KEA



redline

Kea - Korissia and the north of the island - Around the Bay of Korissia

Around the Bay of Korissia

The point of arrival on Kea is the large and well-protected inlet of the bay of Aghios Nikolaos, one of the most sheltered and hidden harbours in the Cyclades—ideal for human settlement (which goes back 5,000 years in the area), ideal as a lair for pirates, and a vital refuge in one of the most exposed seas of the Western Aegean: the waters to the north of Kea, which are exposed to the winds funneled through the Cavo Doro straits between Euboea and Andros, are notoriously unpredictable. The bay is partly closed by long promontories to north and south. The port—referred to locally as Livadi—only comes into view at the last moment on the inside western shore of the bay; the straggling and undistinguished settlement of Korissi­a stretches inland from the south shore into the valley of the Ancient Elixos river.
   The headland above Livadi, which closes the southwest corner of the bay was occupied by the ancient city of Koresia, which surveyed the whole inlet and its entrance. Not far from where the ferry stops, just above the church of Aghia Triada, the celebrated ‘ Kouros of Kea’ in Naxian marble, dating from c. 530 bc, was unearthed (now in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens). The head land has two distinct rises, crowned in Antiquity with two successive parts of an acropolis: first, the Archaic acropolis on the lower hill to the north, which was originally walled and possessed four still traceable bastions; and second, an extension, undertaken in the 5th century bc, which included the higher hill to the south, whose summit is crowned by a natural fringe of rock-scarp. Climb up the path (from the road, first right, to Marades and Xila Bay) to the fringe, where there is a small whitewashed shrine, you come just beyond it to the base of an ancient temple, probably that mentioned by Strabo (Geog. X, 10.6) as dedicated to Apollo ‘Smintheus’—an odd appellation for the radiant deity, which is generally taken to mean ‘mouse-slayer’, from the word ‘σμίνθος’ (Cretan in origin) for a mouse, but more probably an aspect of cult originating from the city of Sminthi, not far from Ancient Troy. The temple was oriented north/south, with massive threshold blocks bearing the holes for the bolting mechanism of the doors: the inner threshold is a single monolith, c. 2.5m across. The line of the fortification walls can best be seen on the seaward side of the hill. Directly below the whitewashed shrine, in the north face of the fringe of rock-scarp, are many niches and cuts into the natural rock. The town itself—never of any great size, accord to Strabo—lay on the eastern slope of the northern hill, between the modern church of Aghios Savvas, on the summit, and the harbour quay. There are foundations and an abundance of broken pottery to be seen on the surface. Koresia lost critical momentum as an independent entity in the 2nd century bc, and was annexed to the city of Ioulis, in the island’s interior, for which it continued to function merely as an out-port.


Kea Island is part of the Cyclades Island Group, Greece.


access

Kea Island, Greece.

All communications with Kea go through the port of Lavrion on the east coast of Attica, to and from which there are frequent connections with the airport (hourly) and Central Athens (half-hourly from the Mavromateon terminal).
The most regular ferry service is operated by the dowdy, doughty vessels of Goutos Lines, supplemented by the Marmaris Express, who, between them, run one daily, early-morning service, with an additional evening service on four days per week. The crossing takes 75 mins. Ferries en route to Kythnos, Syros and the main Cycladic destinations call at Kea on average two times weekly.

Kea Travel Guide

beaches

Kea Island, Greece.

There are plenty organized and not beaches in Kea.
Koundouros beach
Korissia beach
Pisses beach

Gialiskari beach
Kambi beach
Orkos beach
Kastellakia beach

Kea Travel Guide

eating

Kea Island, Greece.

Two of the best places to eat on the island are in Vourkári: the popular Aristos, on the water front, and—with fresh est and the most varied offers—Strophi tou Mimi, on the bend where the road turns inland for Otziás. Lagoudera, on the quay opposite the ferry landing in Korissía, is a well-frequented taverna with a good variety of mezes.

Kea Travel Guide

lodging

Kea Island, Greece.

The charming simple hotel has not yet arrived on Kea.
The best option at the upper end of the scale is the 4-star complex, Porto Kea Suites (T. 22880 22870–1, fax 22873, www.portokea-suites.com); and in the middle category the Hotel Brillante Zoï, (T. 22880 22685, fax 22687, www.hotelbrillante.gr). Both have pleasant management and are in the port town of Korissía.
For studios to rent, the Oasis Hotel (T. 22880 21295, fax 21717) on the road from Korissía to Gialiskári is clean and comfortable.

Kea Travel Guide

museums

Kea Island, Greece.

Archaeological Museum

Kea Travel Guide

practical info

Kea Island, Greece.

840 02 Kea, Keos or Tzia: area 131sq km; perimeter 88km; resident population 2,158; max. altitude 562m. Port Authority: T. 22880 21344. Travel and information: Mouzaki Shipping Agency, T. 22880 21920–1, www.kea.gr

Kea Travel Guide

Book your Trip to Greece

ferry

advertisements