Koufonisia is a complex of two beautiful islands. The island of Ano Koufonisi is now experiencing great development in tourism, partly because of its exotic beaches, but also its peaceful environment. Ano Koufonisi, or simply Koufonisi, is more residential and developed. One walk is sufficient to see the whole island. Kato Koufonisi is the heart of free camping. A settlement of tents is created each summer.
Where to swim in Ano Koufonisi
Waters are so clean, that you can even swim in the harbour. The beach of Phoenix –you can also find rooms to let– is only a 15 min. walk. Following in order are: Fanos and Italida (Platia Pounta), preferred by those who like building sand castles. More to the East, you will find the rocky and windy beach of Pori. Throughout the coastline there are crystal blue waters, resembling pools due to the shapes of rocks surrounding them. You can tour around the island by boat or visit Kato Koufonisi which has also amazing waters and beaches.
Where to stay
Despite the fact that there are a number of hotels and rooms available, if you want to visit in August it would be a good idea to book in advance. The traditional hotel Aigaion (hotel-aigaion.gr, +302285074050) is the first to operate on the island, while Dafnis Studios (www.dafniskoufonisia.com, +302285074020), Villa Maria Vekri (+302285029225), Selini Studios (+302285074143), Alkionides and Karnagio (www.alkionides.gr, +302285071694) and Ostria Villa (www.ostriavilla.gr, +302285071671), are also good picks. Koufonisia Hotel Resort (+302285074067) is a top quality choice, Aiolo (+302285074296) a small charming hotel with a magnificent view at the sea, Myrto (+302285074400) and the boutique hotel Portes Houses (+302285074495).
Where to eat
The majority of locals enjoy the occupation of fishing and do so daily, which means that fresh fish will always be available. However, in July and August, there are lots of tourists, and in order to enjoy fresh fish, one has to book in advance. On the port, next to the sea, you can find a number of traditional taverns, in which you can enjoy cooked food, and meat. Gastronaftis (+302285071468) offers a slightly twisted version of Mediterranean kitchen, and there you will find fresh pasta, meat dishes and fresh sea shells in risottos, and also a great variety of Greek wines and beers, produced by small, Greek breweries. The best-selling dishes are: the tuna stake, the pappardelle with shrimp, while starters are also spectacular, with handmade cheese loukoumades, served with homemade tomato jam. Lavanda e Rosmarino (+302285074434, www.lavandaerosmarino.com) will offer you authentic Italian recipes, as it was founded by three Italian women (mother, daughter and aunt), who fell in love with the island while on vacation. You will enjoy fresh, cooked or raw fish, homemade pasta and Italian gluten-free goods, all while having a view of the sea. Moreover, the most hip “ouzeries” of the island are Karnagio (+302285071694), Kapetan Dimitris’s Tavern (+302285071695), where
every dish smells like the sea.
Where to have a great time
The cold “rakomelo” is a must-try. It is refreshing and very easy to come across. For a romantic drink, with the view of Keros, Milos (+306978693413) is the place, while for a chill out night, Kalamia (+302285074444) is a great choice. The establishment of the old school now operates as a rock bar and is called School (+302285071837). The number one of the island is the old time classic Sorokos (+302285071704), with cocktails and an extra inclination towards dance. In the side street you will find Koufochorio cocktail bar (+302285074507).