|The Greek islands||Kato Koufonissi HOME||Ano Koufonissi|
|The island of Kato Koufonissi or Kato Koufonissia in Greece|
Kato Koufonissi, Kato Koufonisi of Kato Koufonissia is one of the islands in the group of the "Small Cyclades" which are situated to the south and around the larger island of Naxos. The island is only 4.3 km2 and almost uninhabited. There are a few goats, sheep and donkeys and during the summer months there are some toursist that come here for the beaches or because they want to make a walk around the island. Good footwear is required for these walks. Kato Koufonissi is a fairly flat and low island. It is also quite dry and barren with a vegetation of mainly shrubs. The Greek word "Kato" also means "Low". In 1960 the island was completely deserted. The shortest distance to the nearby inhabited island Ano Koufonissia is 200 meters.
Kato Koufonissi is located just southwest of the 3.5 km2 Pano (high) Koufonissi which is commonly referred to as "Koufonissi". There are no ferries going to Kato Koufonissi. On the island is a deserted village and there are only about ten houses and a tavern. There is no electricity or water supply. Those who wish to visit Kato Koufonissi must take the ferry to Pano Koufonissi / Ano Koufonissi and from there take a tour boat or caique (traditional wooden boat) to the adjacent Kato Koufonissi.
Kato Koufonissi is a protected archaeological area. The island has a nice church, the Panagia, that is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The church is built on the remains of ancient ruins. Here there is a jetty where the small boats can moor. There are some nice and very quiet beaches that attract naturists. Near the beaches are houses though, so beware not to offence anybody. Most of these houses are just storerooms that belong to fishermen and there are a few villas that are only lived in during the summer months. During the winter the island is completely deserted.
During the summer months, from May to September there is a regular connection to the island Kato Koufonisi from nearby Pano Koufonissi or Ano Koufonissia. These trips are organized by Captian Christos - click here. One of the stops is at the church of Panagia in the southeast of the island. The church dates from 1651 and was built in secret during the Turkish occupation alongside the Byzantine ruins. There is also a beach here and a taverna, the Venetsanos where you can buy something to eat or drink. The Venetsanos taverna is the only taverna on the island. So if you want to visit one of the other beaches on Kato Koufounisi, you must at least bring your own water. As I understand there is also an option for camping on a site near the tavern Venetsanos. The first beach west of Panagia is called Laki beach. It is a pebble beach protected from the wind, located an elongated bay. Above the beach there is a villa. If instead of westwards you head north you will come to Kasteli beach. The distance to Panagia is about 1300 meters. At this point the distance between the two islands is at it smallest, about 200 meters.
The largest beach on the island of Kato Koufonissi is called Nero beach. This is a sandy beach with some very small stones. Here there is also a jetty for the boats and Captain Christos makes a stop at this beach. Nero beach is a beautiful beach with some trees in the area (including a palm tree). There are no facilities here. On the narrow part of the island you find Detis beach. It is a sandy beach not far from the settlement with the church. It lies well protected from the northern wind. If you make a walk on Kato Koufonisi you will discover that there are a couple of other nice beaches. Not all of them are reachable on foot, but you can ask Captain Christos to drop you off somewhere. Another large beach on Kato Koufonisi is Pezoulia beach, a beach with tiny pebbles that is located in the south of the island. The beach is accessible on foot from Nero beach via a path that begins at the palm tree. Between Detis beach and Nero beach is the hill which is called Aloni. Here are the ruins of the old buildings of Alonistria. Down below Alonistria is Alonistria beach. From the hill you have a nice view of the island of Keros and the surrounding area.
In the north of the island you find Fikio beach. The beach can be reached either by boat or on foot along a path. On this beach you will sometimes see some rubbish that has been flushed fanned in by the wind from the north. There are no facilities and there is no protection from the sun.
In between the three larger islands Keros, Pano and Kato Koufonissi lies the island of Glaronissi. Glaronissi or Glaronissia means "seagull". There are other islands with this name, just like the beautiful and unusual volcanic island Glaronissia which is situated near Milos. The island of Glaronisi which is located near Koufonissia is an uninhabited island. White limestone cliffs rise here out of the turquoise sea. The island is small and not served by ferries. You can only get there with a tour boat or by private boat. On Glaronissi you find beautiful small beaches and there are caves to which you can swim. I've seen some pictures of this small island and it reminded me of Kleftiko on the island of Milos.