Beach + Island

Hidden Beaches

by Bob Payne

Poles Apart

Spread Your Towel: Poles Bay, Kea, Greece

Shore lines: The island of Kea, with terraced hillsides and ancient, stone-paved walking paths, is a day trip from Athens. But because it is not on the main ferry routes, only a few foreigners and not that many more Greeks find their way to it. Of those who do, just a handful discover the beach at Poles Bay on the southeast coast, which can be reached only by boat or a three-hour round-trip walk that will have you breathing like a smoker on a treadmill. What the intrepid few who make it earn for their efforts are twin sand beaches separated by a rocky headland upon which sit the ruins of the ancient city of Karthea. The lonely landscape is scattered with so many pot shards one can only conclude that the ancient Greeks, for all their genius, did not invent the broom. To reach Kea, take a ferry from Lavrion, near the tip of the Attic Peninsula. Once on the island, make arrangements in the port of Korissia for a local boat to Poles Bay or a taxi ride to the village of Stavroudaki, where the path down to the bay begins.

Best Bunk: Porto Kea Suites, the island's only boutique hotel, is just outside Korissia. It is some distance from Poles Bay, but then so is everything else. And don't tell anyone we told you, but the 34-room hotel, built of stone and wood in the local style, is just a short walk from Korissia's own beach, also worth a visit.

Porto Kea Suites
Tel: 30 22880 22870
Doubles from $128

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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