Kea’s seabed museum of historic shipwrecks

A marine park, one of just a few of its kind in the world, is being launched off the island of Kea, with historic shipwrecks and consisting of three protected sea areas, each covering 36 hectares.

Certified divers will be able to to dive down to the Titanic’s twin sister, the Britannic, the French ocean liner Burdigala and the paddlewheel steamboat Patris. The fourth wreck, that of the German Junkers Ju 52 airplane, will be added soon, explains Yiannis Tzavelakos, a Municipality of Kea councilor in charge of diving tourism, owner of the Keadivers center and the catalyst of the project.

Why One Weekend in Kea is Never Enough

A day trip to the closest Cycladic island to Athens is enough to make you feel as though you’re in the very heart of the Aegean Sea.

The island of Kea will cast a spell over all those who love nature, traditional architecture and quiet coves. One of the most beautiful travel destinations for a short summer break from Athens, it’s only an hour away by boat from the port of Lavrio. It’s also great for longer holidays, since there’s plenty to see and do.

When you arrive at the port of Korissia, it’s worth making a short pause for a takeaway coffee and a freshly baked cheese pie from the local bakery. This will give you just enough time to reflect on which beach you should choose. The closest option is Gialiskari, a sandy beach with facilities that’s a favorite with the locals and the younger generation of visitors. Its beach bar is renowned for serving the best club sandwiches on the island. A swim here can be combined with a stop at the adjacent and more cosmopolitan Vourkari, a popular mooring spot for yachts that also boasts plenty of tavernas and quiet bars.

If, on the other hand, the children are doing the choosing, then they will undoubtedly be thrilled with sandy Otzias, which has shallow waters and a playground, while the grownups will be quite content with its little tavernas. You can find some shade here, too, either under the beach umbrellas or the tamarisk trees.

Late afternoon, when the heat has subsided somewhat, is the best time to visit captivating Ioulida, the island’s main town, known locally as Hora. The most interesting route to take starts at Otzias and ends at the island’s beautiful capital after traveling through the back country of the island. This walk is a first-rate opportunity to really get to know the Kean hinterland, with its almond, maple and, especially, famous royal oak trees. The acorns from these trees were once used in tanneries to dye hides, and together with the celebrated Mavroudi wine and the local barley once constituted Kea’s main natural sources of wealth.

As the path climbs, you’ll also notice examples of the island’s typical traditional stonebuilt houses, a model for bioclimatic architectural design. In their majority, the Keans continue to live in the countryside, and perhaps this is yet another reason that might explain the preservation of an extensive and well signposted network of trails, a feature which has made Kea an outstanding hiking destination.

Ioulida is undoubtedly beautiful, with its mansions, small squares and narrow cobbled streets. The short walk from the Archaeological Museum to the stonecarved ancient statue known as the Lion of Kea is perhaps the best way to explore the immediate area; you’ll pass through the town’s residential area and then continue around the terraced slopes that rise above the town.

If your timing is good, when you reach the famous lion (whose half-grin resembles those of the ancient kouroi, which are contemporaries) Ioulida will appear as if perfectly placed for your viewing pleasure, with the setting sun dipping right into the Aegean Sea in the background. So, then, where do we eat? In Korissia, Rolando’s boasts a trusted standard of food and service, and specialties from Corfu. In Vourkari, it’s either the classic fish taverna Aristos, or Strofi tou Mimi. In Otzias, Taverna tis Annas serves fresh fish and traditional Greek dishes. In Ioulida, Ton Kalofagadon is famous for its local meat dishes while Piatsa offers fine homecooked fare.


Did you know that #Kea is also called “Little Paris”, since the time when industry flourished on the island? And that acorn is one of its characteristic products, which was once an important pillar of the local economy?
But we won’t tell you everything. Only that the island has a rich gastronomic tradition that you can discover in one of the restaurants-members of the Aegean Cuisine network, Aigis Sunset Bar Resto, Vourkariwn, To Exochiko Tis Margaritas, I Piatsa, Kouzina Otzias, To spiti sti chora, Kalofagadon

10 Best Things to Do in Greece in Summer

Summer in Greece is nothing short of spectacular and although the country is becoming more of an all-year-round destination, summer is still by far the most popular season for international travellers- and for a good reason!

