General Information

Antikythera is a small island, between Kythera and Crete, with an area of just 20 sq. km. and a coastline length of 24 kilometers, far from Kythera 22 nautical miles and from the Northwest Crete 19 nautical miles. 
With maximum of thirty (30) permanent residents in the summers its population increases to 200-250 people approximately. In fact, during the Assumption and on 17th of August that honors the local Saint, Agios Myron, the summertime population almost doubles. 
Antikythera is also known as Tsirigoto or Tserigoto, i.e. small Tsirigo (Kythera), due to its venetian name. In ancient times it was called Aigila and over the centuries the name of the island was alliterated to Lioi by its inhabitants and Kytherians as well. Therefore, for someone not familiar with that name the phrase "I'm going to Lioi', i.e. Antikythera sounds weird. It seems that Byzantines Greeks named the island Antikythera. In fact, the Greeks of this era called the island Antikythouria and gradually came to be called Antikythera.


Antikythera was inhabited by Dolopes, Cretans and Driopes. Then came under the domination of Sparta and Athens. During the reign of Alexander the Great the island was part of his vast empire and later became a Roman territory. In Byzantine times it was also part of the empire but it seems that for some centuries the island was abandoned by its inhabitants because of piracy, which flourished in the Aegean sea, causing fear among islanders and forcing them to flee to safer areas. 
In 1204 it was occupied by the Venetians and in 1864 joined the rest of Greece. Since 1864 Antikythera commune belong to the Province of Kythera. From 1/1/2011 belongs to the Municipality of Kythera due to the merger of its community with the incumbent Municipality of Kythera, established in 1999. However, the nowadays’ residents come from Sfakia- Cretan colonists that moved there in the 18th century.


The island is hilly with steep cliffs, while its highest peak reaches 378 meters. It has greenery and many of its areas are covered with scrub flora. It has beautiful hills, picturesque ravines and adequate water resources to meet the needs of residents and visitors. Its few residents cultivate little plots of fields. In Antikythera thrive vineyards, olive trees and many kinds of vegetables. There are many wild goats that the locals hunt because of their delicious meat. Finally, there are a few domestic animals.


Antikythera is an ideal place for those who like quiet holidays, away from the busy world and extravagant life. Perfect for those who want to relax and be isolated, to experience life in a different way, without modern conveniences. Ideal for those that like walking, swimming, fishing and hunting rabbits and birds. 

Beyond that, the visitor can enjoy the crystal clear sea, there are beautiful beaches in Kamarelas, Potamo and Xeropotamo. In Antikythera the visitor experience the uncontaminated and intact natural environment of the island. Someone can visit the ruined windmills and unique watermill, the imposing Apolytaras lighthouse, the beautiful chapels and sacred site of Agios (St.) Myron. In that church visitor might find out that the arch of the Kytherian architectural style church is too large in size and probably derives from a previous church of early Byzantine times. On 17th August our Church honors the sanctuary of the St. Myron and a grand festival takes place that attracts many pilgrims from Kythera, Crete and Attica. Every year, in the evening of 16th August, after the Vesper Service, follows a traditional Greek folk festival with music and dancing. Moreover, the traditional festival continuous and the next day, all day long until late in the midnight, right after the Liturgy and Blessing of the source located a few dozen meters away from the churchyard. In that festival of music and dancing that everybody participates is also offered traditional food (delicious boiled goat with rice and other treats). 
Finally, the ancient Castle of Antikythera is noteworthy which was constructed during the Hellenistic period and some parts of which still remain in good condition.

 Antikythera Shipwreck

In 1900, sponge divers from Symi, while diving for sponges accidentally pulled up a portion (hand) of a wonderful statue of a man who was called the "Antikythera Philosopher." Then they discovered that at the bottom of the sea there was a major wreck of the 1st century BC. carrying a few dozen statues and other artifacts from Greece to Rome. After many attempts and difficulties pulled up the precious cargo of the sunken ship. Among those that were pulled up was the famous "Teen of Antikythera" (4 th century BC.) that adorns the National Archaeological Museum in Athens and the Antikythera Mechanism. The Mechanism, which is also exhibited, together with the Teen, at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens is a small portable machine with dimensions 0,31 X 0,21 X 0,07 meters and is considered to be the oldest computer and a complex astronomical instrument as well. Able to calculate the position of the Sun, the position and phases of the moon, foresees the eclipses of the Sun and Moon, while it is a complicated calendar mechanism with different calendars, based on a) the period of 18 years, 10 days and 8 hours of Saros, b) the period of Exeligmos (54 years), c) the period of 19 years of Metonos and d) the period of 76 years of Kallipos. It also gives the dates of the Olympic Games and other major National Games, e.g. the Isthmian, the Pythian etc. 

In recent years the worldwide interest in the Mechanism is booming, the exhibition of the Mechanism along with the large exhibition of the Antikythera Shipwreck that took place at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, in April 2013 has been extended until the end of June 2014, because of the increased visitability from Greece and abroad.



Antikythera, despite its few residents nowadays, has about 15 small settlements, of which the major are: Potamos (capital), Charchaliana, Galianiana, Batoudiana and Skariana. All settlements are connected together with satisfactory roads.


 Access to Antikythera

The island has a heliport used only for emergencies (medical needs, urgent evacuation, etc.). There is a ferry line that connects Piraeus to Kythira and Kissamos to Crete twice a week, while once a week there operates another line via Kythera- Neapolis -Vion in Laconia. In the small port in Potamos small private boats can anchor. There is no taxi on the island, but the visitor can rent a rural car from the locals. However, it is preferable to reach the island with their cars or motorcycle. 

 Accommodation - Places to eat

On the island there is a limited number of rooms to let, visitors can also use the Community Guest House (two separate rooms with shared kitchen and toilet - bathroom). There are two traditional cafes in Potamos village, after notice they serve as makeshift restaurants as well, although visitors can also buy groceries from them. 


 Useful Telephone Numbers

Former Office of Community: + 30 27360-33004 

Community Clinic: + 30 27360 -33213 

Police Station: +30 27360-33767