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Alternate Tourism Routes in Kythira

Legends say that Kythera was the birth place of Celestial Venus, the goddess of pure platonic love. Maybe that’s why visitors to the island should take time to explore the unexpected place of sudden love, the place where the Aegean meets the Ionian Sea. Kythera is a small island in the Ionian, located south of Peloponnese.
Small low plateaus, canyons and valleys, low plantation, young pine forests, olive groves and a sculpted coastline with steep cliffs and beautiful beaches, small islands and islets, compose a landscape, which the ancients called “Porfyrousa” and the Venetians ”Tsirigo”.
The residents of Kythira are hospitable and deeply religious, due to the existence of many Christian monuments, holy shrines and historical churches. Each church is connected with a number of centuries old legends and folk traditions.
The sacred shrines, having as a highlight the monastery of Panagia Myrtidiotissa in Mirtidia, are the main destinations of the island.  Accommodation is offered in many of them. Small chapels are scattered throughout the island in stunning locations with spectacular Byzantine and post-Byzantine architecture.
Panagia Myrtidiotissa is the protector of Kytherians and is cherished everywhere with great respect, while the pilgrimage is located in the position where the icon was discovered, west of the island. The monastery was built over the old church.  Impressive for its size, the front door was built to protect the icon of the Virgin from the invasion of the pirates. To reach the monastery, the visitor must pass through a small opening in the rock, the “pierced rock”, and from there the view to the islands of the Virgin Mary looks like a painting.
Kythira is an ideal place for those seeking to feel closer to nature, enjoy the quiet beauty and relax through its smells and sounds. Here, one can discover the special attractions of the island, among which are the impressive canyons, such as Kaki Lagada in Agia Pelagia, the caves of the island, with the biggest one being that of Hagia Sophia in Mylopotamos.
Kythera’s local traditional cuisine is very popular. One can taste the variety of delicious sweets made in Kythera such as the almond sweets. Do not forget to taste the different types of oil bread, as well as the local traditional pies. Of course, the quality of the island’s olive oil is one of the best in Greece.
Ceramics is one of the most popular kind of arts developed on the island.

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