Kithnos is a typical Aegean Island, a barren rocky, mostly treeless island in the Northern Cyclades, lying about 45 miles south of Athens. The population mostly live in the Chora and in Mérikha, the main ferry port for the Island. It has some tourism in the summer months, mainly from Yachts but compared to its sister islands it is little touched by tourism – hooray.Loutra is a delightful bay, with a small harbour reserved mostly for visiting yachts and a few local fishing boats. It has an inviting beach along the south side, lined with bars and restaurants which in typical Greek fashion, spill out onto the pavements and even onto the beach, tables laid and sunbrellas planted to expand the footprint of their premises – I wonder how legal that is? It has a mini market and bakers but surprisingly none of the car rental shops that are a feature of most other coastal villages – no exploring for us this time!! If you want anything else, ask the marinara, he can arrange most things.
The Island was famous for it hot Springs, King Otto, Greece’s first king built the “institute” in Loutra, which unfortunately is now a pretty run-down, three story large concrete box which forms a backdrop to the village and is a bit of an eyesore …. but still doesn’t detract too much from the picturesque village. You can still take a bath at the institute, although not recommended, you are better off visiting the hot spring on the south end of the beach. Beware it is piping hot as it flows onto the beach and gushes into the “pond”, a small circle of rocks at the edge of the sea which helps to retain some of the heat. We arrived at mid-day and found a cosy, very secure space in the inner quay. As the afternoon progressed, this filled up mainly with charter boats, the marinara cramming every square inch. The outside of the quay was the next target and then the outside of the mole got the marinara’s attention, for a few unsuspecting catamarans. Both these areas looked a bit exposed and that proved to be the case, as the fleets of large ferries passing far outside the bay, sent their wash galloping into Loutra and side on to these unsuspecting yachts. As they swayed dramatically from side to side, masts were inches from entanglement and potential disaster.Thursday we woke up to RAIN, it was very overcast, temperatures were still in the early twenties, but never the less it was raining in Greece and everyone says “it never rains in Greece in the summer” …. rubbish. Luckily by mid-day the sun had come back out to play, letting us take Hudson for a long walk around the bay. We spent three extremely relaxing days in Loutra … apart from the morning runs, why do I do it? We pottered around the boat, walked Hudson, followed by a drink and a game of cards in our favourite taverna each evening – the owner loved Hudson and wanted to feed him titbits and take him home, so guess who was Hudson’s new best friend? On our last afternoon we went to the hot spring at the end of the beach, with Hudson parked in the shade, Mark and I lay in the hot spring water, letting the healing elements do their “stuff”, although I’m not sure exactly what they are supposed to do. None the less, it was my first dip in the “sea”, even if it was hotter by 20 deg because of the spring – its not really cheating, is it?
With a calming of the winds we decided to go back to our beautiful sand bank on the other side of the island and anchor there for our last night in the Cyclades. Being a Saturday, it was busier with a couple of 3 storey Super Yachts and a swarm of ribs from Athens, which unfortunately is only a short distance away. We dropped our anchor and settled down to watch the activity. One of the Super Yachts had a large tender ferrying pampered guests and beach equipment to the shore. To Marks disgust three staff were left to wait in the rib, in the heat of the day, a hundred yards off shore, while the overweight owner and his overweight family, sunbathed and swam … absolutely no way to treat people who work for you.Fortunately Mark did not lose the dingy this time and by the evening, most of the motor boats and ribs had returned to Athens, leaving the stunning bay to the few yachties that remained. We debated where to go next, finally settling on a return to the Peloponnese exploring some of the areas we missed last year, Póros was first on the list.