Between the islands of Naxos and Amorgos is the Robinson Crusoe, off-the-radar, holiday island trio called Koufonisia, which collectively forms part of the five Small Cyclades: Koufonisia, Keros, Schinoussa, Heraklia and Donousa. Sometimes referred to as the Minor Cyclades.
There are more fishing boats than there are people on the island of Koufonisia which refers to two small, exotic islands, Pano (upper) Koufonisi and Kato (lower) Koufonisi, separated by a 200m sea channel. The uninhabited third island of Keros is a protected world archeologic site.
Blissfully little traffic (no hire cars) ensures a natural pace on Koufonisia. Walking around the island takes just 2 hours, with cycling or boating as the order of the day here which adds to the island’s distinctive allure. This is slow-lane living and the main Chora, Pano, hosts lime-stone houses, small crafted boutiques, a handful of galleries and casual tavernas with cyan shutters – sweet untouched sophistication.
Koufonisia is a wonderfully unpretentious insider island destination that should be on your Greek island-hoping bucket list. Koufonisia also sports some of the best beaches in the Cyclades with countless golden sandy coves and tranquil rocky outcrops framing the Aegean clear waters – the best reached by local water taxis or by hire cycle, the coastal routes are largely flat. Highlights include the sandy beaches of Hondros Cavos, Fanos, Platia Pounda, and Pori.
Travel in the slow-lane and reach Koufonisia in island time. From neighbouring Naxos it takes 40-50 minutes on the Seajet or Highspeed and 2.5hours on the Express Skopelitis, or go via Paros, Santorini and Mykonos onboard the Sea-Jet. You can also leisurely cruise down 4.5 hours from Piraeus port in Athens. Pano Koufonisi also has a public heliport that accommodates privately hired helicopters. However you decide to get there, enjoy slipping into a slower pace of life.
Cool design, contemporary styling and a hug to local island culture make our pick of three easy-to-get-to Cycladic island escapes of Santorini, Tinos and Koufonisia, all the more irresistible. They fully capture the Mediterranean canvas of sun bleached whites against sea blues that is just so Greek & Cycladic.read more