Starting from Merichas, following the asphalt road towards the northern inland area of Kythnos, you will come across the capital of Kythnos, Messaria, or Chora (the common name for the capitals of all Cycladic islands). It is located at a distance of 8km from Merichas and has 806 inhabitants, according to the 2011 census.
During the tourist season, there is regular local transportation connecting Messaria and Merichas, a distance that can also be made by taxi.
The village of Messaria was built during the 17th century at the edge of a plateau. It is undoubtedly the most beautiful settlement of the island. It is built according to the traditional Cycladic architectural style adding to its natural charm. The visitor gets a chance to walk along its traditional cobbled alleys, admire its numerous churches, come across the stone built whitewashed houses with coloured roof tiles and windows, be enchanted by its old two storey mansion houses, be drifted along the shaded arcades of the settlement, get carried away by the captivating smell of the flowers, admire the ancient ruins, meet hospitable locals and be mesmerized by the deep blue of the Aegean Sea.
At Panochori (Upper Chora) area of the capital the visitor will find the traditional houses of Grymanelis and Kazouris.
The traditional windmills add up to the picturesque view of the village.
During the recent years, popular graffiti has become a fashion in Messaria. On certain walls, traditional island sceneries are depicted, creating, thus, an artistic atmosphere to the village.
Along the central cobbled stone alley of the village, the commercial centre is spread at a 200m length. Cute small shops of popular art, commercial stores and traditional taverns, restaurants and café-bars can be found there. At the central square of Messaria, the visitor can rest enjoying a coffee or an ouzo.
At Messaria, you will find nice accommodation units and a large parking space at its entrance. There is also a police station, a gas station, a pharmacy and a helipad.
Messaria attracts tourists not only because of its natural beauty. The village has been connected with many historic events and legends. According to a myth, the capital of Kythnos was built by divine intervention. An angel appeared to a believer and asked him to ride his mule and run until the animal can run no more. At this point he should build a temple to the name of the Wholly Trinity and new houses all around it for the locals to move there. And so it happened…
Initially, Mesaria was a small farming settlement. In 1537, the notorious pirate Hayreddin Barbarossa attacked and plundered the island. This forced the Frank lords of Kythnos to abandon their current capital (Kastro Orias) and move inland, seeking security. Messaria was selected due to its position. In time, more and more people came to the area, resulting in the development of Messaria from a small settlement to a well populated village that became the new capital of the island.
It is important to mention that Messaria has many churches and monasteries. The oldest is the church of the Wholly Trinity. The visitor can also admire the church of Agios Savvas, the church of Metamorfosis Sotiros, the churches of Agios Ioannis Theologos, Agios Nikolaos and Profitis Ilias and the monasteries of Panagia of Nikous and Prodromou.
In the greater area, the recently constructed solar and wind energy parks produce enough electricity to cover the needs of most of the island.