EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT KOUFONISSI
Welcome to one of the most beautiful islands I have ever seen in my life Koufonissi, Greece!
I'm going to give you a little run down of my favorite parts of this island, where to stay and what to eat.
Let me start off by saying this island is a hidden gem, yet to be ruined by tourists, there are no cars or motorbikes - bar one taxi on the island which makes it so quiet and peaceful leaving you to relax to the max and take in your surroundings. The island itself is sooooooo small you can walk around the whole this in approx 3 hours.
I would highly recommend this to people who seek stunninggg (and I mean insanely stunning) beaches, relaxation, local hangouts and good food!
I went for just 4 days which for me was 100% not enough time I would have loved to hungout for at least 10 days to get the full experience but not gonna lie you have to like walking to fully enjoy this island cause that basically half of what you do or find the taxi on the last day and get highly excited like we did.
Without further ado here are my highlights...
Where I stayed...
MELISSA ROOM (BEACH)
I booked this hotel in January on Booking.com for 70 Euros a night and it was the absolute dream! Your very own little apartment with two beds a mini fridge, gas burner for coffee, bathroom and balcony overlooking the sea, what more could you possibly want.
I was greeted at the boat by a young boy whole swiftly lugged my 2 giant suitcases (I know I know I'm a girl) in to his little truck and we pottered off to the hotel which was all of 3 mins drive down the road - like I said tiny island.
Everyone was so nice and was there to help with any questions. This is a great base if you like to be just outside the hustle and bustle, but in a 10 min walk you are right in the center of Horio (Town).
If you prefer a more town vibe The Melissa Rooms have a Horio version in the center of the main town - make sure not to get the two messed up otherwise you will arrive to a totally different setting than you expected so check carefully before booking.
All my Greek friends told me wait and book last minute as you can get some amazing cheap deals on rooms but my gut told me this summer was gonna be a BIG one so stuck to my guns and held on to this beauty, luckily I did as by March all the rooms for July and August on the WHOLE island were sold out. - Thank god the Brit in me is sensible.
Overall this was a glorious stay and I would highly recommend it to anyone!
TOP TOP:- Book Early! Don't lose out.
There are 4 main beaches on this island... Pori, Italida, Fanos and Finikas! You can take a boat from the port or from Finikas beach to each one of these on the hour and the half hour. You can also walk... I suggest this!
Finakis is the first beach on your travels about a 10 min walk for the main town with a little Taverna on it, its predominately a family beach as its the closest - (if you’re dead by this point you can take the water taxi to the rest of the beaches but I believe in you, you got this.) Next up about a 5 mins walk on is Fanos which has a beach bar and is the last stop for water and snacks on your journey so make sure to take plenty of water for the rest of your walk. You will then hit Italida another 10 mins walk down the coast which is the cool kids beach, this is where everyone aged 25 - 35 goes to meet their new best friends and hang out on the beach till 9pm! Then a hefty 40 min walk later all the way down the coast you will reach Pori a giant stretch of open white sandy beach with the most crystal clear water you have ever seen - worth the walk for sure. You will also discover some amazing gems along the way too which I will tell you about further down in this post. Pori had two restaurant which I will tell you about later too!
But if you're smart you will realize there are stunning coves dotted along the whole coast line where no people go... Yet they are more beautiful... The water is pure turquoise and... You are the only one on the beach (My paradise). If your are like me and hate to be surrounded by other people on holiday and like my space to relax swim and do as I please without hearing 25 million people have a chat whilst I am trying to sleep this is your jam.
Don't get me wrong the MAIN beaches are stunning and worth a visit but in the Summer months will be totally packed with people! For some people this is the jam, Bat and Ball, Umbrellas and getting involved in others convos - if you wanna do that head to these hot spots and you are bound to make friends in not time.
If you are like me on the other hand, walk on the coast line and look out (you can't miss them) for the little uninhabited coves where you happily set your towel up open up a book and live your dreams in peace and harmony on your very own secret beach.
