Sing in me, Muse...

... and through me tell the story of that man skilled in all ways of contending, the wanderer, harried for years on end, after he plundered the stronghold on the proud height of Troy. He saw the townlands and learned the minds of many distant men, and weathered many nights and days in his deep heart at sea…

(Homer's Odyssey, opening lines translated by Robert Fitzgerald, 1961)

KYTHERA is a paradise eagerly sought, sung of by Gods and mortals.

In mythology, KYTHERA was the birth place of celestial Aphrodite, Goddess of love. Botticelli’s "The Birth of Venus” has become a landmark of 15th century Italian painting, so rich in meaning and allegorical references to antiquity.

In Homer's Iliad, KYTHERA was the refuge of Paris and Helen before leaving for Troy and, in his Odyssey, it was the last place Odysseus recognized before his wanderings to Ithaca.

In the Age of Enlightenment KYTHERA was painted in 1717 by Jean-Antoine Watteau in his legendary masterpiece "Embarkation for Cythera” and honoured in 1798 by French revolutionaries, when they planted the Tree of Freedom in Chora’s Estavromenos square to proclaim the ideals of the Revolution "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”.

The journey to KYTHERA has inspired European theatre, poetry and music including Florent Carton Dancourt's play "Les Trois Cousines” (1700), Charles Baudelaire's poem "Voyage to Cythera” (1851) and the piano masterpieces of Claude Debussy (1904) and Francis Poulenc (1940).

KASTROPOLIS, our 17th stone mansion, is one of the most impressive properties in Chora, seat of a 13th century Venetian castle and effective capital of the island. KASTROPOLIS is a play on words – Kastro from the Greek for castle and Polis from the Greek for city.

Generations of noblemen have graced the house. Now it offers itself to discerning travelers, allowing them to absorb KYTHERA’s centuries of heritage while enjoying modern amenities and absolute privacy.

KASTROPOLIS is the ideal option for families and friends travelling together, who seek a dreamy vacation experience with real family moments.

KASTROPOLIS is home first and guest house after.


A heritage residence at the foot of the Castle

Chora is a Byzantine, traditional settlement, protected by the Greek Ministry of Culture and the Authority for Byzantine Antiquities. It is the capital of Kythera, situated in the southern part of the island, just 2.5 km from the sea, overlooking Kapsali, the fishing village.

Chora’s Castle or "Fortezza" is the most characteristic monument on Kythera. It was built in the 13th century when Kythera was dominated by the Venetians. It is also called the "Eye of Crete" due to its strategic position allowing simultaneous observation of ships on three seas – the Ionian, Aegean and Cretan.

Kastropolis is at the heart of Chora, 50 meters along a pathway off the road that circumnavigates the village. The residence is adjacent to the historic church of St. Anna and very close to the Castle.

Kastropolis provides a spacious, exclusive and private environment, centrally located and yet far from the high season crowds.

How our guests feel at Kastropolis: "In and Out”, "Here and There”

Get up in the morning, sip your Nespresso, consult Terrain’s great map of Kythera and negotiate the day’s beach destinations.

Alternatively, stroll along Chora in safety and quiet (cars are excluded from the village's centre), savouring the traditional architecture of archways, chapels and old houses with impressive chimney stacks. Discretely tucked away in the neighborhood there are also coffeehouses, souvenir shops and bars.

Young can safely walk around in Chora, play "hide and seek”, buy a "souvlaki, order a crepe or eat an ice cream.

Teenagers can claim their independence and organize their clubbing just around the corner. Don’t worry, nobody gets lost in Chora, no matter how hard he / she / they try.

Adults can enjoy a leisurely dinner at a local tavern or wile away their evening in Mercato, the bar around the corner. They have as many drinks as they wish since it is only 44 stairs back to Kastropolis.

Anything goes, with a completely free dress code, an open start and an open end.

Enjoy Kastropolis!

Property History

This heritage mansion is one of the most distinctive and impressive in Chora, the capital of Kythera: it has unique architectural features and ambiance.

The mansion comprises a complex of buildings and structures, with origins dating to the late Venetian period. The Ministry of Culture’s Authority for Byzantine Antiquities estimates the late 18th century, when the settlement of Chora expanded to the east of the Castle.

This new neighbourhood was known as "Kastro-chora”, i.e. the settlement outside the castle, and was hallmarked by St. Anna’s church and a windmill. The mansion must have been a prominent building in "St. Anna’s district”, with its unique architectural features, particularly its mighty eight-sided chimney.

The main building probably began as a textiles workshop. Other small structures were gradually built to serve as warehouses and workers quarters. The oldest notarial deed traced in the municipal archives dates to the year 1862 when the estate was described as a twin complex: the first being a 4-room house with a cistern (in fact it’s a huge, 6 ½ meters deep water reservoir cut into bedrock) and the second consisting of 2 ruined structures comprising 4 rooms, 3 yards, 2 cooking places and 1 barn. In the late 19th century / beginning of the 20th century a floor was built on top of the 4-room basement. Local tradition has it that around that time the main house became the residence of Kythera's Bishop.

