Kea (island)


The Greek island of Kea ( Greek: Κέα ( f sg ), ancient Greek Κέως, Ceos ), together with the now uninhabited island Makronisos a municipality within the region South Aegean and together with the Regional District Kea Kythnos Kythnos -.


The westernmost inhabited island of the Cyclades is located about 20 km east of Cape Sounion and 60 km south-east of Athens. Neighboring islands are about 15 km west Makronisos, Gyaros 22 km east. The shortest distance south to the island of Kythnos is 12 km.

The island is oriented approximately from south-southwest to north northeast. The maximum length is about 20 km, the maximum width of 10 km. The area is 131.693 km ².

Kea is a mountainous island with an average altitude of 285 m, the highest mountain of Prophet Elias reached 568 m. The predominantly steep coastline is interspersed by numerous small coves, sea caves and capes. Only the deep, natural bay of Agios Nikolaos ( Όρμος Αγίου Νικολάου ) on the north west coast protects against ocean currents and winds. The coastal areas are rocky and barren, in contrast to the lush interior of the island, where small plateaus interrupted by valleys and gorges with lush vegetation and small forests of Valonea oak (Quercus macrolepis ) dominate the landscape.

Community structure

The island was at the beginning of the 20th century in the two rural communities Kea ( Κοινότητα Κέας ) and Korissia ( Κοινότητα Κορησίας ) subdivided this form since the merger in 1996 to the municipality of Kea own villages. Administrative center of the municipality is Ioulida. According to the 2011 census, the island had 2,455 inhabitants. The majority of the population lives in the north of the island. Located in the interior of the island capital Ioulida counts 633 inhabitants, the seaport Korissia 711 inhabitants. There are also other smaller mountain villages and coastal towns such as Pisses on the west coast with the only campsite on the island.

The inhabitants live on agriculture and fisheries, so far, tourism plays a subordinate role. Therefore, the number of beds is still low.


Kea is one of the most important archaeological sites of the Aegean. Grave finds from the Neolithic period have been made in several places on the mainland facing north-west coast of the island, in Kephala, one of the sites, even traces of a short-term settlement were discovered.

More important than the Neolithic finds the Bronze Age settlement of Agia Irini is in the bay of Korissia in the northwest of the island. She had already predecessor at the end of the Neolithic and the Early Cycladic period, the peak of settlement activity is in mittelkykladischer and the beginning of spätkykladischen time (see Cycladic culture). In its heyday, it was next to Phylakopi on Milos and also towards the end of Akrotiri on Santorini, the most important settlement of the southern Aegean Sea.

1916 sank off the island in the so-called Kea Channel, the Titanic's sister ship, the Britannic. The German submarine SM U 73 had previously mined the channel.

The Lion of Kea

The main attraction of the island is the Lion of Kea northeast of Ioulida. There is a carved out of the granite out in the 6th century six meters long and three meters high statue of a resting lion. Noteworthy is the smiling face.

The lion is related to the mythology of the island: it should inhabited in prehistoric times by nymphs, therefore, have been particularly rich in water and beautiful; because of its abundant water resources, it was called Hydroussa. The gods who were jealous of her this, sent a lion who drove the nymphs; with them was lost the abundance of water and the island dried up.


Regular ferry persist Lavrio on the mainland as well as the slightly smaller neighboring island of Kythnos.


In ancient times, the island was home to famous thinkers such as the poet and writer Simonides of Ceos (c. 550 BC), the poet Bacchylides (c. 520 BC) and the philosopher and Vorsokratikers Prodicus of Ceos (c. 450 BC). The physician and anatomist Erasistratus was born here.