©Region of Attica/Lonely Planet


Poised between the Aegean and Ionian Seas, the gloriously time-forgotten island of Kythira lies just 12km off the southern tip of the Peloponnese’s Lakonian Peninsula. Despite its distinctly Cycladic sugar-cube architecture, both historic and modern, Kythira is officially regarded as belonging to the Ionian Islands.

With its population of fewer than 4000 spread between 40 villages, Kythira feels for much of the year like a ghost land; it's an unspoilt dreamscape of lush valleys, abrupt overgrown gorges, and flower-speckled cliffs tumbling into the vivid blue sea.

The lucky few who do make it here are invariably charmed by the island's spell and never want to leave. Do yourself a favour: however long you think you might need here, double it!