Folegandros, an exquisitely untouched island of Greece
Folegandros is in the heart of the Aegean and although it is tiny, this remote island with its natural beauty and laid-back pace has become a favourite for those who are after an authentic Greek island experience.
This captivating piece of paradise really is an untouched part of Greece, offering a relaxed vibe, warm hospitality and gorgeous beaches.
Close to Milos and Santorini, it’s only an hour by high-speed ferry from Santorini, and has the same magnificent drama without the crowds, glitz and glamour.
Its main town, Hora, sits on the edge of a high cliff with its many squares framed by graceful, typically Cycladic church facades and old-fashioned tavernas.
In the warm evenings, the eateries fill up quickly and the village turns into one big party island.
According to Visit Greece, “Honeyed raki flows, music starts, people sing and friends are made. By day, you’ll meet them again on beaches lapped by emerald waters or in the colourful lanes of the oldest part of town. Welcome to Folegandros!”
There are three small villages, Karavostasi (the port), the Chora, Ano Meria and Agali Beach that are connected by paved roads. Chora is closed off to cars and motorbikes, allowing you to walk freely in its unique Platia, which overflows with trees under which you can enjoy your dinner and drinks.
Bougainvillea and hibiscus colour the small wooden balconies around the Kastro (XIII century) and the church of Panagia, on the top of a hill, offers a glorious walk and magnificent views of the Chora. Also make sure to visit the area of the Kastro, a small fortress made by the Venetians in 1210, which will take you back to the Middle Ages.
Over at the village of Ano Merià there are traditional Kafenia (cafes) and taverns, which offer authentic flavours of the Aegean and here you will also discover a Folkloristic Museum, open from 10am to 6pm.
There are some good beaches, but be prepared for walking to reach some of them (or the easy option: take a boat).
Two beaches which can be reached by car are Karavostasi and Angali and it’s also a great idea to grab a map and work out the bus time table, as from Karavostasi you may reach Vardia Beach, Latinaki, Vitzenzou, Pountaki and the beach of Livadi.
How to reach Folegandros:
Folegandros is a main stop on the ferry line Piraeus – Milos – Santorini, and it also has frequent ferries or hydrofoils to Paros, Mykonos, Ios and Sikinos. Consider also flying directly to Santorini and taking a ferry from there.
The bus is the main form of transportation on Folegandros, to take you either to the port or to the various unpaved roads that lead to the beaches. Car and motorbikes can be rented in the Chora. Also, to reach the various beaches little fishing boats depart daily form the port of Karavostasis.
There is no bank at Folegandros. You may use an ATM machine in the Chora or change travellers’ checks at the post office.