Kythira Travel Guide
The capital, Hora, is an attractive town situated on a long, slender ridge 2km uphill from the port of Kaspali. At its centre is Plateia Dimitriou Stai a pretty square planted with Hibiscus, bougainville and palm trees. Overlooking the town is the Kastro, a Venetian Castle dating back to the 14th century that once housed the town of Kythira. There are over forty churches and country chapels in Hora, the most impressive being that of Agios Panteleimon which has some truly magnificent frescoes. Also worth visiting is the Archaeological museum which houses many interesting finds and exhibits including earthernware pots, Minoan relics and ceramics, amphoras and sculptures from the classical era. A short walk will take you down to neighbouring Kaspali where youíll find two beautiful beaches.
Probably the islandís most charming village is Milopotomus. Built in traditional style it is situated in a valley, crossed by a winding creek. The Kastro of Milopotomos is situated at the lower village, Kato Hora, and is well worth a visit. The imposing edifice contains several derelict houses and well preserved churches and there is a distinctly spooky atmosphere about the place. Nearby Neriada is a magical place, a waterfall set amongst luxuriant greenery it is believed to be frequented by nymphs. The cave at Agia Sphia was converted to a chapel during the 12th century. Legend has it that the saint visited the cave with her daughters Pistis, Elpis and Harris (Faith, Hope and Charity). The entrance is decorated with beautiful frescoes and the interior has some splendid stalagmites and stalactites along with a small lake.
The former capital of Kythira is ancient Palaichora, an impressive Byzantine town. Here stands the Castle of Agios Dimitrios the oldest castle on the island. Most of the architecture dates from the 12th century and you can still admire remains of the town's medieval houses and churches including that of Agia Varvara and of Agios Andonios.
The main celebrations on Kythira are based around the icon of the Black Virgin or Panaghia Myrtidiotissa, which is renowned for its healing powers. Each year on the second day of Orthodox Easter it is taken from the Monastery at Hora and spends the following 25 days travelling to all the other villages with various events and festivals taking place along the way.
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