About Us

Kythera Trails is a project of the Kytherian Foundation for Culture and Development, in cooperation with the Municipality of Kythera, the Domestic Estate Management Committe of Kythera and Antikythera and the Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos.

Our Story

Early pioneering work – Kythera Hiking

The trails of Kythera have been the island’s main mobility network for most of its history.​ In 2009, a proposal for the development of an organized trails network, which was the culmination of earlier sporadic attempts, was embraced by the Kytherian Foundation for Culture & Development (KIPA). KIPA became the official management body of the trails of Kythera and the lead organization of the programme.​ Since then, our goal has been to restore the island’s old traditional trails, as much as possible, for recreation and sustainable tourism.​

The trails network was named ‘Kythera Hiking’ and by 2012 the first 6 trails were built and signposted. Kythera Hiking became the first trails network in Greece with a dedicated brand, website and QR codes in trailhead signs and brochures. ​ Talks, events as well as educational and volunteering programmes were organised.​ Kythera Hiking was also the starting point for the social coop ‘Paths of Greece’.​

Upgrading & Expanding

In 2016, we started upgrading and expanding the trails network. A milestone has been the wider partnership, between the Kytherian Foundation for Culture & Development, the Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos (MedINA), the Municipality of Kythera and the Domestic Estate Management Committee of Kythera and Antikythera.​

As a result of this collaboration, by 2019, the network was expanded from 36 to 100 km and signposting was finalized in 2021. We designed trails, utilising several techniques: old maps, satellite images, interviews with locals and extensive fieldwork. Signposting followed the four-level system, developed by Paths of Greece.​

The trails network was rebranded as ‘Kythera Trails’. ​

Trail M1 of Chora was twinned with San’in Kaigan Geopark Trail of Tottori, Japan and M41 of Mylopotamos with the Bruce Trail Conservancy ​

We participated at international exhibitions and conferences in Germany, France and Spain.​

Three of our trails became the first in Europe to be awarded with the Green Flag Trails certification​

Storytelling along the trails​

Using its INCREAte approach for the integrated conservation of culture and nature, MedINA was key in both expanding the trails network and highlighting the natural and cultural heritage of Kythera. Through extensive fieldwork, we recorded 417 points of interest (POIs) of cultural & natural heritage and their interrelations We carried out an ethnographic study to save local knowledge for storytelling along the trails.​

59 face-to-face, in-depth, semi-structured individual interviews were conducted with 46 locals, who lived at a time when trails were still the main road network on the island. ​This led to the creation of a ‘knowledge base’ for Kythera Trails.​

The next step was processing all this information. To assess the links between the identified elements of nature and culture, MedINA’s IMNC web toolkit was used. At the same time, we transcribed and analysed the ethnographic interviews. Lastly, we enriched the material with bibliographic reviews. ​All this work resulted in the creation of narratives for all trails and POIs in order to facilitate interactive storytelling while hiking via the app.​

The narratives of trails and POIs are based primarily on extensive fieldwork along the trails and the ethnographic study (59 in-depth individual interviews).​ Here, we provide only an indicative list of references, which greatly enriched our work. References could not be included in the text for technical reasons. ​

