Koufonisia is a group of two heavenly islands in the Cyclades. Famous for their amazing turquoise waters and stunning natural landscape, they are an ideal destination for a quiet beach holiday.
Here, you will find everything you need to know about your trip to Koufonisia: how to get there, things to do, best beaches and ferry schedules. Book ferry tickets to Koufonisia online on Ferryhopper with just a few clicks!
Beach next to Chora in Pano Koufonisi with amazing turquoise waters
Vacation in Koufonisia
Koufonisia is a group of two beautiful islands, Pano or Ano Koufonisi (“upper Koufonisi”) and Kato Koufonisi (“lower Koufonisi”). Koufonisia belong to the so-called Small Cyclades, and indeed, they are so small that you can easily get around on foot.
Holidays in Koufonisia mainly involve swimming and sunbathing, as both islands are well-known for their gorgeous beaches and spectacular crystal-clear waters.
Pano Koufonisi has become a popular holiday destination in the last few years, but it still retains its traditional character. In Pano Koufonisi, you will find rooms to rent as well as picturesque tavernas where you can try delicious fresh fish and seafood.
Kato Koufonisi, on the other hand, is an unspoiled paradise that is pretty much uninhabited and only has one restaurant. If you want to spend the night in Kato Koufonisi, you will have to sleep under the stars. And when you wake up, you might find yourself in the company of the island’s only residents: goats!
How to get to Koufonisia
You can easily get to Koufonisia from Athens, as there are regular ferry crossings from the port of Piraeus all year long. There is also the option to travel to the island of Naxos and get the ferry to Koufonisia from there. Bear in mind that ferries arrive in Pano Koufonisi. If you want to go to Kato Koufonisi for a day trip, you will have to take the local boat.
You can find more information about ferry schedules and tickets to Koufonisia here.
What to do in Koufonisia
Koufonisia is the perfect destination for swimming, walking and spending relaxing time on the beach. In the evening, head to the tavernas and bars in Pano Koufonisi to try the superb local dishes and drink raki!
If you are looking for adventure, you can go for a day trip to the gorgeous neighboring islands of the Cyclades or hike to the church of Profitis Ilias to marvel at the breathtaking view and watch the sunset.
Sounds exciting? Read on to find out all you need to know to travel to Koufonisia.
Stunning beach in Kato Koufonisi
Beaches in Pano Koufonisi
With their amazing turquoise waters, golden sand and stunning landscape, beaches in Koufonisia are amongst the most beautiful in Greece. Most of them do not have any amenities or natural shade, so we recommend bringing what you need with you. To get to the beaches in Pano Koufonisi you can either walk or take the local boat. The service runs daily during the summer.
The 7 best beaches in Pano Koufonisi are:
- Ammos: this beach is right next to the port, but it’s still gorgeous. It has crystal blue waters and is sheltered from the north wind.
- Foinikas or Charokopou beach: this is a fantastic beach with turquoise waters and golden sand. It has been named after the taverna Foinikas, which is right next to it. After your swim, head there to enjoy good local food.
- Fanos: this is a beautiful sandy beach with crystal-clear waters and a charming café-restaurant.
- Italida: this nude-friendly beach has glassy turquoise waters and golden sand that will make you think that you are on a tropical island.
- Pisina (“swimming pool”): this is not exactly a beach, but an amazing natural swimming pool with turquoise waters that has been carved into the rocks by the sea!
- Pori: this is probably the best beach in Pano Koufonisi. It has golden sand and fantastic blue waters. There, you will find the popular bar-restaurant Kalofego.
- Gala (“milk”): an opening in the rocks allows seawater to pass through, forming this tiny pebbly beach that is truly a wonder of nature. Its unusual name comes from the milky color of its waters.
Tip: as you walk along the coast from Foinikas to Gala, you will find several natural pools and caves where you can swim. We also recommend visiting Ksilobatis caves in the northeast of the island to marvel at the breathtaking landscape.
Beaches in Kato Koufonisi
Jump on the little boat that departs daily from the port of Pano Koufonisi to discover the gorgeous secluded beaches of Kato Koufonisi. The ride takes about 10 minutes.
Most of the island’s beaches can only be reached on foot, as there are no roads. The hiking trails are not very difficult and the breathtaking views of the Aegean will reward you for your efforts! Bear in mind that apart from the little restaurant in Panagia, Venetsanos, the island has no other amenities or accommodation facilities. But you can always sleep on the beach!
Ferryhopper’s 4 favorite beaches in Kato Koufonisi are:
- Nero: this is an amazing beach with turquoise waters and a big tamarisk that offers its shade to visitors. Nero is a favourite camping spot and the beach is nude-friendly.
- Detis: this is a small sandy beach with turquoise waters.
- Lakki: this pebbly beach is popular with campers, as it is close to the island’s only restaurant. It has crystal blue waters and is sheltered from the wind.
- Pezoulia: this is a beautiful beach with small pebbles and crystal-clear waters.
Nightlife in Koufonisia
Nightlife in Koufonisia is more low-key compared to other Greek islands but still exciting. Chora, the only village in Koufonisia, has several bars to suit all tastes. We recommend going to the legendary café-bar Sorokos to enjoy your drink next to the sea.
Don’t forget to try psimeni raki (“boiled raki” with honey, sugar and spices) at the island’s rakadika (traditional restaurants that serve raki and meze). And if you feel like partying, head to Mylos to dance till morning!
Food in Koufonisia
Koufonisia are famous for their delicious local dishes and high-quality products, which you can try at the tavernas in Pano Koufonisi as well as at the only restaurant in Kato Koufonisi.
