Informations

Koufonisia consist of two islets, Ano Koufonisi and Kato Koufonisi. They belong to the complex of the Small Eastern Cyclades. They are separated from each other by a narrow strait 200 m wide. Geographically, they are found at 3 nm. southeast of Naxos and west of Amorgos. They belong to the homonymous community, which includes in addition to the two Koufonisias and the island of Keros, as well as several smaller islets around the main islands. Keros, which is inextricably linked to their name, is a small uninhabited island, 15.2 sq.km., but which hosts important findings of Cycladic culture

Community of Koufonisia

Koufonisia consist of two islets, Ano Koufonisi and Kato Koufonisi. They belong to the complex of the Small Eastern Cyclades. They are separated from each other by a narrow strait 200 m wide. Geographically, they are found at 3 nm. southeast of Naxos and west of Amorgos. They belong to the homonymous community, which includes in addition to the two Koufonisias and the island of Keros, as well as several smaller islets around the main islands. Keros, which is inextricably linked to their name, is a small uninhabited island, 15.2 sq.km., but which hosts important findings of Cycladic culture

History

According to archeological findings, Koufonisia has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Also, excavations at the Upper Mile brought to the surface important finds dating to the first years of Cycladic Civilization. These are peculiar chamber tombs in Agrilia and two others in the area of ​​Panos Mylos and Loutra. Other excavations have uncovered objects from Hellenistic and Roman times. The present village seems to have been built on the site of a large Roman settlement, which would extend to the cove of Loutra. Various early Christian relics, marble shields, etc. There are in the churches of Agios Georgios and Agios Nikolaos, while the foundations of early Christian basilicas are visible in two parts of the island.

The present settlement was probably built on the site of a large Roman settlement. An important find is, among others, a frying pan vase engraved with a nine-pointed star that was found in the Upper Mills and is now kept in the Archaeological Museum of Naxos. In the Charter of Rigas Feraios the island was listed as Kofinoussa, while in maps of geographers and travelers, Ano and Kato Koufonissi took various names, such as Pira (in 1590), Cofinissia (in 1745) and Phocussa (in 1791).

In the course of history, Koufonisia followed the fate of the rest of the Cyclades. They submitted first to the Venetians and then to the Turks. The inhabitants of the islands, either because they were forced or because they wanted to, often joined forces with the Manians but also with other pirates who used Koufonisia as a refuge. In 1830, together with the rest of the Cyclades, they came to the newly formed Greek State.

The inhabitants of the islands were severely tested during the Occupation, while in the first years of the post-war period a wave of internal migration was created that led most of the population of Koufonisia to the large urban centers.

Ano Koufonisi

Ano Koufonisi has an area of ​​5.7 sq.km. and a population of 366 inhabitants, whose main occupation is fishing and to a lesser extent livestock (mainly sheep and goats). Also stand out the 5 remarkable beaches that exist on the island, with the most beautiful being Pori and Finikas. Harokopou and Platia Pounta beaches gather the most people. The settlement of Chora on the southwest coast of the island is a typical example of Cycladic architecture. Koufonisi has started to develop as a tourist in recent years with the result that its natural beauty and traditional charm have not been significantly altered.

Kato Koufonisi

Kato Koufonisi has an area of ​​4.4 sq.km. Although in the past there was a settlement of ten families, nowadays it is almost uninhabited, as it has only a few fishermen's houses and is inhabited mainly in summer. In Kato Koufonisi there is a picturesque church dedicated to the Virgin Mary, which is built on ancient ruins.