Right, accommodation on Pano Koufonissi secured.
We can enjoy the delights it generously provides, among others the view of Kato Koufonissi, stretching against the horizon across the sea, titillating our senses with the promise of secret pleasures.
An island free from the human paradox.
Still we can visit it. We can discover it. It’s delights are not a huge secret, rather they are on offer to anyone who seeks a lovely little adventure.
However, we should bear in mind a few things.
We can visit Kato Koufonissi, walk all over it, get to know it and carry an indelible impression of it in our memory, but it is summer and the temperature is high. This is neither necessarily good nor bad, so long as we are suitably prepared. We need, per person, a beach towel, hat, pair of walking shoes, water and quite a few hours. Some food would also be necessary.
The boat services start early in the morning and there is a daily ticket charged.
It is better to take one of the early services. Enjoy the boat ride and get off at the second stop, Nero beach.
It is a beautiful long beach, with sand and fine pebbles. We find a nice comfortable spot, where to enjoy the embrace of the beach and the coolness of the water.
In the afternoon, two to three hours before sunset, it is time to set off on our exploration of the interior. The route described below is about 2.5 km and will approximately take 30 to 40 minutes. It will take us to the first stop of the boat, the old settlement, Panagia. It is wonderfully scenic though, so it is a good idea to allow ample time to enjoy it properly.
At one end of the beach there is a little grove of palm trees and leading away from this there is a footpath on the right hand side gently climbing above the beach. We follow it and turn right. All along the route the sea must be on our right hand side.
After about 650 metres it is time for the first stop on an elevation called Alonistria. We will find ourselves at odds with our common sense but not to worry, it is just temporary. In a very short space of time we will admit that nature’s work works wonders. From that height we will be able to take in half the island together with the beach we left a few minutes ago, and across the sea a magnificent view of the island of Keros, while behind us some old buildings and a couple of old storerooms dug in the earth bear witness to the island’s inhabited past. The view is so breathtaking that it takes a strong effort to tear yourself away and continue on your way.
The rest of the way furnishes new wonders for our eyes to feast upon.
While the sea and Keros remain on our right, Pano Koufonissi will appear stretching to the north. The wild flowers will keep changing colours and they and many of the herbs we buy in little plastic bags at the supermarket will here fill the air with their scent, stronger and more exuberant than we have ever known them in artificial settings.
A bit later we will come, first upon Detis beach and then Lakki, both with clear aquamarine waters, inviting us to break the walk to dive into their cool depths.
We will finally reach the old hamlet, Panagia, and walk among its deserted little houses as far as the chapel, where the beauty of the spot will make us want to linger.
Retracing our steps we will come upon the taverna we just passed on our way here. This will be a perfect close to a perfect day, a delicious meal and a rest in the peaceful setting before catching the 21.30 or 23.00 service back to Pano Koufonissi.
On a moonlit night the return boat ride will take us through a silvery seascape, the stuff dreams are made of.