Period of operation: April to October (July-August shorter walks in morning/evening)
Price: 490€/e- mail for current price
Duration: 6 days/5 nights
Minimum attendance: 2 participants
Level requirements: Relatively easy hikes and for beginners (3 -4 hours per day), good start for a first outdoor holiday. Later in the week, the trail terrain becomes longer and tougher. The walking is on a mixture of dirt tracks and stone mule paths, some of which are awkward. Our trips are designed for active people who enjoy energetic days. We expect participants to be in good physical condition. Participants will get a free copy of the Kythnos Hiking Guide
This programme is designed for travelers who wish to explore the Greek islands in an active way. The Cycladic group of islands is the most representative of the archetypical Greek style.
Kythnos is one of the least-developed of the Cycladic despite a long history of habitation for 9000 years. In ancient times, it was a forceful ally of Athens.
The landscape contains traditional villages with narrow streets, hundreds of small churches, and many sandy bays. In addition Kythnos boasts the ruins of a Byzantine castle on a spectacular headland and ancient excavations. Its warm springs were used in the 1800s by the German-born Greek King Otto.
Apart from beach pursuits, the island has a scuba school. Included in the package are an archeology lecture,excavation site visit, and traditional music evenings.
Day 1 - Arrival
Guests arrive in the Kythnos port of Merichas by ferry from Piraeus or Lavrio, which is nearer the airport and has more frequent services than Piraeus. We provide a minibus transfer to the Hotel Messaria (www.messaria.gr) in the island capital, Hora, for the check-in. The aperitivo at 2000h is accompanied by an introductory talk by an island guide. We dine in the Hora.
Day 2 - Hora-Loutra-Orias Castle-Loutra-Hora (13.8 km; 10.5 km taking minibus back from Loutra)
Walk down to Loutra where there is a marina and the hot springs. The hot water runs from the thermal bath centre into the beach. We can pause near Loutra for a packed lunch and refreshments before setting off to the ruins of the Byzantine castle on a spectacular headland. Return to Loutra on a different path past an ancient site. In the evening, dinner in the traditional village of Dryopida where musicians will play traditional music.
Day 3 - Hora-Aghios Ioannis-Aghios Stephanos-Hora (12.5 km; 8.6 km if minibus from Ag Stephanos)
This circular walk is fairly long to the beach of Aghios Ioannis, which has no road access. The walk to the next bay at Aghios Stephanos is a bit of scramble at times. But lunch awaits in the traditional Kantris taverna. The return trip to Hora includes a long steep mule track. In the evening, there is an archeological lecture ahead of Day 4's visit to an important excavation site. Then dinner in the Hora.
Day 4 - Hora-Aghios Tryfonas-Vryokastro (ancient city)-Apokrousi-Hora (15.8 km; 8.5 km if minibus back from Apokrousi)
Walk to excavation site with an authorized archeologist. The site is off-limits to the public without Miinistry of Culture or archeological authority approval. Apart from temple foundations, the site includes a harbour, much of which has sunk, and walls and terraces where houses once stood. There is also a bath house. The walk continues to Apokrousi beach where we eat a packed lunch or stop at the beach bar if it is open. The walk back follows part of the initial outward route. In the evening we go to Merichas for a fish dinner at Ostria restaurant beside the port, where yachts and fishing boats are moored. Ostria has an extensive menu for non-fish eaters.
Day 5 - Dryopida-Kalo Livadhi-Kanala (7.1 km; minibus return from Kanala)
We head by minibus to Dryopida where this coastal walk starts. We pass through the village and its churches and gardens before heading east to the coast. The walk goes past a wash house used until the 1970s by Dryopida woman above the deserted administrative buildings of a mineworks company, which operated until 1940. The views across to other Cycladic islands, some uninhabited, is spectacular. The walk continues to Kalo Livadhi for an optional swim and the packed lunch. There is a climb out of the beach then it is downhill to Panagia Kanala, the most important religious site on the island. A religious historian will describe the importance of the site, other churches on the island, and the social and cultural framework of the island. The day will conclude with dinner and a music entertainment with instruments such as the Cycladic bagpipes.
Day 6 - Departure
The day is free for shopping and relaxing. Transfer to the port of Merichas.
All transfers on the island
• Five-nights accommodation in the Hotel Messaria with breakfast
• Archeological lecture and guide - religious historian presentation during the hike of day
• One evening musical entertainment with dinner
• Free copy of the Kythnos Hiking Guide
• Local support and emergency phone for assisstance during your hikes
The Hotel Messaria is a newly-built hotel and has spacious, quality rooms with their own bathrooms and TV. Each room has wifi or a wired internet connection. There is a communal area for breakfast. The owner also runs the nearby Messaria restaurant in the Hora. If the Messaria is full we will use the nearby Filoxenia Studios, which has less spacious rooms but is good quality.
Climate - The Cycladic Islands, including Kythnos, enjoy a Mediterranean climate, with an average temperature for the year of 18-19 C. The winters are mild and the summers - by Greek standards - cool, thanks to the beneficial effects of the seasonal wind known as the meltemi.
Flora-fauna - Kythnos remains green in the spring with many red, mauve, yellow and white flowers. Trails are often populated by nettles, thistles and spiky brushwood (frigana). Spider spin their webs across many paths. In May, the sparta bush blooms its yellow flowers. In the same month, caper buds are picked along a number or trails. Taverna will pickle capers in salt, and sometimes vinegar, before adding to salads. In June, the colourful oleander bushes start to flower along valley bottoms. Trees species include olive, cypress, eucalyptus, orange, lemon, fig, and oak. Through many months of the year, beaches abound with sea daffodils (krinakia). In the autumn, fields are spotted with lupin-like sea squill (krimeda).