“In the ancient world, Cythera, one of the Greek islands, was thought to be the birthplace of Venus, goddess of love.” - Helene Adhemar
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Kythira (Greek: Κύθηρα, also transliterated as Cythera, Kythera and Kithira) is an island in Greece lying opposite the south-eastern tip of the Peloponnese peninsula. It is traditionally listed as one of the seven main Ionian Islands, although it is distant from the main group. Administratively, it belongs to the Islands regional unit, which is part of the Attica region (although at large distance from Attica itself).
The island is strategically located between the Greek mainland and Crete, and from ancient times until the mid 19th century was a crossroads of merchants, sailors, and conquerors. As such, it has had a long and varied history and has been influenced by many civilisations and cultures. This is reflected in its architecture (a blend of traditional, Aegean and Venetian elements), as well as the traditions and customs, influenced by centuries of coexistence of the Greek, Venetian, and Ottoman cultures.
The rugged terrain of the island is a result of prevailing winds from the surrounding seas which have shaped its shores into steep rocky cliffs with deep bays. The island has many beaches, of various composition and size; only half of them can be reached by road through the mountainous terrain of the island. The Kythirian Straits are nearby. In the photo above is the famous Kapsali beach, near the picturesque village of Kapsali. Restaurants and cafés line the beach and one can bathe in the crystal-clear waters of the quiet bay.