Eros Keros was born out of Anita’s dream to share her love of Koufonissia with friends who have the same taste for style and peace as her.
Over diner on our first night – which she so generously invited to- she told me the story of how, after a career in luxury fashion marketing, she wanted to get into hospitality, not for money but to share experiences and conversations with guests.
She was going on holiday to Koufonisia for decades and had a plot of land on which she carefully built only 4 houses.
She purposefully chose not to have more rooms as she wanted to keep that sense of intimacy and peace that the island projects. She is also keen to know her guests and the best benefit to her is chatting with them and finding out more about their lives.
The result is Eros Keros, a truly wonderful hidden gem in Koufonisia, where everything has been carefully thought out: from the position of the houses and the pool to maximise the views of Keros, to the design, to the services provided.
Don’t look for other hotels in Koufonisia, just go to Eros Keros!
Eros Keros on Koufonisia is truly getting you back to the authentic Cyclades
Koufonisia islands are two tiny islands with astonishing beaches, unspoiled Cycladic beauty, great food and delightful people: Pano (upper) Koufonisi and Kato (lower) Koufonisi, separated by a 200 m sea channel.
You are back to the original appeal of the Cyclades: the sea, the nature, the sun, the white houses and not tons of tourists as some other islands are now suffering from.
Koufonisia is the kind of Greek island I experienced during my first trip backpacking in Greece 30 years ago. Beautiful scenery, fabulous blues in the water and the sky, pretty coves and beaches where Greek people come as a family, small tavernas with fresh salads and fish. It is preserved from mass tourism and exploitation. On a Saturday night in August many of the restaurants were busy but not full. And you could walk along the port and sea front without fighting the crowds.
A little paradise which I hope will stay like this for a long time. You have to visit Koufonisia.
From the unique position that each of the four houses at Eros Keros, you can see Keros opposite of course but also the islands of Amorgos, Glaronisi, Kato Koufonisi, Schinousa and even Santorini’s lights at night.
Fanos and Italida, the two most beautiful sandy turquoise water beaches of the Cyclades, are only a few meters away.
How to get to Koufonisia
It takes a few planes and boats or helicopters to get to Koufonisia but it’s definitely what makes it even more special.
Because it is not a simple journey less crowds descend en masse there.
We flew to Mykonos and didn’t like the little that we saw. Overbusy roads, overbuilt hills, extraordinary prices – Anita told me that one hotel charges 9,000 euros a night! Now I do like spending on luxury hotels but I can’t see what would justify that price in Mykonos!
Rant over. I’m only mentioning it because it made us appreciate Koufonissi even more when we got there.
Back to the options. You either fly to Athens then Naxos and then take a boat transfer or fly to Mykonos. From Mykonos to Koufonisia, it’s either a ferry or a helicopter. Anita is brilliant at helping with all arrangements.
The discreet luxury of Eros Keros
I like how Anita describes her approach: discreet luxury and serenity. She makes that come to reality via her choice of personally-selected furnishings, fabrics, and artwork, recreating a tradition of style incumbent in all Cycladic houses.
There are 4 houses each with the same wonderful view of Keros and each with fabulous outdoor space.
Anita thought of all the different ways you can enjoy the beautiful weather: under the pergola fronting your room, there are comfortable day beds in the signature brown tone of Eros Keros, metal tables for eating or playing games, a big round table for your meals, lounge chairs to read or have your aperitif in the evening. This is all framed by fragrant bushes and plants and majestic terracotta pots.
The space faces South so you have sun all day. The pergola gives you shade, the cool stone floor keeps your feet fresh and you can choose to read your book on lounge beds perfectly positioned to get the breeze or on the contrary stay in the shade.
Inside, Anita and a fellow designer created a serene and unique decor. The choice of warm colours such as brown or terracotta, unusual for the cycladic islands, really works. Carefully selected art pieces and vintage furniture create an atmosphere of a family house.
We had house number 4, the only one with two ensuite bedrooms, handy with a teenager for us! The other 3 houses have sofabeds where a primary school age child sleeps comfortably. My brother came here several times with his son and that’s the setup they used. Note that due to the stairs it is not suitable for toddlers.
The beds were super comfortable. The bathrooms cladded in terracotta marble have super strong showers veiled by white cotton drapes.
The open plan living room and kitchen with fireplace would be lovely in the winter. The mini kitchen allows you to prepare light meals and to make your own tea and coffee whenever you wish.
