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Why Should I Visit Koufonissia?

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Koufonissia at a glance

In the heart of the Cyclades, somewhere between Naxos and Amorgos, two tiny islands embody the idea of ​​an exotic paradise. These diamonds of the Small Eastern Cyclades are more reminiscent of the islands of Polynesia or the Maldives than one of the less frequented parts of the Aegean.

With shallow crystal-clear waters in bright turquoise hues, golden sandy beaches well-protected from the wind, and countless sea caves, this is a unique destination both for travellers seeking laid-back relaxation and for the more adventurous.

An ideal destination for lovers of sea and sand, Koufonissia is a delight for the senses, offering a unique feeling of freedom where travellers can take a dip in a natural pool, go for a moonlit walk, and dance on the sand under a starry sky. You can visit it by taking a ferry to Koufonissia!

7 reasons to visit Koufonissia
  1. To admire the simple Cycladic beauty of Koufonissia Town in Pano Koufonisi, with its picturesque paved streets, whitewashed houses with courtyards and bougainvilleas, beautiful little shops, and the church of Saint George.
  2. To enjoy the nightlife while sipping a refreshing cocktail and listening to jazz in one of the bars above Ammos Beach.
  3. To take in the panoramic view of nine islands from the picturesque Saint Nicholas’s Church, above the boatyard.
  4. To investigate the mystery of the “Devil’s Eye”, a hollow rock formation that fills with water from below.
  5. To see the full moon over the neighbouring island of Keros, a unique spectacle as the outline of the mountain ridge resembles a couple or a woman reclining in the waters of the Aegean.
  6. To discover the tiny “Gala Beach” near Pori, an open cave that communicates with the sea through a narrow passage. The foaming waves that enter the cave give the water a milky appearance.
  7. To explore an exotic paradise in the uninhabited Kato Koufonissi, the ultimate sanctuary for lovers of seclusion and free camping. You will enjoy stunning beaches with golden sand and turquoise waters (Detis, Nero, Pezoulia and Fykio).
  8. To enjoy the nightlife while sipping a refreshing cocktail and listening to jazz in one of the bars above Ammos Beach.
The top 5 beaches

Finikas: Also known as Harokopos, it is just over a kilometre from Koufonissia Town. Its golden sand and blue-green waters attract all kinds of travellers, including families, couples and young people, while it is especially popular during the meltemi season, as it is protected from strong winds. It has no umbrellas or sunbeds but there is a café-restaurant serving food and drink. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit it if you choose a ferry ticket to Koufonissia.

Platia Pounta (Italida): One of the most popular beaches on the island, with pale sand and exotic turquoise waters, which is well-protected from the north winds. Its nickname comes from the Italian woman who owns the area above the beach. It has no amenities but there is food available at the neighbouring beaches of Finikas and Fanos.

Fanos: A sandy beach with blue-green waters between Finikas and Italida. It lies 1300 metres from Koufonissia Town and takes its name from the beach bar there. It is sheltered from wind coming from the north and west.

Pori: A tropical paradise with a long stretch of golden sand and clear turquoise waters. When the wind is strong, the bay is ideal for windsurfing. At the end of the beach are two café-restaurants, while two famous natural attractions, the caves at Xylombatis Cove and the “Devil’s Eye”, are nearby. You can get here on foot along the coastal path, by road (by car or bus), or by boat from the port. There are no umbrellas here, so you should bring your own.

Pisina: Not a beach but a stunning natural pool filled with crystal-clear water through a small passage that communicates with the sea. It is perfect for jumping into from the surrounding rocks.

Don’t leave Koufonissia without…
  • Following the coastal path from Koufonissia Town to Xylovatis by bike or on foot. The route takes in all the eastern beaches of the island, so you can stop for a dip whenever you get hot.
  • Visiting the island of Keros, one of the most important centres of worship in the Cycladic civilisation. More than a hundred precious marble figurines have been excavated at its archaeological site. They include the Piper and the Harpist (which can be seen in the Archaeological Museum of Athens), as well as the Great Mother, which stands at a height of 1.40 metres.
  • Exploring the beaches by boat with Captain Prasinos, a cult experience accompanied by the sounds of traditional island music blaring at full volume.
  • Sitting for a drink at the renovated windmill in Koufonissia Town, which is now a bar.
  • Trying your luck – and your patience – by going fishing, as the island’s coves and rocky caves are considered some of the top spots for fish in the Aegean.
  • Renting a boat for magical excursions to some of the exclusive exotic beaches in the Small Cyclades.
Tasty experiences
  • The sea around ​​Koufonissia is one of the most famous fishing grounds in the Aegean. In the tavernas here you can enjoy excellent seafood mezes and fresh shellfish dishes, from sea urchin salad and lobster linguine to chowder.
  • If you choose a ticket to Koufonissia, be sure to try Keros goat cooked in a clay pot and tomato fritters.
  • Don’t miss the island’s famous pies such as spiral tomato pie, one of the specialities of Koufonissia.
  • The famous doughnuts served at the cafés in Koufonissia Town make for a hearty breakfast.

Koufonissia, which means “hollow islands”, owes its name to the countless caves where pirates of the Aegean once used to hide out. Viewed from afar, these coastal caverns would have given the impression that the islands had somehow been hollowed out.

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