Kea

Kea is the most northerly of the inhabited Cycladic islands, and the closest to the Greek mainland. The only island closer is Makronisos, one of Kea's satellite islands, and the largest uninhabited island in Greece.

Kea in the Cyclades Islands of GreeceKea

Kea gets many more Greek visitors than it does foreign visitors, so it's the place to head for if you want a more authentic Greek experience. Don't do it on a Friday evening, though, when ferries are packed with mainland Greeks going away for the weekend.

Google Map showing location of Kea in the Cyclades Islands of Greece(c) Google Maps

How to Get to Kea

Kea is linked to the Greek mainland port of Lavrio by ferry, and that's almost the only way to get there. There are some ferry connections with other islands in the Cyclades, but they are few and far between. Nor are there any ferry connections with Piraeus. The ferry from Lavrio to Kea takes about an hour.

Lavrio is about an hour south-east of Athens, with a regular bus service, and north of Cape Sounion. There are several ferries a day during the summer months, including early morning and evening departures. You've got plenty of time to get from Athens to Lavrio if you want to get a ferry to Kea, and if you leave Kea in the morning you'll easily be in Athens by the evening.

Kea in the Cyclades Islands of GreeceKea

Where to Stay on Kea

The Lavrio ferry arrives in the port of Korissia, where you'll find the small tourist information office, which will help you find accommodation if you haven't booked ahead. There are the usual tavernas, shops and ATMs, but Korissia is a bit bland and you'll want to stay somewhere more picturesque, although there are several places to stay if you arrive late or want to leave early on the ferry.

The island capital, Ioulis, is certainly picturesque. Its white houses with their tile roofs cover the slopes of a hill, and it's filled with cobbled streets, narrow alleyways and arches. One arch leads into the village itself, and if you drive there then you have to park below the village square and walk into the village. You can also get here by bus or taxi from Korissia.

Ioulis is a charming, historic and relaxing place, definitely worth a few days of your time. If you want beaches, though, there are plenty of places to stay around the coast, with tavernas, apartments, and rooms to rent. They're all quite small, so book ahead if you're travelling in the main summer season, especially at weekends.

Our Pick of Greek Islands Guides

Rough-Guide-Greek-Islands-2022.png

What to Do on Kea

In Ioulis you'll want to see the small but enjoyable Archaeological Museum. Kea has a long history, going back to a Bronze Age settlement at Ayia Irini (see below), and there are many objects from the site on display in the museum. On the edge of the top of the town you'll also want to see what's known as the Kea Lion, which dates to the 6th century and is carved from slate.

The Minoan site of Ayia Irini is on the north-west coast, north from Korissia. It's believed to date back as far as 3200BC and to have been a thriving community for about 2000 years. Just south of Ayia Irini is one of the busiest of the coastal towns, Vourkari, which also makes a good base for a few days. There are some good tavernas here and you can walk to beaches easily such as the one at Otzias, about a 45-minute walk to the north-east.

Kea's best beach is in the village of Poisses, which is about a half-hour drive south from Korissia, but you'll have to drive inland to Ioulis then south to get there. In summer there is a bus service from Korissia, and in the village there are a few places to stay and to eat – another good spot to enjoy a few days if you visit this lovely island that's a little off the tourist map.

Other Cyclades pages

  • Travel information about the Cyclades group of Greek islands including Mykonos, Santorini (Thira), Naxos, Paros, Delos, Tinos, Siros, Milos, Amorgos.

    Cyclades

    Travel information about the Cyclades group of Greek islands including Mykonos, Santorini (Thira), Naxos, Paros, Delos, Tinos, Siros, Milos, Amorgos.

  • You can get from Mykonos to Santorini, and of course from Santorini to Mykonos, by ferry, by plane (sort-of) or even by helicopter.

    How to Get from Mykonos to Santorini

    You can get from Mykonos to Santorini, and of course from Santorini to Mykonos, by ferry, by plane (sort-of) or even by helicopter.

