Kea is a small, unspoiled island in the Cyclades that offers a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of more crowded Greek destinations. Known for its natural beauty, traditional architecture, and stunning beaches, Kea is a popular summer destination for locals and tourists alike. Visitors can explore the island's charming villages, such as Ioulida, and enjoy delicious local cuisine at one of the many tavernas.
History of Kea
Kea, also known as Tzia, is a small Greek island located in the Aegean Sea, and it has a rich history dating back to ancient times. The island was initially inhabited by the Karystians, who named the island "Hydroussa" due to the abundance of water sources. Later, the Ionians settled on the island and renamed it "Kea" after the mythological hero Keos, son of Apollo.
During the Byzantine era, Kea was an important religious center, with several monasteries and churches built on the island. Kea was also an important center of resistance during the Ottoman occupation of Greece, with many Keans fighting against the Turks in the Greek War of Independence.
In more recent times, Kea has become a popular tourist destination, known for its natural beauty, traditional villages, and rich cultural heritage. Visitors can explore the island's ancient ruins, including the temple of Athena at Karthaia and the Lion of Kea, a 6th-century BC sculpture that is one of the most important works of ancient Greek art.
Beaches in Kea
Kea Island is home to several beautiful beaches that offer crystal-clear waters and stunning scenery.
- Koundouros Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the island, offering a long stretch of golden sand and shallow turquoise waters.
- Korissia Beach, located near the island's main port, is another popular spot that boasts calm waters and a family-friendly atmosphere.
- Otzias Beach is a large and picturesque beach, perfect for swimming and sunbathing, while Gialiskari Beach offers a more secluded setting, surrounded by cliffs and lush vegetation.
- Other noteworthy beaches in Kea include Pisses Beach, Spathi Beach, and Sykamia Beach, each offering a unique blend of natural beauty and tranquility. Whether you're seeking a peaceful spot to relax or a more adventurous day out, Kea's beaches are sure to delight visitors of all ages.
Sights in Kea
Kea is a beautiful island with many sights and attractions to explore. Here are a few examples:
- Ancient Ruins: Kea is home to several ancient ruins, including the Temple of Athena at Karthaia, which dates back to the 6th century BC. Visitors can also explore the ancient city of Koressia, which was an important center of trade and commerce during ancient times.
- The Lion of Kea: a famous 6th-century BC sculpture carved out of local granite. It is one of the most important works of ancient Greek art and can be found near the village of Ioulis.
- Monasteries and Churches: Kea has several monasteries and churches that are worth visiting, including the Monastery of Panagia Kastriani, which dates back to the 18th century, and the Church of Panagia Keharitomeni, which is located in the village of Vourkari.
- Hiking Trails: offer stunning views of the island's rugged landscape and natural beauty. Some popular hiking trails include the ancient path from Ioulis to Karthaia and the trail to the lighthouse at Cape Kefalos.
Activities in Kea
Kea is a great destination for those looking for a mix of relaxation, adventure, and culture. Here are some of the top activities and things to do on the island:
- Hiking: Kea has several scenic hiking trails that offer stunning views of the island's rugged landscape and natural beauty. Some popular hiking trails include the ancient path from Ioulis to Karthaia and the trail to the lighthouse at Cape Kefalos.
- Water Sports: Kea's crystal-clear waters make it a great destination for water sports such as snorkeling, scuba diving, windsurfing, and paddleboarding. There are several companies on the island that offer equipment rentals and lessons.
- Explore Ancient Ruins: Kea has several ancient ruins, including the Temple of Athena at Karthaia and the ancient city of Koressia. Visitors can explore these ruins to get a glimpse into the island's fascinating history.
- Food and Wine Tasting: Kea is known for its delicious local cuisine and wine. Visitors can sample traditional dishes such as "froutalia" (a type of omelet made with local sausages and potatoes) and "kakavia" (a fish soup) and visit local wineries to taste the island's delicious wines.
How to travel to / from Kea?
Below are some popular ferry routes to Kea:
- Ferry Routes Lavrio - Kea: The ferry route from Lavrio to Kea (Tzia) is serviced by the ferry companies Goutos Lines, Karystia, Triton Ferries, Blue Star Ferries and Seajets. The route operates year-round, and ticket prices range from 10 to 22 euros, depending on whether you are traveling on a high-speed catamaran or a conventional ferry. Tickets are available for passengers and vehicles, such as cars and motorcycles. The journey duration from Lavrio to Kea (Tzia) varies between 35 minutes and 1 hour and 10 minutes. The fastest ferry company serving this route is Seajets, which can get you there in about 35 minutes.
- Ferry Routes Andros - Kea: The route is operated by Seajets once a week with intermediate stops at the islands of Kythnos, Syros, and Tinos. The duration of the route is less than 5 hours, and the ticket cost is 20 euros.
- Ferry Routes Naxos - Kea: The route to Kea from Naxos is operated by Seajets with intermediate stops in Paros, Syros, and Kythnos. The ticket price is 39 euros for passengers and 68 euros for cars. The travel time is 4 hours.
On the booktickets platform, you will find all ferry routes, departure times, and ferry companies. Compare prices and easily book cheap ferry tickets online with all discounts for passengers and vehicles.Kea is a beautiful island with many attractions to explore.