Koufonisia are considered as a tiny paradise in the Aegean. Indeed, their Caribbean-like beaches and authentic laid-back feeling fit the above description. Located between Naxos and Amorgos, Koufonisia are part of the Little Cyclades complex, which also includes Iraklia, Schinousa and Donousa. Koufonisia consist of two islands: Pano (Upper) and Kato (Lower) Koufonisi. Pano Koufonisi is inhabited and also the most touristic developed of the entire complex (that’s why often when we say Koufonisi, we actually refer to this one).
On the other hand, the uninhabited Kato Koufonisi is more of a serene hideaway that everyone visits for its pristine beaches. Also belonging to Koufonisia, the deserted neighboring island of Keros is a protected archaeological site worth seeing. Famous for their gorgeous beaches (some of the best in the Greek islands), impressive sea caves, as well as abundant fresh fish, Koufonisia nowadays attract all types of tourists, from yacht owners to free campers. The past few years this destination has become very trendy (and crowded too, during peak season, so book rooms on time). However, mass tourism hasn’t been able to change the islands’ relaxed, friendly face. Either the fact that you can still walk or cycle the whole area (aka Pano Koufonisi), as there are no asphalt streets (car or motorcycle are simply not necessary, while boat trips are a must).
Pano Koufonisi is also the tiniest and most densely populated island in the Cyclades, with a surprising ratio of young people (and fishing boats, as well). It feels like a small community, always full of life and eager to satisfy all visitors. Its only settlement, the capital and port of Chora, is a typical Greek island fishing village that welcomes you with its trademark windmill, whitewashed houses, alleys and churches. Make your escape at Koufonisia; they’re indeed one of the most enchanting, stress free places to be.
: The “star” beach on Pano Koufonisi is absolutely stunning and one of the best in the Greek islands. It has white sand, aquamarine waters, plus two beach bars. You can easily reach it by boat or foot (30 minutes from Chora, crossing a lovely landscape). It’s also ideal for windsurfing. 9.0
: The uninhabited small rocky island at the east of Koufonisia is one of the area’s top attractions. Keros used to be an important centre of the Cycladic civilization. Indeed, many prominent findings came to light on the island, among which more than a hundred Cycladic figurines (three of which are exhibited at the Archaeological Museum of Athens). When you visit, keep in mind that you’ll need to bring supplies. 9.0
: Accessible only by boat, they are situated at the island’s east, on your way from Chora to Pori and beyond. The most photogenic ones are Gala, Pisina and Mati tou Diavolou (eng Eye of the Devil), resembling small swimming pools with waters of amazing colors. 8.0
: The most popular ones are held in Easter, as well as on April 23rd to honor Agios Georgios, the island’s patron saint (with the traditional custom of “panigiras”). There are more on June 24th (the famed Fisherman’s Feast), July 20th (Prophet Elijah) and August 15th (at the church of Panagia, Kato Koufonisi). Food, music and dance are of course on the agenda, as in all Greek islands feasts. 7.0
: Fresh fish and sea food is the island’s trademark. You can also try wild goat meat from Keros (it’s cooked with rice), xerotigana (fried thin crusts), xinomyzithra (type of cheese) and pasteli (sweet with sesame and honey, served on lemon leaves). Also, have some rakomelo (raki alcohol drink with honey and cinnamon). 7.0
Map of Koufonisia
Reviews of Koufonisia
Feb 7th, 2014 Corpsicle said:
Two beautiful, tiny, unspoiled Cyclades islands. Kato Koufonisi is completely wild, but Pano Koufonisi has all you need for your relaxing vacations.Beautiful small sandy beaches, a very small town with the bare necessities and relaxed and friendly people. You get there by Peireus or Eleysina in about 9 or 5 hours accordingly. Arriving at the port you re right next to the first beach of the island and close to its town. One of its main features, its so small you don't need a car at all. Walking along the coastline, Foinikas, the main beach, is a 15 minute walk from the port. It is the second beach you come across, named after the small restaurant built on it. It works as a cafe, snack bar, restaurant, beach bar, you name it. If you have small children its the perfect place to spend the day. There are bathrooms available, drinks and food, shade and relaxing music. The beach is pure and sandy and the waters crystal clear. Foinikas also rents small rooms, located right behind the beach, a 5 minute walk at most. Next is the beach Italida, featuring a small beach bar. The furthest beach from the port, Pori, is about an hour walk or so, with very rewarding views on the way. Every few meters different small beaches appear, rocky or sandy ones, natural swimming pools or small caves. Some of them aren't accessible by foot but are still beautiful to look at from above.At Pori there's a restaurant, a cafe and some rooms available for renting. A local sails a small boat from the main beach, Foinikas, to the best not accessible beaches on the other side of the island every few hours. You shouldn't miss on these trips as well. If you re looking for parties, crowds, organized sports and activities though,this island isn't for you, even though at the Pori beach there are some parties and concerts organised, especially when the August full moon approaches. The food is great almost anywhere on the island. Book a whole week, once you get there you will never want to leave.
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