Top 4 things to do in Koufonissia

koufonissi moulin et mer bleue en grece

During your stay in Greece, are you planning a detour to the Little Cyclades, in particular to visit Koufonissia? Discover our top tips.

The island of Koufonissia, also known as Koufonissi or Koufounisi, is calm and surprisingly crystal-clear. You’ll love its beautiful coves and natural pools. With its bohemian yet trendy atmosphere, it would be a shame to visit Greek islands such as Santorini, Mykonos or Corfu, without stopping off at Koufonissia. Still little-known, it’s close to Schinoussa, Donoussa and Iraklia.

Koufonissi consists of three islands. Keros is a small, uninhabited island. Kato Koufonissi is an almost deserted island, with only a few summer residents and a few beaches. Then there’s Pano Koufonissi. When we talk about the island of Koufonissia – also known as Koufonissi or Koufounisi – we’re really talking about this third island. It covers an area of 5.7 km². It’s well developed, with hotels, restaurants, shops and the sea as its only backdrop.

1. The village of Koufonissia

village de koufonissi cyclades

Photo credit: Flickr / Luca Conti

The island of Koufonissia has one main village, Chora. Tourists abound in August. During this period, visitors are much more numerous. Chora offers trendy bars, as well as small tavernas, where people like to sit. The village is typical of the Greek islands and displays its two beautiful colors: blue and white. It’s small but pleasant. We love strolling through the village of Chora to stroll around or discover some pleasant viewpoints.

The island of Koufonissia may be small, but its quality of life is not. It has developed numerous trendy bars, gourmet restaurants and diverse boutiques. In the evening, the island of the Small Cyclades comes alive and becomes a trendy spot.

2. Gourmet and trendy addresses in Koufonissia

restaurants a koufonissia grece

Photo credit: Flickr / Luca Conti

Bars and restaurants are well represented on the island of Koufonissia. Vacations on this Greek island are all about the pleasures of the table. Enjoy the fresh fish of the day or sip a drink with a view of the sea. Here are a few recommended addresses:

  • The Capetan Nikolas fish tavern in Chora: seafood and cooked fish from the day’s catch. It’s all about feasting and discovering traditional Greek dishes. Here, we give special mention to the lobster pasta;
  • Venetzanos in Chora: this taverna is a great place to enjoy a delicious lunch of simmered dishes. The must: the very cool atmosphere. Everything is done to make you feel good and enjoy your vacation on this island in the Lesser Cylades;
  • For a drink at the end of the day in Chora, head to the Sorokos bar. Visitors love its trendy atmosphere. Or check out the Scholio bar, an old stone schoolhouse.
  • If you’re in Pori, Kalofego is one of the best bars and restaurants on the island. It has a magical location, facing the beach.

3. The beaches of Koufonissia

plages de koufoussinia

Photo credit: Flickr / Luca Conti

The island of Koufonissia is a good choice for those who like to wander from beach to beach. There are five main beaches, linked by seaside paths. Koufonissia is a small island. Getting around on foot is easy and pleasant.

This island in the Lesser Cylades is attracting more and more visitors, not least for its magnificent beaches and turquoise waters, contrasting with the beautiful rocky landscape. This discreet island, located south-east of Naxos, preserves its nature and beauty. Some would even call it a timeless paradise. Koufonissia is a place to relax, enjoy the beach and admire the scenery. Over the last few years, this island has become increasingly popular, because here, people let themselves live. After the beach, it’s time for a cocktail or a good meal, in a fish tavern facing the sea, of course.

The five main beaches are Limani, Foinikas, Fanos, Italida and Pori. They are located fairly close to each other and are linked by seaside paths.

Most of the beaches have blond sand, transparent water and are undeveloped. With this natural state, it’s easy to immerse yourself in this picture-postcard setting. In the morning, before 11 a.m., the beaches are very quiet, as the cruise ships have not yet arrived. But don’t let the sun catch you unawares. The beaches on the island of Koufonissia have almost no shade. Take along something to protect yourself and keep hydrated.

Ammos Beach and Finikas Beach

The central beach is Ammos Beach. It’s the closest to the town center and the port, so you can’t miss it. As soon as you disembark to visit the island of Koufonissia, treat yourself to your first dive.

Continue along the east coast road to a footpath. You’ll discover a multitude of small beaches where you can relax. If you continue a little further, you’ll come to Finikas beach. There’s even a restaurant on site.

Platia Pounta and Fanos Beach

Continue on to Platia Pounta and Fanos Beach. You’ll find beautiful stretches of sand and small private coves. If you’re looking for just two towels, you’ve come to the right place. It’s a real corner of paradise! Don’t be surprised, many naturists gather at Koufonissia. There’s no distinction between naturists and textiles. Everyone bathes as they please, as close to nature as possible.

Pori Beach: a beach paradise

If you’re looking for your own piece of paradise, it may be a little further afield, at Pori Beach, Koufonissia’s largest beach. The water in this paradise lagoon is crystal-clear. And if you want to enjoy the place all day long, there’s even a restaurant on site.

For those who don’t feel like walking to Pori Beach, especially if it’s sweltering hot and you’re fully loaded, a boat bus is available. It departs from the central beach of Koufonissia. It runs all the way to this large beach. Different shuttle times are available throughout the day.

Another option: take the road through the center of the island to Pori Beach. If you find a friendly car driver, ask him to drop you off at the beach. If not, take the bike. This crossing can be a bit tricky if you’re not very athletic. The island isn’t as flat as it looks!

4. Walks and natural pools

When you’ve had enough of basking in the sun, take a stroll along the beaches. The scenery is sumptuous. Whether your walks take place at the beginning or end of the day, the light is not the same. The reflections on the water are always superb. Away from the waves of holidaymakers, you’ll enjoy strolling along the coves at sunrise or sunset.

After Fanos beach, don’t hesitate to explore a little further. A natural swimming pool takes shape. This rock pool, sculpted by nature, is perfect for exploring the seabed. If you’ve brought your mask and snorkel with you, you’ll love diving in, unless you prefer to jump in just to cool off…

How to get to Koufonissia

Koufonissia can be reached by boat from the Greek ports of Piraeus or Rafina. You can also take a shuttle from the other Cycladic islands. You can leave from Amorgos (1 h journey) or Naxos, Santorini, Kimolos, Anafi or Ios.

Regular shuttles are a convenient way to visit the island of Koufonissia. They allow you to plan a day trip or a stay of several days.

Koufonissia can also be reached by boat from Rhodes, Crete or other Greek islands.

Find the best flight deals from Athens, Rhodes or Crete, using the Ulysses flight comparison service. Then take a boat to the island of Koufonissia.

Where to stay in Koufonissia?

loger koufonissia

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Constantinos Iliopoulos

Koufonissia is a small chain of two main islands. You can stay on one of the two main islands: Epano Koufonissi and Kato Koufonissi.

Please note that Kato Koufonissi is only inhabited for a small part of the year. So it’s best to head for Epano Koufonissi if you want to book a hotel or accommodation on AirBnB.

Map of hotels and accommodation – Koufonissia