Palaiochora the Mystras of Kythira

Palaiochora, also known as “Mystras of Kythira”, is a medieval castle-state built on top of a hill in the northwestern part of the island. It is one of the most important historical and cultural sights of Kythira, with a rich history dating back to the 12th century. It is one of the most interesting destinations on the island due to its rich history, traditional architecture and natural beauty.


Palaiochora used to be the capital of Kythera, it was founded by Monemvasites in the 12th century under the name Agios Dimitrios , who built the castle and city walls to provide security and boost the city’s growth, and to protect themselves from marauding pirates. The city flourished during the Byzantine and Venetian periods, thanks to its strategic location and commercial activities.
In 1537, Paleochora was destroyed by Barbarossa, pirate and leader of the Turkish fleet which marks the end of the heyday. The city is looted, the inhabitants are enslaved and Paleochora is abandoned.
Since then it has been abandoned and its ruins remain to this day. Paleochora stands as a monument to a glorious era, attracting visitors who are fascinated by its history and architecture.

Paleochora Kythera
General view of the archaeological site with Byzantine walls, churches among rich natural environment. figcaption>


The castle of Paleochora built on the top of the hill, between steep gorges offers a breathtaking panoramic view, gazing at the island and the endless blue.
The Byzantine walls are largely preserved and surround the old state testifying to its former glory and its importance as a fortress.
The city has several Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches, such as the church of Agios Theodoros and the church of Panagia Faneromeni, which adorn the city with their architecture and frescoes.
Ruins of mansions from the heyday have been preserved and continue to bear witness to the wealth and glamor that once filled the alleyways of Paleochora.
The Archaeological Museum of Kythira hosts findings from Paleochora and other areas of the island.

Useful information

The castle and city walls are open to visitors all day, admission is free.
The Archaeological Museum of Kythira is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 08:00 – 15:00.

Paleochora is an ideal place for those interested in the history of Kythira, the culture and the architecture. It is a beautiful place with amazing views and definitely worth a visit.

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