Photo: © Γιάννα Αγγελοπούλου
Dryopida is a very nice traditional village in the hinterland of Kythnos island. Smaller than Chora but equally beautiful and charming, Dryopida is a maze of red-tiled houses, narrow alleys and arches. Moreover, it features picturesque squares and old churches of great historical and cultural interest as well as one of the largest caves in Greece with stalactites and stalagmites. It is an authentic Greek village that retains its traditional character and fascinates all visitors.
The village owes its name to Dryopes, the first settlers of the island according to the ancient historian and geographer Herodotus. Chorio or Syllakas as it is called by the locals, is located at an altitude of 146 meters above sea level, between two hills and is not visible from the sea. The village has a long tradition in ceramic roofs which can be mainly traced back to the occupation of its inhabitants as tile makers and roof builders in Athens and other parts of Greece. When they returned back home, they brought with them the art of roofing, thus in contrast to the rest of the settlements of the Cyclades, in Dryopida the majority of the houses have tiled ceramic roofs.
Dryopida is home to the Folklore Museum exhibiting costumes, tools and other objects of daily life, the Ecclesiastical and Byzantine Museum which is housed in the Church of Agios Georgios (St. George), the Church of Agios Minas with its elaborate wood-carved iconostasis and icons of the 16th century, and to some ruined windmills on top of a hill on the outskirts of the village. Of course, the main attraction is the impressive Katafyki Cave in the heart of the settlement. A very nice cave with rich decoration which definitely should be in your bucket list if you are planning to visit Kythnos Island. Walking through the scenic alleys, you will discover small shops selling folklore art and ceramics, cafes and traditional tavernas with excellent Greek food.
Dryopida is 7 km from Merichas, the island’s main port and 8 km from Mesaria the capital of the island. Due to its location in the center of the island, it is the perfect base for exploring the rest of Kythnos Island and especially the south part. It is at the crossroad for Kanala, Agios Demetrios and the quaint chapel of Panagia Flampouriani, and it has easy access to the beaches of Lefkes and Liotrivi which are only a 15 minutes’ drive away. Although Dryopida is off the beaten path, it is a magical place to visit and explore.
Photo: Γιάννα Αγγελοπούλου