KEA - A VERDANT ISLAND
Kea or Tzia is the sixth largest Cycladic island in the Aegean Sea whose port is connected to other Cycladic islands but is not as picturesque as the rest of the island. In mythology it was called "Hydrousa" for its many waters and dense vegetation. The archeological interest of Kea is great, as the ruins of the ancient city are preserved to this day, as well as churches and historic monasteries. It combines a unique natural landscape, wonderful beaches, fascinating sights and rich historical tradition. The close distance from Athens makes it easily accessible throughout the year. For the more traditional travelers, it provides the possibility of touring and special transport with mules and donkeys. Most of the island belongs to the Natura 2000 network as it has a unique natural wealth. It is a sparsely populated island with the exception of Korissia (Livadi), which is the port of the island, Ioulida, which is the capital and Vourkari.
The most beautiful areas are located in the northeast and some of them are Pera Meria which has several beaches, such as Spathi. In Ioulida, is the Archaeological Museum, which houses finds from prehistoric settlements, historical times and parts of an ancient temple of the ancient city of Karthea. In Chora, the architecture and the samples of neoclassical are intense, such as the building that houses the City Hall, but also the old-historic City Hall in Ioulida Square. In the northern part is the Acropolis while from the ancient temple of Apollo and the Medieval Castle there are only some parts left. East of Ioulida, is the famous Leo, a lion carved on a rock of Tziotiko, the famous myth of Kea. In Korissia, the red brick chimney, 45 meters high, characterizes the old enamel factory, the largest in the Mediterranean.
In Kea as in all the Cyclades there are many churches which create in the visitors a strong religious feeling. The most famous beaches of the island are Otzias, Gialiskari, Poisses, Xyla, as well as Koundouros which has been awarded with a blue flag. There are beaches with calm waters and sand, with tamarisk trees and eucalyptus trees on this Greek island. Vourkari is a picturesque settlement and port for yachts and on its right side there is a beach and small coves with rocks. Gialiskari beach is located between Vourkari and Korissia and is one of the most beautiful beaches in Kea. Otzia beach in the homonymous settlement, is the largest beach of Kea a shallow, windless, sandy beach. Koundouros is a relatively newly developed settlement in Kea. The beach in the settlement of Poisses at the edge of a verdant valley with olive groves and orchards is a unique beach.
The island of Kea is a favorite destination for those who love sailing, specifically the area between Sounio, Kea and Makronissos is called Cape Doro which is considered one of the most dangerous crossings in the Aegean. Extreme weather conditions in the region, stormy seas and extremely strong winds often make it difficult for sailors traveling in the wider region and face with awe the legendary cape which is one of the most difficult crossings in the Mediterranean. The area is also full of shipwrecks and diving enthusiasts are exploring one of the most important underwater attractions in the area, the "British" (sister ship of the "Titanic"). The villages located in the area of Kavodoro are Agioi, Kastri, Livadi and Potami. Kea is a magical destination that satisfies even the most demanding visitor.
Kea like any other small place has its own traditional products, fruits of beekeeping, agriculture and animal husbandry which are the main activities of the island. Kea honey from the purest plant of origin, thyme has a golden color and a viscous texture. The island is characterized by herbs and spices such as chamomile, sage, lavender, louiza, basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme and sword grass from the most common. The trademark of Kea, however, is none other than the acorn offered by the oak forest of the island which is a raw material for traditional recipes. The visitor should try the local dishes, such as paspalas, tsigara(pieces of pork with fat), loza (smokedpork), local sausages and traditional cheeses such as xyrotyri, mizithra, xino, kopanisti.