I shouldn’t be so quick to judge, as my experiences in Poros and Aegina have taught me. Both are islands very near Athens, and easily accessible (all islands are, actually – it just depends how long you want to spend travelling to them, if you don’t fly direct).
This time I chose Kea, or Tzia in Greek.
It’s an island only roughly one hour away by ferry, but you have to leave from the port of Lavrio. Lavrio is approximately a 2 hr bus ride from Athens, mainly because it doesn’t go direct, but via a few different outlaying towns and villages.
Lavrio itself is nothing to write home about – and a piece of advice: if you get a bus that gets you there at least 1.5 hrs before the ferry, don’t get off at the port. Instead, get off in the town centre, go and eat in a taverna overlooking the harbour and then give yourself about 15 mins to walk to the port (or get a taxi if it’s too hot) and buy your ferry ticket. The ferry offices won’t be open if you’re there too early and the port is a bit of a dump quite frankly.
But all these grumpy feelings of mine (hot, bothered, cr*ppy port) evaporated as soon as I set foot on the ferry and pulled off. It’s only eleven Euros one way – a good price eh?! And the bus ticket is 4.90 Euros.
There’s something about being at sea that blows the cobwebs away (literally) and leaves one feeling excited about what lays ahead!
Pulling into the harbour of Kea, I made the short walk of about 10 minutes to my accommodation: Koralli Studios.
And what a lovely location (opposite the beach) and gorgeously done up rooms! They were a fair size, very clean and not worn looking. The hosts cleaned my room daily and with solar heating, there was an abundance of hot water. Prices for one room as 45 Euros, lowered to try to attract more visitors. It’s a shame there weren’t many people staying (not from my point of view, from the owner’s point of view – the lovely Dimitra) as I like to see local businesses thriving, especially in these times.
A great hire care for 30 Euros a day was perfect for a Citroen C5.
I took myself off to beaches, monasteries and the Hora (the old capital in the centre of the island – up in the mountains).
So here, in pictures, I present Kea. Enjoy.