On the eastern side of the island are the remains of Karthea, one of the four ancient cities of Kea. Built in the 12th century BC on a slope right above a magical beach, it’s a steep 45-minute hike each way to the unspoiled coastline below. But it’s worth every step.
If extreme hikes aren’t your thing, Kea has 81 kilometres of (mostly gentle) walking trails, part of an ancient network that connected the city-states. Try the Ioulida-Otzias route: a little over five kilometres, it takes you past the Leon of Kea, with a refreshing finish line at the organised beach of Otzias.
Otherwise, you could spend the day snorkelling or scuba diving at Koundouraki beach. The reef is one of the top diving attractions in Greece. The seabed right before the island’s port is where Titanic’s sister ship, the Britannic, sunk in 1911. Though its accessible only to professional divers, it’s fun to think of what lies in the deep as your ferry cruises into Korissia port.
If that all sounds like too much hard work, you can always just grab a cocktail and a sunbed next to the island’s jet-setters at Koundouros beach and pretend you’re on Mykonos.