Koufonisi: An Idyllic Getaway ,Alluring Andros
Koufonisi: An Idyllic Getaway
Nestled away in the Mikro Cyclades lies the tiny bauble of islands known as Koufonissia.
Christina Michele Rios visits
Koufonisia and spills some ‘Insider
tips’ on this destination. Koufonissia
consists of several islands, including
uninhabited Keros and inhabited
Pano (meaning ‘upper’) and Kato
(meaning ‘lower’) Koufonisi. Insider
visits Pano Koufonisi, a 4 square
meter treasure trove of beaches,
charming rock formations and the
most populated of the Mikro
Cyclades with 366 permanent residents, the majority of them fishermen. The Chora is dotted with
picturesque cafes, bars, hotels, little shops and two small supermarkets. Anyone that has visited
Koufonisi will usually tell you it is their favourite island and it’s easy to understand why. The island
is a destination for those seeking to disconnect, unplug and enjoy the original and authentic laidback Greek lifestyle. It is the most peaceful and relaxed island with the most gorgeous coastline of
beach after beach of sparkling aquamarine water kissing the fine, white sand.
The most unique feature of Koufonisi is that you cannot bring a car over on the Skopelitis boat so
you must either walk or ride bicycles everywhere. Upon walking along and exploring the Eastern
coast of the island, you will encounter breathtaking scene after scene and beach after beach—the
only problem is selecting which beach to spend your day at!
Swim. See. In order starting with beaches closest to the hotels and port. Just walk North on the
Eastern Coast and enjoy the stunning coastline–starting with Megali Ammos, Finikas, Platia Pounda,
Pori and finally Gala. Pori Beach– calm clear blue water, fine light sand, the half-moon shape
protects it from the Meltemi wind and the shallow water makes it perfect for swimming. There are
two tavernas here. Be sure to venture behind the tavernas with your camera to see one of the most
spectacular cliffs and views, you’ll thank us later! Gala Beach- an open enclave surrounded by
mountains with a tiny private pebbled beach deep inside, connected to the sea via a narrow corridor.
Gala Beach— an open enclave surrounded by mountains with a tiny private pebbled beach deep
inside, connected to the sea via a narrow corridor opening. A hidden gem located just past Pori
Beach. Piscine aka Devil’s Eye– a natural forming lagoon inside a rock formation. The perfect spot
for a quick swim.
Captain Nicholas’ Psarotaverna– the freshest caught seafood, overlooking the sea and a beautiful,
rustic Windmill (near the port). 228.507.1690
Local Rakomelo is enjoyed by most Koufonisi locals at Astrolouloudo (meaning ‘Starflower), a
charming bar resembling an illuminated cavern with outdoor and indoor seating. 228.507.4438
Both accommodations are in the same location—an ideal one for exploring the island’s coastline of
beaches, shopping in the town and conveniently just 5 minutes away from the port.
Mixali’s little houses– Traditional and minimal Cycladic architecture, Mixali’s hospitality and
charming personality has won us over! Info: mentrinos.com 6979573851
Hotel Koufonisia– Understated Luxury. Info: hotelkoufonisia.gr 228.507.4068
A surprisingly green island considering the arid climate of the Cyclades, Andros exudes natural
beauty and is a must-stop for lovers of contemporary art
From Rafina to Gavrio, the main port of the island:
By ferry boat (approx 2 hours)
By high-speed boat (approx 1 hour)
What’s so special?
The Sariza spring at Apoikia where water pours out of a lion’s head.
Andros’ diverse fauna and flora, thanks to the many rivers that flow
The Saint Petros tower dating from the 300B.C. is one of the best
preserved in the Cycladic islands and dominates the port of Gavrio and its
The picturesque green village of Palaiopoli at the slope of Mount Petalo,
which flourished as a commercial centre from the classical age to Roman
Soak up art and culture at:
The Kairios Library, with an extensive collection of rare publications,
manuscripts, and a historical archive of the island’s cultural traditions
Exhibitions organized every summer at the Museum of Modern Art by the Basil and Eliza Goulandris
The Archaeological Museums of Andros and Palaiopolis to discover the island’s long and rich history
The Naval Museum for original exhibits presenting the entire history of Andriotic shipping
Eat and watch the world go by at:
Stamatis, the oldest tavern in Batsi for fresh fish and great wine
Belabis, (Tel: 228.2041.446) in Kato Aprovato, popular with locals as well as tourists for its
traditional island dishes
Pertesis in Strapouries for its famous froutalia, a traditional omelette made with potatoes, bacon
cubes and sausage
Take a dip at:
Achla beach on the path of Agios Ioannis to the east, which can be accessed by car and then by a dirt
trail; Certainly worth the walk
Chrisi Ammos, as its name suggests, for its golden
Lefka, a virgin sandy beach on the eastern part of the
Tis Grias to Pidima behind Korthiou Cove
Take a sip at:
Vegera, Soleil and Cavo del Mar in Hora for the
outdoor bar experience with low-key music and sunset
ArtCafe, offering more than refreshments, is also a
gallery, music lounge and hosts live music during summer
The roof garden café at the Goulandris Museum of Modern Art for breath-taking views
The Blue Bay Village, near Batsi in Delavogia. Rooms, studios and maisonettes are all a short walk
from the sea and facilities include a beautiful swimming pool and Pool Café Bar (Tel: 228 2041 150).
Perrakis, in Gavrio, overlooking Kypri beach and the clear waters of the Aegean, for a comfortable
stay (Tel: 228 2071 456).
The Paradise Hotel, on the eastern part of the island for fabulous balcony views and old-world charm
(Tel: 228 2022 187).
Rent a small boat from Andros port to visit nearby beaches. No license required and it is very
affordable, especially for a party of 6 or more