1. Registration of companion animals. Read more >>> 
  2. Additional measures during the transportation of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) with passenger ships. Read more >>> 

Transparent waters in golden sand

{{bookingBarDictionary.mobSelectTripTitle}} {{bookingBarDictionary.mobSelectOfferTitle}}
Transparent waters in golden sand

Don't be fooled by their small size and don’t plan a short visit. This exotic paradise of the Small Cyclades will surely charm you, offering everything you look for in a holiday and much more!

Transparent turquoise waters, golden beaches, enchanting landscapes, good food, fun times, all to the maximum and at the same time all down to earth!

Koufonisia owes its name to the huge caves, which made the islands look hollow from afar and thus hide away from pirates. Ano and Kato Koufonisi, along with Keros or Glaronisi are waiting for you to discover them! 

Routes & sights

As you arrive by boat to Ano Koufonisi, which is the only inhabited island, you will immediately be impressed by the turquoise waters of Ammos beach at the port. At the entrance of the port you will see one of the two characteristic windmills that survive on the island. There lies the beautiful Chora, with its white houses, courtyards with flowers, cobbled streets and all kinds of places  where you can enjoy your appetizers, coffee or drink.

In the center of Chora the church of Agios Georgios, the patron saint of the island stands out. Next to it, in the old water cistern, you may visit the Folklore Museum with objects and tools that remind us of life in the past; all items were donated by the locals.

In the area of Loutro you will find the only operating boatyard of the island and the Small Cyclades in general. There you will also see the second Mill dating back to 1830, which has been characterized as a Contemporary Monument of the Pre-industrial Period.

Most routes can be covered on foot or bike which you can rent and tour the island on the coastal road. Indulge in the rare feeling of being able to walk to everywhere, with frequent stops for swimming in the island’s tropical waters. You can also hike the hinterland, taking the trails up to Pano Meria. In the afternoon, walk to the church of Prophitis Ilias, to enjoy the view and wonderful sunset.

From Ano Koufonisi you can take the boat to Keros. As you look towards this uninhabited island you will see that its like a reclined female figure. Keros, as well as the adjacent island of Daskaleio, are protected archaeological sites were significant archaeological findings of the Cycladic civilization have been discovered. Besides, the name "Thesaurus of Keros" is not random. Objects found there, such as the Early Cycladic cemetery, the figurines of the harpist, the piper, and the Great Mother, are now kept in the Museum of Cycladic Art, the Archaeological Museum of Athens, and the Archaeological Museum of Naxos.

You can also visit Glaronisi, an uninhabited islet near Kato Koufonisi; it is full of gulls,  who stand for a while or lay their eggs there. Both in Keros and Glaronisi you will enjoy your swim in the quiet, mesmerizing waters.

Explore Kato Koufonissi and its wonderful beaches. On the uninhabited island you’ll find the church of Panagia, built on ancient ruins, as well as a taverna open in the summer

Beaches & Activities

Sheltered Ammos, the beach at the harbour, is more than safe for swimming; it’s perfect thanks to its crystal-clear turquoise waters. Further down on the coastal road you will discover three enchanting beaches in a row!  Harokopou or Finikas is the first beach with calm, crystal-clear waters and golden sand, where you can sit for food or coffee.

Straight after you’ll find Fanos, also sandy, with wonderful turquoise waters. A little further down is the popular Platia Pounta or Italida, with turquoise waters and golden sand. Take the coastal road, hire a boat or drive through Chora to find yourself in the exotic Pori, a paradise with blue waters and a long golden sandy beach. On the coastal road to Pori you will find the impressive Pisina (Greek for pool), a formation of large rocks and waters that communicate underground with the sea.

Nearby you will discover one of the largest attractions of the island, the Eye of the Devil, a hole between the rocks that looks like an eye and enchants visitors. You will also enjoy your private swim in Gala, formerly known as Tripiti, an impressive small pebbled beach with magical blue waters. It is more of a ‘covered’ beach, as it is tucked inside an open cave, where sea waters flow in.

Kato Koufonisi also has wonderful beaches to explore and enjoy your swim: Nero, with a sandy shore, small pebbles and crystal-clear waters, Detis, a smaller beach with sandy shore and turquoise waters, and sheltered Lakous with pebbled shore and turquoise waters. Last but not least, is Pezoulia

Tastes of the island

The island promises fresh fish, sophisticated mezes and pasta with seafood. Do not forget to try some wild goat from Keros with potatoes cooked in casserole, but also the local pies, with the strifti tomato pie at top position.

The island is famous for its rakomelo, the traditional hot drink with tsikoudia and honey that is the perfect treat for visitors. Try the local scented honey and xerotigana with honey and walnuts. 

Traditions & Events

Ano Koufonisi is a small island with few inhabitants, who are always in a mood and find reasons for celebration. Summer evenings are well spent under the moonlight with music and dancing events for all tastes.

If you find yourself on the island at the end of May you will have the opportunity to participate in the "Fisherman's Festival" and enjoy the local kakavia, while on the 15th of August you can celebrate with the locals during the great feast of the Virgin Mary. Travel by boat to Kato Koufonisi, to the chapel of Panagia for a morning service, after which local dishes are offered to visitors. On your way back, enjoy some competition between the captains of the boats that try to reach first inside the harbour of Ano Koufonisi, where a large feast with live music and seafood is held.

Another very popular custom that is worth experiencing is the day of Agios Georgios, when the "panigiras", the organizer of the feast, carries the image of the Saint throughout the village, with the island’s caiques following along the coast and blowing their horns, firing smoke bombs and fireworks all the way to the harbour, where they tie up and receive the holy water before starting on a frantic game in the sea. A meal is offered and followed by a feast in the local shops.

During the Carnival, the “Mascaroi”, a type of goblins go through the houses and shops, misbehaving and drinking raki and rakomelo. On the last Sunday of the Carnival, ‘Tsouvalades’ tour the village with improvised instruments, calling the locals and setting up an all-day carnival celebration in the village with appetizers, drinks, music and dancing. 

Don't miss...

Visit the caves of Xylobatis near Pori. These are two impressive rocky caves that communicate with each other through a passage. In one of the caves, you’ll find yourself unexpectedly on a small, exotic, hidden beach! 

Useful Information
Newsletter Subscription
{{errorMsgs[0]}} {{successMsgs[0]}}