Koufonisia

SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH US

The Paradise of the Aegean

Golden Sandy Beaches and Turquoise Waters: Maybe Paradise Still Exists
In the cluster of Small Cyclades, two mysterious isles sail carefree in the the Aegean Sea. Ano Koufonisi is a charming island with whitewashed houses of the traditional architecture of the Cyclades. Characterized as the paradise of the Aegean, Koufonisia host the finest emerald, sapphire and turquoise in the Aegean! Whatever Koufonisia might lack in size, they replenish in landscapes and colors; besides they say less is more. The peacefulness of Ano Koufonisi emits a mysterious atmosphere over an area of just four square kilometers in contrast with wilderness sceneries of Kato Koufonisi and the shadow of the silhouette of Keros hiding in the deep sea. The boundless blue of the Aegean matches with the white and blue houses of Koufonisia creating a magical atmosphere. Undoubtedly, Koufonisia are a paradise of extreme natural beauty boasting a unique morphology with tropical beaches, golden sandy dunes and turquoise waters. Two islands blessed with strips of golden sand that interchange with wave carved rocks and the wild sight of caves, a beautiful escape to the unknown is waiting for the most discerning travellers to explore it! And as expensive perfumes come in small bottles, so does little Koufonisia! Ready to unveil their mysteries?

 

Discover Koufonisia

Best of Koufonisia

The Capital of Koufonisia

The Settlement of Hora is the capital and harbor of Ano Koufonisi located on the south side of the island. Hora is a true specimen of the traditional architecture of the Cyclades. Whitewashed houses and blue windows, stone windmills and light blue domes, labyrinthine alleys and flowery courtyards spread amphitheatrically on the slope of the hillside. As it is the sole settlement of the islands, it is considered to be the most densely populated island of the Cyclades. All the distances of the island are short and you can easily walk around it.

The Archaeological Site of Keros

The Archaeological Site of Keros was one of the most important centres of the Cycladic civilization located on the isle of Keros. Although it is not an organized archaeological site, the area hosts the remnants of a Cycladic cemetery along with fragments of marble statuettes. The most important findings of Keros include the impressive life size Statuette of Megali Mitera (Great Mother) and the figurine symbols of Piper and Harpist, which are now displayed at the Museum of Cycladic Art of Athens.

The Beaches of Koufonisia

The Beaches of Koufonisia are considered to be some of the most beautiful beaches of the islands of Greece. The island is an ideal destinations for those looking for an escape from the real world. Lovers of windsurfing can enjoy their favorite activity at the beach of Pori.

The Shipyard of Ano Koufonisi

The Shipyard of Ano Koufonisi will take you back in time, as you will see the manner that fishing vessels were made with simple tools. Koufonisi boasts the largest fishing fleet of the country in proportion to the population of the island. The shipyard is located at the region of Loutro.

Archaeological Sites

The Archaeological Site of Keros was one of the most important centres of the Cycladic civilization located on the isle of Keros. Although it is not an organized archaeological site, the area hosts the remnants of a Cycladic cemetery along with fragments of marble statuettes. The most important findings of Keros include the impressive life size Statuette of Megali Mitera (Great Mother) and the figurine symbols of Piper and Harpist, which are now displayed at the Museum of Cycladic Art of Athens.

The Cycladic Settlement of Epano Myloi is an ancient settlement located at Ano Koufonisi. Archaeological excavations have brought to light various artifacts from the first phase of the Cycladic Civilization that are now displayed in the Archaeological Museum of Naxos.

Churches and Chapels

The Cathedral of Agios Georgios is the patron saint of the island located in Hora of Ano Koufonisi. It is a beautiful church with a beautiful polygonal blue dome and a tall bell tower.  The church celebrates in honor of the saint on April 23.

The Chapel of Panagia is a beautiful chapel located on Kato Koufonisi. The chapel is built on the remains of an ancient temple at Kato Koufonisi. The chapel celebrates in honour of the saint on August 15.

