Best Things to Do in Kea (10+) | Greeka (2024)

The archaeological site of Ancient Karthea

Best Things to Do in Kea (10+) | Greeka (1)


We have compiled a list of the Best Things to Do in Kea, which includes the absolute must-sees and must-dos during your stay on the closest-to-Athens Cycladic island: places to visit, attractions, where to swim, activities, tours, where to eat, and more.

In brief, the top things to do are exploring Ioulida (the island's capital) and swimming in the beautiful beaches' blue waters.

Open the table of contents to see our suggestions for the 9 best things to do once on Kea Island.

Click on a section below to be directed there.

1. Stroll around the quaint Ioulida

2. Enjoy a day at the beach

3. Stay at the best accommodation

4. Visit the historical sites

5. Savour local dishes

6. Watch a movie at the open-air cinema

7. Shop local apiculture products

8. Explore the shipwrecks via scuba diving

9. Hike the regional paths

1. Stroll around the quaint Ioulida

Category: Villages

The settlement of Ioulida comprises the capital and one of the four ancient cities of Kea. The setting is extremely picturesque since it has preserved its traditional architecture. Cars are not allowed in the town, making the whole village pedestrian and the ambiance tranquil.
Strolling around Ioulida during the evening or night is a representation of real Greek village life; inhabitants and tourists wandering, savoring local dishes, or enjoying a cold beer. It’s an unparalleled depiction of insouciance and leisure that offers utter refreshment to visitors.
In the heart of Ioulida, one can admire the historic town hall designed by the renowned architect Ernst Ziller. On the northeastern part of the village lies the ancient district of Kastro, while the infamous Stone Lion of Kea is also located in proximity to the settlement.

Discover Ioulida

2. Enjoy a day at the beach

Category: Beaches

Kea is the Cycladic island closer to Athens, so it is not infrequent for people to visit for a short trip and take advantage of its beautiful beaches, especially during the summer.
The coastline of Kea is able to offer bathers of different tastes the right place to swim. Even though it doesn’t boast fully-organized beaches like other islands, both partly-organized and secluded beaches are found on the island.
Gialiskari, Koundouros, Pisses, and Otzias are among the most popular swimming destinations among travelers who prefer equipped beaches. All of them are sandy with clear waters and some tourist facilities around.
On the other hand, numerous pristine hidden beaches are available for those who hanker for privacy and tranquility; Xyla, Orkos, Liparo, and Lygia are just a few examples of swimming regions.
All beaches have azure and clean waters at their disposal, while many of Kea’s beaches lie within small coves that protect them from the winds.

Explore the Beaches

3. Stay at the best accommodation

Category: Hotels

You can select from a wide range of facilities regarding your stay in Kea. From camping facilities to luxurious hotels and villas, accommodation options are able to meet every traveler's budget.
Beautiful lodgings are scattered along the island to fulfill all guests’ setting preferences; many of them co-exist in harmony with the Cycladic landscape since they feature stone elements.
Some of the best hotels are Orso Blue Villa and inIoulida, Porto Kea in Korissia, Spathi Beach Suites in Spathi, and Vourkari Village in Vourkari.
All establishments are diligently designed and equipped with several amenities to make your stay in Kea a bed of roses.

See More Hotels

4. Visit the historical sites

Category: Sightseeing

Kea’s age-long history is evident through its monuments and historical sites.
The sites of archaeological interest include Ancient Karthea, which boasts the oldest Doric temple in the Cyclades, and the Lion, the island’s trademark, which lies in Ioulida and dates back to the 6th-7th century BC.
At the Archaeological Museum, finds from the Neolithic period until the 2nd century AD are exhibited, including 50 clay figurines from the prehistoric settlement of Agia Irini and reliefs of the temple of Athena from Karthaia.
Sights of the 19th-20th century include the Enamel Factory in Korissia and the two lighthouses of the island - one in Korissia and one in Cape Tamelos.
Finally, a visit to the Folklore Museum in Mylopotamos allows the visitors to immerse themselves in the cultural heritage of Kea’s populace.

