What to See in Koufonisia
Apart from the settlement of Chora, which lies in Pano Koufonisi, with its characteristic small cycladic houses, attractions consist of sea caves which are found at Pano Koufonisi behind the beach of Pori. They can be accessed only via the sea. The steep cliffs form caves and small beach-pools which are ideal for a swim. A short sea journey from the Koufonisia Islands will lead you to Keros, which, apart from gorgeous beaches, provides important archaeological sites, such as the Early Cycladic cemetery, where finds of important archaeological importance have been discovered, the most important of which can be found at the Museum of Cycladic Art, the Museum of Naxos and elsewhere.
Travelling to Koufonisia
Walking in Koufonisia is truly amazing as there are no asphalt roadways and all distances can be easily covered on foot. People need just three hours to walk the whole island.
Some routes are:
From Chora to Xilopati: On your way you will see sandy beaches with deep blue waters, caves hollowed in the rocks by the waves and dunes just right next to the pathway. In Xilopati there is a well known water cave where many wild doves find shelter.
Chora-Profitis Ilias-Pano Meria. It is a route with great view following the pathways in the center of the island and leading to Profitis Ilias chapel.
The Koufonisia Islands were the center of Cycladic civilization as is shown from the archaeological finds that came to light in the area of Epano Myloi of Pano Koufonisi. The finds from the archaeological site are kept at the Archaeological Museum of Naxos.
The islet of Keros, southeast of Pano Kefalonisi, was one of the most important centers of Cycladic civilization. On Keros, at an Early Cycladic cemetery, finds of utmost importance have been found, such as more than 100 marble statuettes, among which the impressive statuette of Megali Mitera with the height of 1.40 m and the famous figurine-symbols of Early Cycladic civilization Avlitis and Arpistis which are exhibited at the Archaeological Museum of Athens.
Beaches in Koufonisia
The southeastern coasts of the island include most of the island's beaches such as Finikas, Fanos and Platia Pounta and are the most visited. Continuing you will see small gulfs between rocks where you can swim in quiet. You will also see Pori which is considered to be the most beautiful beach in the island. The rocky caves in the north coasts of Koufonisi and Kato Koufonisi are ideal fishing places for amateur fishermen.
There are also small boats departing from Chora which can take you to the far away beaches of the island, as well as in the nearby islets of Prasoura, Glaronisi, Voulgari, Tsouloufi, Lazaros and Megali Plaka in reasonable prices. All these islets have been announced places of unique natural beauty.
Boats can anchor at the bay of the settlement of Pano Koufonisi. The bay an opening towards the south, with a depth of 3-5 m and a sandy seabed which lends itself to a relatively safe anchoring. The quay, where the route ship makes a stop, is on the west of this beach and where one could tie their boat as well when a ship is not expected or to tie their boat from the stern onto the rocks towards the west of the quay.
Also, one could anchor at Parianos, at the fishing shelter of the island, upon agreement with the local fishermen. The shelter has a depth of 6 m at its entrance and provides a safe shelter from winds.
There is a potential spot to anchor is also to the south at the open bay of Pori which lies southeast of P. Koufonisi and where one could anchor at open sea even with high winds at a depth of 3-5 m on a sand bottom.
For the owners of yachts there is a gas station at Pano Koufonisi.
Koufonisia islands’ cuisine has been influenced by Naxos and Amorgiani islands’ cuisine. "Patatato” (meat in red sauce with potatoes) is a very popular dish especially in celebrations and formal occasions. Famous are also some traditional sweets such as pasteli (crunchy bars made of sesame and honey) in lemon leaves and xerotigana (diples) (fried thin crust).
Fresh fish and seafood are the main island products and an attraction point for several visitors who arrive here even by boats from neighboring islands in order to enjoy a fresh and well cooked fish and seafood dish. Nevertheless, the area has also a small stock production and "ksinomizithra"(sour cheese) is its main product.