Kanala & the south of the island

The road south from Dryopis climbs up to a summit crowned by half a dozen ruined windmills—many still with much of their machinery in situ—and then runs along a central ridge of the island with views encompass the Cyclades, from Milos in the south, through Syros and Mykonos in the east and Andros in the north; the Peloponnese is visible to the west. The landscape is gently folded into protected valleys and patched with stone wall enclosures. At 8km from Merichas, a left branch leads 3.5km down to the east coast at the attractive harbour of Kanala. In a stand of pines on the promontory is the small sanctuary of the Panaghia of Kanala: inside the church the paintings are modern, but the icon of the Virgin is a fine work of the 17th century by the Skordilis brothers— well-preserved except for the gold background which has been re-laid in recent times. Behind the east end of the church is an ‘aghiasma’, a small spring of sacred water.
   The waterside church of the Panaghia Flabouriana on the opposite west coast of the island (11.5km from Merichas) in Flabouria Bay also has an attractive 17th century icon of the Virgin and Child in a water-tub, out of which gushes the ‘Water of Life’. Two kilometres southwest of the bay is the promontory of Kastellas (best reached by the road and track west from the junction on the main road at 11km from Merichas). The terraced summit here was the once fortified acropolis of a settlement of early historical times, which was abandoned—probably in favour of the new settlement at Vryokastro—in the late 6th century BC.
   Visible on the crown of the ridge beside the main south road at 10.5km is the finely proportioned, domed building of the church of the Presentation of the Virgin, known as the ‘Panaghia Stratilatissa’. The present church dates from the 17th century, but the presence of large fragments of marble columns and other elements by the entrance to the enclosure suggest the presence of a much earlier predecessor on the same, prominent site. The road ends at Aghios Dimitrios, an attractive cove colonised by holiday homes. The heavily indented coastline has created a number of small, protected beaches in this part of the island especially on the east side, ideal for bathing.

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

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