Ano Koufonisi, usually referred just as Koufonisi, is the main attraction in the Little Cyclades in Greece. There is also another Koufonisi, Kato Koufonisi nearby. The whole Small Cyclades are often referred as Koufonisia.
If you’re thinking about visiting Koufonisi, here’s what to expect.
Highlights, sights and things to do on Koufonisi
- Sea caves: on Pano Koufonissi’s North Cape.
- Saint Nicholas’ small church: over Karnagio with a view to nine islands!
- Mylos (Mill): A traditional windmill that has been renovated into a beautiful bar.
- Beaches: There are a couple of beaches on Koufonisi. The best are in the south-east. The wind mostly comes in from the north and also the sea tends to be somewhat rougher to the north. – Charakopou – Fanos – Parianos – Pisina – Platia Punta – Pori (sometimes a nudist affair)
Festivals on Koufonisi
- Saint Goerge’s church: the protector of the island. On Saint George’s day (normally celebrated on 23rd April, but if it coincides with Lent then it is celebrated on Easter Monday), there is a litany/procession of his icon on the seaside street, while the streets are covered with rose petals. They put on fireworks and all the small boats of the island are sailing alongside. Tripe soup with vinegar and a stew or pasta is offered to everyone and then the feast starts.
- Panagia’s (Virgin Mary’s) church on Kato Koufonissi: situated on Deti’s pier and built on ancient ruins. On August 15th a big festival takes place there. At the end of the Mass, food is offered to everyone and then people are transferred by boats which are competing in the race to get to Pano Koufonissi first, where the feast is held.
- Fishermen feast: on June 24th the captains of the caiques cook for everybody on the pier the traditional cacavia (boulliabaisse-a soup made with different types of fish). A feast follows with traditional music and dance.
Getting around and to Koufonisi, Greece
It is not worth the hassle to bring your own car to the Koufonisi island, although it is in theory possible.
A wide road takes you from the port to Finikas’ beach and the camping site. From the village there is an asphalt road that takes you to Pori, and another one that takes you to the petrol station and the helicopter airport. Other roads turn out to be little more than dirt paths. The gas station has opened in 2005.
Renting a motorbike
Motorbikes and mopeds are popular alternatives to cars. Especially mopeds are frequently used by local youths and can go to many places that cars cannot go. An example are the twisted narrow streets of Koufonisi city.
If you start a day-trip with a moped, make sure you have a full tank, as gas stations are sometimes hard to find. An extra stop at a gas station can save a lot of nerves.
When renting a moped, check if the profile of the tyres is ok and if the brakes work properly. If it is the last vehicle in store, be suspicious – it could be the one that needs a repair badly. Though helmets are not required on the streets, it might be a good idea to ask your rent-a-bike for one.
Kostas Prasinos’ small boat runs a regular daily service from the port to the beaches of: Finikas, Italida and Pori.
Other small boats connect Pano (Upper) and Kato (Lower) Koufonissi. Koufonisi is accessible via ferry from Naxos, and Athens.
All ferry and high speed ferry companies: schedules, connections, availability and prices, between Koufonisia, other Greek islands & Piraeus port (Athens) are here: www.ferries.gr/booking
Sometimes cruise ships dock at the Port.
Accommodation in Koufonisi
Search for places to stay in Koufonisi below: