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KOUFONISIA ISLANDS

GREECE

Greek people love Koufonisia. However, it is barely known among tourists. Maybe it is because they try to keep it secret. Only Italians seem to have already discovered this tiny beautiful island and they travel all the way there to enjoy the crystal clear turquoise waters every summer.

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Koufonisia Islands are three tiny islands near each other. The main and most populated island is Upper Koufonisi or ‘Ano’ Koufonisi as Greeks call it. Lower Koufonisi or ‘Kato’ Koufonisi in Greek, is located just next to Upper Koufonisi and it is almost uninhabited. It is the same with ‘Keros’ Island- no inhabitants. All together they form Koufonisia Islands. When Greeks speak about Koufonisia, they usually refer to Upper Koufonisi.

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Koufonisia Island is not a cosmopolitan hot spot. It is not a party destination. It is what it is. It is a small island in the middle of Aegean Sea. The sea is actually the heart of this island.

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There are almost no organised beaches because on Koufonisia Island you don’t need a sun bed to enjoy the sun. There are no entry fees because its natural beauty is priceless. There are no luxurious cars because no one needs them. There are almost no transport means because everyone can walk almost everywhere.

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In other words, it could be the island of freedom and nature. It could also be an island of self-reflection. It is hard to explain why. You can only realise it if you take a walk around the island.

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You see lonely boats sailing, wind-torn trees standing lonely in the horizon, fishing boats tied isolated on a rock, old wooden benches standing in the most unusual locations, tiny houses built in deserted fields in the middle of nowhere and umbrellas also standing alone in hidden bays.

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Even people, although sitting next to each other, they are silent and lost in their own deep thoughts. But they all -people and objects- have one thing in common; they all seem fascinated by the power of the turquoise sea. And this is why this place definitely deserves a visit!

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If you decide to give it a try, stay at Portes Houses. Enjoy the sunset while having a drink at Sorokos bar. Have a mastiha shot at Mylos Café Bar.

Taste a fresh salad at Kalofego restaurant at Pori beach. Finally, spend an entire day at Kato Koufonisi –an inhabited island- to explore little bays and beaches. Bring along a tent or an umbrella as there are barely trees or any shade across the entire island.

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And if you hide a little hippie or bohemian inside you, you can even spend a night or two at Kato Koufonisi. Ask someone local to help you spot the right bay -I haven’t tried it but it must be pure magic sleeping under the stars on a secluded beach!

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