Porto Koufo is a large natural harbour in Halkidiki, Greece, where a serene calm prevails all year round. Here you can stay in harmony with nature and enjoy fresh fish directly from the fishing rod in one of the local taverns.
The word "Koufo" is translated from Greek as "deaf". It is considered that the noise of the waves of the Aegean sea is not heard here. There is a very popular saying in Greece — "you are as deaf as Koufo". Another explanation lies in the fact that Porto Koufo is the safest port in the northern part of the Aegean sea due to its pretty deep waters and to the remoteness from the open sea.
When traveling through Sithonia, be sure to visit this place. The beautiful scenery and the view of the cliffs leave no one indifferent. Although for a long vacation, Porto Kufo may not be the best option because of its remoteness and unpretentious beach.
This place was mentioned at first in the works of the historian Thucydides.
During the Second World War, the base of the German submarine fleet was situated here — it was successfully hidden from the enemy.
The structures included cannons, underground galleries, observation posts, and a hospital, the remains of which can still be seen today.
The main object of their construction project was an observation post and three artillery batteries at the most strategic point of this mountain range, from where they could observe the broader North Aegean Sea.
German submarines were based here because of the harbor's bottomless depth and its geographic location providing direct access to the Aegean Sea. At the entrance to the harbor, a steel net was installed beneath the surface of the sea, which connected the two sides of the entrance. The net, some of which still exists today, was held up by large barrels that were filled with air, raising the net to the surface to protect the German ships in the harbor.
How to get
The route "Greece – Halkidiki – Porto Koufo" starts from the "Macedonia" airport in Thessaloniki. You can take a bus No.78 there (the fare is 1€). The first bus leaves at 5:50 a.m. and the last is at 11:00 p.m. There are 20-minutes intervals between the departures. You should reach the KTEL Halkidikis bus station by it. There you need to change to a regular bus that costs 8-9€ and you will reach your destination in 2 - 2,5 hours.
The best option in terms of time and cost is a transfer. If you book it in advance, you can save up to 15% on your trip comparing to a regular taxi.
What to see?
At the edge of Porto Cufo is a lake lagoon with sea water. The water enters here through a narrow channel that leads to the sea. It is a pleasant place to take a walk.
During the walk you can cross to the other side of the canal, to the majestically towering mountain. There are remnants of German fortifications preserved here, which you can walk up to and take a closer look at. As you continue on your way, ascend to a platform from which you can see the entire bay. You can rest there and have a picnic with a stunning view.
If you're in the mood for an active walk, climb the opposite mountain, Andikoufos. The route starts from the neighboring village of Toroni, on its edge near the ruins of an ancient fortress. The road leads to the very top, to an observation point with an incredibly spectacular panoramic view. Go also to the edge of the mountain where the German cannons are preserved: the Canons. The view from there will also make you want to linger, admire, and take pictures for a while. On the way you will meet a couple of wild beaches, where you can swim if you want. Important: be sure to wear comfortable shoes and take water with you. The distance is about 2 km over rough terrain.
While in Toroni, check out the cape with the archaeological area. Here once was the local Acropolis. Now, unfortunately, it is abandoned. But not only the foundations have been preserved, but also parts of the walls, and the views of the sea here are fascinating.
Near Toroni you can visit two interesting beaches: Tristinika and Destenika. Their peculiarity is that the sand is incredibly golden and looks like sparkles in the water. This is the perfect place to swim and enjoy the sea.
What to do?
Vacation in Porto Koufo is a perfect choice for those who have long dreamt to laze in the rays of the southern sun, to swim in turquoise waters and to enjoy the sunset with a bottle of local Greek wine. Do not expect a developed infrastructure and a large choice of entertainment. However, you can spend a very quiet and peaceful time here, enjoying the sea without waves and walks in the picturesque surroundings.
Here you can find all kinds of marine activities: swimming, yachting, diving and fishing. We advise you to try scuba diving in Erica cave. There you can explore the sunken Turkish pirate ship.
In the port you will find many boats and small yachts that you can rent for a short walk.
There are also plenty of options for hikers. Explore the locations we described above under What to see.
You will not find large shops or shopping centers in the village. A couple of small shops and fish stores will provide you with everything you need, but do not count on a large assortment.
Recreation with children
We do not really recommend Porto Cufo for holidays with children. The beach here, though long, is narrow and there is almost no shallow water - already a couple of meters from the shore is quite deep. If you like this part of Sithonia, you'd better choose the neighboring Toroni and come here for a walk and dinner in tavernas.
Leisure for adults
Among the evening and night entertainment there is an opportunity to enjoy wine or an alcoholic cocktail on the shore of the bay and to watch the sun rays, which are gradually hiding behind the sails of moored yachts.
Where to stay?
In Porto Koufo you will find mostly private houses. Some houses are divided into individual apartments, which are rented out on well-known online services.
Since the village is not a popular destination, unfortunately luxury villas are not found here.
The hotel business in Porto Koufo is not as well-developed as in the neighboring villages, but still you can choose the option to your liking.
Porto Koufo Resort is a hotel where you feel like you are in the countryside — in a very spacious and luxurious cottage. The territory of the hotel is based on a natural amphitheater on several terraces. The building is located in a fabulous area of 35 000 sq. m., 5 000 sq.m. of which are presented by a landscaped garden with lawn, rock gardens and palm trees. There is a terrace and a large swimming pool (with a safety net for children), a lot of cane furniture, where you can sit in the late evening. The fans of parties by the pool will find not only a barbecue, but also a special wood-burning oven, thanks to which meat dishes acquire a special flavour.
For children, there are playgrounds with wooden houses, a lot of toys, bicycles and board games. Upon request, the room is provided with children furniture.
Hotel Asterias is a mini-hotel that offers cozy rooms with views of the bay for a low cost.
What to taste?
There are not many establishments in Porto Koufo, but it does not mean that you will have to stay hungry. The number of taverns is balanced out by the high quality of service and divine food. For lunch, go to O Psaras. This small restaurant, which is located right on the beach, is very popular with locals and visitors during the high season and after it. Here you will try an incredible soup of shrimp and mussels, which will compete with Bouillabaisse from the famous Marseille restaurant Chez Michel. The range of sea dishes is excellent: fried lobsters, mussels in wine sauce, prawns with rice, grilled squid and royal prawns with original sauce. People come here not so much to satisfy their hunger, as to satisfy the desire of new taste combinations. We recommend finishing your meal with a scoop of vanilla ice cream with local pastries.
The Locals and guests enjoy evening meals at the Tavern Delfini. This is a nice place where you can have supper right on the beach and feed the fish with bread crumbs. The menu offers a huge number of seafood: grilled squid, baked surmullet, octopus with rice, mussels according to an old recipe and shrimp in a sweet and sour sauce. Only the most delicious salads with huge slabs of fresh cheese from local farmers are served as a side dish.
- If you want to get as many impressions from your vacation as possible, be sure to rent a car. You can easily travel along the coast by it.
- Going on vacation in August, but expect a quiet holiday with half-empty beaches? Perhaps Porto Koufo is your option.
- There are very few beach-bars with sun loungers and umbrellas.