Welcome to Kea!
Kea or Tzia is an island of the West Cyclades, very close to the shores of Attica; therefore it is preferred as a nearby holiday resort particularly by the inhabitants of the capital of Athens.
The ancient name of the island was Hydroussa (from hydro meaning water in ancient Greek) due to the great number of springs existing here. I t was first inhabited in the Neolithic Era, while traces of habitation dating back to the Prehistoric Period have also been found. The island is described by Cycladic colours and striking changes of the landscape, ranging from dramatic cliffs to olive groves and green meadows. There are natural coves and ports protected from the wind. It reaches its heyday in antiquity and became a great economic and cultural centre.
Kea is an island with rich and rare native flora and fauna, including over 3,000 species of both common and uncommon plants, such as the orchids of Kea and the Royal Oak forest, the largest in Cyclades. It is a key migratory station for birds. The southeast part of the island is protected by the Natura 2000 enviromental network.
Daily departures from the port of Lavrio. The visitor can combine the holidays with the exploration of the nature, the myths and the Cycladic tradition.
Villages: Korissia or Lived (port), Vourkari, Otzias, Mylopotamos, Ellinika, Koundouros, Pisses.
Beaches: Gialiskari, Ksyla, Vourkari, Otzias, Spathi, Sykamia, Orkos, Schinos, etc.
Things to do and see
The routes of Kea
Signed cobbled paths and steps take you all around the island. On your way you will discover the ancient city – states of the island, the network of watermills, the rich flora and fauna of the place, the stone-made springs and the unique country churches with the wonderful view and the majestic beaches. The longest part of the routes belongs to the ancient route network, which has been described as “Network of Cultural Interest”.
An event held every summer for both children and adults with the participation of story-tellers from all over the country and abroad. Every year there is a different subject. In addition to the celebration, evidential activities also take place in various spots and monuments of Kea, which thrill the participants by attracting them into the imaginary world of myths, fairy-tales and tradition.
The Lion of Kea
According to the local legends and traditions, the 6th c BC Lion of Kea, which is 6m long, once protected local women from the man-eating Nymphs that lived on the island due to the abundance of water. However, the inhabitants prayed to Zeus and begged him to send a lion to protect them and drive the Nymphs off. At a later moment, the people carved a lion on the rocks so that it could forever scare the Nymphs in case they returned.
Kafireas or Kavo d’ Oro Channel – Famous Wrecks
The narrow strait between Kea and Attica is called Kafireas and has always been an area with harsh weather conditions and dangerous sea currents. The latter become very powerful when they converge and form a “funnel” that, in combination with the strong winds blowing in the area, makes the passage of the ships extremely difficult and the channel an attraction point for the brave sailing lovers. Famous ships have sunk in the area, such as the HMHS Britannic (the Titanic’s sister), which was discovered by the French explorer Jacques – Yves Cousteau in 1975. Nowadays, modern navigation means have eliminated such difficulties.