Koufonissi in Greece
Koufonissi is part of the Cyclades and lies between Naxos and Amorgos. Koufonissi belongs to - together with Iraklia, Schinoussa and Donoussa - an unofficial group of islands called the Small Cyclades. The area is just 6 km2, the smallest inhabited island in the Cyclades. Koufonissi's highest mountain is 113 metres high, a dwarf mountain when compared with mountains on other islands.
Little cute wonderful Koufonissi.
About 390 people lives here, the main livelihood is tourism and fisheries. At all times, fisheries have been the main source of income, and to some extent it still is even today. However, many fishermen have put their nets on the shelf in recent years and instead they make their living of the growing crowd of tourists. And to some extent this tourist stream is Scandinavians, especially from Sweden.
The first time I saw Koufonissi (from a ferry on the way to Amorgos), I decided to go there as soon as possible. I did not know anyone who had been there, but a persistent rumour told of a forgotten island with fabulous beaches and an unique serenity. And when I stood at the railing on the way to Amorgos and looked towards Chora, I could feel the attraction force of Koufonissi.
The child-friendly beach with the child-friendly taverna in Finikas.
The year after, I finally came to this so mythical island, I was definitely not disappointed. It is some years ago now, quite many actually, and a lot has happened since then. Today, Koufonissi is anything but an unknown island.
Koufonissi has some of the best beaches in the Cyclades. And the sea - this amazing sea - is never far away. Do you not like nice beaches with pure white sand and crystal clear water, Koufonissi also provides small coves where you can be all by yourself, lagoons where you can play Jacuzzi, exciting caves to swim in and beautiful rock formations where you can have a lazy time with a good book. In addition to the fine sandy beaches and the good swimming opportunities, Koufonissi is an island for those who like peace and quiet, there is an incredible tranquillity, mainly due to the island's small size and that there are almost no roads and therefore almost no traffic.
Pori beach is one of several fantastic beaches in Koufonissi.
It's that littleness that makes me like Koufonissi. And the sea of course. Imagine yourself sitting on a balcony just before the sun goes down, sipping on a drink and watching a slowly sunset. The sky turns into a picture painted with light you never seen before. In front of you is the small fishing port where cute little fishing boats in rainbow colours bobs up and down. Nearby you will see a fisherman coming towards land. You hear a little chugging from the boat and softly, softly you hear the seagulls cry when they hungry follows the boat towards shore. Otherwise it's quiet. Quite pleasant, isn't it.
The water at my favourite beach, Kalimera beach.
Nevertheless I have to issue a small warning, there is a drawback - even here. The number of tourists is increasing every year, in July and August, Koufonissi is completely invaded and the beaches are crowded with people. Even Pori is full to the brim. It is such a pressure in the restaurants that you sometimes have to book a table to even get something to eat. Room rates sare increasing dramatically. The Athenians brings their cars and scooters and swish, Koufonissi is not a paradise anymore. So, if you can, you should avoid July and August.
You can read more about Koufonissi via the links at the end of this page. A short summary of the information comes here:
The easiest way to get to Koufonissi is to go by air to Santorini and travel on by ferry to Naxos, which is the major hub for almost all ferry traffic to and from the islands of the Small Cyclades. The small ferry of Express Skopelitis ply the route Naxos, Iraklia, Schinoussa, Koufonissi and Amorgos six days a week during the summer months. Another option is to fly to Athens and go by ferry from Athens' port at Piraeus.
Chora is the island's only village. The village is divided into two parts, the large and the small village, they are separated by the superfine port beach. Although the village is so small there are all the facilities you need on a holiday. It includes several tavernas, bars and cafes, supermarkets, travel agency, gyros place, and lots of good hotels.
Koufonissi has fantastic sandy beaches and all are child friendly. The entire coastline from Chora (see picture on the port beach on top of the page) to Pori is lined with beaches, smaller beach pockets and small lagoons. The first larger beach is named Charakopou, but is commonly known as Finikas after the popular taverna. The next beach is Fano, followed by Platia Punta and the farthest is the paradise beach of Pori.
Is there anything missing on Koufonissi, then it's sights. Here's nothing you must see before you continue your journey. So you can quietly lean back and continue to read your book, or to go for one more swim.
That Koufonissi has become an increasingly popular tourist destination is particularly noticeable in the number of newly opened hotels and pensions. Some of them have a swimming pool, something you never saw before. During the low season, there are plenty of rooms available, but if you come during high season you have to book a place to stay far ahead.
The beach in Chora is so good that you don´t need more beaches.