Historical Kythira (~ 8 hours)

Our tour of historical Kythira begins at 08:30am, where we will board the coach and travel to Palaiochora, old Aghios Dimitrios. The now ruined site was the first major settlement on the island during the Middle Ages until it was sacked by the Ottoman Fleet Admiral, Hayreddin Barbarossa, in 1537. The fall of the small town and capital of the island at the same time, was a significant turning point in Kythirian history, and remains one of the island’s preeminent folktales. Although evidence exists of a major settlement, Polis (city), during Antiquity at the area of Paleopolis, it seems that not any other major settlement existed at kythira from the Late Roman times until the Middle Ages. Aghios Dimitrios or Palaeochora was the only major exception to this lack of organized everyday life and adequate local administration for a few centuries. The settlement was located in the fork of two ravines where a strategic stronghold could be erected. Most importantly however, the “island” stronghold between the two ravines was significantly lower than the surrounding cliffs. This hid the settlement from anyone who did not intend to head specifically to it. The official founding of Aghios Dimitrios is unknown. Written sources, however, indicate that members of its founders’ families were present at the town’s destruction, placing its foundation sometime in the 12th or 13th century. Since the Kythirians kept the location of Aghios Dimitrios secret and its strategic location ensured a strong defense against any pirates, the island slowly grew economically and in population during the following after the 13th centuries. By the early 16th c., most probably Palaiochora’s population had reached the number of 700 (more than any town on the island even today) inhabitants, 22 churches had been built and many priests had already been in the service of the town’s parishioners. The growing local economy did not remain a secret for long, and its success eventually attracted Hayreddin Barbarossa in 1537 during his campaign against the Venetians around the Peloponnesus, the Ionian and the Aegean Seas.

Our next stop on the tour is Aghios Petros(Saint Peter) in Areoi. This Byzantine church, perhaps built in the 11th c., but with 13th c. frescoes, is built in the district of the Areoi, near Mylopotamos, and is considered a small architectural wonder. Architecturally, it is an inscribed cross in square building with a polygonal dome, without a splint(narthex). It preserves two layers of frescoes of the byzantine and the post-Byzantine period. The paintings are depicted not only in the three parts of the sanctuary which do not communicate with each other, but also on the surface of the walls of the main church. It seems that the three parts of the Sanctuary stopped to communicate with each other for unknown reasons some time in the Venetian period. After Aghios Petros, an approx. 30 min stop at Mylopotamos for a quick refreshment at Platanos square will follow before we move on for our next destination, the castle of “Kato Chora”. The castle which is located in the oldest neighborhood of Mylopotamos, about 1.3km from where we disembark the coach. On our way to the castle we will pass through the center of Mylopotamos and see the early 19th c. English school in the old square. After, we visit the castle exploring the old houses and the numerous chapels, which were still being used as late as the 1950’s. From here, you have an unrivalled view of the gorge and the sea to the west of Kythira; surely one of the best views on the island.

Our next stop on the tour is the so called “Throne of Aphrodite” in Palaiopolis. The Temple of Aphrodite Kythereia, (the goddess of Kythira), was a sanctuary in ancient KYTHIRA dedicated to the goddess of Love and Beauty, Aphrodite. It was famous as the most ancient temple of Aphrodite in Greece. The temple is probably dated to the late 6th century BC. It was dedicated to the goddess under her name and aspect as Aphrodite Ourania(Celestial). Although, it is considered a signficiant sanctuary, was described as a small building. It contained a statue of an Armed Aphrodite. Leaving the area where the temple was most probably built, we will continue on to the lovely, picturesque fishing village of Avlemonas, “the beauty of Kythira” as it is usually called. Located on the eastern edge of the island, Avlemonas is perhaps Kythira’s most traditional and best preserved (without noticeable alterations) village. Due to the village’s dry climate and the repetition of “typical” units in the area’s architecture, it will feel more like we are somewhere in the Cyclades! In Avlemonas, we suggest that you take a stroll to the fisherman’s port where you will see the "Cavallini Mansion" with the sundial, take a photo at the "vardiola" above the small pier and, of course, walk along the paved path, on the rocky coast line, to the small Venetian Fortress. There will be plenty of time to swim in the clean waters of the village’s small bay, to enjoy a coffee at one of the local cafés, or to taste the freshly caught seafood in one of the restaurants.

After approx.. 1.5 hours we will depart Avlemonas for Kapsali, where our tour will end and return to the accommodation.

  • Transportation on our own air-conditioned coach.
  • Our local knowledgeable and multilingual tour guide.
  • Tour leaflets.
  • Tour as per the itinerary.
  • Entry fees
  • V.A.T 24% & All local Taxes
  • Anything referred as “optional” or “suggested”
  • Anything that is not specifically mentioned under "included"
  • Participation: 45€ per person
  • Children 0-5 years free
  • Children 6-12 years – 50%

Free Pick Up: KASPALI & CHORA
Other Pick Up Points {supplement}: AVLEMONAS – 15€ P.P | AG.PELAGIA – 20€ P.P
Seasonality: 1ST JUNE – 30TH SEP
Cancelation fees: Free until 24hrs prior / 100% when less than 24hrs
Guiding Language: Greek & English

FaLang translation system by Faboba

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