Unique Island in Greece - Koufanisia
This island is magic! Known as Ano Koufanisi, it’s located northeast of it’s uninhabited sister island Kato Koufanisi. Together they are referred to as Koufanisia. This island is a bit harder to get to as it's more off the radar than traditionally popular Greek islands like Milos or Paros. We only saw one other group of American tourists while we were there. The island mainly sees returning European families on their summer holidays. The town is composed of a few walkable streets that exude Greek island life in every way; there are very few cars on the island and only a handful of dirt roads they use to get around. This island has something for everyone, as you walk around most of the island on a dirt path, you'll run into lazy beaches, beach bars, dramatic sea cliffs and natural swimming pools. If you want to skip walking, there are cute taxi boats that can take you to any of the spots around the island or even the neighboring island for 7 euros per day.
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Where to stay in Koufanisia
Aeris Suites: Aeris Suites offers modern and stylish accommodations with stunning views, making it an ideal choice for travelers seeking comfort and luxury.
Pangaia Seaside Hotel
Pangaia Seaside Hotel: Pangaia Seaside Hotel provides a tranquil seaside escape with comfortable rooms and a peaceful atmosphere, perfect for relaxation.
Koufanisi Villas: Koufanisi Villas offers charming villas in a picturesque setting, providing guests with a serene and authentic Greek island experience.
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Things to do in Koufanisia
Head to the north east side of the island to hang out at Pori beach’s crystal clear waters! Don’t miss the dramatic Pori Cliffs behind the beach. If it’s calm, you can explore the Ksylompatis caves near the Pori cliffs. Be careful though, it can get quite windy and choppy on that side of the island. While you’re over there, you can choose between Kalofego or Wana Beach Bar and Restaurant for a drink and snack.
For dramatic rock formations, potentially a jump and a dip, bring some goggles for snorkeling around here as well.
This was my absolute favorite spot on the island. We would bring towels and lay on the rocks taking turns jumping into the natural pool and watching the fish swim around. There was a short underwater tunnel that took you out to the open sea from the pool that we would swim in and out of and explore the coastline from under water!
Take the taxi boat over to the neighboring island and hike to Laki beach and then further on to clothing-optional Nero beach. You’ll pass one or two quirky homes, some abandoned buildings and goats roaming around. Once you’ve hiked back, have a drink at the only establishment on the island, Venetsanos restaurant, while you wait for the next boat taxi to bring you back.
Places to eat & drink in Koufanisia
Neo Remezzo - Skip the trendier spots and head to this traditional Greek restaurant for amazing seafood dishes as big as your head.
Laska - For higher end meal and a lighter dinner with more romantic ambiance.
Souvlaki Sti Strofi - This is a fantastic Gyro spot on the main strip in town, it has green shutters and is only open in the evenings, definitely worth having a casual bite here one night!
Finikas Beach and Restaurant - This was our favorite spot! It’s closer to town but such a cute beach spot where we had traditional Greek dishes for lunch, we ended up going there twice in one week.
Capetan Nikolas - Another traditional restaurant with big plates and delicious meals, we picked our fish from the catch of the day and devoured it in the simple, yet pleasant patio atmosphere with views of the windmill and neighboring islands.
Mylos - Such a unique space, you can grab a drink outside overlooking the harbor and sea, and then head to the adorable boutique in the centuries-old windmill. You can shop an assortment of clothing and accessories along with ceramics and candles, all made in Greece by Greek designers.
Koyfochorio - Located on the main walking street through town, the bars put their chairs and tables out around 6pm and this lively bar starts to fill up around 8pm. If you’re there earlier head inside to the back small patio to sip on a handcrafted cocktail while taking in the view, if you’re there later, join the locals in the street for a nightcap.
Sorokos - This may have been one of my favorite bars I have ever been to. Located right on the water on the outskirts of the main beach, you can sit in your bikini on wooden beach chairs or on plush pillows right above the sea. Jump and and take a swim as you wait for your food and cocktails. They also have a fantastic pancake breakfast if you get going earlier in the day!
Scholio Alternative Cocktail Rock Bar - An old couple runs this place and they make very strong cocktails. They play rock-n-roll all night long, and the bar is all stone which creates a cozy and cave-like bar. This is a great place to tuck into a corner for the evening post-dinner if you want to skip the more energetic bars down the street.
Need to Know
Looking for more travel inspo? Check out Fora Advisor Caroline Bernthal's guide, Let's Sail Away! Two of the Best Yacht Charters in Greece.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Greece.