One of our favorites: "Kea or Tzia, the delight of the nature-loving visitors"
The beautiful island of Kea belongs to a group of islands called the Cyclades and, because of its proximity to Athens' east coast, is the perfect destination for travelers seeking a serene island retreat for their holidays (in a short distance from the city).
The island has always been popular among an upscale clientele of Athenian weekenders and second home owners. Kea's regulars come to eat well and relax on the beach and in their low-slung villas, which are made of rust-colored local stone and set into the steep hillsides so as not to stand out.
The ports of Korissia and Vourkari are attracting the sailing aficionados, but the inland and uphill picturesque town of Ioulis keeps its own quiet and relaxed pace.
The Keans have restored the ancient cobblestone paths and waymarked them for hikers; as a result, the visitors can find one of the best system of walking paths and trails of any Greek island; these allow people to walk through the unique-for-the-entire-Aegean-Sea royal oak forest, reach to remote coves, as well as to ruins of ancient cities.
Kea is a hiker's paradise particularly in the spring time when the impressive endemic flora makes the entire island to bloom and to be carpeted with colorful flowers: wild orchids, medicinal herbs, hyacinths, wild gladiolas, asphodels, anemones, wild roses, and Spanish brooms which perfume the air with their fine fragrance to the delight of all nature-loving visitors.
Hiking is indeed the most important of the activities practiced here. But recently mountain bikes can be seen going up and down the dirt roads of the island. On the other hand, the island is famous for scuba diving with excellent visibility, rich marine life, awesome wall, cavern and wreck diving. Titanic's bigger sister ship, the Britannic, had served as a hospital ship and sank in the Kea Channel on November 21, 1916. The highlight for recreational divers though is the wreck of the unique paddle/wheeler steamship Patris which sank in 1868.
Kea, with its stunningly beautiful landscape, its tranquil ambience and the transparent atmosphere, allows you to enjoy nature and its sounds; there is nothing like the sound of cuckoos in the night under the bright stars, or the awakening of the insects at dawn and the rout of the cows browsing on the steep hill sides.
All these and so much more make Kea a heavenly destination for memorable vacations!