INFORMATION ABOUT KOUFONISIA ISLAND
Koufonisia is one of the most cosmopolitan resorts in Cyclades. The island’s tourism flourished in the last decade making it the first island in traffic in all Cyclades. The visitors of the island increased over the years the island has managed to maintain unchanged its natural beauty.
The location of the island is in southeast side of Naxos and west from Amorgos. It is a cluster of two small islands separated by 200 meters strait.
Pano Koufonissi or Koufonissi as called by the locals is the capital and the smaller island of Cyclades, with a total area of just 3.5 t. km. It is the most densely populated island with a total of 284 residents of whom the 110 are young which is rare for the Greek islands. The schools of the island list 70 students dispersed at all educational levels. Most residents of the island engaged in fishing, the island fish is abundant and that is why Koufonissi is considered as the larger fishing villages in Cyclades. Agriculture and livestock brought to a lesser extent, covering only the needs of the inhabitants of the island. Residents have many small fishing boats and fishing vessels for their needs. They say that the boats of the island are more than residents and that is why Koufonissi has one of the largest fleets in Greece with regard to its population.
When you arrive at the port, you can see a big white windmill to the left of see front and white houses of Chora, built on the hill of the island. During the last decade with the great flourishing of tourism, we can say that its difficult to find secluded beaches on the island. The gold sand beaches with crystal clear waters are a real pleasure for the visitors.
The inhabitants of the island are famous for there hospitality. Movements on the island are easy because of the short distances. You can use small boats to visit Kato Koufonissi, Glaronisi and other beaches of the island. The fares are in reasonable levels. The residents are willing to take you for a tour in the areas and the beaches of the island.
Your vacations in Koufonisia will stay unforgettable, full of beautiful pictures and enjoyable tastes. In the taverns on the island you will enjoy plenty of fish. You can find hotels and rented rooms in the areas of Chora and Charakopou. Free camping is prohibited on the island. For those who love nature, the island has an organized camping in the area of Charakopou, about 1.5 kilometers from the port.
You can access the island by boat from the ports of Piraeus and Rafina. During all year ferry boats and Dolphins arrive to the island from other Cycladic destinations such as Ios-Santorini – Amorgos - Naxos – Paro - Mykonos and Syros. For many years the ship «Skopelitis» makes the famous route to the small Cyclades, Amorgos - Donousa - Koufonissi - Schinoussa - Erakleia and final destination Naxos.
KOUFONISIA ISLAND HISTORY
According to archaeological findings of the island, Koufonisia inhabited since prehistoric times. Excavations made in the region of Pano Mili and the east coast of the island revealed significant information about the early seasons of the Cycladic culture and many findings from the Hellenistic and Roman times. One of the most significant finds in the history of Cyclades is a vessel engraved with a star on it, kept today at the Museum of Naxos. Koufonisia along with the neighbouring island of Keros, used to be the most important centres of Cycladic Culture around 3000-2000 B.C.
Koufonisia subsequently shared the fate of most of the islands in the Cyclades group which suffered from frequent raids by pirates. The isles’ control passed between Venetian dynasties and the Ottomans, and Koufonisia was often forced into alliance with pirates from Mani who held an informal alliance with the inhaitants of the island for their benefit.
During the 17 th century, the great conflict between the two naval superpowers of all times, Venice and Turkey, the residents of Koufonisia where found excluded and a large plague struck the island. In order to satisfy their hunger the residents of the island used solutions of any kind. They forced themselves to eat bulbs, a plant growd in the poor soiled island. The release of Koufonisia came together with the rest of the Cyclades after the Revolution of 1821.