Travelogue – Kythira 2021
In September and October this year we made a tour on the Peloponnese. We took the opportunity to fulfil a longterm wish of Yvonne, i.e. to visit Kythira. In Neapoli we took the boat to the island Kythira.
The title of Frank van Weerde’s book, see here below, is: “Kythira, just a special island”. And that’s exactly what Kythira is. We found it to be one of the most beautiful islands of our “Greek islands list”. Unspoilt, pure, quiet, beautiful villages, beautiful nature, history and old chapels. We were there for four days, which is too short to fully discover the island. We will definitely return to Kythira, to discover more and to complete and improve our photo series.
It is not an island to explore with the camper. The roads are often very narrow and steep. Although we are quite used to that, we decided to rent a car for a few days.
Points of interest
This was our home base on Kythira. We had a nice place with our camper, by the sea with shade from the trees and a view of the mainland of the Peloponnese. Not so long ago, Agía Pelagía was the main port of the island and ferries docked here that provided the connection to the mainland. Fishermen also liked to use this port as their home port after a successful catch. They still come here with their fresh fish. The ferry boats have now chosen another place to dock.
Agia Moni Monastry
The monastery is quite high, on the mountain range Digenis and the road to it is excitingly narrow with the camper. The monastery is a fairly modern white building. With a yellow/brown bell tower. We were kindly welcomed by the Papás, who also took us to the beautiful backside of the monastery. We were able to photograph quietly and the Papás sat on his chair and saw that it was good. He also became a friend of our dogs.
The grave of Jurjen Marten Koksma
Mr Koksma was an architect and civil engineer. He was sent by the World Council of Churches to carry out a great number of projects on the island. Mr. Koksma was admired by the islanders. Together with his team, they carried out many projects over a period of ten years. A selection of the various projects: (re)afforestation, construction of waterworks, development and improvement of infrastructure, livestock farming, education, agricultural reform. Mr. and Mrs. Koksma stayed on the island after completion of the projects, and they also died here and were buried on Kythira. From our side a respectful tribute to this special couple.
Mylopótamos is one of the oldest villages of Kythira, a village surrounded by nature. Normally you would be able to hear running water everywhere in the village, but after a dry period of nine months, there was unfortunately no water. Mylopótamos owes its name to the many water mills that are here in the area (Mylos = Mill and Potamos = river).
On the border of the village is Kato Chora, with the former English school. The entrance is dominated by the lion of St. Marcos. Within the fortress walls, exceptional Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches can be seen.
The capital of Kythira. The landmark of Hóra is the Kastro, a Venetian castle. Of many buildings, only the ruins remain, except for the two churches, Panayia Myrthidhiótissa and Panayia Orfáni and the office with the archives of Kythira. The town itself has been beautifully restored, but unfortunately too many shops for tourists. But, Hóra is definitely worth a visit.
An idyllic small bay, where beautifully coloured caiques used to be. It is a small paradise, with some old buildings. It was lovely. A place to go every day, to swim, to muse, to read. The road to the bay is picturesque and very narrow.
Paleohóra is the former Byzantine capital of Kythira. What’s left of it are medieval ruins, including houses, churches, bridges, and towers. In 1537 the city was destroyed by the pirate Barbarossa. How that happened is an interesting story. The ruins are located on the edge of the Káki Langádha Gorge, which makes it a spectacular setting.
A nice village, not spectacular. It is best known for the Sunday morning market. In Potamos lives the Dutchman Frank van Weerde, who organizes walks on the island, rents out rooms, but has also written books about the island. We bought from him his book “Kythira, just a special island”. Just, a special book, in which islanders tell about their life on the island.
Recommended books and music
The following books are recommended:
- Kythira, gewoon een bijzonder eiland ( Kythira, just a special island) by Frank van Weerde. Information: pyrgoshouse.com
- Kythira, ongerept en ongeëvenaard ( Kythira, unspoilt and unmatched) by Anneke Kamerling. Information: het-boekje.nl
Beautiful music that evokes a feeling of homesickness to this island can be heard on the CD “Taxidi Sta Kithira” by Elini Karaindrou.
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