stops for photography, drinking and a swim in the ocean; +-635m, 2 laps): A stroll along the (partly dusty) roads. You can just follow the road signs, a map is still an advantage. The asphalt road takes a huge detour around Driopída. Instead, walking through the village is possible, but the way will be easier to find on the return, when you have got better orientation. If you want to take the short-cut via the village, just make sure you cross the valley to the northern part of town where you will find the concreted track you will need to be able to continue (quite a challenge to find your way in these labyrinthine streets, the picture above are taken at the point of crossing). When you later, a few minutes after the village, go left at the T-junction with a dusty road you are again on the main route. Choose the route you fancy!

I have not tested this, but I am also pretty sure that the grassy track going down the valley between the separate parts of Driopída in fact connects with the main road. This grassy track starts where you can cross between the southern and the northern part of the village. Going back towards Mérihas I could see a similar track coming in on the right (lower) side of the road. In other words, yet another possible short-cut.

• Good starting points: • Mérihas – the port town

• How to get there: • By ferry from other islands in the Cyclades West • By the odd ferry from some islands in the Cyclades Central • By ferry from the mainland

• More info: • Walking, hiking and trekking on KYTHNOS by Raymond Verdoolaege • Travel, Holiday and Visitor Guide for Kythnos, Greece by Foxy’s Island Walks

This page was last modified at November 1, 2009.