We recommend going to the restaurant-bar Kalofego at Pori beach to enjoy great food while watching the sunset. For seafood, head to Aneplora and Kapetan-Nikolas, and for traditional Greek cuisine, go to Foinikas. Don’t miss the souvlaki at Strofi, the cheese pie at the bakery of Giorgoula, and the ice-cream at Fistiki. For coffee, breakfast and mouth-watering desserts, try Kalamia or Chelona (“turtle”). In Kato Koufonisi, Venetsanos is well-known for its tasty dishes and impromptu parties with traditional Greek music.
During your vacation in Koufonisia, you should definitely try:
- fresh fish
- seafood pasta
- wild goat from Keros (usually cooked in the oven)
- patatato (traditional goat and potato stew)
- xerotigana (fried dough dessert with syrup)
- rakomelo (warm raki with honey and spices)
Day trips from Koufonisia
If you feel that you need a break from all the sunbathing and swimming in Koufonisia, you can go for a day trip to the beautiful neighbouring islands. Boats departs from the port of Pano Koufonisi.
We definitely recommend visiting the uninhabited island of Keros, a place of great archaeological significance that was probably a major sanctuary during the Early Cycladic period (3200-2000 BCE). While there are no beaches in Keros, you can dive in the amazing crystal waters of the Aegean Sea!
Koufonisia are also very close to other stunning islands of the Cyclades. In about 30 minutes, you can reach Amorgos or Schinoussa, while the journey to Iraklia and Donousa takes approximately 1 hour. These lesser known Cyclades islands are definitely worth discovering!
The coastline of Koufonisia is full of gorgeous hidden coves
Useful information for Koufonisia
Chora is the only village in Koufonisia and it is located in Pano Koufonisi. There, you will find all the amenities you need for your holidays: pharmacy, supermarket, a medical center and an ATM machine.
As for accommodation, there are several rooms to let as well as small hotels in Chora and close to some of the island’s beaches (e.g., Fanos, Pori, Foinikas). If you prefer camping, then you can try the more isolated Kato Koufonisi.
Important phone numbers for your stay in Koufonisia
Here are some useful contacts to keep handy during your trip to Koufonisia:
- Koufonisia Medical Center:+302285071370
- Municipal Unit of Koufonisia: +302285071379
- Koufonisia Police Station: +302285071375
- Koufonisia citizen service center (KEP): +302285029243
- Naxos Port Authority: +302285022300
- Amorgos Port Authority: +302285071259
- Gas station: +302285071457
- Pharmacy: +302285074454, +306947929292
- European emergency number: 112
Transportation in Koufonisia
While Pano Koufonisi does have a small road network, you don’t really need a vehicle to get around considering that it is only 26km² in size. You can easily walk everywhere or take the local bus that runs daily from the port to Pori.
There is also a lantza (type of small boat) that takes you to the island’s beaches, with several daily departures. If you do decide to bring your own vehicle, keep in mind that there is a gas station on one of the main roads.
Ports in Koufonisia
The little picturesque port of Koufonisia is located right next to Chora on the south coast of Pano Koufonisi. Ferries to Koufonisia depart regularly from Athens.
A picturesque little corner in Chora of Pano Koufonisi
Island hopping from Koufonisia
Koufonisia belong to the Small Cyclades, a group of beautiful unspoiled islands located southeast of Naxos and northeast of Ios. From Koufonisia, you can easily travel by ferry to the other islands of the Small Cyclades, such as Schinoussa, Iraklia and Donousa. Trip duration ranges from 30 min to 1 hr depending on the island and type of ferry.
There are also regular ferry connections from Koufonisia to Amorgos as well as to other popular islands of the Cyclades, like Santorini and Mykonos.
From Koufonisia, you can travel by ferry to the following Aegean islands:
- Amorgos (Katapola and Aigiali)
Tip: ferry routes between the Small Cyclades are served regularly by ferries departing from Athens, but also by the local boat Express Skopelitis. This legendary boat has been operating in the Small Cyclades for more than 30 years. Unless you suffer from seasickness, traveling with Skopelitis is a unique experience that you will never forget - especially if the sea is rough!
On our Map of ferries, you can see all the available ferry routes from Koufonisia, so that you can easily organize your island hopping in the Aegean hassle-free with Ferryhopper!
Koufonisia ferry: schedules and tickets
Athens is connected to Koufonisia with regular ferry crossings from the port of Piraeus all year long. In the summer, an additional service is sometimes added from the port of Rafina, a small town close to Athens International Airport. You can also travel to Naxos and take the ferry to Koufonisia from there.
More specifically, the main ferry routes to Koufonisia are the following:
- Athens (Piraeus) - Koufonisia: during the off-season, there are about 3 weekly ferry crossings from Piraeus to Koufonisia. In the summer, ferry departures are daily. The journey from Piraeus to Koufonisia ranges from 5-8 hr depending on the ferry.
- Athens (Rafina) - Koufonisia: the ferry route from Rafina to Koufonisia is sometimes available during the summer. Trip duration is about 7 hr.
- Naxos - Koufonisia: Naxos is connected to Athens with frequent ferry crossings from the port of Piraeus. The ferry route Naxos - Koufonisia is also served regularly throughout the year, while during the summer, there are up to 5 daily ferry departures. The journey from Naxos to Koufonisia takes 40 min to 2.5 hr depending on the ferry.
The sun is setting over the Aegean Sea in Pano Koufonisi
Where to book ferry tickets to Koufonisia online
On Ferryhopper, you can book your ferry to Koufonisia at the same price with ferry companies. Find all the available ferry connections, discounts and offers, and organize your trip to the Cyclades with just a few clicks!