POLES (POLAIS) MIKRI - MEGALI beaches & KARTHEA (KARTHAIA) archaeological site in KEA (TZIA) Featured

The Mikri and Megali Poles (Polais) are remote beaches found at the S/E coast of Kea. Their waters are clear with blue-green colour. The sea bottom has sand and a reef with some stones close to the shore.

In order to reach this historic site, if you don't use a boat, you'll have to walk through a part of the legendary ancient path which connected Karthea (Karthaia) with Ioulida and the rest of the ancient cities. You will stop your car at the end of the asphalt road (Stavroudaki) and get the paved path (apx 400m). After passing Panagia ton Poles church you will reach the important ancient site of Karthea and the Poles beaches at an isolated cycladian landscape which makes you feel that time has stopped in antiquity.

KARTHAIA's HISTORY & ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE: Karthaia was the most important among the four town-states of Ancient Kea (Ioulida, Korissia and Poiessa). It was founded during the archaic era and lasted until the begining of the Byzantine years. Karthea flourished during the 6th and 5th centuries B.C. In the area there was already a settlement since the geometrical era. Indicative of Karthaia's growth was the launch of archaic didrachms initiating the monetary system. Karthaia was actively involved in the Persian wars allied to the Athenians as member of the 1st Athenian League since 478 B.C.and maintained as an ally throughout the Peloponnesian War. Karthaians went under the rule of Sparta, along with the whole island of Kea, until 394 B.C.

Karthaia exported to the Athenians an iron oxide named "miltos" which was used in boat-building. After the death of Alexander the Great and the Macedonians' domination, Karthaia became a member of the Allied Islands until 288 B.C. Ptolemeans gained control of Karthaia and the whole island until 262 B.C. During the 3rd century B.C piracy threatend the island so its inhabitants allied to the Aetolian League for protection. Around 200 B.C the town-states of Poiessa and Korissia were absorbed by Karthaia and Ioulida. When christianism was established, Karthaia was gradually abandoned by its inhabitants.

The most important monuments of Karthaia's archaeological site are:

Acropolis: It was surrounded by walls with at least six entries and towers for observation. The city's cemetery lies to its eastern side.

- Athena's Temple (6th-beginning of 5th century) found at the utmost of Aspri Vigla hill. Propylos and Building D (3rd century) are found on its terrace. Part of the temple's pediment is exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of KEA

- Temple of Apollo (530 BC) in the south.

- Ancient Theatre and remains of the hydraulic system of the city, found in the Vathypotamos valley.

ANCHORAGE INFO: Quite well protected from N/E, N/W, exposed to the SE, E. There is an islet with a shallow reef in the middle of the cove. Unspoiled landscape and clear waters but gets crowded in the weekends when Athenians arrive with their boats. No facilities near by.

HOLDING: Good, sandy bottom

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POLES (POLAIS) MIKRI - MEGALI beaches & KARTHEA (KARTHAIA) archaeological site in KEA (TZIA), Kea (Tzia), , Kea (Tzia), Greece