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Walking, hiking and trekking on KEA or TZIA

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GENERAL INFORMATION 

LINKS KEA

THE PATHS OF KEA

BOATS KEA
   - Artemis
   - all boats (Greek)

MAPS

WALKS

(last update on the 5th of June 2018)

*** = very beautiful

**** = exceptional

+ Gpx = with Gpx-file

 

1. Agios Simeoón - Agios Fílippos and back ***

2. Agios Simeoón - Karthéa and back ****  + Gpx

3. Chavouná - Karthéa

4. Ioulída - Agios Konstantínos - Mylopótamos - Fléa - Agia Marína - Plagiá - Písses ***

5. Ioulída - Agios Konstantínos - Mylopótamos - Fléa - Korissía

6. Ioulída - Agios Theológos - Agios Nikólaos - Profítis Ilías - Ioulída ***

7.Ioulída and surroundings ***

8. Ioulída - Episkopí - Tría Maderiká - Sikamiá and back ****  + Gpx

9. Ioulída - Lion - Agii Theódori - Sorós -  Kastrianí

10. Ioulída - Lion - Agios Dimítrios - Spathí and back ***

11. Ioulída - Lion - Dosonári - Diaséli - Otziás and back ****  + Gpx

12 Ioulída - Messariá - Episkopí - Profítis Ilías and back ****  + Gpx

 13. Ioúlida - Messariá - Profítis Ilías - Astrá - Elliniká - Agios Simeoón - Karthéa ***  + Gpx

14. Ioulída - Mýli - Kalogerádos - Ioulída ***

15. Ioulída - Mýli - Petrovoúni - Sklavonikóla - Agia Marína and back

16. Ioulída - Mýli - Petrovoúni - Skalovonikóla - Agia Marína - Plagiá - Písses ***  + Gpx

17. Ioulída - Míli -  Thólos - Kalogerádos - Ioulída

18. Ioulída - Roúkounas - Kómi - Agios Konstantínos - Mylopótamos and back *** 

19. Karthéa - Vathypótamos - Kalódouka - Káto Meriá ***

20. Karthéa - Vathipótamos - Stavroudáki ***

21. Mylopótamos - Fléa - Agia Marína - Plagiá - Písses and back ***
 

 

 

 

Kéa, also called Tziá, is the most northern of the western Cyclades; you could see it as a continuation of the nearby peninsula of Attika and it is situated at only 12 nautical miles (19 km) from Cape Soúnion.
Kéa has a surface area of 131 km², which means that, apart from the island of Milos, it is the largest of the western Cyclades, and the sixth largest of all of the Cycladic isles, after Náxos, Andros, Páros, Tínos and Mílos: it is about 19 km long and never wider than 10 km.
There are about 1800 people living on Kéa, of which 600 live in the town of Chóra or Ioulída and 350 in the small harbour of Korissía; the rest of the people are spread over some 30 small villages and hamlets.

Kéa has a mountainous relief, with summits often higher than 500 metres: the highest point of the island is the Profítis Ilías (568m). As a result of the intense erosion the mountainous island is criss-crossed with deep valleys, such as the valleys of Spathí, Agios Fílippos and Póles (Karthéa) in the east and Písses in the west. In the coastal region there is not really a lot of overgrowth, just like on the other Cycladic isles, but the interior is fertile and green, amongst others because of fruit trees and because of a lot of oak trees (valinídhies or quercus aegilops). 

The island has a couple of beautiful beaches, like the beaches of Otziás or Vourkári in the north or the beaches of Písses and Koúndouros in the west – especially at those places there is a lot of tourist infrastructure. On the other side, there are also some small bays and often deserted beaches, which you can sometimes only reach on foot, such as the bays of Spathí, Sikamiá, Agios Fílippos and Póles (Karthéa) on the east coast.

The main town of Chóra or Ioulída is situated in a mountainous area, which means that the picturesque little town has a lot of relief – there are also plenty of staircase-streets. Chóra is dominated by the Kástro with remnants of the ancient akrópolis, and on the southern side by the rests of a lot of wind mills. The little town has also an interesting archaeological museum and nearby you can visit the famous Lion of Ioulída, a unique archaic statue dating from 600 BC. 

