Koufonisi

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The Isle of White

Wild Sceneries and Sapphire Waters on a Lilliputian Isle

Koufonisi is a true natural escape. This mysterious island has another level of landscapes characterized from the simplicity of nature. Resembling the natural scenes of the oasis of Africa, Koufonisi a well-kept secret, a buried hidden treasure and a hideaway escape in the Libyan waiting for you to discover it. The whiteness of the wild landscape creates a mysterious contrast with the deep blue of the sea shadowed from rich combinations of colors surrounded from low and bushy vegetation. Whatever Koufonisi might lack in size, it replenishes in landscapes and colours; besides they say less is more. Are you ready to unveil the mysteries of the isle of white? The ultimate feeling of escapism and relaxation awaits you!

Mysterious Greece Tips

About Koufonisi

General Information

Koufonisi is an uninhabited isle located on the south side of the coast of Lasithi. The island resembles an African desert, as the majority of its surface is covered with sand.  As the size of the island is tiny, there is few monuments one can visit including remnants of the ancient theatre on the northwest side, traces of an ancient settlement and the public baths on the southeast side and relics from the ancient temple of the southern side. If you are in the prefecture, it is worth hopping on an excursion boat to discover the beautiful isle of Koufonisi. One will have the opportunity to discover pristine sceneries of nature untouched from human presence. Discover Koufonisi through a photographic journey of Google!

Historical Information

Ancient Lefki was an important maritime harbor owing to its ideal location for shell and sponge fishing while it is believed that it played a major role in the economy of the Minoan Civilization. Inscribed plaques found in several regions of Crete suggest that there were conflicts regarding the ownership of Lefki between the cities of Itanos and Ierapytna, which ceded to Itanos in 132 AD. When the island was excavated for the first time (1972), a series of Hellenistic and Roman archaeological traces were found with the ancient theatre being the most impressive finding. Amongst the ruins, a series of coins and pottery artifacts along with seashells and fishing equipment were found. However, the discovery of shells suggest that the inhabitants were involved with processing shells to make the dye, including the valuable purple dye of porphyry which was produced at Lefki. The island was continuously inhabited since the Early Minoan period until the Early Christian period while it was abandoned in the 4th century AD.

Travel Information

Koufonisi is accessible by boat from the harbor of Makri Gialos in Lasithi prefecture.

Bird Watching in Koufonisi

Koufonisi is an important area for migratory bird species!

Caves, Cavities and Cliffs

The old name of the island was Lefki owing to the white cliffs and white sand dunes of the area. The modern name of Koufonisi is attributed owing to the many cavities of the natural setting carved from the wind and the sea.

Emerald, Sapphire and Turquoise Waters

Koufonisi is blessed with pristine beaches. The beach of Asproulas is a pristine bay of tropical sandy beaches with turquoise waters surrounded from white rocks located on the southern coast of the island. The name of the beach derives from the word white in the Cretan dialect owing to the whitish clay rocks of the area. The clay of the rocks is ideal for mud spa.  The beach of Hiliaderfia is a pristine bay of golden sandy beaches with turquoise waters and dramatic steep cliffs located on the southeast side of the island. The beach offers beautiful landscapes of wild beauty with sand dunes and white lilies.

It’s Sunset Time

The best spot to watch the sunset is the chapel of Agios Nikolaos!

Leave Only Footprints

Please show your utmost respect to this unique oasis of nature! It is not allowed to (1) stay overnight, (2) light fires, (3) walk outside the designated paths and (4) collect rocks, shells and plants on the island of Koufonisi!

Mud Spa in Koufonisi

The clay of the white clay rocks of the beach of Asproulas has healing properties and it is ideal for mud spa!

Necessary Accessories: Hat, Sunglasses and Sunscreen

Don’t forget to bring with you your hat, your sunglasses and a sunscreen as the temperature during summer months reaches 40 degrees of Celsius!