Kea - Tzia
What to do
Kea island also called Tzia, is a small island close to Athens belonging to the northern Cyclades. It is interestingly only 12 nautical miles off Sounion – the southern cape of the Athenian peninsula. However it is not very touristy developed and is a perfect escape for vacationers looking for relaxation and peace. The island has a rather mountainous relief with its interior being quite green with small valleys with fruit and oak trees. Kea has very interesting ancient history, as its first archeological traces go back to 4th millennium BC; the visitor has the opportunity to admire small temples of Athena and Apollo.
The main town of Chora rests in the middle of the island with a beautiful ancient acropolis and well preserved windmills. Most famous beaches include Otzias and Vourakri in the northern part, whereas in the west the beaches of Koundouros and Pisses are the ones attracting most of the vacationers. Smaller, secluded, non-organized beaches can be found along the coastline, offering plenty of opportunities for swimming and sunbathing.
Activities in Kea - Tzia
Want to explore the shipwreck of a World War II plane? or a French cargo ship ?
A new diving center -member of PADI opened in Tzia in 2013; the diving school has modern equipment and offers scuba diving sessions to both experienced and inexperienced divers, children to adults. One and half nautical mile from the northwest point of the island is the wreck of the famous HMS Britannic, sister ship to the famous Titanic. As this wreck is found at 120 meters, it is accessible only to experienced divers.
Also 700 meters west of Korissia, there is the 100 year old wreck of the French cargo ship Burdigala, and next to it a World War II airplane, a German junker 52, also recommended for advanced divers.
Hiking and Trekking
Kea is a beautiful island which offers a mountainous setting ideal for trekking. The trekking paths on Kea vary in difficulty, as they may last from a few minutes to several hours. These paths cross hillsides, valleys, forests and many picturesque villages. They are usually well-signed but a map is also always required, if not a guide.
One of the most popular trekking routes on Kea starts in Agios Symeon village and ends in the remote beach of Agios Filippos. The whole route takes about 2 hours and passes through stonepaths, lovely countryside and small chapels.
Another shorter trekking route (about 30 min in total) starts from Ioulida and ends at the Stone Lion, about 1 km away, an ancient sculpture engraved on a natural rock and closely related to the traditions of the island.
The trekking path from Ioulida to Agios Konstantinos, Milopotamos, Flea and Korissia is also quite popular. The trekking time is about 3 hours in total, not recommended for beginners, but offers the chance to see much of the island’s beautiful landscape.
Food and Dining
Some of the best restaurants in Kea Island are situated in Vourkari as well as close to the other beaches; in a relaxed atmosphere, try the local specialties, fresh fish and delectable seafood.
Aristos Taverna (+30 22880 21475) is one of the most famous restaurants in Tzia, located right on Vourkari’s dock, popular among yachters visiting the island. Try the mouthwatering lobster spaghetti but also the fried baby kalamari, the fried baby shrimps and the Dakos salad with kopanisti cheese (local cycladian cheese). Reservations recommended during high season.
Karthea Taverna (+30 22880 24280) is a place well hidden in Kato Meria, far away from the main Kea Port, accessible only by car or taxi. Excellent local food and wine coupled with lots of salads and oven dishes offer a real food feast. Worth the drive !
9 Kores (+30 22880 21702) in Vourkari serves Mediterrenean cuisine and high quality seafood; a perfect spot for a relaxing dinner while watching the beautiful sunset. Don’t leave without tasting their cheese cake.
Alas Porto Koundouros
Koundouros, Inside «Porto Koundouros» Hotel, (+ 30 22880 31111). Greek cuisine & fish. Stylish setting and nice views from the wooden deck on the beach. Fine Greek cuisine and meat and fresh fish on the grill.
Vourkarion (+30 2288022444, +306939037105). Fish tavern. A classic fish tavern, with nice atmosphere and very nice view to the sunset. Seafood appetizers, the famous spaghetti with lobster, fresh fish and meat from the island on the grill.
Taverna tis Annas
Taverna tis Annas (+ 30 22880 21680, + 30 22880 21137) in Otzias is a shaded terrace at the edge of the village, with views of the beach. Classic appetizers, delicious pies, a wide variety of cooked dishes and charcoal-grilled fish.
Strofi tou Mimi
Strofi tou Mimi (+ 30 22880 21480) in Vourkari. A trim family taverna at the edge of the picturesque village. They put emphasis on fish and seafood, but there are some meat dishes too.
Steki (+ 30 22880 22088) in Ioulis is an atmospheric terrace high up on the main street of the village. Homemade Greek dishes. The must tastes are the rabbit with beer, tsipouro (traditional spirit), mustard and rosemary and the burger in the roaster with cheese, tomato, and pepper.
Kalofagades (+2288022118) is a traditional Greek tavern with meat and nice house wine from the island located at the central square of Ioulida.
To spiti sti chora
To spiti sti chora (+6941554481) in Ioulida is a nice restaurant with modern Greek cuisine and very nice view to the Aegean blue.
Exochiko Margaritas (+ 30 22880 31223) in Poisses is a
simple tavern on the street, just before the beach. Try the grilled burger, the moussaka and tourlou (mixed stewed vegetables).
Magazes (+ 30 22880 21104) in Korissia is an attractive new-style tavern on the port’s promenade. Greek dishes with a twist, fresh fish from their boat, meat dishes and pasta.
Rolandos (+ 30 22880 29129) in Korissia is a beautiful small terrace, you will eat authentic “pastitsada” (meat with macaroni), garlicky “soffritto” with cheese and stewed meatballs.
Kea (Tzia) is the closest Cycladic island to Piraeus. Due to its proximity to Athens, is quite different than other Greek islands, as only a few people choose this island for their summer vacations but large crowds come to Tzia during the weekends.
It is also one of the few islands that is not directly connected to Piraeus and you can only access it from the port of Lavrio (20 min drive from Athens Airport). From Lavrio there is a very frequent ferry schedule, especially in the summer months and the trip to Tzia takes approximately 1 hour.
Kea (Tzia) can be easily accessible by helicopter from Athens or other islands. Flight time form Athens takes only 20 minutes.