TOP TIPS :- Buy an Umbrella - There is no shade on this island so if you burn easily you will need one. Pick one up for 10 euros at the local supermarket in town. Rent a bike - You can also rent a bike from town and instead of walking bike your way all the way round to Pori.
Don't go to Pori when its windy - If you like sand in the face and 1000 umbrellas trying to kill you go ahead but I suggest steering clear.
How do you imagine Greece? White houses and small alley ways full of charm? That is exactly what you get here in the Horio of Koufonissi!
The Horio is one Main street that you walk up a little hill to get to and then enter this long alley way all painted brilliant white with little restaurants, bars, ice cream shops and boutique clothes shops.
Try out the little homemade Ice Cream store - its to die for, wonder in and out of the shops as lesuirly as possible and at the end of the street enjoy a Rakomelo the signature drink of the island in one of the little bars.
I suggest exploring this is the day and the night to experience two very different worlds.
TOP TIP:- If you want that all white Greek photo - this is the place to do it.
This is by far one of those island where it all about trial and error! You can get the best food of your life or the most meh food of your life. Luckily you have me to tell you where to go for the best!
You can get anything from super traditional Taverna style Greek Food in Koufonissi or something a little different and modern - which I appreciated as many Greek islands don't like to step out of the box!
These are my faves...
Kalofego - A Modern take on Greek food, this restaurant was by far my fave from the delicious cornflake breaded feta with honey (pictured above) to the beetroot salad (pictured above) I could have sat and eaten here all day, all night. TO DIE FOR!!! This restaurant is on Pori beach so after your nice long beach day come and hang out here have the food of your dreams, watch the sunset and enjoy.
Aneplora - On the other side of the island you will find this Greek Taverna style restaurant tucked all the way at the very end of the street next to the old harbor of Koufinissi. With a giant boat plopped right in the center for decoration this spot is has probably some of the best seafood I have ever eaten! Octopus Stifado, White Bait and more, order as much seafood as you like and you won't break the bank! Winning.
Gastronaftis - Again another not so greek spot in the heart of the Horio is this gem! Little tapas style plates with delicious Tuna TarTar and Sauteed Mushrooms with all the amazing dips your heart can imagine this spot is a little taste of heaven.
Captain Nikolas Taverna - Last but not least if you are looking for the best greek taverna or your life look no further. We celebrated my Mums birthday here and they did not disappoint. We ate everything from Fava to Pasta with Fresh Prawns, Horta, Sardines and so much more. Every single bite was delicious. I recommend this spot for the full Greek experience.
TOP TIPS:- Walk to Aneplora then take the taxi back as its pretty far out but a beautiful walk there whilst the sun is setting. The last boat back from Pori is around 8.30/9pm don't miss it!
This island is magic in every way and everywhere you dare to look to will find another hidden treasure.
What is there to say, I was speechless! These two places were my ultimate happy places.
As you walk along to Pori about 30 mins into your walk you will come across a giant Rock Pool! Deep enough to jump into for the cliffs above or just float peacefully, the water here is insane - you can also swim under and through to the open sea if you're a strong enough swimmer! So crystal (Pictured above), so breathtaking, I had never seen anything like it before. I could have stayed right there all day everyday for the rest of my life.
The next hidden gem is rock climb away on the other side of Pori a place called Gala, which in Greek means milk. After a slightly sketchy climbing sesh - not for the faint hearted, we climbed down into the middle of a rock face with brilliant white stone and a small body of water that looked just like milk - hence the name. It was the most stunning thing I have ever seen in the middle of these cut out rocks it looked like a movie set. Take a dip and take it in this is an experience not to be missed.
TOP TIPS:- Every part of this island has its own hidden gems everywhere, go off the beaten path and explore you won't be sorry you did.
Thank you so much for reading this post, I hope you enjoyed it and got some helpful handy tips from it. If you have any questions feel free to ask me anything in the comment box below or shoot me an e-mail and I will get back to you ASAP!
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