  • The island of Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades and on this page you can see information about flights and ferries to Naxos.

    Naxos in the Cyclades Islands of Greece

    The island of Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades and on this page you can see information about flights and ferries to Naxos.

  • Greece Travel Secrets picks the best time to visit Naxos, with a monthly summary of the weather, plus hotel prices and special events to help plan a visit.

    Best Time to Visit Naxos

    Greece Travel Secrets picks the best time to visit Naxos, with a monthly summary of the weather, plus hotel prices and special events to help plan a visit.

  • Greece Travel Secrets picks some of the best things to do on Naxos in the Cyclades, including discovering the beaches, villages, and ancient ruins.

    Best Things to Do on Naxos

    Greece Travel Secrets picks some of the best things to do on Naxos in the Cyclades, including discovering the beaches, villages, and ancient ruins.

  • The island of Tinos in the Cyclades has several daily ferry connections from Rafina on the Greek mainland and is most famous for the Feast of the Assumption.

    Tinos in the Cyclades Islands of Greece

    The island of Tinos in the Cyclades has several daily ferry connections from Rafina on the Greek mainland and is most famous for the Feast of the Assumption.

  • Syros is in the Cyclades islands, with Ermoupoli as its main town and some good beaches, described here on the Greece Travel Secrets website.

    Syros

    Syros is in the Cyclades islands, with Ermoupoli as its main town and some good beaches, described here on the Greece Travel Secrets website.

  • Surrounded by bigger and better-known Cyclades islands such as Ios, Naxos and Santorini, Sikinos is a delightfully untouristy island.

    Sikinos

    Surrounded by bigger and better-known Cyclades islands such as Ios, Naxos and Santorini, Sikinos is a delightfully untouristy island.

  • Sifnos is one of the smaller islands in the Cyclades group in the Aegean Sea.

    Sifnos

    Sifnos is one of the smaller islands in the Cyclades group in the Aegean Sea.

  • Serifos is one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea, a rugged and mountainous island with a small population.

    Serifos

    Serifos is one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea, a rugged and mountainous island with a small population.

  • The island of Paros in the Cyclades is famous for its marble, and on this page you can also see information about flights and ferries to Paros.

    Paros in the Cyclades Islands in Greece

    The island of Paros in the Cyclades is famous for its marble, and on this page you can also see information about flights and ferries to Paros.

  • The island of Milos in the Cyclades in Greece is noted for its museums and beaches, and read about flights and ferries to Milos.

    Milos in the Cyclades Islands of Greece

    The island of Milos in the Cyclades in Greece is noted for its museums and beaches, and read about flights and ferries to Milos.

  • Kythnos is a small island in the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea, with easy access from Athens and popular with Athenians on summer weekends.

    Kythnos

    Kythnos is a small island in the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea, with easy access from Athens and popular with Athenians on summer weekends.

  • Kimolos is in the Cyclades islands of Greece, close to Milos.

    Kimolos

    Kimolos is in the Cyclades islands of Greece, close to Milos.

  • The island of Ios in the Cyclades group of islands in Greece is noted for its nightlife in summer, as well as its beaches, churches and the grave of Homer.

    Ios in the Cyclades Islands of Greece

    The island of Ios in the Cyclades group of islands in Greece is noted for its nightlife in summer, as well as its beaches, churches and the grave of Homer.

  • Travel information from Greece Travel Secrets about Folegandros in the southern Cyclades, close to Sikinos, with flight and ferry information.

    Folegandros

    Travel information from Greece Travel Secrets about Folegandros in the southern Cyclades, close to Sikinos, with flight and ferry information.

  • The island of Delos in the Cyclades islands is a unique archaeological site, taking up the whole island, and a popular day trip from nearby Mykonos.

    Delos in the Cyclades Islands of Greece

    The island of Delos in the Cyclades islands is a unique archaeological site, taking up the whole island, and a popular day trip from nearby Mykonos.

