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The Municipality of Kea, also known as Tzia, is an island municipality of 2.417 inhabitants, located in the western part of the Aegean Sea, in the island complex of the Cyclades. Covering a total area of 148.926 km², it consists of two islands, Kea and Makronisos. Omly Kea is inhabited, whilst Makronisos is considered a historical monument of the Greek civil war era, as it was used as a prison island. Some of Kea’s main attractions - including the Agios Nikolaos harbour, which is one of the biggest natural harbours in Europe, makes it a very popular tourist destination for sailing, scuba diving, and hiking. Its southeastern part is also included in the European Network of Natural Protected Areas, NATURA 2000.

Kea Today

Kea is connected to the mainland via ferries, with services operating daily. However, its corresponding port is in the area of Lavrio, which is considerably far from the Athens metropolitan area. Due to this, Kea is considering to be isolate, despite it being the closest Cycladic island to Athens.

Regarding transportation on the island, car use is restricted or even prohibited in the settlements with typical Cycladic street planning and design (narrow elevated streets and stairs). Biking is also restricted, due to elevation and the extensive presence of stairs, while motorcycles can only access certain parts of those settlements. Ioulida, Kea’s capital, has a traditional centre that is completely car-free. The settlements are connected to each other through a road network, the main part of which are two ring roads of 35 km each, meeting at Ioulida. Collective transport is carried out by 3 private buses.

Kea, being a top destination for hiking tourism, offers a well-preserved network of hiking trails (81 km), part of an ancient road network that in the 7th-6th centuries B.C.E. used to connect the island’s city states. Five walking routes also cross the village of Ioulida, offering access to houses and retail, boosting the local economy in a sustainable way.

Kea will begin elaborating its first SUMP at the beginning of 2018. Some of the key areas that the SUMP will be focusing on are:

  • walking and cycling;
  • on-demand public transport;
  • road safety;
  • parking and congestion problems during the touristic season;
  • and the mobility of the elderly and of those who do not own a car.


Christina Tsoilou
Mayor's Consultant