Urban travel tales

Rewarding stops at Chora or Ioulida of the Cycladic island of Kea

Ιnitial post 20 October 2013 – revised March 2018

Each time Ι am at the island of Kea or Tzia I would not miss a visit up to Ioulida, the capital of the Cycladic island, also known as Chora. view of houses at Chora Kea Tzia Ioulida Greece

Some time past I used to stop at Rolando’s.
Rolando arrived to Kea from Corfu. His fish tavern at Benitses was passed over to his children so that he would settle with his wife Chryssoula to her native island, Tzia. They work side by side from spring to winter. Rolando has brought  to Kea a cosmopolitan air sustained by a smiling face and a warm handshake. He speaks English fluently.

In his Greek cuisine he has included house specialties from Corfu: Pastisada rooster,  Beef sofrito, Bourdeto.

urban travel tales, Cyclades, Ioulida, Chora, Kea, Rolando









Rolando’s balcony, my preference for lunch break, resembles a theatrical box with a good view for the road scenes to the passers-by.
They would stop to exchange greetings with my hosts. Sometimes, chairs from  neighbouring tables would come closer to Participate in a discussion, while Rolando continued serving and looking after us.
Apart from his cooking, it is his way that earns him popularity with his clients-friends; it is his personal stamp. In my eyes 
Rolando is a character sprang from the pages of a novel, form the days travellers on horseback or on foot would stop to rest at inns.

After three decades in the island, Rolando in 2015 moved his restaurant to the port of Kea, Korissia. He continues to welcome us in his usual good spirit surrounded by his friendly family and staff.

urban travel tales, Cyclades, Ioulida, Chora, Kea, Rolando










urbantraveltales, Cyclades, Ioulida, Chora, Town Hall, Kea

The neoclassical building of the Town Hall dominates the square. It was built in 1902 at the time of Gregory Ieromnimon. Its services have moved some years ago to make space for the School of Music.
There are statues on the roof of the neoclassical mansion; flower pots decorate the surrounding steps.

On a Good Friday preceding the Orthodox Easter, here meet the four ‘epitaphs’ that are carried in their flower decorations from each of the corresponding churches of Ioulida. The long procession of candles lit up revives customs that have survived centuries, while it marks a moment of spiritual uplifting and collective memory for the community.

“The square is considered to be the south end of the historical centre because from there stand the more recent parts of the settlement. Up to this point, we meet a few middle class houses sparsely interspersed between the popular Cycladic houses, above and below the central road (house of I.Gleoudis, the group of houses of the Ieromnimon family, Rediadion). This therefore confirms the idea that Katochori was inhabited by the upper and middle class trade and craftsmen. The Cathedral of Ioulis, Dimotikia (annunciation of Virgin Mary) dominates Katochori.”
Source: Tassos Anastassiou, Kea, History Sightseeing, guide book, Hermoupolis 2007,
p. 79  

urban travel tales, Kea/Tzia, Ioulida, Chora,, Greece, Cyclades









The children would keep the square of Ioulida alive – alongside the passers-by,  and those who like to frequent, locals who frequent and travellers. They would appreciate the food, the coffee, the drinks, sitting in the taverns, the coffee shops, the bakeries, the bars around the square and in Chora up to Leon, the famous statue. 

urban travel tales, Kea/Tzia, Ioulida, Chora,, Greece, Cyclades, Rolando

Walking downhill I stop at the lilliputian church, two people would barely fit.






Η Τζιά προσφέρει την ομορφιά του φυσικού τοπίου, άγρια, αδάμαστη όπου μαίνονται οι άνεμοι, κι αλλού απλώνονται ήσυχοι κάμποι και δάση με βελανιδιές, κτήματα με φραγκόσυκα, με κηπευτικά και μεσογειακοί κήποι.
Είναι ένας τόπος με πλούσια αρχαιολογία και ιστορία, μουσική, έθιμα και παραδόσεις.
Ο τόπος και όλα όσα διαδραματίζονται σε  αυτόν, όσα εμπνέει και γεννά συνιστούν όπως γνωρίζετε την Πολιτιστική μας Κληρονομιά. 

Tzia or Kea offers the beauty of natural landscape, wild, untamed where the winds rage and elsewhere, is the expand of calm meadows, oak forests, fields with figs of indie, vegetables and mediterranean gardens.
It is a location rich in archaeology and history, music, customs and traditions. The locality and all that takes place here, all that inspires and bears consist, as you know, our Cultural Heritage. 

The Archaeological Museum at Chora houses the Kores – findings from the archaeological site of Agia Irini.  Get informed about the opening hours.

Even if you make it to the Museum you may still visit my corresponding blog post. ⬇


I leave the car at the parking lot, 10 minutes walk from the square. Vehicles are not allowed up in Chora or Ioulida, though a number parked motorbikes and a truck pass a contradictory message.


In the autumn and in winter, when the traveller is not attracted by the coasts and the beaches, you may grasp the opportunity to go exploring inland, to walk and take photographs. Explore the paths of Chora, the trails that lead to The Lion and much more.

If all of the above fail to seduce you, there is always the sunset.urban travel tales, Kea/Tzia, Ioulida, Chora,, Greece, Cyclades


2013 © Copyright. All rights reserved

Explore Kea or Tzia through my blog posts

The Daughters of Kea and Agia Irini

To the Lighthouse of Saint Nicolas/ Προς το Φάρο του Άη Νικόλα

Walking the trail to the ancient Karthea, at the Greek island of Kea

Take a walk in the unseen side of the Greek island of Kea, from the Byzantine times

For Archaeology, Mediterranean: 

Athens hosts ‘Princesses’ of Mediterranean at the Museum of Cycladic Art

From My Travel Journals & Greek Island stories & Reflections on Love and other Arts:
Mad love goes to the beach/ Ο τρελός έρωτας πάει στην παραλία

Under the category Poetic Prose you will find photos from Kea 




  1. vastlycurious.com

    Simply beautiful! Rolando and Chryssoula lead the life I dream of! Can you imagine a world with no cars! Wonderful post!

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