  • Travel information about Antiparos near Paros in the Cyclades Islands of Greece from the Greece Travel Secrets website.

    Antiparos

    Travel information about Antiparos near Paros in the Cyclades Islands of Greece from the Greece Travel Secrets website.

  • The island of Andros in the Cyclades has fast ferries from Rafina. There are some good beaches and the main town has two interesting museums.

    Andros in the Cyclades Islands of Greece

    The island of Andros in the Cyclades has fast ferries from Rafina. There are some good beaches and the main town has two interesting museums.

  • Travel advice and information on Anafi in the Greek Cyclades islands with good beaches, walking, accommodation, tavernas.

    Anafi in the Cyclades islands of Greece

    Travel advice and information on Anafi in the Greek Cyclades islands with good beaches, walking, accommodation, tavernas.

  • Travel advice and information on Amorgos in the Cyclades, a dramatic and growing holiday destination with ferries from Athens and other Greek islands

    Amorgos in the Cyclades Islands of Greece

    Travel advice and information on Amorgos in the Cyclades, a dramatic and growing holiday destination with ferries from Athens and other Greek islands

  • This is the first travel guide to Schinoussa and Iraklia, two tiny islands in the Cyclades, published by Real Greek Experiences.

    Schinoussa and Iraklia Travel Guide

    This is the first travel guide to Schinoussa and Iraklia, two tiny islands in the Cyclades, published by Real Greek Experiences.

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

Latest Posts

  1. The Parthenon of the Peloponnese: The Temple of Apollo at Bassae

    One of the best-preserved monuments from Classical antiquity, the Temple of Apollo at Bassae is a hidden gem in the mountains of Arcadia.

    Read More

  2. This Greek Island is Europe’s Sunniest Place in May

    Britain’s Express newspaper encourages its readers to experience the beauty and warmth of the Greek island of Kos, the sunniest place in Europe in May.

    Read More

  3. 5+1 Reasons for a Spring Day Trip to Aegina

    Wildflowers, ancient olive trees, nature, and delicious pistachio treats. In the spring, Aegina provides everything you need for the perfect day trip.

    Read More

  4. Santorini Voted Best Island in Europe at US Awards

    Greece wins top honors at this year's American Leisure Lifestyle Awards, with Santorini ranked the "Best Island in Europe" for the 11th consecutive year.

    Read More

  5. Take a drive down California’s Pacific Coast Highway One

    Stretching 656 miles and connecting the coastal redwoods of Northern California to the sandy beaches of Southern California, is SR 1, otherwise known as the California Pacific Coast Highway, the PCH…

    Read More

  6. Highway 1 to Big Sur Has Reopened — What to Know About Visiting from the Bay Area

    If you’ve been eagerly awaiting this Highway 1 reopening and want to plan a long-delayed trip to Big Sur this summer, there are several things that prospective visitors to the region should know. Keep…

    Read More

  7. Matala Beach Festival Revives Hippie Era on Crete

    The international Matala Beach Festival on Crete will transport attendees back to the famous hippie era with live music events, sports, and art activities for children. From July 5 to 7, people of all…

    Read More

  8. Birdwatching on Lesbos

    golden-eagle-pixabay.jpg
    For keen birdwatchers, birdwatching on Lesbos offers a chance to see over 300 species in diverse habitats on a key migratory route between Europe and Africa.

    Read More

  9. Survey: Athens a Bargain Destination for UK Travelers this Year

    British travelers seeking value for money in Europe this year will find it in Athens, according to the annual Post Office Travel Money City Costs Barometer. The Greek capital is once again among the T…

    Read More

  10. Athens City Festival this Week Features Music Events, Treasure Hunts, Museum Visits

    The Greek capital continues to celebrate spring with the 3rd This is Athens – City Festival, presenting a diverse program of events and activities, all with free admission. Throughout the weekend, the…

    Read More