Yet the island does have attractions and is great for outdoor activities, as well as for total relaxation. Ideal for loners or romantic couples more than for families, the island is best known for the famous Antikythera mechanism (now in the Archeological Museum of Athens), a once truly sophisticated mechanical astronomical computer found at the bottom of the sea not far from the island’s shores. Antikythera’s history is indeed rich, with many ancient finds and more recent Byzantine finds coming to light in the last few years.
One key attraction on the island is the ancient walled city of Aegila in Xeropotamos dating from the fourth century BC, and at some point may have hosted hundreds of inhabitants. From most probably the same era, an ancient temple dedicated to Apollo one lay in all its glory, with only a few remains surviving today (a marble statue of Apollo was actually found there, now also on display in the Archeological Museum of the Greek capital). About 1000 years later, i.e. during early medieval times around 500 AD, in the area of Charchaliana not far from Potamos, there’s evidence of some civilization, as deducted by remains of wine presses and old graves. It’s fascinating how this small island was so such a happening place for so many centuries.
Fast forward to our century, a much more recent historic lighthouse of Apolytara dating from 1926 is also noteworthy and provides an opportunity for a 1.5-hour hike from Potamos to discover it. Hiking around the island is a good way of getting up close and personal with the nature, so is birdwatching, as Antikythera represents a main highway of sorts for migrating birds. There’s even an ornithological station and birdwatching towers for more seasoned birdwatchers. Nature also provides a variety of flora, along with many endemic species of plants, implying the blossoming of species that aren’t found anywhere else on earth (as in many other Greek islands – almost unbelievable but very true).
In terms of fauna, we urge you to tread softly if you’re going to observe seals and turtles, many of which have their favorite beach spots to lounge around and to reproduce. Fishing is also a pastime on the island, and again responsible fishing is a must: you have to know which species to fish for and which threatened ones must be left to their own devices or returned to the water.