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 touristicly 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 histor,y as its first archeological traces go back to 4th millenium 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 metres, it is accessible only to experienced divers.
Also 700 metres 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.
This brand new waterfront stone villa with a unique windmill, occupies an exceptional plot in the area of Koundouros, enjoying a very privileged sea view setting...
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 chedule, especially in the summer months and the trip to Tzia takes approx 1 hour.
Kea (Tzia) can be easily accesible by helicopter from Athens or other islands. Flight time form Athens takes only 20 minutes.