Looking for the thrill of discovery without the inconvenience of the middle of nowhere? Tzia, also called Kea, is one of the few Greek islands that can deliver. Located just a breath away from the region of Attica, north of Kythnos, it is the island of the Cyclades closest to the city of Athens. Albeit popular with vacationing well-heeled Athenians, many of which have summer residences on the island or just yachts, Tzia remains an uncrowded and unspoilt paradise, largely undiscovered by foreign visitors. The island has somehow managed to pass under the radar of mass tourism, but why this has happened is a true mystery - although, the limited ferry connections both to the mainland and to the other islands and the shyness of the locals might have accounted for something. The good news is that Tzia has retained its old-school charm and authentic character and has everything to seduce even the most demanding of travellers. Virgin beaches, plethoric natural beauty, hiking pathways shaded by century-old oaks, a handful of magnificent traditional villages where ancestral customs still survive, plentiful but not overwhelming nightlife options and just the right amount of archaeological and historical sights for those who want to be touristically correct. Sounds just about right for you? We thought so! Read on to find out more.
ease of reach: easy-peasy
best months: May to Jul. & Sep. to Oct.
great for: weekend getaway, authenticity, wild beaches
not so great for: 24/7 partying, luxury
budget range: low to medium