The Church of Agios Nikolaos is a beautiful church in the colours of white and blue located next to the cemetery of Ano Koufonisi. The church celebrates in honour of the saint on December 6.

Monuments

The Folklore Museum of Koufonisia is located next to the Cathedral of Agios Georgios of Ano Koufonisi. The museum exhibits folklore artefacts from the traditional and cultural heritage of the island including farming tools, domestic utensils, old picture frames and tools for boats.

The Karnayo (Shipyard) of Ano Koufonisi will take you back in time as you will see the manner that fishing vessels were made with simple tools. Koufonisi boasts the largest fishing fleet of the country in proportion to the population of the island. The shipyard is located at the region of Loutro.

The Traditional Windmills located at the harbour and the shipyard of Ano Koufonisi. The windmill of the harbour has been renovated and converted into a bar while the windmill of the shipyard has been restored and converted into a holiday apartment.

Natural Beauties

The Eye of the Devil is a hole located inside the cave that communicates with the sea. When there is a current, the seawater comes up to the rim of the hole and it sucked back down again. It is an impressive phenomenon located between the beaches of Platia Pounda (Italida) and Pori.

The Gala is a strange geological formation of a tiny beach penetrated beneath a huge rock. The name derives from the whiteness of the colors of the rocky and the sand, as gala means milk in Greek. Gala is accessible from a path starting at the end of the beach of Pori.

The Pisina (Pool) is a small natural pool situated on the edge of a rocky cliff above the sea. It is an impressive place with strange geological formations. Pisina it is located between the beaches of Platia Pounda (Italida) and Pori.

Promenades & Villages

Hora is the capital and harbor of Ano Koufonisi located on the south side of the island. Hora is a true specimen of the traditional architecture of the Cyclades. Whitewashed houses and blue windows, stone windmills and light blue domes, labyrinthine alleys and flowery courtyards spread amphitheatrically on the slope of the hillside. As it is the sole settlement of the islands, it is considered to be the most densely populated island of the Cyclades. All the distances of the island are short and you can easily walk around it.

Sunset Spots

Spot: Chapel of Prophet Elias, Ano Koufonisi

Spot: Church of Agios Nikolaos, Ano Koufonisi

Spot: Windmill of Koufonisia, Hora of Ano Koufonisi

Excursions

Boat Trip: The Island of Donousa is a beautiful island of the small Cyclades. A handful of whitewashed houses reflect under the blinding light of the Cycladic sun and emerald and azure waters run in the golden beaches without a trace of shadow with the permanent sound of cicadas and the scent of watermelon from sunscreens. This is Donousa, a mysterious island of just thirteen square kilometers that, as the locals say, you can walk around it on foot. The natural terrain of the island boasts steep cliffs plunging into the sea while interesting hiking paths of the inland are passing through old farmhouses and rural churches. The island exhales a serene landscape of an indented coastline on the northeastern part and wonderful sandy beaches with emerald waters on the southern part. Stavros is the charming capital and harbour of Donousa. Whatever Donousa lacks in size, it replenish in colours; besides they say less is more. Some of the most beautiful seashores of the Cycladic coastline spread on this island that will make you want to spend there the rest of your journey. Donousa is home to the spectacular cave of Fokospilia; one of the last refuges of the Mediterranean monk seal Monachus Monachus, and the Cave of Tihos with impressive stalactites in the bay of Xylobatis. So if you are from those travellers who want to escape and experience something different, Donousa is the island for you.

Boat Trip: The Island of Heraklia is a beautiful island of the small Cyclades. What is there to say for this mysterious island of eighteen square kilometers? Heraklia is a diamond shaped island of the Small Cyclades lying between the islands of Ios and Naxos. In an island of a hundred fifty inhabitants, the permanent peace of Heraklia is swinging in the air. When you arrive at the charming harbor of Agios Georgios, you feel like you have disembarked from a time machine boat travelling to the past. .Heraklia is a tranquil island embellished from pristine mysterious beauty with scenic bays and crystalline waters with shipwrecks surrounded from smooth hills on a simple Cycladic architectural landscape of whitewashed houses and charming chapels. Maybe it’s the time for you to be charmed from the simplicity of virgin nature and the magic of tardiness liberating the freedom of living.

