Join other eco-tourism fanatics who are in on the well-kept secret that Kythera is a haven for hikers and anyone who enjoys vacations that combine time in the countryside, exploring, and a good work-out. The island’s mountainous terrain, rolling hills, challenging canyons and pristine natural environment make Kythera a popular destination for hikers – although they’re keeping this island a secret. Trails once used by locals to transport products from one farm to the other traverse the landscape. These trails aren’t well-marked and are often overgrown but since 2000 the island has made an effort to reinstate trails so hikers can immerse themselves in the countryside this beautiful island is so proud of. Always take the proper gear with you and have a first-aid kit.
If you’re just beginning as a hiker, this trail is ideal for you and begins in the main square Chora. It’s short and easy to navigate and will reward you with views of the castle and when you go over the stone bridge to Kapsali you’ll enjoy more views of Hitra and the sea.
This trail is of medium difficulty and begins in Chora. This route will take you to Saint Pelagia chapel, built in a cave. At the end of the trail you can walk through the harbor and go swimming.
Kakia Lagada Lake Trail
Beginners will enjoy this short coastal route where you’ll walk from St. Pelagia harbor, through red-pebbled Firi Ammos beach, then visit St. Nicholas church and end up on the shores of the lake, which sits at the mouth of Kakia Lagada canyon.
Moudari Lighthouse Trail
A route suitable for beginners, it begins in Ammos Square and will take you on a journey where you’ll be able to take a refreshing dip in St. Nicholas beach, explore Moudari Lighthouse and enjoy the stunning view of Elafoniso off the coast of the Peloponnese, and visit Vagianika and Amir Ali fresh springs.
Mylopotamos Watermills Trail
This trek for advanced hikers begins in Mylopotamos village and leads you through a series of beautiful watermills, waterfalls (including Neraida waterfall – which means Fairy waterfall!) and blue-green lagoons that remind everyone of exotic Caribbean islands. Go for a dip in Kalami beach.
Another trail for experienced hikers, it begins in Potamos village and takes you through the remains of ten stunning watermills. Combine this hike with a great swim – you’ll have three beaches to choose from.
Experienced hikers will love this trail which begins in Potamos village and meanders through Trifillianika village, through the gorge and to Paleohora, the original Byzantine capital.
St. George Trail
Head to the square in Avlemona village and begin there. It’s a hard route but very rewarding when you get to the top of the mountain where you’ll be able to visit St. George church, enjoy the view and explore the Minoan remains.
St. Patrikia Trail
Also beginning in St. Pelagia harbor, this easy trail leads to St. George church and the remains of a Byzantine settlement.
St. Sophia Church and Cave Trail (Kalami)
This laid-back trail offers a casual saunter to Spilies village. Visit St. Sophia church which is in the cave – just follow the signs from Kalami village or ask a local.
This short but difficult trail begins in the main square in Chora and will take you to the ruins of German barracks.
Tsakonas Canyon Trail
Devout hikers will love this trail despite the challenge it poses. It begins in Mitata village and leads to an abandoned watermill, lagoons and two churches built inside caves – both are chapels devoted to Saint Nicholas. You’ll also come across the Black cave. There are springs in Mitata village for a refreshing drink.