Are you looking for a secret hideaway? Blue crystal clear water, remote white sand beaches and hidden bays? You don’t have to travel to the the other side of the world nor to tropical islands.
The insider tip of Greek people for everyone who wants to relax far off from the hustle of the other touristic destinations in Greece. Mykonos, Santorini, Krete are all hyped and therefore on many peoples travel bucket lists. If you want to explore and enjoy your vacation on a small Cycladic island and really experience the remote peace – then read on.
The only things you can hear is the whispering of the wind and the breathless roaring of the sea.
But first of just some key facts to get you more familiar to what you might expect on the island(s). Koufonisia include three main islands: Koufonisi or Pano Koufonisi, Kato Koufonisi and Keros. They are characterized by their exotic beaches and virgin landscape. The tiny islands are hard to locate even on a map, but offer infinite natural beauty, capable of seducing you into staying there forever!
Geographically, they are located on the southeast side of Naxos and on the west side of Amorgos. Uninhabited Keros is a protected archaeological site from which a large number of ancient Cycladic art pieces have been excavated in the 20th century. Kato Koufonisi has an area of 4.3 square kilometres (1.7 sq mi) and it is almost uninhabited, as there are only a few rural houses exist.
Pano Koufonisi is the smallest and most densely populated island of the Cycladic island group. It has an area of 5.8 km2 (2 sq mi) and 399 residents live on it. And this was also the island where I stayed. The amazing thing is that everything is in walking distance. Cars are unnecessary and all beaches on Koufonisia are easily accessed by foot and distances are short. The longest walking distance, from Hora to Pori, takes roughly 40 minutes and small boats offer transport to the beaches every day, from morning to sunset if you are to lazy to walk.
Resort tourism has not yet reached the island. But no matter what you are looking for – there are charming accommodations for all budgets. During the Yoga retreat we stayed at the private Koufonisi Villas at Pori beach and afterwards I enjoyed a welcoming hospitality at Portes Houses. Both are perfectly located outside the center of the town and you can enjoy tranquility time with beaches in 5 minutes walking distance.
Obviously there are not too many sightseeing spots on such a small piece of earth. But nonetheless, these beautiful Greek island are full of secret jewels that will astonish you with their beauty. On Pano Koufonissi you should not miss out these places:
The image of Pori beach’s white sand and clear blue waters continues to captivate the minds of visitors even after they have left Koufonisia. But there are also 5 other beaches with white sand and many hidden cliffs with a stony bay.
This is one of the must visits on Koufonisia. It’s not directly accessible from a street so you need to walk there for 15-30 minutes but it’s worth it! And if you are brave enough you can swim or even cliff jump into the cold water. At another place closer to Hori, we found even the Devils Nose – where right under yourself there are two holes and you hear only the roaring of the sea like the breath of the devil.
Compared to Mykonos there is only one windmill but you can enjoy the amazing sunset at the bar located right at the viewpoint in Hora. Hora is the only town on the island and the port is the only access point. From there the ships and ferries go to the bigger surrounding islands and also back to Athens and the mainland.
But the cutest boat will bring you to beautiful Kato Koufonissi. It’s just a 20-30 minutes trip and you’ll arrive at wonderful Nero beach. If you prefer to hike and find a remote bay for yourself then you should take your trainers (flipflops don’t work here…) It’s nothing compared to the Swiss Alps but the hike along the cliffs and hills of the small island back in direction Taverna are worth the effort. It takes you around 50 minutes and you’ll reach “Laki beach” which is the most beautiful bay I’ve ever seen!
If you take the 5 o’clock boat back home then you get the amazing opportunity of a detour where you see the beautiful “Castelli”. Cliffs and Rocks rising from the water and just leaving you speechless.
Not only speechless but also an unforgettable memory of this adventure will stay in my mind. Sometimes you find the most amazing places when you opt for something not hyped and just be curious what to expect. I can just recommend you the island. And lastly – if you prefer not to much tourism – avoid August – all the other months are great for relaxation and just pure tranquility.
“This isn’t the place for anyone with a penchant for beach bars and endless lines of deckchairs.”