Today was my last day on Naxos (until I return on Sunday, anyway!). My next stop is the small and beautiful island of Koufonissi – I haven’t visited before, so I was excited to visit another new destination, especially one that isn’t as well known to tourists.
I decided to get packed before breakfast to check out when I returned. I skipped the hotel food and chose a local cafe, enjoying a decent Greek yoghurt with honey, some toast and jam, orange juice, and a large coffee.
At 10:15 am, I returned to the room, grabbed my bags and checked to ensure I’d left nothing behind, then checked out and walked back up the harbour towards the ferry port. My Koufonissi ferry was due in at 11:15 am, so I bought my ticket and sat in the shade to wait for its arrival. It’s always a good opportunity to catch up with some reading on my Kindle – or a spot of people-watching – with a beer or coffee.
The crossing only took 50 minutes, and it was a smooth journey, made better as I could stand outside at the back of the high-speed ferry, thus avoiding travel sickness while topping up my tan simultaneously!
I booked my accommodation, Dafnis Studios, directly with the owner instead of online as usual. Whether as a result of this or just out of kindness, they had agreed to collect me from the port even though the rooms were only a few hundred metres away. In hindsight, I was glad because the roads turned out to be very bumpy, and it would have been pretty hard work wheeling my case up the hill. The accommodation was basic but very well kept and in a great location with a view of the main beach just down the hill. As I stayed for three nights, I unpacked properly and hung up all my clothes so they wouldn’t get too creased up.
In need of food and a drink, I changed into my beach gear and set out to explore. I spotted a subtle path trodden down the hill from the apartment in a direct line to the beach. Following this, I arrived at the corner of a taverna, O Lefteris, which seemed like a perfect spot for lunch.
After a delicious Greek salad and cold Mythos beer (what else), I found a space on the lovely, smooth, sandy beach. Throwing my towel down, I laid out and relaxed in the sun while my food was digested. When the sun’s heat made me sweat, I grabbed my goggles and GoPro and sprinted for the sea. It felt amazing to plunge into the crystal-clear water! The sea is truly awesome here: clear water and shallow for a long way out, as you can see from a drone shot I took the following day:
When I finally tired of swimming around the boats anchored in the bay, I went back to my spot on the beach and towelled off, then laid back down to dry out.
Feeling refreshed, I made the short walk back to the room to cool off, then decided to explore the south-east of the island and check out some of the beaches I had read about online. Along the coastline are many little bays with their own sand or shingle beach. The larger ones are Finikas, Fanos and Italida (Platia Pounta) as you head counter-clockwise from the south. They were busier than I’d expected – some almost full of tourists catching the late afternoon sun – so I didn’t stop, and once I reached Italida, I turned back to head for home.
Feeling hungry after just a light lunch, I showered and changed, then checked my phone to try and locate some restaurants to choose from for dinner. One, in particular, stood out: Lavanda e Rosmarino Trattoria Italiana, which, as the name suggested, was an Italian restaurant near my apartment. It turned out to be a fantastic choice, though I was so early that I was the only customer for most of the meal. The service and food were sublime: large pasta tubes with a rich carbonara sauce for main, followed by ‘chocolate salami’ for dessert (a delicious chocolate mousse with chunks of biscuit).
After such a rich meal (and still being quite early), I strolled around the main town – which is tiny – and circled back to my apartment via the beach path around the harbour. When I returned, the sun had just set on one of my best days in Greece.