Koufonisia : the secret paradise of the Aegean

Article published on June 14, 2011
Article published on June 14, 2011
by Rania Kalapoda Koufonisia! These two small islands of the Small Eastern Cyclades, Ano and Kato Koufonissi, which although it isdifficult even to spot on a map, they have so much beauty that can mislead even the most restrained visitor. The AnoKoufonissi attracts the most people and also has some rooms and hotels to organize your accommodation.
 This is aquiet island with beautiful beaches where you will have the opportunity to have a truly experience of total relaxation.

  In the same community are nine other small islands and Keros too, a small uninhabited island, where you can seeimportant findings of the Cycladic culture.

  Koufonisia have lots of fans, and anyone who gets a taste of great beauty, never abandons them. In fact, for many years, vacationers are trying to conceal the destination of their holiday to ensure the tranquility of the island.

  The years passed and now the secret is known! Every year new visitors are coming to Koufonisia and the residents of the island have built more and more accommodation to cover their needs.

  Koufonisia are connected all the time with the port of Piraeus and it takes about 8.30 hours to arrive to the islands. Also, there are a lot of routes from the surrounding islands on a daily basis so it is worth to visit Koufonissia even for a weekend!

  On the island there are no paved roads, so there is no reason of having car or motorcycle with you. In addition, all routes are covered on foot or you can use boats, which can take you to beautiful beaches. Please note that the price of the boat is very low, so you don’t have to worry about it. If you want to, you can rent bikes you'll find available on the island, a very interesting suggestion for young people. Finally, you don’t have to be surprised if  the hospitable locals will be willing to take you to the most remote beaches.

  The Ano Koufonissi is the smallest and most populous, island of  Cyclades. It has an area of ​​3.5 sq. km and only 366 residents. Arriving on the island, the white windmill to the left of the port, seems to welcome visitors. The country is a model of Cycladic beauty. Here you will find the way with most hotels and rooms.

  It is for many a popular destination in recent years because of its indescribable beauty. In Ano Koufonissi you will find a variety of hotels, apartments, villas for rent at very affordable prices for all tastes and requirements. Exclusive or not, are all made ​​with love and great respect to the natural environment. If you plan to visit the island at the peak of the tourist season you should make an early reservation for a hotel or a room, because of the limited number of accommodation facilities. Note that in Koufonisia there is no possibility of organized camping.

  Kato Koufonissi is located between Ano Koufonisi, Schinoussa and Keros. The distance between Ano and Kato Koufonissi is only 10 'and especially the summer has a lot of routs between the two islands. It has a very small area and is almost uninhabited, with only a few houses inhabited mainly fishermen in summer. The only buildings that you can find are few summer homes. A typical sight on the island is the church of  Panagias,which is at the mole and is built on ancient ruins. In the small picturesque harbor you will find fish boats and excursion boats that you can use to take you to the beautiful beaches of the island.

  The principal and sole occupation of the inhabitants is fishing, which transforms the island into a genuine fishing village, where visitors can enjoy abundant fresh fish and seafood. Koufonisia also have one of the largest fleets of Greece, always in proportion to their population.

  The locals have always lived on fishing, but while tourism have increased in recent years, residents do everything for the renovation and revitalization of buildings and streets every year.

   Koufonisia offer some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece. Your eyes will undoubtedly capture the dream golden sand beaches with crystal clear emerald waters. Naxos and Amorgos, neighboring islands, are protecting the island from the strong winds of summer, the characteristic winds that are common in the Cyclades. It is certain that all beaches, whether they are busy or not will lead you to sit there and enjoy them for many hours. You will not need more than 15 to 30 minutes to reach the beaches on foot. The picture you are going to see will amaze you.

  In Ano Koufonisi at the northwest side, you will find the beach Parianos, a cove with sandy beach, well sheltered from the winds and one of the favorite ports for the picturesque fishing boats. A long beach with shallow waters close to the village which usually preferred by locals and those who do not want to go too far.

