The island inherited its name from Kithno, king of its first settlers, the Dryopians.Thermia is its second name which has to do with the hot (thermic) springs of Loutra with its curative qualities, used mostly by the locals.
Kythnos is an island situated between Kea and Serifos at a distance of 52 nautical miles from Piraeus, not far even for a weekend trip. It is 19 km long and covers an area of 92 square km. It has approximately 1.600 inhabitants.
The terrain is mainly mountainous, but the harshness of the bare earth is relieved here and there by vines or fig trees like brushstrokes on it, while pretty little bays form indentations in its coastline.
Kythnos invites you to explore its pretty inland villages where the locals are warm and hospitable (not having been worn down by international tourism), ancient sites, traditional tavernas, domed churches, some lovely beaches (some only accessible by boat) and the famous thermal springs which have been providing alternative therapy for a variety of ailments for centuries.
There are cafes and a few bars, but the main entertainment in Kythnos is dinning out. Seafood is excellent.
Ferries put in at the Merihas, the port on the western side of the island.
The capital of the island called Chora or Messaria, stands on a hillside plateau, 8 km from Merihas, is with no doubt the brightest jewel of the island. It is a typical Cycladic village, noted for its beautiful churches with their fine wood carving, sanctuary screens and icons.
A little way to the south is the island’s former capital, which retains its ancient name of Driopida, a picturesque hill village, built around the Katafiki Cave. Around the village there are several windmills. Dryopida was once known for its potters, but today only one potter remains.
In the north eastern part of the island lies Loutra, renowned for its radioactive thermal springs, which are considered beneficial to sufferers from arthritis, dermatitis and gynaecological problems.
In the south east part of the island the monastery of Panagia Kanala, the patron saint of the island, stands on a very attractive promontory facing towards Serifos, with a beautiful expanse of sandy beach.
You can find beautiful beaches at Agios Stefanos, Skylou, Kolona, Agios Ioannis, Agios Sostis, Apokrousi, Potamia and Panagia Kanala. Other good beaches for swimming can be found at Episkopi and Flambouria bay (accessible only by boat).