Greece is blessed with a wonderful climate and every day in summer makes you want to celebrate the magic that comes with it. And with so many wonderful things to experience over the warmer months, we have put together a list of the 10 Best Things to do in Greece in Summer.

Enjoy Fresh Summer Flavours  

Famed for its beautiful salads, mouthwatering seafood, vegetable/vegan dishes, grilled meats, and flaky filo pies, Greek food is simple and packed with flavour. Summer on the Aegean offers a variety of fresh food bursting with colour and even if you haven’t planned on making food a priority for your Greek summer holiday, it’s more than likely you’ll end up tasting a wide range of gastronomical delights that are overflowing with fresh flavours and aromas. From Horta (wild greens) drenched in extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice, to sweet slices of watermelon through to grilled octopus straight off the bbq- the delicious local produce is sure to delight all senses.

Swim at Some of the World’s Best Beaches 

Greece has some of the most stunning beaches and has ranked second in the world among 49 countries on the 2021 Blue Flag quality award list for beaches, with 545 of them receiving the Blue Flag label. It’s hard to pick exactly which beaches are the most jaw-droppingly beautiful of them all, but from Lefkada to Crete- and everywhere in between- you are sure to enjoy a swim of a lifetime.

Enjoy the Laid- Back Beach Bar Life

With breathtaking sea views, laid-back vibes, and lush cocktails, Greece has so many beautiful beachfront bars to choose from, where you can relax and unwind all day and night. It is easy to understand why Greece is one of the most popular spots over the warmer months for those who love to go from beach to bar in a few footsteps; allowing visitors to make the most of the breathtaking Aegean Sea 24/7.

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Τζιά: Tο διαμάντι των κοντινών προορισμών

Ανεξερεύνητη από τους πολλούς και λατρεμένη για τους πιστούς της επισκέπτες, η Κέα – Τζιά αποτελεί ένα ακατέργαστο στολίδι για τις Κυκλάδες.

Μία ώρα και μερικά λεπτά. Τόσος είναι ο χρόνος που θα περάσει κάποιος επίδοξος επισκέπτης του νησιού στο καράβι που θα πάρει από το Λαύριο για ένα εκ των βορειοτέρων νησιών των Κυκλάδων. Η Τζια είναι ο παρεξηγημένος κοντινός προορισμός που αρνείται να δείξει τα κάλλη του σε εκείνους που την επισκέπτονται για 1-2 βράδια στους πλέον διαδεδομένους προορισμούς της αλλά παραδίδεται άνευ όρων σε εκείνους που θα αφιερώσουν χρόνο και χιλιόμετρα για να την ταξιδέψουν.

Αυθεντικά Κυκλαδίτικο νησί με το ξηρό τοπίο να κυριαρχεί, την όμορφη αρχιτεκτονική στα σπίτια να κερδίζει τον επισκέπτη ακόμα και από τις πρώτες εικόνες στο λιμάνι αλλά και την Ιουλίδα, τη χώρα του νησιού να δεσπόζει σκαρφαλωμένη στον βράχο, κερδίζοντας σίγουρα μια θέση ανάμεσα στις 5 πιο όμορφες χώρες αυτού του συμπλέγματος νησιών.

Τι είναι λοιπόν εκείνο που λείπει από την Τζια για να κερδίσει τη φήμη μιας διαδεδομένης Κυκλάδας; Η Τζια είναι συνήθως μία σύντομη στάση για τα σκάφη και τα ιστιοπλοϊκά. Είναι ένα εύκολο τριήμερο για τη νεολαία που δεν οδηγεί. Είναι ένας βιαστικός προορισμός των ζευγαριών που θα αναλωθούν στις γνώριμες παραλίες και βόλτες του νησιού.

Είναι όμως παράλληλα και ο τόπος στον οποίο τόσοι και τόσοι συμπολίτες μας αποφάσισαν να οικοδομήσουν το μέλλον τους με όμορφες εξοχικές κατοικίες και επενδύσεις σε ένα νησί που έχει πραγματικά προσεγμένη δόμηση αλλά και ένα λαμπρό τουριστικό μέλλον.

