• travel

    5 Reasons to Visit the Secret Greek Island of Koufonisia

    Our view on the Greek islands is that it’s better to linger than to hop.

    That said, if you are inspired by our take on Naxos, this hop is a must: Koufonisia.

    We were invited by the super creative founders of Eros Keros to be their first guests, and, well, we are smitten. In addition to having first dibs bragging rights, here’s why you’ll want to add Koufonisia to your summer travel plan.

    Daily life, Koufonisia

    It’s small, cozy, and easy.

    Koufonisia sits only a couple hours away from Naxos but in many ways is its opposite, which is why it is good to experience them as a couple. Koufonisia casts a spell that is lingering and languid. We recommend staying at least three days, more if you can. The locals say that with each day in Koufonisia you will do less. It’s true, and there is a bit of magic in this.

    Fanos Beach, Koufonisia

    Its water is bluer and saltier.

    If you’re coming from Naxos you’ll question how this can be possible, and when you get to Koufonisia you will understand. Especially when you head to Pori beach or venture out to Kato Koufonisi, an even smaller island with just one taverna and lots of unpeopled beach. On Pori, we couldn’t get enough of the laid back but sophisticated Kalofego, a Cyclades style taverna-bar that exudes the intangible feeling of summer. Ask for Alexandros.

    A small Greek wedding, Kato, Koufonisia
    A small Greek wedding, Kato Koufonisi

    You can do it on foot.

    In fact, this is the way of the island. Only locals are allowed to bring cars on the island, and there is literally just one land-based taxi on the whole island. We loved the free feeling of getting around the island on fishing boats and strolling to dinner.

    Keros Island in the distance, koufonisia
    Keros island in the distance, Koufonisia

    Salty goat

    Opposite Koufonisi, the island of Keros slumbers in repose. Considered a somewhat sacred island, Keros is noted for the flat-faced Cycladic marble statues that inspired the work of Picasso and Henry Moore. In modern times though, its only inhabitants are goats, who feed exclusively on the salty grasses and sea water of the island, which makes them super tasty. With all due respect to our vegetarian readers, non-vegetarians cannot miss the grill here.

    Our private patio, Eros Keros, Koufonisia

    The first of your friends to visit
    Eros Keros

    We had the honor/pleasure/joy of being invited by our friend Anita to be one of her first guests at Eros Keros, four beautifully luxurious Cyclades-style houses that gaze onto the island of Keros. Anita has been coming to Koufonisia for over 20 years, and she has poured her love of the island into every detail, down to the yellow skylight windows inspired by Greek cathedrals. We became quite addicted to our breakfast basket full of local cheeses, olives, tomatoes, eggs, and fresh-baked bread delivered to our door every morning…Sit on your balcony and take note of how the island of Keros changes color throughout the day, from a purple-blue in the morning, to a vivid range of blues in the afternoon, to a gentle sherbet-pink-orange by the evening. Ask for Anita.

    Getting around by water taxi, Koufonisia

    How to get there

    You can get to Koufonisia by ferry, but it’s much better by a fishing boat. It’s a bit more expensive, but we promise, this is the Greece that you will remember.

    Patricia Garcia-Gomez
    Patricia Garcia-Gomez
    Patricia Garcia-Gomez is a writer, photographer and artist. She has contributed to the Travel Channel and the Discovery Channel. Her work is also part of the archives of the Tate Modern, the Museum of Arts & Design in New York, the Buhl Collection, and The Harwood Museum in New Mexico.

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