Koufonisi is an uninhabited island 18km (11 miles) from Makrigialos off the coast of South East Crete, once settled by Romans who farmed shellfish there for the purple dye that coloured the togas of Roman emperors (from where we get the phrase "born to the purple").
Although ruined houses and a stone amphitheatre bear witness to its former residents, the need to protect its archaeological treasures means that permits to land on the island have not been granted since 2009, when the Sofia ran cruises from Makrigialos.
Visitors today must content themselves with a sightseeing charter around the island and the opportunity to swim in the turqoise waters of the Libyan Sea that wash its shores (Pictures). The Poseidon is one such boat, based in the small harbour at Makrigialos, that can be chartered by small groups for trips out towards the island. For more information, see http://www.xerocamboscreta.com/PTuk.htm, or just stop by at the harbour during your visit.
Koufonisi Island Pictures