With a population of about 2450 Kea , although naturally beautiful with craggy cliffs, spectacular coastline and fecund hillsides, has been overrun by vacation homes. Kea island belongs to the Cyclades group of islands in Aegean Sea. Being the island nearest to Athens, it’s just too easy to reach.
Rent wheels to get off the beaten path and find its charms: rocky spires, verdant valleys filled with orchards, olive groves and almond and oak trees, farmers loading donkeys with water from wells. The main settlements are the port of Korissia and the attractive capital, Ioulida, situated about 5 kilometers inland. Local people call the island Tzia.
Ioulida is Kea’s gem. Its pretty scramble of narrow alleyways and interesting buildings drapes across two hilltops. Once a substantial settlement of ancient Greece it now has a distinctly cosmopolitan feel at weekends.
Eight kilometres southwest of Ioulida, Piosses, the island’s best beach, is backed by verdant orchards, olive groves and rugged hills. There you can visit also the crumbling, square Hellenistic watchtower from the fourth century BC (reached via a 1.2 kilometers dirt track off the paved road) sprouts dramatically from the grounds of the dwarfed nineteenth century Saint Marína monastery church.
Kea’s geographical coordinates are 37°37’12.0″N 24°19’21.0″E in the Aegean sea. Kea is very close to Kythnos island, about 8 miles south, 14 miles east stands the Gyaros island and 10 miles in the north eastern side of Kea is the Makronisos island.
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