Οι πανέμορφες αλλά δυσπρόσιτες παραλίες με τα καταγάλανα νερά, το υπέροχο φαγητό, οι ονειρεμένες βόλτες αλλά και τα αρχαία μονοπάτια που μπορεί κάποιος να περπατήσει στα ορεινά, είναι μόνο λίγοι από τους λόγους να αγαπήσει κάποιος βαθιά αυτό το νησί.

Ιδανική για οικογένειες που ψάχνουν ήσυχες διακοπές σε οργανωμένες παραλίες, για ζευγάρια που ανυπομονούν να μείνουν μόνα σε μαγικές παραλίες αλλά και για τις παρέες που θέλουν να συνδυάσουν τις βουτιές τους σε δροσερά νερά με καλό τοπικό φαγητό και βραδινή διασκέδαση, η Τζιά μοιάζει να είναι μία υπέροχη επιλογή για το φετινό και κάθε καλοκαίρι.

Οι βουτιές στα γαλανά νερά
Οι οργανωμένες παραλίες του νησιού είναι μετρημένες στα δάχτυλα του ενός χεριού αλλά αρκετές για κάθε ανάγκη. Το Γυαλισκάρι είναι από τις πλέον γνωστές παραλίες του νησιού λόγω της εγγύτητας στο λιμάνι και μία ωραία επιλογή για τους επισκέπτες του τριημέρου. Λίγα χιλιόμετρα βορειότερα βρίσκεται ο Οτζιάς, ένας οικογενειακός κόλπος με ήρεμα νερά και μεγάλη έκταση στην παραλία. Συνεχίζοντας το δρόμο προς τα Βορειοανατολικά, θα συναντήσει ο επισκέπτης το Σπαθί, την μεγαλύτερη σε έκταση παραλία του νησιού, με το βλέμμα στην Ανατολή και ήρεμα νερά χάρη στον προστατευμένο κόλπο.

Στα νότια του νησιού συναντάμε τις Πίσσες, την γνωστή παραλία του κάμπινγκ και λίγο νοτιότερα τις δύο οργανωμένες παραλίες του Κούνδουρου, αγαπημένου παραθεριστικού σημείου για πολλές οικογένειες που επέλεξαν να χτίσουν εκεί τα εξοχικά τους. Στα Δυτικά του νησιού βρίσκονται τα φημισμένα Ξύλα, μία ημι-οργανωμένη παραλία με μαγικά νερά και instagramική ιδιαιτερότητα.

Από εκεί και πέρα όμως η Τζια είναι γεμάτη μικρούς κολπίσκους και παραλίες έτοιμες να τις εξερευνήσεις. Ναι, η βόλτα με ένα σκάφος ή ένα ιστιοπλοϊκό είναι ο ενδεδειγμένος τρόπος να τριγυρίσεις την Τζια αλλά και με ένα κανονικό αυτοκίνητο μπορείς να προσεγγίσεις μερικές παραλίες διαμάντια.

Πολύ κοντά στον πολυσύχναστο κόλπο του Βουρκαρίου, βρίσκονται οι Τρεις Αμμουδιές, τρεις πολύ μικρές αμμουδερές παραλίες για απομόνωση. Στα δυτικά του νησιού υπάρχει το πανέμορφο Καλαμίτσι, ο μικρός αλλά θαυματουργός Καλόγιρος αλλά και ο πιο διαδεδομένος αλλά όχι τόσο εύκολος να προσεγγιστεί Βρόσκοπος.

Προχωρώντας προς τα νότια μπορεί κάποιος να αγαπήσει την ηρεμία που θα βρει στο Καμπί και το Λιπαρό, ενώ από την άλλη μεριά του νησιού, την ανατολική, θα δυσκολευτείς αλλά θα ενθουσιαστείς με την Ψιλή Άμμο, την Συκαμιά, το Ψαθί, τον Όρκο και τον Τηλέγραφο. Οι περισσότερες από αυτές τις παραλίες προσεγγίζονται με υπομονή και μέσω χωματόδρομου.


