The island known by both names, Kea and Tzia, is the “gateway to the Cyclades” and the 6th largest island of the respective cluster. At the same time, it is the closest island to Attica with a distance of 16 nautical miles from Lavrio and just one hour by boat!
In recent years there has been intense construction development in Kea (Tzia) and at the same time, gradual tourist development. However, this does not mean that it has lost its traditional character. The Cycladic elements are prevalent, such as the architecture and the whitewashed chapels, with slight differences in the dense vegetation, the stone houses and the variety of colours of the new constructions.
Due to the large size of the island, there are many beaches that are accessible by car, but there are also those that can only be visited by sea. In this article we will analyze the beaches of Kea, through our own experience.
Which beaches to visit in Kea (Tzia)
The first beach we visited and the closest to Korissia, where the port of the island is and where we stayed. Gialiskari is a relatively small beach but beautiful. It has a beach bar on the left side and on the right side there are several dense tamarisk trees which provide natural shade. It has a parking area and in the early morning and afternoon it is quieter, while midday mainly attracts young people.
The beach of Xyla is considered one of the most beautiful beaches of the island. It is a 20-minute drive from Korissia and is easily accessible via a passable dirt road. The beach has golden sand and fine pebbles with clear blue and relatively deep waters.
It is partially organised as it has umbrellas and sunbeds, but also has space for those with their own equipment. Unfortunately, it does not have natural shade, so we recommend that you stock up with the necessary items to protect yourself from the sun. Also, we suggest for those who wish to sit on the organized part of the beach, to have booked in advance the sunbed-umbrella set, where the price is 16€ with free towels and a one liter water bottle.
One of the most famous beaches of Tzia, Otzias beach belongs to the homonymous settlement and is the largest on the island. The distance from the port is just 5 km, it is easily accessible and has a parking lot. It has a circular shape and is connected to the sea by a narrow strip of water, thus protecting it from the winds. You will find tamarisks that offer ample shade as well as sunbeds and umbrellas.
At the edges of the beach there are two churches, Agios Georgios and Agios Sostis, which offer a wonderful view of the beach. Also, inside the bay of Otzias there is a completely deserted unorganized beach that can be reached on foot, Ladou beach.
A beach that was recommended to us by a local and is not one of the most famous beaches of the island. Kokkas beach is a small, quiet and secluded beach near Korissia. There are tamarisks that offer shade but we recommend you bring the right equipment for the sun.
Read our article about Kythnos here.
In the northeastern part of the island is the beach of Spathi. Access to the beach is via a difficult 5km dirt road, but it is worth a visit as it is one of the most beautiful beaches on Kea (Tzia). It is quiet with a beautiful sandy beach and clear waters. It offers the opportunity to sit in the organized part of the beach with the sunbeds and umbrellas of the beach bar, or to bring your own equipment. The sunbed and umbrella set costs 20 euros and you can enjoy an iced coffee at the cafe bar and Mediterranean delicacies at the restaurant located by the sea.
An unorganized beach with beautiful waters and sandy beach. Access is via a 4 km dirt road but it is really worth it. Bring the essentials to protect yourself from the sun, even though in the afternoon the tamarisks cast their shadow on the beach.
The beach of Koundouros belongs to the homonymous settlement of Kea. It is one of the most popular beaches on the southern part of the island. The beach has a blue flag and is organized with a bar-restaurant and sunbeds with umbrellas. The sea is shallow and has fine sand. It is preferred by both families and young people. Access is easy but there is no parking near the beach. The sunbed and umbrella set is at 18€, but you can bring your own equipment.
Beyond the main beach of Koundouros, however, there are many coves and beaches around that you can discover. The most famous one on the left side of the main beach is Koundouraki, a fully organised beach where you can do various water sports.
The beach of the homonymous settlement is located on the edge of a valley with olive groves that ends in a long sandy beach with tamarisks. It is organized with umbrellas and sunbeds and you have the choice of eating or just drinking a coffee. It is located before Koundouros and is easy to access and has ample parking space. But the most beautiful feature of the beach is its western orientation which offers beautiful sunsets.
Accommodation in Kea (Tzia)
For our stay in Kea (Tzia) we chose Amphora’s Apartments, or “The House in Pithari”, and it was for us one of the right choices for our holidays on the island.
The rooms are located in Korissia, where the port of the island is located and more specifically, the distance from the port is 5 minutes on foot. So we found ourselves among the picturesque white alleys that remind us of Cyclades wherever you look. The first thing that struck us was the smells of fresh bread and cookies from the neighborhood bakery in the alley below the rooms. Everything we needed was within walking distance and we were not inconvenienced for a moment.
But beyond their location, the rooms are completely renovated with all the amenities we needed. First, the Cycladic colours of the white house with blue windows and doors made us realize how beautiful the interior would be as well. Stepping inside the room we stayed in, the Cycladic decor won us over from the first moment. The soft minimal lines especially in the bedroom left us with a sense of calm, which is exactly how we wanted to feel on this holiday.
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