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Hiking in Kea

  Walking Tours of Kea by Kostis Marulis 

"In April, the Mediterranean Garden Society arranged a three-day excursion to Kea, a Cycladic island only a 75 minute ferryboat trip from Lavrion (a 1-hour drive from Athens). Sixteen members participated and Kea surprised more than a few of us. Usually visited during the summer months, we’d thought of it as a dry, rocky island where the wind blows endlessly. What a pleasant surprise, therefore, Kea turned out to be with its abundant wild flowers, delightful walks, verdant valleys, ancient sites, beautiful old stone walls . . . and no wind!

We were particularly fortunate in having the participation of Kostis Marulis, who, as a resident of the island well versed in its folklore, history, agriculture, archaeology and old pathways (kalderimia), guided us to Karthaia and Milopotamos and answered countless questions."
Mediterranean Garden Society

Easter, Kea, Greece plants, kea, greece cow kea, greece monastery in Kea, Greece

The mountainous interior of  Kea has a varied landscape: Springs, watermills, shaded valleys, and the only oak forest of the Cycladic islands. Oak trees have been a feature of the landscape since ancient times. The particular oak of Kea is the quercus aegilops , or Valonia oak. Perhaps less regal than the massive oaks of England or France, this oak survives the long periods of draught and its acorn has a particularly large cup which was very useful since prior to the advent of industrial dyes, the cup was used in the tanning industry as a black dye for leathers. At Kea, the acorns were loaded on ships at the small bay of Kambi where one can still see a few stone buildings used as custom offices and storerooms and now as summer bungalows. With his mind’s eye, the visitor can imagine the donkeys loaded with acorns, forming a long line along the cobbled paths linking the interior of the island with the loading docks.

Kea at Easter Ioulida, Kea flowers in kea fountain on walking trail in Kea, Greece

Kea is also one of the few islands where the ancient roads are still intact and you can walk from one end of the island to the other experiencing nature. Kea is awe-inspiring in spring but it has something to offer whatever season you choose to visit. Kostis can still lead you along these trails and through the valleys, and terraced hills of Kea. He leads walking and botanical tours along the ancient paths of the island. The high spring season on Kea is late March but the wildflowers continue through the spring and into summer.

In addition Kostis has a degree in archaeology and can give guided tours to the ancient city of Carthea, an archaeological treasure unknown to but a few, as well as the other historical and archaeological sites on the island.

Kostis can provide accommodation, transportation and even excursions to remote beaches in his caique Soultana, one of the most attractive small sailboats in the Aegean. A better host you won't find, Kostis can teach you the ancient art of bee-keeping, how to make spatholatho, (the ancient cure for sword wounds), made from Saint John's Wort. There are few people in Greece who know more about flowers, plants and herbs, than Kostis.

Beach in Kea, Greece walking path in Kea, Greece Ancient Karthea, Kea, Greece flowers in Kea

Kostis walking tours are not only about walking. You will taste the food of the island in some of the best restaurants and tavernas in the Cyclades, drink wine, and get to know the locals in a way that you can when you have a local as your host.

What are Kostis' Tours like? Have a look

See Kostis amazing photo technique for capturing plant images in dramatic fashion here

Read about his Spatholado, an ancient remedy for sword wounds here

Those interested in exploring KEA along the ancient trails can contact Kostis through Red Tractor Farms Guesthouse

Help Support Matt's Kea Pages

Do you enjoy using my site? Have you found it entertaining as well as useful? If so please show your appreciation by booking hotels through the travel agencies and the links found on my Kea Hotels page. The small comission I make on the bookings enable me to keep working and in most cases you won't find them any cheaper by searching elsewhere.

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Matt Barrett's Greece Travel Guides