The Koufonisia Islands in Greece have imposed a comprehensive ban on all water recreational activities, with the exception of swimming, in order to ensure public safety and preserve the Aegean island’s natural beauty.
Koufonisia is a set of 2 islands south of Naxos at the center of the Cyclades. Ano Koufonisi and Kato Koufonisi. The ban, declared by Naxos harbor master, specifically targets both motorized and non-motorized water activities around both islands.
Ano Koufonissi is the lively one, where hotels, restaurants, bars and landmarks are located; Kato Koufonissi, on the other hand, is an uninhabited islet that can only be approached by boat from Ano Koufonissi.
The move comes as a response to the islands’ unique characteristics and limited coastline, which have experienced an influx of passenger vessels, ships, and recreational boats.
In accordance with the relevant decision, the use of marine recreational equipment on Koufonisia is considered a violation of the provisions safeguarding Antiquities and the Cultural Heritage of the Country.
As part of this initiative, the island’s beaches will remain unorganized, and no areas will be allocated for the exploitation of umbrellas, seats, or marine recreational equipment rentals.
The primary concern behind this measure is the heightened risk of accidents posed by recreational water vehicles, particularly due to their allowance to operate at significant distances from the shoreline.
Additionally, the ban is in direct accordance with the preservation regulations, granting Kato Koufonisi an “A Zone” status, affording it absolute protection throughout its entire area.
This decisive action by the local authorities demonstrates a growing recognition of the importance of preserving Greece’s natural and cultural heritage.
It joins the efforts of the “Free the Beaches” citizens’ movement on Paros and Naxos, signaling a collective commitment to safeguarding the country’s precious islands and coastlines.
Koufonisia boast some of the best beaches in the Cyclades
The most popular options are Foinikas, Loutro, Italida, and Pori in Ano Koufonisi and, Nero, Detis and Panagia in Kato Koufonisi.
If you want to explore the pristine coastline of Koufonisia, your best bet is to take a short boat tour to Kato Koufonisi. As well as discovering sea caves and isolated coves, don’t miss the opportunity to jump from the boat right into the turquoise water- it’s a unique experience!
After exploring the islands’ beaches, head to Chora, the capital, which is located in Ano Koufonisi. Chora is not particularly large, but it oozes a unique charm. Stroll around its narrow alleys, marvel at the scenic setting, eat fresh fish at its traditional taverns and immerse yourself in the island way of living.