Discover more Sights

5. Savour local dishes


Kea boasts excellent local produce, meat, and fish which you can taste in plenty of restaurants. Most establishments are traditional or more modern taverns mainly located in Ioulida, Vourkari, and Korissia and offer great views of the Aegean and the mainland.
Regarding the traditional Greek type of dining, we recommend O Filippas for delicious meat options and To Steki tou Stroggyli for fish and seafood dishes. However, in places like ZERAT in Koundouros and Aigis in Vourkari, guests can enjoy a more fine dining experience.

Discover more restaurants

6. Watch a movie at the open-air cinema

Category: Other businesses

Watching a movie at an open-air cinema is like a summer tradition for Greeks. The starlight and the light breeze make up the ideal combination to enjoy a movie screening while vacationing in Kea. The only open-air cinema on the island is named “Cine Korissia” and is located in the hom*onymous region. There, the latest movies are projected in a wonderful ambiance. A bar also lies within the facilities, where you can purchase snacks and beverages during the showing. Adequate parking space is offered for vehicles, too.

7. Shop local products

Category: Products

Kea Island is renowned for its bee-related products, including thyme honey, pasteli (honey sesame bar), and beeswax.
There are two great places to buy honey: Anthea’s in Mylopotamos, which has been awarded a 2-star Great Taste Award for its Raw Thyme Honey, and La Maison Vert Amande in Spathi.
Except for apiculture-related products, visitors can purchase several other products at local stores. Tyrakeion in Ioulida is a favorite spot for shopping for local dairy products such as cheese, milk, and ice cream.

See where to buy local products

8. Explore the shipwrecks via scuba diving

Category: Sports

Kea is considered one of the best places for scuba diving in the country.
Its seabed is home not only to reefs that are bursting with marine life but also to shipwrecks.
The underwater scenery is accessible via scuba diving to both amateur and experienced divers.
Kea Divers is officially affiliated with PADI and provides scuba diving sessions to people of all ages. Depending on the participants’ experience, different submarine spots can be approached.
Visitors not interested in scuba diving can schedule snorkeling trips around the island instead.

Discover more options for sports

9. Hike the regional paths

Category: Sports

Kea is the perfect destination for vacationers who feel like venturing the island by walking.
Boasting a total of 12 hiking paths ranging from 1.700 meters to 11.850 meters, Kea allows walkers to explore and encounter unique sights of the mainland scenery, as well as quaint villages and sites of historical interest.
The most famous trails include Route 1 (Ioulida to Otzias), Route 2 (Ioulida to Korissia), and Route 6 (Stavroudaki village to Ancient Karthea).
Wooden signs with useful and practical information are situated on every path, while metal signs indicate each route's number.

Discover the routes


How to get there


General Info

WheBest Hotels

Explore Kea

Best Things to Do in Kea (10+) | Greeka (2024)


What is the island of Kea famous for? ›

One of the most popular sites in Kea is the sculpture of the lion in Ioulida, that dates back to the 6th century BC.

Is Kea island worth it? ›

The island's capital, Ioulida, stands out for its charming architecture, cobblestone streets and depth of entertainment options. Furthermore, Kea is renowned for its network of traditional paths that wind through the island's forests, leading to lovely coves, beaches, and ancient sites.

What is the main town in Kea? ›

The capital village of Kea is Ioulida and the main port is Korissia. Many hotels and accommodations are located around these settlements. After you have seen the best Kea villages, you can also find information about the best beaches in Kea.

How do you get around Kea? ›

Transportation in Kea

There are public buses and taxis on the island, but we suggest that you bring your vehicle or rent one there for maximum comfort and flexibility. The central bus station is in Ioulida, where there are buses to most major attractions and villages.

Why are kea special? ›

The kea is a protected species that lives in forests and mountainous areas across the South Island from Golden Bay to Fiordland. This native parrot is a taonga for Ngāi Tahu and Ngā iwi o Te Tauihu (northern South Island iwi) and valued by New Zealanders as an icon of the outdoors.

How many kea are left? ›

With fewer than 7,000 individuals remaining in the wild, kea are now listed as Threatened - Nationally Endangered; the second-highest threat level in New Zealand.

