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Amidst the wild seascape of Koufonisia

04 June 2013 / 20:06:57  GRReporter
4674 reads

Anastasia Balezdrova

The second stop on the journey to the small Cycladic Islands is the island of Koufonisi. The place is also known as Koufonisia as there are two islands there, but only one is inhabited.

Keros is an inseparable part of the island group as well. The island is small - its area is 15 sq. km and it is uninhabited nowadays. The last inhabitants left it about 40 years ago because of the lack of any kind of infrastructure. However, various remains of the Cycladic civilization can be seen.

Kato (lower) Koufonisi is also an almost uninhabited island. Its area is 4.3 sq. km and a restaurant and a number of summer houses are the only things you can see there.

Koufonisi or Ano (upper) Koufonisi

This is the smallest and most densely populated Cycladic Island. Its area is only 3.5 sq. km and its inhabitants are 340 in number. Unlike the other islands, the main livelihood of the local people is fishing and tourism in recent years.


The island is famous for its unique and beautiful beaches, namely Finikas, Fanos, Italida and Pori and their emerald waters. They are very close to the main village and port, and they can be accessed from convenient routes or by sea.

If you go boating there, you will have the opportunity to see the coastline and some rock formations such as the "devil’s eye". The seabed is full of life that deserves to be closely examined.

The island

Koufonisi is a typical Cycladic Island. White and blue are the dominant colours, but each walk in the narrow picturesque streets offers surprises. While wandering around the island, you may come across a hospitable elderly lady who will treat you with bergamot jam at her house and tell you stories about the island where she was born and raised.

There are many restaurants and all kinds of facilities on the island and for their stay, tourists can choose to rent a traditional studio or a flat in luxury hotels.


Regardless of their occupation, the majority of locals are also engaged in fishing. Not surprisingly, the island is known for having the largest number of fishing boats per capita: 60 boats for 340 inhabitants. Old-fashioned professions such as traditional shipyards where the masters make almost everything by hand have survived on the island.

The captain and his island

When you arrive in Koufonisi, you will inevitably find Captain Konstandis Prasinos at the pier. He is the most iconic figure of the island. He was crossing seas and oceans with large merchant ships 20 years ago but now, he is the man who welcomes you to his favourite island and sees you off upon leaving it.

In addition to the fishing boats, Captain Konstandis has two other boats, which he calls "sea taxis" and by which he sails around Ano Koufonisi with tourists on board. He stops at the best places for swimming and he always offers some bread to feed the hungry visitors  after they have spent some time swimming in the sea. If you go boating with him, you will visit his friend’s restaurant at the pier of Kato Koufonisi, where you can try delicious fish or meat dishes.

However, the most beautiful moment in this short voyage is when you  pass by Glaronisi – a piece of land where many seagulls live. That is why it is called "seagull island". The sea has sculptured odd shapes in the rocks and left small and beautiful bays, covered with golden sand.




How to get to Koufonisia

Ideally, you should have a sailing or motor boat of your own or you could rent one to enjoy the scenery and sea away from the large number of visitors arriving in July and August. The safest transport, regardless of the mood of the winds in the Aegean Sea, remains the ferry from Piraeus.

"A paradise on earth"

Koufonisi deserves this name. The beautiful wild scenery and crystal clear emerald waters create a truly enchanting picture. Add to that the incredible peace and quietness at night, when nothing but the dim lights disturb the senses. At the end of the journey, you will remember only the beautiful landscapes, the lapping of the waves and the blowing wind.

Stay with us to read our stories about the rest of the small Cycladic Islands - Schinoussa and Iraklia.

Tags: TraveloguesKoufonisiaSmall Cycladic islandsSeaBeachesVacation
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