Kato Koufonissi is uninhabited, as far as a permanent population is concerned.
However, it is common for several people to take refuge there so as to experience nature in all its grandeur.
It has an area of 4.3 square kms. It is divided from Pano Koufonissi by a strait which is 200m at its narrowest point. The last inhabitants of the island left it at the end of the 1960s. Since then human vanity has not interfered with the work of nature.
On Kato Koufonissi the old hamlet has remained as a witness to a bygone era. You will find a deserted village and a handful of renovated houses or old structures which now serve as storage spaces for shepherds and fishermen.
Occasionally you may glimpse, outlined against the horizon, the odd descendant of some old inhabitant looking after their family’s property.
For the most part what you will encounter on Kato Koufonissi is not humans but rather migratory birds resting, gots or sheep quietly ruminating and lush vegetation growing unimpeded in the rain, wind and sunshine.
During the summer months, however, Kato Koufonissi wears a different aspect.
The winter yields its fruit and the sun lights and warms it, once more highlighting nature’s redeeming wisdom.
Many people visit the island daily for its beautiful vibrant beaches. Quite a few choose to camp overnight in order to experience the dawn in an unspoilt setting.
There is a daily boat service from Pano Koufonissi every hour. It makes two stops. First it calls at Panagia, the old settlement, and then at Nero beach.
The old settlement is named after the chapel of the Virgin, situated very close to the jetty. A pretty, simple Cycladic chapel, it was secretly built in 1651, during the Turkish Occupation, next to the ruins of a Byzantine church.
On the 15th of August all the fishing boats from Pano Koufonissi are engaged in carrying the devout for the pilgrimage.
Many couples choose to have their wedding ceremony or their child’s christening at the Virgin’s chapel, and then the excursion boat, suitably decorated, discharges the duty of carrying the guests over.
During the summer months, the Venetsanos taverna is open.
In its idyllic setting, you will escape the heat and quench the pangs of hunger and thirst, as well as the need for endless meditation.