underwater at koufonissi a deserted island off southeastern crete
Φώτης Κοκοτός by Φώτης Κοκοτός

Underwater at Koufonissi, a deserted island off southeastern Crete

The deserted island of Koufonissi is a few miles south of the southeastern tip of Crete, and has some of the most gorgeous underwater seascapes in the whole of Greece. The northern part of the island is shallow, just barely allowing small sailing vessels through, and with a multitude of little islets, protruding tongues of sand, and reefs. The eastern side has steep cliffs with long beaches at their feet, and waters deepening smoothly off the European continental shelf, just like the southern side, which has the added feature of round boulders strewn throughout the seafloor, having rolled down the cliffs during earth tremors. The western side is quite barren and steep, with sea caves and steep underwater walls and a very rich fish fauna. A little paradise at the extremities of the European continent, Koufonissi is one of those places sailors enjoy most, anchoring off the southern coast on a full moon, which rises from the sea at the same time as the sun also sets in the sea.

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