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Kea, (Tzia)
Ancient Karthea

Ancient KartheaThe Holy Grail for hikers informed enough to visit Kea is the ancient city of Karthea, also known as Poles, on the southeast coast of the island founded in the 12th century BC. There are few walks in Greece that end up in the ruins of an ancient city and Karthea is one of the most unspoiled since except by boat the only way to get here is by walking or by donkey.

There are several different choices of which path to take but the most popular and easiest way to get to Karthea is by driving to the small road at Stavroudhaki and walking down the stoned paved path through the ravine that eventually leads you to one of two beautiful coves and a small church. The walk takes a little over an hour and is all downhill which if you have ever hiked before you know means the trip back will take more than an hour and a half and be all up hill. That being said, it is worth the journey and the suffering. Bring water and food because you won't find it at the end if the trip unless you drink sea water and eat grubs and hopefully not poisonous berries.

Ancient KartheaThe reward is walking through an ancient city and swimming in some of the most beautiful sea you will have ever seen. It is a journey every true romantic should make at least once in his life though I have friends who do this trek every year.

Until recently the ancient site was left relatively untouched by archaeologists but over the last few years some restoration has been done on the foundations of the ancient Temple of Apollo, a Temple to Athina and an ancient theatre.

The alternative to walking back the way you came is to cross over the headlands where the dirt road ends at the last of three beaches of Kaliskia and maybe you can convince someone with a jeep to come and get you. But anything less than a 4-wheel drive vehicle you might not make it back up the mountain. However if you walk to Karthea in the morning and then leave in the late afternoon you should be able to walk all the way back in the shade.

Click on these photos by Pamela Jerome to see them full size

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Sea Also Walking in Kea

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