Kythera Island, Greece
Olympic Air runs one daily flight between the island and Athens throughout the year.
Otherwise access is by sea from the southern Peloponnesian ports of Neapolis (one mid-morning ferry daily, making the journey in 1hr: T. 27340 22660 & 24004); Gytheion (four sailings per week—3 hrs: T. 27330 22207); and, more occasionally, in summer from Kalamata (5 hrs).
These last two routes continue on to Kisamos (T.28210 28217 & 24147) in eastern Crete, from which there is the same frequency of return connections.
There are also weekly connections with Piraeus by ferry all through the year, and by hydrofoil in the summer months.
Most boats now dock at the new
port of Diakofti on the east coast of the island, 31km from the island’s capital, Kythera Chora.
Rooms for rent can be found in many of the villages on the island: the hotels, however, are mainly concentrated in or near Kythera Chora and at the port of Kapsali below. Particularly peaceful and with a good and panoramic terrace for breakfast, is the Hotel Margarita just off the main street in Chora, in the 19th century house in which Valerios Staïs, the archaeologist, was born. Open all through the year. (T. 27360 31711, fax 31325, www.kythira margarita.com).
Nearby, at the entrance to the Kastro of Chora is the small Pension Nostos, with half a dozen select, simple, well-appointed rooms of great charm (T. 27360 31056, fax 31834, www.nostos-kythera.gr).
In Chora it is not easy to find both good food and a pleas ant setting together.
Zorbas, in the main street, is known locally for its baked lamb at weekends, and the family-run
O Salonikos, on the main road, has commendably fresh dishes at reasonable prices; but both places slightly lack atmosphere.
One of the best tavernas to eat at on the island is Skandeia at Palaiopolis: it has excellent fresh wine, freshly-caught fish, and a variety of home-made, vegetable pittakia; the owners are welcoming and the setting is shady and beautiful.
At nearby Avlemonas, Korali also has good fish.
Kapsali has a number of adequate tavernas, of which O Magos is perhaps the best.
For Kytheran honey, Yiannis Protopsaltis at Mitata is recommended.
801 00 Kýthera:
resident population 3,532
max. altitude 506m.
Port Authority: T. 27360 34222 (Diakofti), 33280 (Aghia Pelagia).
Travel and information: Porfyra Travel, T. 27360 31888,www.kythera.gr