Geography of Kythera
Kythira, with a range of 284 sq. kilometers, are mostly hilly with several small valleys and green ravines. The coasts are steep discontinued, mainly to the East, by many sandy beaches, or beaches composed of small pebbles. In the central part of the island a smooth plateau is formed, with the highest peaks Mermigkaris (507 m), Dighenis (407 m) and Agia Elesa (447 m).
The surface of the island is particularly interesting because in many areas of the plateau beautiful ravines and streams are formed, which in good hydrologically years flow throughout the year. Also, along the coast many small coves and a relatively large bay are formed, this of St. Nicholas Avlemonas.
The climate of the island is mild with an average annual temperature of 19o C, while during the months of December, January, February and March and for some days, the temperature drops close to 5-7 C. The humidity is intense, especially on the plateau, while the strong winds blowing in the area create problems for navigation, especially in winter. The most common wind is North (North Wind), but in recent years the frequency of westerly winds (Ponentes) has significantly increased, and this may be due to the ongoing Climate Change.
The subsoil of Kythera has none exploitable mineral, while much earlier small amounts of iron and coal were mined in Karava and Mitata area respectively.
The flora is rich with shrubs and trees. Dominating the Schinos (pistacia lentiscus) and yew or holly (Quercus coccifera). In earlier times there were oak forests, only few of which trees have been preserved. Still thrive pines, cypress and eucalyptus (Gerakariou is an important grove north of the island) there are also olive trees, arbutus, heather or heather, myrtles, osier, maples, sycamores, tamarisk and carob. In many areas thyme, sage, oregano, (all aromatic) and other shrubby or bushy plants grow. Their aroma, especially during Spring and Summer, is unique.
Olive tree cultivation is widespread and the produced oil is generally organic of premium quality. Of course, other fruit-bearing trees are also cultivated, such as fig, orange, tangerine, lemon, apricot, pear, almond, apple, sloes, etc.
Also a large number of flowers grows, such as wild orchids, wild tulips, yellow crocuses, daisies, manousos, hyacinths, anemones, etc. A distinctive flower and plant of Kythera is "semprevives' (plant always lives) that grows in very rugged and arid areas, such as Agia. Elesa, the islet Chitra and elsewhere. The local crafts makes widespread use of this yellow flower that itself -dried and remains intact for many years.