Koufonisia is the place where time stops. It ceases to count and "bows" to the greatness of the sea and the natural beauty. This is what the visitors say about their experience in Koufonisia, as they find themselves in the place where relaxation and tranquility are key characteristics.
Koufonisia consist of two islands, the Ano and Kato Koufonisi, and belong to the complex of Small and East Cyclades. Separated by a narrow strait with a width of 200 meters. Geographically, they’re located 3 miles southeast of Naxos and west of Amorgos. They belong to the Koufonisia community, which includes, besides the two islands, Keros island and several smaller ones. Keros is a small uninhabited island, but hosts important findings of the Cycladic civilization.
According to the data and the archaeological research, Koufonisia were inhabited since prehistoric times and have to offer and important archaeological finds:
- Residues from the early years of the Cycladic civilization: chamber tombs in place Agrilia and two others in the area of Pano Millos and Loutra
- Remains of Hellenistic and Roman times: the current village was constructed on the site of a large Roman settlement, which would extend to the cove of the Baths.
- Remains of Early Christian period: marble slabs in the churches of St. George and St. Nicholas, and the clearly visible foundations of early Christian basilicas.
Koufonisia followed the fate of the other Cyclades islands and were conquered first by the Venetians and then by Turks. Residents of the islands, either because they were forced to or because they wanted to, often joined forces with people of Mani and other pirates who used Koufonisia as shelter. In 1830 along with the rest of the Cyclades they were added to the newly established Greek State.
The islanders tried hard to cope but during the first years of the postwar period there were a wave of internal migration, which directed the largest part of the population of Koufonisia in large urban centers.