Greece // The Cyclades //

Áno Koufoníssi

ÁNO KOUFONÍSSI (usually referred to simply as Koufoníssi) is the flattest, most developed and most densely inhabited island of the group. With some of the least-spoilt beaches in the Cyclades, the island is attracting increasing numbers of Greek and foreign holidaymakers and as it’s small enough to walk round in a day, it can feel overcrowded in July and August. The best views are not of Koufoníssi itself, but out across the water to mountainous Kéros island.

The old pedestrian street of HÓRA, crossing a low hill behind the ferry harbour, has been engulfed by new room and hotel development, but the town still retains its affable, small-island atmosphere. All the good beaches are in the southeast of the island, improving as you go east along a road that skirts the gradually developing coastline along the edge of low cliffs. Fínikas, a fifteen-minute walk from town, is the first of four wide coves with gently shelving golden sand. The next beach, Fanós, is the youngsters’ favourite, because of the beach bar that dominates the stretch of sand. Next is Platiá Poúnda, where caves have been hollowed out of the cliffs. Further east, the path rounds a rocky headland to Porí, a much longer and wilder beach, backed by dunes and set in a deep bay. It can be reached more easily from the town by following a dirt road heading inland through the scrub-covered hills.