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...An unexpected "paradise" where the Aegean "embraces the Ionian Sea...
The island of Kythira is lying south of the Peloponnese peninsula. An unexpected “paradise”, well hidden right at the spot where the Aegean “embraces” the Ionian Sea, is reserved for travelers in their first meeting with this magic island The island has been inhabited since the prehistoric times.
Civilization constitutes a special dimension of the life in Kythira, actively supported by each individual inhabitant as well as by an extensive network of cultural agencies. Visitors will find art galleries, concerts, theatrical performances, film screening, scientific symposiums, traditional feasts, sports, lectures and religious masses. Among the arts developed on the island a prominent place is held by pottery, variations of which are still preserved and revived today.
The head village of Chora is the capital and administrative center of the island. It is characterized by old mansions lining its quaint cobblestone alleys. Kythira is the ideal place for alternative tourism, primarily agrotourism, since a plethora of enterprises have recently started to offer relative programs to visitors seeking something different. Carrying a very interesting gastronomic legacy, all of the island’s settlements offer traditional products, such as dairy, sweets, superb honey and aromatic wine. In a direct contact with nature, visitors discover the special geo-tourist interest of the island at its impressive gorges (such as that of Kaki Lagada in Aghia Pelagia) its caves (the largest of which is Aghia Sophia in Mylopotamos) but also its coastal area in Ohelles where the “heloplakes” (slate rock) is extracted, a basic element of the Kythirian architecture.
There is also a complex network of rural roads and paths that attract visitors seeking adventure through trekking and mountain biking, while the seductive surrounding sea offers plenty of opportunity for diving and sea sports. Religious tourism constitutes the oldest form of tourism and one of the most popular among visitors on the island. The sacred pilgrimages, led by the monastery of Panagia Mytridiotissa, represent primary destinations in Kythira. Many of them offer hospitality during religious holidays such as the 15th of August (Dormition of Virgin Mary). Furthermore, a plethora of small chapels are nested in enchanting areas, built in astonishing Byzantine or post-Byzantine architectural styles, additional points of reference for the religious traveler. Within the framework of a different sector, that of the sciences and research, congress tourism is increasingly on the rise, as a great number of scientific and art conferences are hosted on the island each year.