An Island Paradise is Just One Hour Away from Athens

Although close to Athens – just an hour away from the port of Lavrio – the island of Kea (aka Tzia) is not well-known by tourists (yet) and has thus remained quiet and authentic.

Unlike most other islands in the Cyclades, Kea is quite fertile and green. It is an island with numerous natural attractions, rich traditions and authentic hospitality.

The island has fanatic admirers, mostly Greeks, since it maintains its traditional character, charming its visitors with its beautiful communities and villages, archaeological sites, as well as its spotless beaches and forests. Those that enjoy visiting the island begin their getaways around Easter time and, for the most part, end them sometime in early November.

In the Archaic period, the island was divided between four city-states: Ioulis, Karthaia, Poiessa and Koressos – which are connected by 36 kms of cobbled trails. Today, the main town of Kea is Ioulis, a beautiful traditional settlement built on the side of a hill, with a Venetian castle from the 13th century dominating on the top. The three other ancient cities are mentioned in Greek mythology as having been the first home of the Water Nymphs.

During the Byzantine period the prosperity of the island rose, but the island was considered in 1204 when it was captured by the Venetians in the wake of the Fourth Crusade. It was re-captured for a short period by the Byzantines before falling again to the Venetians, who built the famous castle on the ancient acropolis of Ioulis. Kea was taken from the Venetians by the Ottoman Turks in 1537, and following the Greek War of Independence, Kea finally joined Greece.

Kea has something for everyone: adventure seekers can explore the exciting hiking trails and underwater shipwrecks or go off-roading over the wild terrain; sailing aficionados frequent the island due to its proximity to the Attica mainland; eco-minded visitors are attracted to places like La Maison Vert-Amande, a local house and farm owned by a French-Greek couple and rented out to visitors – as well as the fact that the eastern part of the island boasts the largest oak forest in the Cyclades (included in the Natura 2000 network) which is perfect for bird-watching; art history buffs can admire the carved lion statue, the Lion of Ioulis – the guard and emblem of the island; individuals interested in religion can visit the church of Agios Sostis in September for its annual festival (or any one of the other 130 churches and cathedrals on the island – let alone the Byzantine monasteries and shrines); foodies can explore olive groves and vineyards (and of course, taste the fabulous foods), etc.

Photos and articles from various newspapers, including The Telegraph, illustrate the unique houses of Kea – with pitched roofs of clay tiles – much more substantial than the usual Greek cube since the island has always been a prosperous and self-sufficient island.

And Kea has remained simple and authentic – the way the Greek islands used to be before they were overrun by tourists. So if you’re in the market for a truly traditional Greek-island vacation, without the thumping disco music, Kea might be the perfect escape for you.

Source: The National Herald

Places to Travel in 2020 To Combat Overtourism

Take the road less traveled, and still get your wanderlust fulfilled.

Overtourism, described as the “perceived congestion or overcrowding from an excess if tourists, resulting in conflicts with locals”, entered our lexicon in 2012, but wasn’t used widely until 2015. With an increasingly global middle class (who often value travel and experiences over material items), social media FOMO, and the rise of airbnb and discount flying, many moving parts contribute to the overtourism in some of our beloved places. That doesn’t mean traveling is out the question. It’s just about being more conscious of our decisions when traveling. As a rule, traveling during off peak, taking alternative modes of transportation when visiting multiple countries (instead of just flying), and being mindful of local customs and lives are a small way to combat this larger problem. Let’s say bon voyage to traveling thoughtlessly. Even popular sites like Kayak are promoting under-the-radar places to inspire travelers to choose the path less traveled. Here are our picks:


Santorini was a major destination in 2019, so much so that the city has had to limit the amount of ferry’s and tourists on the island per day. If you still want the beautiful beaches, breathtaking views, and quaint charm of Santorini, try the neighboring islands of Kea and Kythnos instead. Kea has similar architectural draws (think white and blue hilltop villages without the tourist crowds), and Kythnos features gorgeous thermal springs and some of the best restaurants in Greece. Stay in Athens (we’re loving Niche Hotels at the moment) and day trip to both islands, or book early to enjoy an overnight stay on the beach at Hotel Kythnos Bay.

Source: redbook