Is Kea a party island? ›

Kea Nightlife

The general vibe of Kea is very relaxed when it comes to nightlife. It is one of the least known islands of the Cyclades for foreign visitors, but very popular with Athenians.

Where is the nicest island in the world? ›

21 Most Beautiful Islands in the World
  • St. Lucia. ...
  • Isla Bartolomé, Galapagos Islands. Isla Bartolomé, Galapagos Islands. ...
  • Bali, Indonesia. Nusa Dua Beach in Bali, Indonesia. ...
  • Mykonos, Greece. Mykonos Town, Greece. ...
  • St. Kitts. ...
  • Santorini, Greece. Oia in Santorini, Greece. ...
  • Tasmania, Australia. ...
  • Ibiza, Spain.
May 16, 2024

What is the history of Kea? ›

Kea is named after the hero Keos, also a son of Apollo but with the Nymph Rhoedessa. Keos is believed to have lived on the island in the early eleventh century B.C. Finds from excavations at Kefalas suggest Kea has been inhabited since Neolithic times.

How many people live on Kea? ›

Kea, also known as Tzia is located 16 nautical miles away from the Athens region mainland. It belongs to the Cyclades island complex, part of the Aegean Archipelago. Its distance from the northest to the southest cape is about 11 nautical miles and its permanent population about 3000 people.

What is the capital of Kea? ›

The capital of Kea is Ioulida. The island's main port is Korissia, where ferries arrive and yachts moor in summer. Another safe port for yachts and fishing boats is Vourkari, about 3 km east of Korissia.

Is Kea island nice? ›

The island houses rare plant species and wild animals, such as birds and reptiles. For that reason, it makes an excellent destination for nature lovers and exploration aficionados. The island's capital is Ioulida, a beautiful village that emits a relaxing vibe, thanks to its traditional architecture and car ban!

Do you need a car on Kea? ›

We recommend that our guests rent a car for the time they will be on Kea. Our island is large and there is very little public transportation. Taxis are available but reluctant to drive to the best off-road destinations. Keep in mind that many roads in Kea are unpaved and scooters may not be the safest choice.

Can you get around Kea without a car? ›

How to move in Kea. As soon as you are out of the port, you 'll find buses and taxis that will bring you t your final destination. You are going to use the same means of transport for your transportation across the island, in case you don't have a car. You may also rent a vehicle at the port.

What are the special features of the kea? ›

Nestor notabilis

Kea are known for their intelligence and curiosity, both vital to their survival in a harsh mountain environment. Kea can solve logical puzzles, such as pushing and pulling things in a certain order to get to food, and will work together to achieve a certain objective.

Is kea a party island? ›

Kea Nightlife

The general vibe of Kea is very relaxed when it comes to nightlife. It is one of the least known islands of the Cyclades for foreign visitors, but very popular with Athenians.

What is the most unique Greek island? ›

Top 15 Undiscovered Greek Islands
  • Kythnos. ...
  • Kea. ...
  • Sifnos. ...
  • Skopelos. ...
  • Skiathos. ...
  • Alonissos. ...
  • Patmos. This seahorse-shaped island is part of the Dodecanese islands group in the Aegean, tucked between the islands of Ikaria, Fourni and Leros near Turkey. ...
  • Paxoi. Paxoi is a tiny island jewel, just a few nautical miles south of Corfu.

What is the kea also known as? ›

Karnataka Examinations Authority, also known by the abbreviation KEA, was established in 1994. The main goal of establishing this, which was overseen by the Honourable Minister of Higher Education, was to admit students exclusively from Karnataka once they had placed in the Common Entrance Exams.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Barbera Armstrong

Last Updated:

Views: 5877

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (79 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Barbera Armstrong

Birthday: 1992-09-12

Address: Suite 993 99852 Daugherty Causeway, Ritchiehaven, VT 49630

Phone: +5026838435397

Job: National Engineer

Hobby: Listening to music, Board games, Photography, Ice skating, LARPing, Kite flying, Rugby

Introduction: My name is Barbera Armstrong, I am a lovely, delightful, cooperative, funny, enchanting, vivacious, tender person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.