“Island of sweet secrets, of the hearts festivals!” (“Île des doux secrets et des fêtes du coeur!”, Charles Baudelaire, Un voyage à Cythère, A Voyage to Cythera).

The wonderful for its marvelous beaches as well as exciting contrasts island of Kythera has been home to hosts of peoples and civilizations: from the Neolithic Age to the Minoan times (20th century AC) and to the Mycenaens, the Dorians and the Spartans, still in the ancient times; from the Byzantine middle ages to the Venetian rule; from the Ottoman to the English occupation; from the State of the Ionian Islands to the modern Greek State which it joined in 1864.

The ancient myth that referred the island as Aphrodite’s birthplace has been the inspiration for the paintings of celebrated artists such as Sandro Botticelli and Jean-Antoine Watteau.

Now, a trip to Kythera is the symbol of a burning desire, of hankering for beauty; and not unjustly so.