After a day spent exploring the marvels of Athens, set sail in the shimmering Aegean Sea for the beautiful islands of the Cyclades. You spot the distinctive, high, green island of Kea from far away.
Mountainous Kea is an excellent first stop. It is also known as the Water Island or Ydroussa for its numerous springs and streams that nourish the lush vegetation, which is something of a rarity in these parts. This has also made it a home for the water nymphs of Greek mythology. You can choose between docking at Korissia, the island’s main port, located in the south end of Nikolaos Bay, opt to anchor in seclusion at the north end of the bay or choose one of the many other scenic and protected anchorages that are dotted around the coast of Kea.
The grinning Lion of Kea, the most visited attraction on the island, dates from the 6th century. The story behind the huge stone lion is that the gods were resentful of Kea’s beauty and sent a fierce lion onto the island to drive the nymphs away and rob the island of water. Zeus eventually restored the water supply and the nymphs returned.
The island is criss-crossed with numerous hiking trails following the routes of the ancient road system that linked the villages of the island to one another. With historic sites, religious monuments and some excellent beaches, Kea is an island with plenty to offer those on a Kea yacht charter, whatever they are interested in.
The island can be explored on foot, by bike or motorbike, both of which are available to rent in Korissia. There is also a bus service linking the villages of the island, including Kea Town, the islands capital. Modern day Korissia is a laid-back harbour town with plenty of shops, tavernas and bars to cater to visiting charterers. Outside the town is an acropolis – not quite on the scale of that in Athens, but still somewhere you can explore the ruins of homes and temples. Nearby Vourkari is another village with a good range of places to eat and drink.