Kea: Rural Beauty near Athens

Since as long as I can remember, locals have ardently resisted any industrial development on the island of Kea. Up to this day, the island consists of a small port with few hotels and tourist shops.

Close to the metropolitan center of Athens, yet still untouched by harms of industrialization, I see Kea as a hidden gem in the Aegean Sea. Its preserved authentic beauty and geographic proximity to the mainland gives it potential for development, especially in the tourism industry.

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View from Korissia (Port) Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ichatziioanou/

Most tourists have not even heard of the name Kea (which is usually a plus for the rural tourism industry). The island’s mountainous terrain is not welcoming to most tourists, while neither are the locals and their services. The locals on Kea have a history of being introvert and suspicious of foreigners, keeping the island’s secrets to themselves. Most beaches are accessible only by boat or 4×4 jeeps, due to rugged dirt roads. The museum, located in the capital of the island, Ioulis, holds an inconsistent working schedule variable to change in any unforeseen circumstance.

To me, this island holds exceptional value. I have spent every summer on this island, housed in one of the three small cottages my parents have built. The cottages are all made of stone, situated on the cliff of the hill Koukouvagia. Only known by few locals, and come across by lost tourists, this area is not far from the port, yet remains incognito.

It is precisely this mysterious, primitive nature, which has drawn travelers from all over the world, as well as affluent Athenians to this island in the last couple years. Its preserved cultural and historical value, along with its scenic beauty and convenient accessibility, makes it a desirable location for any modern traveler.

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Otzias Beach (Fall) Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ichatziioanou/
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Lighthouse of Kea
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Vourkari Photo: https://m.flickr.com/#/photos/ichatziioanou
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