KYTHIRA. Kythira is a quiet Greek island in the south east of Peloponnese belonging geographically to the Ionian Islands. It covers an area of 279 sq. kilometres, on the island live about 3500 permanent residents.
Kythira is a mountainous island where the mountains are not too high, the highest peak of the island is Mirmingaris (507 meters) which is located southwest of the village of Mylopotamos. The length from north to south is about 25 kilometres and 17 kilometers from west to east.
Kythira is situated only twenty kilometers from the coast of Peloponnese, in the Middle Ages it was known as' Cerigo 'or' Tsirigo. It is a beautiful island, it looks more to a Cycladc island than to Ionian island.
You won’t encounter mass tourism here, the island has not the ability to accommodate thousands of tourists. On the island are pretty traditional villages, lovely secluded bays with beautiful beaches, historic castles and bridges and a beautiful nature with beautiful gorges, forests and caves.
The island's capital is Chora (Kythira Town) with about 300 permanent residents. On the island are sixty inhabited villages, most of which don’t count more than hundred people. The largest villages are Potamos (500 inhabitants), Aghia Pelagia (300 inhabitants) and Ano and Kato Livadi (300 inhabitants).
On Kythira grows the yellow flower "Sempre Viva" (= always live), these flowers are dried and they make wreaths and bouquets from them.
Kythira has a long and rich history, as already described in antiquit by Homer. Here on kythira was the Greek goddess of love Aphrodite born from the foam of the sea.
The island is inhabited since 6000 BC, that shows a vase that was found in the cave of Agia Sofia. Later brought Cretans the Minoan civilization to Kythira, they probably used the island as a stopover on the market to Peloponnese.
After the fall of the Minoan empire came the Mycenaean and after the Dorians, the Spartans and the Athenians. Here would Paris have spent his first night with Helena after they fell in love.
After the Greeks came the Romans and then the Byzantines (in 395) and the Venetians.
Kyhtira is unlike the other islands in the Aegean Sea, just three years occupied by the Ottomans (1715-1718). In the year 1798 the island was occupied by the French, one year later followed the Russians (in cooperation with the Ottomans).
In the year 1807 the French occupied Kythira but this occupation didn’t take long, there after came the English. On November 20 the United Kingdom of the Ionian Islands was founded with the capital Corfu Town.
In that period, the English building built significant works, including major bridges, roads, buildings and lighthouses. Since May 28, 1864 Kythira finally belongs to Greece.