Koufonissi is actually 2 islands, Pano (Upper) and Kato (Lower), and whereas Kato is uninhabited, Pano has the densest population in the Cyclades. But given the island amounts to just 3.5 sq kms we are hardly talking “crowded”!
The island is a favourite with couples and families alike, as the gently shelving beaches are all the whitest sand and slide into the kind of dazzlingly turquoise sea normally associated with the Caribbean, making the bathing and snorkelling exceptional. Take note, though, that the beaches offer little in the way of natural shade; however the more sheltered south eastern coast is blessedly protected from the meltemi wind which usually blows in August.
August actually is the worst time to visit, as the island, being so small, accommodated far more visitors than it should. There is but the single, white-walled village on a low, rising hill above the tiny harbour. It has a wide choice of restaurants, tavernas, cafes and small shops, many of which can be found in the pretty pedestrianised main street. There is a fine town beach, and 4 more excellent beaches within walking distance (45 minutes maximum to Pori beach, the furthest). Other than via water-taxi and bicycle, and a high season beach bus, walking is the only way to get around, and is one of the reasons the island is so gloriously relaxed.
A boat trip in a caique across to uninhabited Kato is not to be missed and calls to the intrepid adventurer in all of us – even it’s confined to our imaginations.