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  • Georgiadis N. M., Melissourgos, Y., Dodouras, S., Lyratzaki, I., Dimitropoulos, G., Foutri, A., Mordechai, L., Zafeiriou, R., and Papayannis, T. 2019. Reconnecting Nature and Culture – The INCREAte Approach and Its Practical Implementation in the Island of Kythera. Heritage 2:1630-1639.​
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  • Ince, G. E., Koukoulis T., Ballantyne A. N. and Smyth D. 1989. Paliochora: Survey of a Byzantine City on the Island of Kythera. Second Report. The Annual of the British School at Athens, 84, pp 407-416.​
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  • Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos. 2018a. The INCREAte Approach on Integrating Culture and Nature for Better Conservation Outcomes: Application Manual & Toolkit. MedINA, Athens, Greece.​
  • Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos. 2018b. The IMNC web toolkit manual, MedINA, Athens, Greece.​
  • Mouzakis, S. 2004. Watermills of the Greek Islands of Kythera and Antikythera (15th -19th Centuries). International Molinology 2004;69:2-10​
  • Naaeke, A., Kurylo, A., Grabowski, M., Linton, D. and Radford, M. L. 2012. Insider and Outsider Perspective in Ethnographic Research. Proceedings of the New York State Communication Association, 2010(9).​
  • Trimmis, K. P., and Karadimou, G. 2013. Cerigo Speleological Project – Ioannis Petrocheilos and Speleological Research in Kythera Island, Greece, from 1930 to 1960. Proceedings – 16th International Congress of Speleology, Czech Republic, Brno July 21 –28, 2013. Edited by Filippi M. and Bosák P. Czech Speleological Society.​
  • Tzortzopoulou-Gregory, L., and Gregory, T. E. 2017. The Karavas Water Project: An archaeological and environmental study of interaction and community in northern Kythera. Journal of Greek Archaeology 2 (2017): 343–376.​
  • Αγγελίδης, Χ., Γεωργιάδης Ν., Κορδοπάτης Π., Πορτόλου Δ., και Τσιόπελας, Ν. 2016. Καταγραφή και Αξιολόγηση του Φυσικού Περιβάλλοντος Κυθήρων και Αντικυθήρων. Αθήνα: Μεσογειακό Ινστιτούτο για τη Φύση και τον Άνθρωπο (MedINA) – Ελληνική Ορνιθολογική Εταιρεία.​
  • Αλεξάκης, Ε. 2008. Η λαογραφική-εθνογραφική έρευνα στα Κύθηρα και οι προοπτικές της: μια κριτική προσέγγιση. In Γ. Λεοντσίνης, ed. Επιστημονική έρευνα στα Κύθηρα. Κύθηρα, 19-21 ​
  • Βερνίκος, Ν., Δασκαλοπούλου, Σ., και Παυλογεωργάτος, Γ. 2002. Πρόταση ταξινόμησης ξερολιθικών κατασκευών. Interdisciplinary Workshop: The Building Stone in Monuments.​
  • Γλυτσός, Π. Μ. 2001. Δευτεροβάθμια εκπαίδευση στα Κύθηρα 1828-2000: Ιστορική αναδρομή, ποσοτικά δεδομένα και ποιοτικές συγκρίσεις. Πανελλήνιο Συνέδριο Κυθηραϊκών Μελετών, 19-23 Σεπτεμβρίου 2001, Εκκλησία – Παιδεία – Εκπαίδευση και Πολιτισμός στα Κύθηρα (19ος και 20ος αιώνας) (επιμ. Γ. Λεοντσίνης), τ. 1, Αθήνα 2001, σ. 147-161.​
  • Δαμιανού, Δ. Μ. 2005. Λαϊκές αφηγήσεις: Μύθοι και παραμύθια των Κυθήρων. Φαντασιακή δημιουργία και πραγματικότητα, Εταιρία Κυθηραϊκών Μελετών.​
  • Δόδουρας, Σ. & Λυραντζάκη, Ε. 2016. Καταγραφή και Αξιολόγηγη των Πολιτιστικών Χαρακτηριστικών των Κυθήρων και Αντικυθήρων, Αθήνα: Μεσογειακό Ινστιτούτο για τη Φύση και τον Άνθρωπο/MedINA.​
  • Καλλίγερος, Ε. Π. 2011. Κυθηραϊκά Τοπωνύμια – Ιστορική Γεωγραφία των Κυθήρων. Εταιρεία Κυθηραϊκών Μελετών. ​
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  • Καραχρήστος, Ι. 2016. Κυθήριοι της Σμύρνης (Τσιριγωτοσμυρνιοί) στην Αττική και στα Κύθηρα: Εντεταλμένη λαογραφική αποστολή στα Κύθηρα (Νοέμβριος 2010). Επετηρίς Κέντρου Λαογραφίας, 31-32 (2004-2008), σ. 293-311.​
  • Κατσούδα, Γ. 2020. Το Ιδίωμα των Κυθήρων. Περιγραφή και Ανάλυση. Εταιρεία Κυθηραϊκών Μελετών. ​
  • Κόμης, Δ. Λ. 1996. Κυθηραϊκό Λεξικό. Συλλογή 10.000 λέξεων του κυθηραϊκού γλωσσικού ιδιώματος ​
  • Πανδή-Αγαθοκλή, B. 2011. Καραντίνες και λοιμοκαρθατήρια στα Ιόνια νησιά. Ιατρικά χρονικά βορειδυτικής Ελλάδος 2001, Τόμος 8, Τεύχος 2.​
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  • Παφίλης, Π., Βαλάκος, Σ., Κωσταντινίδης, Θ., Foufopoulos, J., Θεοδοσίου, Α., Αναστασίου,Γ., Καραμέτα, Ε., και Σαγώνας, Κ. 2014. Ξερολιθιές, στηρίγματα βιοποικιλότητας. Πρόγραμμα Επιστημονικών Μελετών 2013, Κοινωφελές Ίδρυμα Ιωάννη Σ. Λάτση, σελίδες 100. Εθνικό και Καποδιστριακό Πανεπιστήμιο Αθήνας, Αθήνα.​
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The Future of Kythera Trails​

We look forward to our next steps in expanding and enhancing “Kythera Trails”. Supported by MedINA and conducted by Paths of Greece a technical study for next phase of expansion of Kythera Trails is complete. Once implemented, this will include another 7 trails of 68 km in total.​ Our objective is to advance, in practical terms, the conservation of our natural and cultural heritage, while championing sustainable tourism development. This is also our call to all of you for a common vision of a thriving Kythera.​

The Kythera Trails Team

With the co-financing of Greece and the European Union

Ministry of Agriculture

A Programme of: 

Kipa Foundation

In partnership with::

Δήμος Κυθήρων
Εγχώριος Περιουσία Κυθήρων και Αντικυθήρων

Trails study and signposting:

Translations sponsoring:

Member of:

World Trails Network


Supported by: