Kea is the sixth largest island in the Cyclades, with one of the largest natural ports in the Mediterranean, the bay of Agios Nikolaos. Its impressive coastline, the steep cliffs, the majestic oak forests, the "royal oaks", among the few that have remained in the Aegean and are protected, its olive groves and exceptional paths, compose the puzzle of the wild beauty of the island.
According to Greek mythology, the name of the island comes from Keos, the son of the god Apollo and leader of Lokra. Formerly it was called Idrousa, due to the many waters that flowed on the island.
According to archeological findings, the island of Kea has been inhabited since the Late Neolithic Age and was an important cultural center during the Bronze Age. Kea participated in the Persian Wars and was a member of the Athenian Alliance.
It was under the occupation of the Turks from 1566 until its liberation in 1821 (hence the name Jia), in which our national hero Lambros Katsonis played an important role. After its liberation from the Ottomans, Kea became a powerful force in industry (enamel, metals, wood).
In Chora (Ioulida), capital of Kea (Tzia)
Ancient Iulis: dates back to the Archaic Age
The Medieval Castle: built by Dominic Micheli in the 13th century AD.
City Hall: designed by Ernst Ziller
The Archaeological Museum: includes exhibits from the Late Neolithic Period, the Bronze Age, the Archaic Age and the Roman Times.
Guardian and emblem of the island is the "Lion of Ioulida".
The Prehistoric settlement of Agia Irini: dates back to the Late Neolithic Period
The Lighthouse: at Akrotiri of Agios Nikolaos
The Strait of Lambros Katsonis: where our national hero escaped, after he was excluded by the Turks
Archaeological site in Karthea
In the ancient city of Karthea you can even tour ancient temples, see the Doric temple of Pythian Apollo, built in 530 BC. above the sea, the propylon temple, which is dedicated to Athena, near the city walls as well as ancient theaters. In Karthea, you can reach the ancient path of Vathipotamos, with an hour walk and then enjoy swimming at Poles beach.
If you love diving, the bottom of the island hides many secrets. Discover shipwrecks like that of the ocean liner "Britanikos" and the steamer "Patrice".