Two prominent merchants of that time, Stephanos Barbarigos and Ioannis Vostitsanos, acquired the complex under an agreement jointly to undertake its renovation – an early version of a "real estate development”. The project was, however, not completed and in 1921 the property was sold to Kosakis, an influential landlord who gifted the property to his wife. Kosakis’s heirs were financially unable to maintain the mansion, and it was gradually abandoned with parts becoming ruined. After decades of desolation and misery the mansion was renovated into its current stylish form.

The complex is now named "Kastropolis”, from the Greek words "Kastro” (= castle) and "Polis” (= city), which also implies an urban social hub.

Indeed, the mansion’s structure is like a miniature "Polis" with the 2-storey house, the smaller guest house and a tiny chapel, ancillary buildings and the yard with its terraces.


A demanding renovation / restoration, virtually from scratch up, was just completed. The renovation project required the interaction of archaeologists with architects, civil engineers and craftsmen.

Construction works were difficult. All building materials had to be carried by hand through Chora's narrow lanes. This was, though, the easy part of the project. The difficulty and challenge was not simply to imitate the old mansion but to recreate its workmanship.

The mansion's intriguing architectural structure and original layout have been fully maintained and the living spaces have been adapted to modern aesthetics and standards. Old marble surfaces were smoothed and polished and damaged segments were replaced with fresh materials. Fine visual elements were incorporated into the layout and still a balance between the old and the new structures and materials was achieved. Much work had to be done by hand, calling for an expert eye and a sensitive touch.

Now the property, with a new infrastructure in place, claims to be one of the most comfortable and modern settings in Kythera. The renovated property includes a 2-storey house and a separate, independent 2-room guest house. Being one of the largest properties in Chora, the mansion is endowed with a spacious yard – rare in Chora, where the houses in the narrow pathways are small. The yard encompasses a complex of renovated small structures, among them the tiny chapel, a reminder of the mansion's heritage and a covered terrace, now serving as gathering area.

Our acknowledgement and appreciation goes to a number of people for their invaluable input in the successful completion of this renovation project. The 1st Authority for Byzantine Antiquities was responsible for a series of permits, aiming to safeguard that the restoration would be in line with the mansion's history and Chora's architectural heritage. The Authority's passionate team deserves the highest respect for its dedication and vision. Nicholas Dorizas, who has, as an architect, a remarkable record of more than 20 renovations of traditional and neoclassical properties, was instrumental in applying effective solutions, in coordinating works and in supervising craftsmen. Last but not least, Manolis Charos, a renowned Kytherian artist, and his wife Franca Papandreou, a London inspired designer, brought a fresh and creative perspective to this project by combining their deep understanding of the Kytherian architecture and tradition with their professional experience.

Our Vision

When we purchased the property in the year 2003 we had no picture of the challenges associated with a renovation of an old property in a historical settlement (such as Chora), supervised by the Archeological Authority.

The renovation effort was stalled, for many different reasons, in the mid 2000s. The easy and conventional approach for the owner would have been to exit by selling out. However, we kept on with the project for two reasons: first, it was the compelling property's history and appeal; second and foremost, all these years we have been honored with the support of a handful of wonderful people. Among them are Manolis Charos, a contemporary Greek artist and activist, Mrs Eleni Charou and her brother Nikos Charos (nicknamed papa-donikos = the pastor's son), who are all devoted volunteers in preserving Chora's historical heritage. It must be mentioned that the invaluable notary archives of the 17th,18th and 19th centuries have been rescued and preserved largely due to their dedication.

This combination of history and people gave us the inspiration to just look beyond purely commercial considerations (in fact, there is no economic return in this project). So we invested time, effort and financial resources to complete the renovation with great respect to history and tradition.

Now we look beyond the commercial considerations of operating a guest house. Kastropolis has become more than just a property or a guest house; it is a living attitude, a creative idea and a commitment to convert our visions into actions.

Our next venture will be to offer a spectrum of services, from hosting private events such as workshops and seminars or baptizing and wedding ceremonies to organizing outdoor sports.

A team of passionate professionals, together with Kastropolis, looks into outdoor activities, from the simple ones such as walking or mountain biking in Kythera's wide variety of dirt roads and trails to the more sophisticated hiking and canyoning. Kythera has also the potential to become a major attraction for rock climbing. We have identified at least three interesting climbing areas, and the next step will be the development of these sectors and the opening of a good number of routes.

These are our challenges, to contribute to Kythera's development as a unique destination. We are passionate about offering one-of-a-kind experiences to our guests and introduce them to Kythera's endowed nature and culture.