Kea’s capital, Ioulida, seems like a land lost in time. With no motor vehicles around, donkeys occasionally pass by to transport tourists and construction materials. Its beautiful traditional village vibe is relaxing; perfect for those who would like to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the urban life. The most ancient part of the village is Kastro, situated just near the entrance gate, wherein the remains of a Venetian wall, antique fortifications, the Acropolis, and the Agia Paraskevi are located. The Monastery of Panagia Kastriani and the Archaeological Museum can also be found in the area.
The Archaeological Museum situated just beside the Ioulida entrance, has an impressive collection of findings from ancient towns of Kea, namely Karthea, Poiessa, Korissia, and Ioulis. Divided into pre-historic and historical categories, the collection consists of marble statues, columns, sculpture remains, ancient coins, building remains, parts of Athena’s ancient temple, and parts of the pediment from the Amazons’ fight. The museum has also dedicated a section to Konstantinos Manthos, a 19th-century local scholar who wrote valuable manuscripts that gave a vivid glimpse of the lifestyle in Kea two centuries ago.
The Monastery of Panagia, just 12 kilometers from Ioulida, is the most important monastery in Kea. Built around 1700 AD, the monastery was built by shepherds who dug an icon of the Virgin Mary on top of the Kastri Hill, in which they built a small church. In 1912, however, a larger church was constructed. The Monastery of Panagia’s blue and white entrance has a bell tower, and on its side is a two-storey building with guest houses, cells, and auxiliary rooms. The monastery’s location offers wonderful views of the Aegean Sea and the island of Andros. On August 15th, the monastery celebrates with a large panagiri, so if you would like to experience the perfect blend of wild and serene atmosphere Kea, schedule your visit on August to experience this unique celebration.
On the north side of Kea is the village of Vourkari, which is the picturesque village of Kea. A fishing village, its waters are dotted with kaekia—or small fishing boats—and sailing boats. This village is the perfect stopover for tourists who would like to spend some time in a peaceful location before sightseeing some more. In addition to the calm atmosphere that Vourkari has, there are plenty of excellent restaurants that serve seafood dishes, some of which are fish, spaghetti with lobster, and bouillabaisse. Vourkari will also be a treat for art lovers for there are taverns and a small art gallery wherein paintings related to Kea are exhibited. A villa that dates back from the Copper Age is also worth checking out, along with the village’s small church, Agia Eirini.
As a popular summer getaway destination, Kea has numerous beaches across the island, one of which includes the Koundouros beach. Located northwest of the island, Koundouros is a popular beach wherein many yachts from the mainland dock for the weekend. This sandy beach has crystalline waters, a calm atmosphere, and numerous facilities for its visitors, making it one of the most popular family-friendly beaches on the island. 11 kilometers away from Ioulida is the picturesque beach called Otzias. With an area extending over 700 meters, this picturesque beach is fringed with trees, has sandy shores and calm waters, making it the perfect windsurfing destination. The beach also has a couple of taverns, cafes, and barns wherein you can watch the sunset while finishing your late afternoon drink. Another beautiful Kean beach is the Korissia beach. Located 5.5 kilometers away from Ioulida, Korissia is a golden sand beach that’s perfect for tourists who would like to laze in the sun. It has several umbrellas on its beach that would ensure a relaxing day of soaking in the beautiful surroundings.
If you’re wondering where to stay in Kea, try our vacation rentals at All Luxury Apartments for a hassle-free vacation in this picturesque island. We offer holiday rentals that would fit a range of location, budget, and duration of stay. With a number of luxury villa choices, All Luxury Apartments can provide house rentals—be it short term or long term—that would suit your needs.