Kea island is the westernmost located Cyclades Island and the closest to Attiki. (Attiki is an administrative region of Greece, that include the entire area of Athens) Allegedly, 80% of all visitors (tourists) to Kea are Greeks and most of them are from Athens.
The name Kea comes from hero Keos who came to the island in the 12th century BC. The island was called Tetrapolis in ancient times.
Kea has a very interesting and rich history which goes back to 3000 BC. There was a settlement on the peninsula of Ayia Inni at Voukari, an important trading center of the period (2000 BC), well organised with a temple, aqueduct, street network, buildings, and defence walls. Many, well known lyric poets from the ancient time were born here. Over the years Kea was invaded by various conquerors, the Romans, the Venetians, Turkish periods, etc. Kea obtained independence as a result of the Greek Uprising of 1821.
Thank you, Destination Kea, for The Island of Life n Art.
Arriving by ferry to Karrisia port which lies in a bay with a nice sandy beach. Karrisia is built on the ancient city with the same name. Karrisia has enough tavernas, bars, and cafes to keep you occupied. Accommodation here is mostly self-catering.
Take the beach road from Karrisia, you pass Gialiskari (popular beach) follow the beach road (short distance) towards the old fishing village of Vourkari. At present mostly overrun by newly constructed buildings, some finished others not. However, it is popular for anchoring yachts and sailing boats. If you arrive by boat, there is water and electricity at the jetty. The required pre-paid cards can be obtained at the supermarket where they also sell fresh bread in the mornings.
Stroll along the frontline of Vourkari’s, on one side cafes, tavernas and restaurants, and opposite on the quayside all the moorings. Accommodation is available, self-catering, villas etc…
Situated in the centre of the island, a mere 6km away from the port and located at the site of the ancient city stated by the same name, the main village, Ioulida (Kea Village, Chora), is a picturesque town with ceramic-tile roofed houses, cobbled streets, narrow alleyways, steps, and squares. It’s a delight to stroll along here, shops, cafes and restaurants are all there waiting for you. Cycladic architecture, an interesting archaeological museum.
Ioulida is built on a hillside and on one of the tops the ruins of a medieval Castle. Signposted to the second hillside, with a lion carved in the rock from the 6th Century BC, just follow the path that leads out of the town. Out of breath, take a taxi, walk down a few steps from the main road.
You can eat well here try the To SPITI Sti Chora restaurants, exceptional setting overlooking the village and the Aegean sea (what a view!). Local cuisine, Greek, Mediterranean, and vegetarian dishes. Specialties, Tuna tartar, Goat with pasta. Great food. In the summer, to avoid disappointment you need to make a reservation especially for Friday or Saturday night and for the Spiti Sti Chora special live jazz evening.
Don’t miss to visit
The Neolithic settlement of Kefala and Karthaia (3,300-3,200 BC) is situated next to the beautiful beach of Poles.
The Bronze Age settlement of Ayia Irene is located at the end of the harbour (Vourkari) and is one of the most important in the Cyclades.
The monastery of Panayia Kastriani (18th century) to the northeast is built on precipitous rocks and offers an imposing panoramic view over the Aegean.
The wreck of the Britannic, sister ship to the Titanic sank during WWI just NW of the harbour and is a famous destination for wreck divers.
How to get here
Kea’s mainland service is to and from Athens port Lavrio. Connections to other Islands are poor. Book ahead especially for the weekend boats. Makedon, NEL lines and Artemis ferry lines.
Check availability and Book your ferry tickets with Ferries in Greece