Fyroi – Agios Nikolaos

The area was named after the abundant red soil and was used in construction in the past, because it combines the quality of good drainage and very good water retention.

Saint Nicholas- Photo credit: Nikos Georgiadis

Saint Nicholas is first noted in 1680 is as a small monastery when the abbess Ignatia Kaloutsopoula, requested in her will to be buried in its temple. In 1705 Anisia Kaloutsopoula is mentioned as a nun who lives in a cell. In 1732 the master Drakos Durentes is mentioned as the householder of the church who hands over to the pastor priest John Contoleo all the books and utensils of the church as well as the premises while he remains in the vicarage of the church. In 1750 the householder of the church, priest Nikolas Durentes, assigned the vicarage to priest John Stathis, to officiate every Sunday as well as during the feast days.

Harmless Saints (Agioi Akindynoi)

Μ11- Agioi Akyndinoi – Photo credit: Nikos Georgiadis

It is mentioned in the 1967 list and is dedicated to 5 Asian saints : Akindynos, Pegasios, Afthonios, Elpidoforos and Anempodistos. It celebrates on November 2nd.

St John (Agios Giannis) in Agriolies

St John (Agios Giannis) in Agriolies- Photo credit: Nikos Georgiades

It was mentioned in 1586 in a will. In 1753 it was a male monastery. In 1827 priest John Lefteris lived nearby and in his will he left the church to his son Panagiotis. Saint Anthimos Kourouklis from Lixouri of Kefalonia (1727-1782) was a blind missionary who made 3 missionary tours to the Aegean islands and came to Kythera in 1773 where he retreated in isolation. It seems that Anthimos reorganised and renovated the monastery and added a chapel dedicated to Saint Gerasimos, as he was from Kefalonia. Thus Saint Anthimos was considered the new owner of the monastery and every year his memory is celebrated there on September 4th. In 1783 the abbot Antonios Lefteris was mentioned and until today the name of the Lefteris family is associated with this old monastery.


Lime kiln- Photo credit: Nikos Georgiadis

Today lime is imported to the island in standard bags. Once upon a time there were skilled craftsmen on the island (καμινάδες) who built kilns in many parts of the island where there were suitable stones, the limestone. Such stones were found in many places, such as in Strapodi, on the mountain of Agioi Akindynoi and elsewhere. The best limestone is located at Xeroniamata, in Arkoli, which is in the area of ​​Kalamos. There is also very good limestone in Mermigari. Those skilled craftsmen could immediately recognise good limestones. They would cut off the rocks with a stove. In order to set up a kiln, 3-4 people needed to co-operate, to choose the appropriate place, on sloping ground (νομαρέα) in areas where there were a lot of branches (prunes, bushes, etc.) That branch formed bundles (ντεστέδες) which they started to collect from January. A 10 foot furnace needed 500 bundles. After they finished preparing the bundles (ντεστέδες), they collected the stone required and started constructing the kiln, which was an art form itself. They dug a round pit with a diameter of 4 meters and a depth of 2-3 meters in the shape of a well, which was called a cauldron. They used a special jargon: Βόλτες, καζάνι, καμαράκια, νύχια, κοντραπέζια, μεγάλες βόλτες, κλειδιά, κούρμπα, ποδιά, πορίτες, κόλια, φορτίο, ταγιαμά, κατρίδα.

The construction lasted 3-4 days and required great care and skill so as not to sink. The shape of the kiln was like a tower and was usually 3 meters above the ground and 2 meters below the surface. When the construction completed, they started the burning process, which lasted 3 or 4 days and nights, depending on the hardness of the stone. One worker carried the bundles, another untied them and another pushed them out of the furnace pore. In the end the furnace was glowing to such extent that the fire broke out from above. When it was ready, a yellow-pink flame came out. Then they closed the pore and let a few days pass until it cooled. Then they opened it from the top of the hood. A good kiln produced 25,000 bushels of lime, which were stacked in big carrying bags and transported for sale with donkeys. It is said that the largest furnace made in Kythera was built at the site of Lionis in the early 20th century by Gavrili Haros. This furnace was used to build the Primary Schools in Kythera.


A small settlement of houses in Kalamos is Xeroniamata mentioned from the 16th century. The word perhaps means place without water, without springs, or with dry springs.


A small settlement in the wider area of ​​Kalamos, which was created in the 19th century by residents holding the surname Sotirhos. Although this was an area with relatively recent habitation, the oldest remains of human presence in Kythera were found here.

Agia Sophia Cave

Agia Sophia Cave – Photo credit: Nikos Georgiadis

It is one of the 88 recorded caves of Kythera and one of the 3 dedicated to Saint Sophia. It has a length of 135 m and a temperature of 17 degrees Celsius. It was studied by the Kytherian speleologist Giannis Petrochilos. This cave together with Housti in Diakofti are the most ancient habitations people used in Kythera. From the archeological research, objects of the Neolithic era were found in the cave, dating from 5,000 BC. An example in the Archaeological Museum of Kythera is a bottle from the cave of Agia Sofia which is over 7,000 years old!