Kéa has a glorious history, with the first traces of organised life already in the 4th millennium BC. From the archaic times onwards the antique island of Kéa had 4 autonomous cities (it was a "tetrapolis"), with the harbour Korissía, Ioulída (around the Kástro), Piiéssa (the present day Písses) and Karthéa. Especially the remnants of the temples of Apollo and Athena in Karthéa are still very interesting. The famous poets Simonides and Bacchylides were also from Ioulída.

After the Byzantine times, Kéa was conquered by the Venetians in 1207: the Venetian name Zia later led to the name Tziá, which nowadays is the name of the island mostly used by the Greeks. In 1537 the island became Turkish, but this did not prohibit the relative bloom of the island, which in 1780 counted about 5000 inhabitants. Later on, and mainly after the Second World War, there was a gradual depopulation, also because of the loss of traditional agriculture; as a result, the island now only has about 1800 inhabitants.

Since the island can mainly be reached from the smaller harbour of Lávrio (there is a bus connection between Lávrio and the airport, going via Markópoulo), Kéa lies away from the main boat lines – so also away from the tourist stream. Mainly in spring and in autumn the island is very quiet, but during the school holidays and also during the weekends Kéa is a favourite destination for people from Athens – who are looking for peace and nature.
Also the fact that many inhabitants only speak Greek shows that there are not a lot of foreign tourists coming to Kéa – many of the signs and inscriptions are often only in Greek as well.
Off season there are no busses either, so you often have to depend on taxi’s.

As said, most of the hotels and rooms are to be found along the coast, in places such as Otziás, Korissía, Písses and Koúndouros; in Ioulída itself it is quite difficult to find accommodation.
Still, staying in Ioulída seems to be the most attractive - this is the best way to get to know this authentic little town. In any case, you should try to stay in Ioulída for at least one evening, after the narrow streets awake from their siesta; dining in restaurant "To Stéki" is really a must!

Kéa has a well preserved network of old trails and the island itself has put in great effort to signpost these trails with wooden signs and the well-known little red-white signs. There are a couple of publications you can buy on the island; in these publications and on a number of maps the hikes are numbered from [1] to [9]. The most beautiful of these are no. [1] via the Lion to Otziás, the long hike no. [3] to Karthéa, hike no. [4] to the beach of Sikamiá and the short hike no. [6] from Karthéa to Stavroudáki.
Since most of these hikes depart from Ioulída, it is interesting to try and find a room in the main town, although this is fairly difficult.

Since the year 2006 there exists a very good hiking map of Tziá or Kéa, in the series of Anávasi. On the back of this map there are some extra explanations on the numbered trails – as usual this is an indispensable tool for the hiker. However, a number of gravel roads are not mentioned on this map (amongst others in the regions of Kalogerádos and of the Péra Meriá) which makes it difficult to follow hikes no. [9] and [4]. 
In the course of spring 2009 another map of Kéa appeared, now in the series of Terrain Maps: this map is also very detailed and even more precise than the Anávasi-map, but a few paths don't appear on the map, such as the path from Fléa via Agia Marína to Písses and the recent paths from Ioulída to Agios Konstantínos and from Slavonikóla to Agia Marína.

There is also a map in the series of Road, but this map does not contain a lot of indications of monopátia.

The following hikes are really a must:

1. Ioulída - Lion - Diaséli – beach of Otziás (and back) (well indicated with no. [1])
2. Ioulída - Profítis Ilías - Elliniká - Agios Simeoón - Karthéa (well indicated with no. [3], you can also divide this hike in two) or Agios Simeoón - Karthéa and back
3. Ioulída - Episkopí - Péra Meriá - Sikamiá (fairly good indicated with no. [3] to Episkopí, and then with no. [4])
4. Karthéa - Vathipótamos - Stavroudáki (fairly good indicated with no. [6])
5. Agios Simeoón - Agios Fílippos (infrequent indications with no. [8]).

 

 


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Panoramic view of Ioulída

 The piátsa in Ioulída

The Lióntas or Lion (600 B.C.)

The beautiful bay of Otziás

A signpost for walkers in Ioulída

Ruins of the temple of Athena in Karthéa


The old monastery of Episkopí

 The source of Vénjamin on Kéa

The nice monopáti of walk [3] in the neighbourhood  of the Profítis Ilías

The beautiful path of walk [3] to Karthéa