Chora aka Mesaria, is the capital of Kythnos. It is perched on a hillside, 8 km away from Merichas, which is the island's port. It is one of the most charming Cycladic villages, an enchanting collection of small white houses, cobbled streets, and whitewashed terraces dotted with several small churches and windmills.
There are a few small taverns, coffee shops, bars and shops in Chora. Most of them are located on the main cobblestone street of the capital.
Pay a visit to the Memorial at the entrance of the town as well as the Byzantine Museum, at the post-Byzantine church of Agios Georgios. At the Church of Agios Savvas from the 17th century, you will admire its remarkable wooden temple. It also bears the coat of arms of the Gozzadini family, i.e. a family of Venetian feudal lords.
You can also visit the Church of the Metamorphosis (Transfiguration) tou Sotira, with its 17th century temple and the Church of the Agia Triada (Holy Trinity), which is the oldest of the island, with ancient pieces of sculpture with inscriptions. There are signs leading the way to the Monastery of Panagia Nikous, which is located about 1km away from Chora.
On the north-east of Chora, you can see the wind farm,which was the first wind plant to operate in Greece.
Trips on the island
Loutra (meaning Baths)
Loutra is the most famous resort on the island, with many restaurants and lodging facilities. The area has hot springs, unique in the Cyclades, known for their therapeutic properties since ancient times.There are two hot springs; the Agioi Anargyroi, located in a hydrotherapy centre (spa), while the second, Kakavos, the so-called Pigi Kafkasou “Spring of Caucasus”, situated only 50 metres away from the first with a temperature reaching 52 °C.
The mediaeval capital of Kythnos, with its famous Castle of Oria or Kefalokastro, was located in the area of Loutra. The town was destroyed by the Ottomans in 1570 and has not been inhabited ever since. Today, it is accessible through a dirt road that later turns into a path.
To the right of the beach, stands the Tower of Mazarakis, the Mazarakis family home, built in Western European rhythm. It gives a special touch to the resort of Loutra (Baths).
When in Loutra pay a visit to The church of Agios Georgios and the small church of Stavros (Cross). You can also see the Staircase of the Mine (the Skala metalleiou), once a bridge for loading iron ore in the port and Vryokastro, the ancient capital of Kythnos, in the area of Apokrisis, 7.5 km west.
Stroll around the Agrokipio, a green area with eucalyptus and cypress trees.
If you love to swim, then you have many options to choose from. Go to Potamia, an area with picturesque beaches. Near Loutra lies Kolona (3km west of Chora), a majestic location with extensive sandy beaches. The name Kolona (meaning column in Greek) is due to the characteristic strip of sand connecting the small island of Agios Loukas with Kythnos. On the small island you can see the remnants of an ancient settlement. Towards the coastal side, traces of the ancient market town were discovered, which were inhabited until Roman times. There are also remains of walls, foundations of temples, altars and three caves that were used to collect water.
Last but not least, you can visit the sea caves Kavospilia (north) and Legamena (east).
Merihas is a picturesque village and port of the island. It is built in a protected cove with a beautiful sandy beach. Apart from the port, Merihas also has a marina for yachts and sailboats. Here you will find tavernas and restaurants, clubs, cafés, and bars along the waterfront road.
Visit the church of Agioi Akindinoi that stands out next to the sea on the left side of the port, opposite the pier. The patron saints of this church are considered protectors of the harbour and the ships that come and go. The view towards the harbour is breathtaking. Don’t forget to visit the Lighthouse (Faros in Greek), at the entrance of the harbour, on the road to Chora, the remnants of the ancient city of Kythnos,, dating from the 10th c.BC.
Dryopida is located on the south side of Kythnos. The area has been inhabited since ancient times. Dryopida used to be called Sylakas. It was named Dryopida during the reign of King Otto, in honour of the pre-Greek tribe of Dryopes, the first inhabitants of the island who lived here during the Archaic Period.
Today, it is a traditional village with a unique colour, and where all houses are two storeys and covered with ceramic tiles.
In Dryopida, it is worth seeing the church of Agios Minas, with its elaborate wooden chancel and despotic throne and the the churches of Agia Anna and the Agioi Apostoloi, Agios Panteloimonas and the Agia Triada (Holy Trinity) with its beautiful temples and icon paintings.
You can admire the Minmeio Pesonton (Memorial Monument) and the outdoor theatre, where cultural events take place or you can visit the Folklore Museum and the small Byzantine Museum inside the church of Agios Georgios.
Don’t miss the chance to visit the Katafiki Cave, one of the largest in the country, with rich stalactite and stalagmite formations.
Panagia tis Kanalas
It is a coastal village, built around the unique pine forest on the island. The area got its name from the church (of the same name), which was considered the patron saint of the island. The temple is built in a great location and has a unique architecture. According to tradition, an icon painting was found in the canal and is said to be the work of Luke the Apostle. The most likely scenario, however, is that it was painted by the Cretan artist Antonis Skordilis.
Agios Dimitrios is a small coastal village, located near Panayia tis Kanalas, built in a beautiful location with great beaches.
It is worth visiting the monastery of Panagia Stratolatissa and the church of Agia Irini, overlooking the village.