One of the little-known Cyclades islands, Koufonisia can be reached within four-hours on a high-speed ferry from Piraeus. Surprisingly, the most common language on the island is Italian – the Italians make up around three quarters of visitors, mostly jetting in from Milan via nearby Naxos and a short ferry ride.
The main island, Pano (upper) Koufonisi, is home to the chora, or town, and the port where the Athens ferry arrives. Kato (lower) Koufonisi is more unkempt, and the smallest spit of land in the archipelago, Keros, is off-limits to visitors as archaeologists have requisitioned the site to investigate the remains of ancient rituals.
Featuring sugar-cube shaped- whitewashed buildings, with bright blue shutters, Koufonisia is a hideaway where there are fewer than 400 full-time inhabitants; there are said to be more fishing boats moored around Koufonisia’s coast than there are locals living on the land.
The beaches on Koufonisia are breathtaking. As there are few real roads, and hardly any traffic, you can either hike across the island to its various sandy hideouts, or take one of the launches which leave regularly from a small hut on the main port.
The coastline is dotted with rocky inlets, perfect for secluded romantic swimming and sunbathing sessions.
By far the best way of exploring this amazing island is by boat.
Winter on Koufonisia is mild, with the temperature ranging between 10 and 15 degrees. There isn't much rain and the island enjoys plenty of sunshine.