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Made up of two miniature islands, experience double the love for Koufonisia – Pano (upper) and Kato (lower) – separated by a narrow 200-metre channel, and both offering Cycladic beaches of beauty, either accessed by foot (the island of Pano can be circumnavigated in two hours) or by boat, the unspoiled charm of Koufonisia is very much in evidence. Part of the Small Cyclades, also known as the Minor Cyclades, you can stay at Éros Kéros to complete the blissful picture. Read on for the loveliest of sandy shores in Koufonisia.
A perfect horseshoe bay ushers in unfeasibly blue waters at Paralia Pori beach, located in the northeast of Koufonisia (Pano), an hour from the main settlement of Chora of the island. The Aegean waters dazzle in iridescent shimmer and its shallow entry mean lolling, light splashing and gentle paddling are in order here, aka serious relaxation. Two tavernas also mean you won’t need to stray far from this idyll. There are, however, a couple of worthwhile wanders in this area – firstly Mati tou Diavolou (The Devil’s Eye) a cave that connects to the sea, and Pisina is a beautiful, azure natural pool, enclosed by a rock formation making an ideal dive spot or Mother Nature plunge pool.
When staying at Éros Kéros, you’ll find these two sweet, secluded beachy spots just a few minutes’ walk away and each occupying a small area of cove. With sandy shores and dazzling, aquamarine waters, these two cute beaches are your go-to from your stylish bolthole you get to call home. Both Fanos and Italida have rocky caves which are semi-submerged for that perfect snorkelling escapade. Fanos has very little shade so you might want to bring your parasol, while Italida’s water are improbably even clearer, a striking turquoise colour and this beauteous hideaway attracts naturists ready to blend into the silky sands.
By now, you’ll find the white sand and turquoise waters have become the colour palette norm of Koufonisia, and Finikas (also known as Harakopou) does not disappoint. Located on the south side of Pano, walking distance from Éros Kéros and also from Chora, you’ll find little in the way of amenities, just simple, Cycladic natural beauty, dotted with tamarisk trees. Next door neighbour is the tiny cove of Hondros Kavos, a small slice of paradise which you may have to yourself. Even better, across a dusty pathway which serves as a road, you’ll find a taverna serving Greek Island classics such as octopus, courgette fritters and pasticcio. It’s also the perfect spot for sunset.
Boat transfers are as easy as catching taxis in this neck of the woods, so it’s super simple to indulge in a little island-hopping, allowing you to enjoy the wind-in-your-hair freedom of being at sea. Your destination? Panos’ sister, Kato and a whole new island to explore. You’ll usually moor up at Nero beach, a long stretch dotted with pebbles and sand, sheltered from the wind with shady groves of pine and palm. From here, you can walk over to the other side of the island to visit Phykio beach, an isolated stretch of sand licked by the emerald Aegean. Just don’t forget your return boat trip back – although perhaps being stranded here on Koufonisia wouldn’t be so bad….