No, you’re not in heaven! You’re in Pano (upper) Koufonisi, the ultimate summer holiday destination in the heart of the Cyclades. Crystalline waters, unique beaches, glittery sand and caves for outlawed buccaneers of years gone by and today’s more adventurous lovers. Savor the flavors and chill out with music animated by moonlit nights. There are spots against an Aegean backdrop where the merriment never comes to a stop, and concealed places for peace, tranquility, and relaxation.

What to do on Koufonisia?

Where less is more. There is a natural beauty in all sincerity. Pano Koufonisi may not as luxurious as some other islands like Santorini, but it has all the necessary comforts and, moreover, offers immaculate naturally beautiful scenery. In spite of the smallest circumference of all the inhabited Cycladic islands (10 sq km), it has attracted travelers who have insatiable wanderlust of all kinds as an alternative holiday option over the past 20 years.

Here are 6 things you absolutely have to try out when you travel to Koufonisa:

1. Dive into an emerald dream

The sea around the magical Koufonisia makes travelers irresistible. Golden coastlines, serene waters, and sandy shores. The yearning for plunging straight into the Aegean will prove unbearable! Finikas, Fanos, Italia, Pori … there is even a beach called The Pool.

2. Explore by boat

If there was a place deserved to be visited by boat, it is the waters around Pano and Kato (lower) Koufonisi. It’s not just the veiled beaches that await discovery, but a masterpiece of exotic imagery, infinite hues of blue, green and turquoise. The welcoming Mediterranean is on fire to propose you the most exciting swim of your existence!

3. All roads lead to... Hora!

The only settlement on either island, you will probably pass through Hora, a Cycladic microcosm that welcomes you to roam around its small streets. Pots of geraniums, white walls, afternoons where locals chat and gossip on their stoops.

At night the town comes alive: tourists and locals socialize and get along like a house on fire, the atmosphere is fired up and vibrant. Strangers exchange amiable glances and soft-spoken conversations, and sweet music entices you like a siren.

4. Hidden gems of Koufonisia

An idyllic hideout: the sea caves of the Small Cyclades Legend traces that pirates hid in the sea caves on the north side of Pano Koufonisi. Impressive shelters carved out by the waves, with Lilliputian beaches and the gorgeous spots for aficionados of fishing.

5. In the Keros of Arpisti and Avliti

In the gathering darkness, from Pano Koufonisi, you can catch sight of the small island of Keros from the distance, shaped like a woman’s silhouette. In the morning, Keros reveals its archaeological significance. A protected site and for some even more significant than Delos, it is the hometown of the Arpisti and Avliti, the traditional flute- and harp-playing figurines depicted in so much Cycladic art.

6. Exotic Kato (lower) Koufonisi

No one lives here anymore. There are about ten buildings in all and a well-known tavern. Moor your little boat to the quay and begin to explore on foot (or continue by using speedboat for more convenience). The beaches Nero, Pezoulia, and Fikio await you.