Boat Trip: The Island of Schinousa possesses a special energy that will make you appreciate the simple moments in life. The harmonic sceneries of the island will undoubtedly fulfil your every day. Schinoussa is a place you will find peace of mind while the simplicity and kindness of the local people will make you feel like you become part of their lives. The indented coastline of Schinoussa is blessed with the magic of the deep blue. Staring at the endless horizon of the sea elicits an indescribable feeling of freedom. Although Schinoussa is a small island, you will always find a place to isolate yourself to feel peace and tranquility.   Fresh air, hospitable people, beautiful sceneries and the feeling of serenity; what else you might need?

Activities

Bicycling: The countryside of Koufonisi is an ideal place for cycling lovers. There are numerous bicycle rentals on the island where you can rent a bicycle and discover the natural beauties of Koufonisi.

Camping: Are you a camping lover? You will find campsites at the beach of Harakopou.

Hiking: Ano Koufonisi hosts numerous paths ideal for lovers of hiking.  (1) One of the most beautiful routes includes the circular road of Ano Koufonisi. Following the coastline, you can stop at the chapel of Agios Nikolaos, the shipyards at Loutro, the fishing boats of the island at the bay of Parianos, the sea caves at the bay of Xylobatis, the Pisina at the beach of Pori, the cave of the eye of the devil after the beach of Pori and Gala at the end of the beach of Pori. (2) Another interesting route crosses the hinterland of Ano Koufonisi. There, one will have the opportunity to admire the ruins of the chapel of Prophet Elias where locals engage in daily farming activities.

Snorkelling: The captivating colours of the seabed of Koufonisia are ideal for snorkelling.

Windsurfing: Koufonisi is known for its ideal conditions for lovers of windsurfing, as the island gets really windy especially in the summer. The beach of Pori is ideal for practising your favorite sport. Keep in mind that there is no a windsurfing center on the island.

Beaches

Ammos is a golden sandy beach with turquoise waters located on the south side of the island.  It is the main beach of Koufonisia located at the harbor of the island. The beach is considered to be one of the cleanest beaches in the Cyclades!

Detis is a sandy beach with turquoise waters located close to the old settlement of Panagia in Kato Koufonisi. The beach is secluded ideal for those looking for tranquillity and isolation. The beach is accessible by boat from Ano Koufonisi.

Fanos is a sandy beach with aquamarine waters located on the south side of the island. The beach is isolated ideal for those seeking for tranquility.

Gala is a strange geological formation of a tiny beach penetrated beneath a huge rock. Gala is accessible from a path starting at the end of the beach of Pori. The beach is blessed with landscapes of unparalleled beauty.

Harakopou, else known as Finikas, is a long golden sandy beach with emerald waters located on the south side of the island. There is a tavern at the beach.

Hondros Kavos is a pebbled beach with aquamarine waters located close to Hora. It is an isolated beach with a tavern at the beach.

Lakki is a pebbled beach with aquamarine waters and rocky formations located close to the old settlement of Panagia of Kato Koufonisi.  The beach is accessible by boat from Ano Koufonisi.
Nero is a long sandy and pebbled beach with turquoise waters located on Kato Koufonisi. It is one of the most beautiful beaches of the Koufonisi.

Pezoulia is a pebbled beach with aquamarine waters located on Kato Koufonisi The beach is accessible by boat from Ano Koufonisi.

Pisina (Pool) is a small natural pool situated on the edge of a rocky cliff above the sea. It is an impressive place with strange geological formations and it is located between the beaches of Platia Pounda (Italida) and Pori.

Platia Punta, also known as Italida, is a secluded sandy beach of exquisite beauty with aquamarine waters located on the south side of the island. It is one of the most beautiful beaches of Koufonisia. The closest amenities are found at the beach of Fanos.

Pori is a golden sandy beach with aquamarine waters located on the east side of the island. It is the most beautiful beaches of Koufonisia and it is ideal for windsurfing. The interesting spots of the beach of Gala and the sea caves of Xilobatis and Mati Diavolou are located close to the beach. There are two beach bars at the beach.

Coffee Corners, Gastronomic Delights and Cocktails Inspirations

Coffee Corners

Astrolouloudo: Coffee and Pastries, Ano Koufonisi

Bakery of Giorgoula: Pastries, Ano Koufonisi

Fystiki: Ice Cream, Hora

Kalamia : Breakfast and Pastries, Ano Koufonisi

Mylos: Coffee, Ano Koufonisi

To Kyma: Loukoumades (homemade donuts with honey), Ano Koufonisi

Gastronomic Delights

Aneplora: Greek Cuisine, Ano Koufonisi

Captain Nikolas: Seafood, Ano Koufonisi

Finikas: Greek Cuisine, Ano Koufonisi

I Ateriasti: Ouzo and Meze, Ano Koufonisi

Kalofego: Greek Cuisine, Ano Koufonisi

Lefteris: Greek Cuisine, Ano Koufonisi

Nikitouri: Greek Cuisine, Ano Koufonisi

Mellisa: Greek Cuisine, Ano Koufonisi

Michailos: Greek Cuisine, Ano Koufonisi

Neo Remezzo: Greek Cuisine, Ano Koufonisi

Sti Strofi: Souvlaki, Ano Koufonisi

Venetsanos: Greec Cuisine, Kato Koufonisi

Cocktails Inspirations

Astrolouloudo: Raki and Drinks, Ano Koufonisi

Kalofego: Cocktails and Drinks, Pori beach

Koufochorio: Cocktails and Drinks, Ano Koufonisi

Mylos: Cocktails and Drinks, Ano Koufonisi

Nikitas: Cocktails and Drinks, Ano Koufonisi

Sholio: Cocktails and Drinks, Ano Koufonisi

Sorokos: Cocktails and Drinks, Ano Koufonisi

Local Products & Specialties

The local products of the island include fresh fish, seafood and the wild goat meat from the islet of Keros.

The local specialties of the island include pork on the spit, xerotigana, a dish of fried thin crusts, xinomizithra, a type of cheese, pasteli, a sweet with honey and sesame, and rakomelo, an alcoholic drinks made with honey, cinnamon and raki.

Events & Festivals

Every 23rd of April, the traditional celebration in honor of Agios Georgios takes place at the Church of Agios Georgios where the procession of the icon of Agios Georgios is carried around the streets of the island, which are full of roses, followed from traditional music, dance and food.

Every last Saturday of June, the Fishermen Festival takes place in Hora where the locals prepare fish soup for visitors followed from traditional music and dance.

Every 20th of July, the traditional celebration in honor of Prophet Elias takes place at the Church of Prophet Elias.

Every 15th of August, the traditional celebration in honor of the Dormition of Virgin Mary takes place at the seaside chapel of Panagia at Kato Koufonisi, where visitors are carried with fishing boats, and a religious ceremony is held. After the ceremony, people are carried back to Ano Koufonisi and the fishing boats complete with each other who will get there first, followed from a feast with traditional music, dance and food.

History & Mythology

Mythology

According to mythology, the creation of the Cyclades is attributed to God Poseidon. It is said that the god of the sea transformed the Cyclades nymphs into islands, when they angered him.

History
Archaeological findings show that Koufonisia have been inhabited since the Prehistoric times while excavations have unearthed important findings from the Cycladic civilization and the Hellenistic and Roman times. Koufonisia suffered from pirate invasions, as the rest of the islands of the Cyclades, and it was used as a safe shelter. During the 2nd century BC, Koufonisia were conquered from the Romans and they fell under the Venetian rule in the 13th century BC. The Ottoman Empire dominated the island in the 16th century. The islands were liberated when the Greek Revolution of 1821 started and it was reunited with Greece in 1830.

