Kythira, also known as Cythera, Kythera and Kithira is an island in Greece lying opposite the south-eastern tip of the Peloponnese peninsula.
Administratively, it belongs to the Islands regional unit, which is part of the Attiki region (although at large distance from Attiki itself).
For many centuries, while naval travel was the only means for transportation, the island possessed a strategic location. From ancient times until the mid 19th century, Kythira was a crossroads of merchants, sailors, and conquerors.
As such, it has had a long and varied history and has been influenced by many civilisations and cultures. This is reflected in its architecture (a blend of traditional, Aegean and Venetian elements), as well as the traditions and customs, influenced by centuries of coexistence of the Greek, Venetian, and Ottoman cultures.
Kythira has a land area of 279.593 square kilometres (107.95 sq mi); it is located at the southwestern exit from the Aegean Sea, behind Cape Malea. The rugged terrain is a result of prevailing winds from the surrounding seas which have shaped its shores into steep rocky cliffs with deep bays. The island has many beaches, of various composition and size; only half of them can be reached by road through the mountainous terrain of the island. The Kythirian Straits are nearby.
Kythira is close to the Hellenic arc plate boundary zone, and thus highly prone to earthquakes. Many earthquakes in recorded history have had their epicentres near or on the island.
Villages you should visit are Chora (Kythira), Agia Pelagia, Kapsali, Mitata, Avlemonas, Livadi, Karavas, Potamos, Kalamos and Mylopotamos.
Famous beaches are Diakofti, Palaipoli, Kaladi, Ocheles, Fyri Ammos, Melidoni, Kapsali, Agia Pelagia, Fournoi, Chalkos, Komponada and Platia Ammos.
Since the late 20th century, the Kythirean economy has largely focused and, in the process, has become dependent on tourism, which provides the majority of the island's income, despite the fact that Kythira is not one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece.
The popular season usually begins with the Greek holiday of Pentecost at the end of May, and lasts until the middle of September. During this time, primarily during August, the island's population will often triple due to the tourists and natives returning for vacation. Dependence on tourism has resulted in increased building activity in many of the island's villages, mostly for commercial purposes (hotels and hospitality facilities, shops etc.), but also secondary homes; prominent examples are Agia Pelagia and Livadi, both of which having witnessed significant growth in their size since the early 1990s.
Minor sources of revenue are thyme honey, famous within Greece for its rich flavor, as well as some small-scale cultivation of vegetables and fruit and animal husbandry that is, nevertheless, increasingly restricted to local consumption.Only five of the island's villages are on the coast (Platia Amos, Agia Pelagia, Diakofti, Avlemonas, & Kapsali)