Kithira Airport Mini Guide
Where is Kithira?
Kithira is a tiny island, one of the Peloponnese, and partnered with the much smaller Antikythera. It has been a very important transit point for trade across the Mediterranean and has been occupied by several other countries over the centuries which have added to its culture and architecture. Today it is a quiet but beautiful holiday island with attractive, unspoilt beaches and an agriculture industry that thrives on the production of the famous thyme honey seen for sale in many shops across the island. The island is also renowned for its seismic activity and has been severely damaged many times over the centuries.
How do I get to Kithira?
Only two airlines fly to Kithira, Olympic from Athens
all year round and Astra who fly seasonally from Thessaloniki
. Before the construction of the airport, travel was restricted to the ferries which often couldn’t operate because of poor weather or high winds. Transport from the airport to the resorts of the island is only achieved by the local taxis as there are no buses to or from the airport. Hire cars are also available from the airport and are useful for exploring the lesser known villages. Hiring a car in Greece
has always been popular for holidaymakers and it's no different in Kythira, booking early being essential to get the best deals.
What is the airport like?
Just over ten years ago it was rebuilt and the runway extended in anticipation of increasing tourism. Whilst an increase has happened, it hasn’t been to the extent the locals, who paid for the upgrade, wanted and so the airport is sometimes a little bit like a ghost town. The facilities are poor, even for a small airport but it’s clean and bright.
What should I do when landing at Kithira Airport?
After walking to the small single storey terminal, you’ll wait to have your bags unloaded and brought into the terminal. You won’t find an information desk there but the staff are friendly and helpful if you need any advice. Taxis are found outside the terminal building and there’s a single car hire desk inside. You must pre-book a hire car before travelling if you want to be guaranteed a vehicle when you arrive. Be warned - many have been disappointed! As you might expect, there are no banks, post offices or ATMs there either.
What are departures like at Kithira Airport?
You’ll need to come prepared as the facilities are very poor. Make sure you bring plenty of water and food to keep you going as there is only a very small kiosk selling newspapers plus a little confectionery, certainly not enough to keep hunger at bay. There are no other shops and no café/snack bars so unless you’re going to spend your time looking out of the window at the view you’ll also need to bring a book or if travelling with young ones, some toys or books to keep them occupied.
Kithira is a relatively undiscovered island off the Peloponnese coast of Greece whose geographical position has made it desirable over the centuries. It has been controlled by the Venetians, the Byzantines, Greeks, British and more over time but today, as other forms of transport make shipping less attractive, it has sunk into a sleepy dependency on passing tourism.
Most visitors there are mainland Greeks, many of whom have second homes there drawn by its attractive beaches and green, forested interior. The island is also famed for the thick scented honey made by the bees from the island’s wild thyme.