No, you’re not in heaven! You’re in Pano (upper) Koufonisi, the ultimate summer holiday destination in the heart of the Cyclades
. Crystal clear waters, exotic beaches, sand that glitters like fairy dust. Caves for outlawed pirates and adventurous lovers. Savour the flavours and enjoy music inspired by nights under the moon. There are spots against an Aegean backdrop where the fun never stops, and secret places for peace, tranquility and relaxation.
What to do in Koufonisia
Where less is more
There is beauty in simplicity. Pano Koufonisi may not have all the luxuries that some other islands like Santorini offer, but it has all the necessary comforts and, more importantly, provides unspoiled natural beauty. Despite being the smallest in circumference of all the inhabited Cycladic islands (10 sq km), it has lured travellers both high end and low as an alternative holiday option over the past 20 years.
Dive into an emerald dream
You cannot resist the sea around the magical Koufonisia. Golden coastlines, still waters and sandy shores. There’s no doubt about it: you’ll want to dive into the Aegean. Finikas, Fanos, Italida, Pori … there is even a beach called The Pool, true to its name.
Explore by boat
If there ever was a place to visit by boat, it is the waters around Pano and Kato (lower) Koufonisi. It’s not just the hidden beaches that await discovery, but a tapestry of exotic imagery, endless hues of blue, green and turquoise. The welcoming Mediterranean is ready to offer you the most exotic swim of your life!
All roads lead to... Hora!
The only settlement on either island, you will inevitably pass through Hora, a Cycladic microcosm that welcomes you to wander its small streets. Pots of geraniums, white walls, afternoons where locals chat and gossip on their stoops. At night the town comes alive: tourists and locals socialise, the mood is vibrant and fun. Strangers exchange warm glances and soft-spoken conversations, and sweet music lures you in like a siren.
Hidden gems of Koufonisia
An idyllic hideout: the sea caves of the Small Cyclades
Legend says that pirates hid in the sea caves on the north side of Pano Koufonisi. Impressive shelters eroded by the sea, with Lilliputian beaches, the perfect fishing spot.
In the Keros of Arpisti and Avliti
At night, from Pano Koufonisi, you can see the small island of Keros in the distance, shaped like a woman’s silhouette. In the morning, Keros reveals its archaeological significance. A protected site and for some even more important than Delos, it is the hometown of the Arpisti and Avliti, the traditional flute- and harp-playing figurines depicted in so much Cycladic art.
Exotic Kato (lower) Koufonisi
No one lives here anymore. There are about ten buildings altogether and a famous tavern. Moor your little boat to the dock and begin to explore on foot (or continue by speedboat for more convenience). The beaches Nero, Pezoulia and Fikio await you.
Images of Koufonisia