  The most beautiful beaches are on the east coast. Finika’s Beach, known as Harokopou has golden sand, turquoise waters and is usually preferred by families. The beach Fanos is ideal for the younger generation and especially for those who wish to participate in sports.

  Continuing to the east, you will find many hidden coves, ideal for those who want to be alone. If you belong into this category you should visit the beach Italida or otherwise Platia Punta, which is the most popular of the beaches in Koufonisia and perhaps one of the most beautiful of the Cyclades. In the end you will find a small bay where you can do nudity if you wish. Even farther east, you will find many small coves with sand and pebbles and rocks that forms caves.

  Northeast, at Ano Koufonissi you will have to visit the long beach Pori with golden sand, which is the ideal destination for those who love wind surfing. It is easily accessible and even has a beach bar. At the northern tip of the island, behind Pori, on the coast of Xylovati where you can face Naxos there is the enjoyment of the daring dive from the cliff. The water is so beautiful that makes you want try a dive, but at the end, only few are those who really do it!!

  Kato Koufonissi has also beautiful beaches but just more remote. With the boat you can visit an exotic beach, Nero, and from there by walking 20 minutes you reach the secluded beach with pebbles, Fukio. The most remote beach, Pezoulia is away from the port of Kato Koufonisi about an hour. Finally, Keros has not sandy beaches, but you can swim in the crystal clear waters if you want to.You can visit all the small islands surrounding Koufonisia, especially if you have a small boat.

  For those who want and other activities at sea, you will have the opportunity to go diving, fishing, water sports and wind surfing.

   Koufonisia is known for the excellent quality in their food. In Ano Koufonissi you will find beautifully decorated restaurants with delicious dishes, restaurants and pizzerias. Almost all the shops prices ranging from 15 to 20 euros per person.

  The oldest restaurant on the island might be the Melisha in the center of the village. If you visit this restaurant do not miss try the pies. Straight up from where you disembark the ship you will find Rementzo that will satisfy you with excellent food, views and values ​​and and with island songs too. Left the harbor, and after walking about 10 minutes, you will find Captain Nicholas, where you can eat seafood. A cheap and convenient solution for food is the self service in Finika’s beach, where you can get well cooked food with about 6.5 to 7 per person. Because of its proximity to the beaches, especially convenient for lunch or spinach pie, fruit in hand while you are walking to the sea. For amazing chops and roast lamb you have to visit  Michalio in the cente of the village. Try the tomato meatballs. For sweet you must go to the Kalamia, also one of the oldest shops on the island, which serve coffee and a drinks. If you love chocolate, you should try  the "Jamaica".

  You should try the traditional dishes of fresh fish, lobsters and shellfish. The lobster pasta will be for you an unforgettable experience. Of course, it costs a little bit more than you excpect, but its really worthy to try! Try goat from the nearby island of Keros, cheese and especially the delicious cream cheese which is called ksinomizithra.

  Your food will followed by the local Cycladic wine, beer, ouzo and the traditional rakomelo (raki with honey and cinnamon boiled together).

   Kato Koufonisi has the famous restaurant "Venetsanos" where you can taste fresh fish and chops too. For dessert, order the famous millefeuille.

  Generally, in Koufonisia there is a wide variety of food and beverage quality. People are very friendly, knock off celebrations with live music, making you feel like your home when you are with them.

  The country is the only village on the island, where you will find small churches, an art gallery to buy hand-painted shirts and some antique shops. Apart from this there is not much to see apart from the beauty of nature.

  On this island do not expect that you will find nightlife. The Ano Koufonissi has some places for fun, but very quiet bars. You will have the opportunity to enjoy a drink listening good music and having an unforgettable view. I would say that this is a place with an elegant night life for a mature audience.

  At Koufonisia you can have the perfect holidays. The heavenly beaches, natural beauty and traditional charm of these islands, the excellent hospitality of the locals along with affordable prices to stay and eat, make the island an ideal destination for your summer vacation.