The food options at Eros Keros and the restaurants to go to in Koufonisia
Every morning a pretty breakfast basket protected with a striped linen cloth is delivered to your house. You can choose between a delicious freshly squeezed orange juice, cereals, homemade jams, cheese, olives, tomatoes, fresh fruit etc. They often come with a surprise addition such as loukoumades with cinnamon and honey or an orange cake.
There is no restaurant on site but they can deliver homemade cooked meals to your room: moussaka, spinach and feta pies, kebabs, marinated anchovies, briam, meatballs etc. The selection of wine is perfectly formed and we particularly enjoyed the rose and the white wine. Like the olives, they come from a small producer that Anita discovered. Food was always delicious and what a treat to dine facing Keros and the sea.
We also ate in the village following Anita’s recommendations. Capetan Nikolas was a buzy place with very good grilled fish and tons of options for starters. From our table, we could admire the sunset falling behind the mill and observe Greek families and friends chatting away.
Aneplora has a beautiful setting on the other side of the village. The stingray salad was really good and Mademoiselle found her seafood carbonara pasta delicious too.
Our favourite was Laska, where we dined twice. The interpretation of Greek food is light and tasty and really playful.
The best Koufonisia beaches and other activities
If you want to get busy in Koufonisia you can. There are some boat excursions, hikes, shopping etc. But really the main activity is just enjoying the slow pace of the island and exploring its multiple fabulous beaches.
Koufonisia is actually two islands: Pano – where Eros Keros is and Kato which has no inhabitants and only a small taverna on one of the beaches.
You get to Kato from Pano via a quick boat transfer. There are various options so check with Anita. They may even be able to arrange a special speedboat excursion like they so kindly did for us.
We got to swim in the clearest waters in Kato jumping from the boat and to gently sail around Keros admiring this untouched island (it is forbidden to set foot there).
On Pano, many of the beaches are a short 15 min walk from Eros Keros. The furthest away is Pironi. On its way you’ll come across a natural pool in the rocks. Mademoiselle had fun jumping into it and having some photos taken for Instagram!
You can also take a boat and with a hop on hop off ticket can easily go from the main port to the beaches with stops along the coast.
There is little shaded space on those beaches so make sure to bring a hat or get there early to snag a good spot.
Only one beach has some sunbeds offered by the cocktail and mezze taverna on its side.
Being welcome like a friend by Anita, our wonderful host
Anita has hired a very smiley and professional and kind staff who are taking very good care of the estate and the guests. For instance, all meals came at exactly the time we requested and they always returned to clear up at the right moment, not too soon, not too late.
Above all, Eros Keros’s unique selling proposition is Anita herself. She is a wonderful hostess, so generous with her time, advice and stories. She makes sure that you get the best tables at restaurants, can arrange all transfers – and follow you live as you arrive! – recommend the best activities and even set you on your way to the next island. She is very good at telling you when it’s worth paying more and when something is overcharged.
You feel like you are looked after by a family friend who knows you very well. Nothing is ever a trouble.
Plus it was so nice to get to know her and her wonderful family. Her two children inherited her sense of hospitality and were so kind on the boat trip with us. Her husband ensured that our transport back to Athens was safely arranged too. Really truly a family that knows how to make people feel welcome.
Eros Keros is now one of my favourite remote luxury places
This is a place where you leave all your worries at the door, gaining serenity and peace from the wonderful setting and the beautiful nature surrounding you.
A place where the peace of the island, the beauty of the room, the fun of the beach and the smile of Anita calls you back to again and again.
I just can’t wait to experience it again.
Eros Keros, Koufonisia
- 4 houses with one or two bedrooms
- From 290 Euros per night for the smaller house
- From 560 euros per night for the bigger house
- Minimum stay of 4 days in low season, 5 in mid season and 7 in high season
- An extra bed can be added at a cost of 40 Euros
- Kids will probably be happy sleeping on the sofabeds
- Yoga lessons
- Laundry services
- Small lending library
- Assistance with booking and purchase of ferry tickets
- VIP transportation by helicopter
- Either fly direct to Paros, Mykonos or Santorini and then board the Sea-Jet hovercraft to Koufonisi (one and half hours boat trip) or fly to Athens and then commute to Piraeus port to take the High Speed ferry (four and a half hours) or the Blue Star ferry (five and a half hours boat trip) to Koufonisi. Search for flights.
- A third choice is to fly to Naxos (from Athens) and then take one of the three daily ferry services available.
There are also connections from other islands-schedules are usually finalized in late May.
- Pano Koufonisi also has a public heliport that accommodates privately hired helicopters.