KEA



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Kea - Korissia and the north of the island - from Otzias to moni Kastriani

From Otzias to moni Kastriani

At Vourkari, just south of Aghia Irini, the main road turns inland, through a low-lying, alluvial area with groves of fruit-trees, towards the pleasant haven of Otzias (4.5km), grouped around a bay cutting deep into the north coast. A 4th century bc inscription indicates that there was a sanctuary of Artemis in this area: the places of worship of Artemis tend generally to be found in low-lying, fertile, marshy areas, as on Leros, Ikaria and at Ephesus. When Theodore Bent visited in March 1883 he observed the re mains of a mole and of ancient buildings at Otzias, which he connected with the important export trade of ‘ miltos’. Miltos, or ruddle, is a naturally occurring red ochre (ironoxide), widely used for colouring and dyeing in Antiquity, and as anredient in the caulking of the hulls of boats. Rights for the extraction of miltos were the source of contention between Kea and Athens in the 4th century bc. The tunnels and galleries in the hillside used for the min of the ochre can be seen around Kalamos, some two to three kilometres southeast of here, in the area referred to still as ‘Trypospilies’—‘cave-holes’.
   Climbing east from the bay of Otzia, the road along the north coast reaches its terminus at the airy monastery of the Panaghia Kastriani­ (11km). The fine position, with views across the water to Euboea, Tinos, Andros, Gyaros and Syros, is a greater reward than the buildings of the monastery which date from 1912. The foundation, how ever, is said to be of the 18th century. The stone kalderimi, or mule-path, joining the monastery both to the bay be low and to the village above is still visible. From the village of Kastriani­ (reached by foot along the kalderimi, or by car from a junction 2km west of the monastery) a motorable * track of panoramic beauty climbs south and then heads west along the ridge of a deep valley—wide and well-formed as if by a glacier. The Mandoutorrent on its floor has in fact formed the valley; its eastern end where it flows out into Spathi­ Bay was mined in Antiquity for iron ore. These cool upland slopes are scattered with brilliant yellow Sternbergia (S. lutea and S. sicula) in the autumn, and bluey-white, primrose-like Mandragora (officinialis) flowers in the spring. Mandragora roots (according to Pliny) were chewed as an elementary anaesthetic in Antiquity. The road reaches Chora after 6km from Kastriani­.


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

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