Travel & Transport

By Boat (100.4  and 112 Nautical Miles): Koufonisia are accessible from the harbours of Rafina and Pireaus. The journey usually lasts from four to five hours. Koufonisia are also connected with the islands of Donousa, Heraklia, Schinoussa and Naxos amongst others. Book your tickets with FerriesinGreece.com !

Mysterious Greece Tips

About Koufonisia

Koufonisia belongs to the arc of the Small Cyclades. They are two small islands with no public transportation, as you can discover it on foot! Ano Koufonisi is inhabited while Kato Koufonisi is uninhabited! Koufonisi is synonymous with walking, as the island can be crossed on foot in two hours owing to its small size! Also, don’t forget to bring cash with you as there is only one cash machine on the island! Discover Koufonisia through a photographic journey of Google!

Best Time to Visit Koufonisia

If you want to avoid the crowds, travel to Koufonisia either in June or late August and early September!

Book and Novels Under the Sun of the Aegean

Reading your favorite book under the sun of the Aegean is just marvelous! So, make sure you bring your favorite book with you!

Camping on Kato Koufonisi

Are you in love with nature? Then, Kato Koufonisi is for you! The tiny deserted isle is ideal for free campers! Keep in mind, however, that free camping is prohibited from the State of Greece.

Cavities and Caverns: Koufonisia Name

The name of the island derives from the numerous caves shaped from the sea waves along their shores, which were thought to be hollow (Greek: Koufio) islands (Greek:Nisia) from the pirates who viewed them from a distance.

Dive in the Crystal Waters of Koufonisia

Dip in the sea until your chest touches the fine sand of the seabed, open your eyes and look straight ahead the blue waters of Koufonisia in its majestic splendor. You will be amazed!

Emerald, Saphhire and Turquoise Waters

The beaches of Koufonisia are considered to be amongst the beast beaches in the islands of Greece!

Escape from the World

The island is an ideal destination for those looking for an escape from the real world!

Hop on the Traditional Boat

Hop on the traditional boat at the harbour of Ano Koufonisi to visit the deserted beaches of Ano and Kato Koufonisi. You will be amazed from the natural beauty of the isles of Glaronisi, Lazaros, Megali Plaka and Tsouloufri. You might even get the chance to visit the island of Keros, one of the most important centers of the Cycladic Civilization!

Observing Like An Olympian God

Once you travel to Ano Koufonisi, cycle or drive to the gas station of the island. The views to the tiny archipelago of the Small Cyclades will definitely reward you!

Relaxing in Koufonisia

It will be quite easy to adapt to the simple rhythms of life of Koufonisia. So, make sure you leave all of your problems and thoughts in the ferryboat! Once you step in Koufonisia, the air of serenity will definitely capture your body and soul!

Participate in the Celebration of Kato Koufonisi

Every 15th of August, the traditional celebration in honor of the Dormition of Virgin Mary takes place at the seaside chapel of Panagia in Kato Koufonisi, where visitors are carried with fishing boats, and a religious ceremony is held. After the ceremony, people are carried back to Ano Koufonisi and the fishing boats complete with each other that will get there first. A traditional feast is followed accompanied from traditional music, dance and food.

Roses and Music in Honour of Agios Georgios

Every 23rd of April, the religious celebration in honor of Agios Georgios takes place at the Church of Agios Georgios where the procession of the icon of Agios Georgios is carried around the streets of the island, which are full of roses, followed from traditional music, dance and food.

Views from the Top

When you visit the beach of Pori, head towards the cliffs above the beach. There, one can admire astonishing views of the endless blue!

Windsurfing in Pori

Lovers of windsurfing can enjoy their favorite sport in the beach of Pori!

Photo Credits

×

 

Copyrighted by Mysterious Greece