Folegandros | Cyclades
36.6211 ° N, 24.9156° E
The island’s nonchalant appeal and air of old-time elegance that has made it a long-time favourite among the Greeks.
A small paradise set at the southern tip of the Cyclades, Folegandros has no airport, no mass tourism and no chain hotels – in other words, nothing to spoil what is considered by many one of Greece's most beautiful islands.
Taking inspiration from traditional Cycladic architecture, the town's white-washed dwellings run along paved alleys, its three main squares shaded by trees and buzzing with life.
The island is not famous for its beaches, but the waters are spectacular and there are many secluded coves that can be accessed by boat. In Folegandros, you can wind down and experience traditional island life at its best, yet with a patina of sophistication.
ChoraFolegandros' main village is one of the most beautiful and well-maintained among the Cycladic isles. It seems that mass tourism has not yet (and hopefully never will) ruined the minimal elegance and traditional Cycladic charm of this picturesque setting.
The castleSet at the ancient part of the town, the castle is perched on a steep cliff that offers panoramic views. It was built in medieval times to protect the village from the pirates that were roaming the Mediterranean.
ChrysospiliaA cave which is accessible only by sea, but it is definitely worth the effort to get there. The interior is lined by stalactites and stalagmites. Several names of teenage boys were written on the rocks in ancient times, as the cave was used for coming-of-age ceremonies in the 4th century BC.
Ano MeriaCharming Ano Meria is a must-see when you visit Folegandros. The village is known for its open-air folklore museum, where you will see the “tree-houses” (circular stone walls that protected the trees from the winds) and a traditional island home of the 19th century.
Folegandros is a tiny island and its main charm lies in its perfectly preserved villages and wild Cycladic beauty.
Chora, the main village, is a beautiful specimen of Cycladic elegance, its whitewashed houses and paved alleyways clear of modern maladies such as outrageous signs or architectural atrocities.
Take the path that leads to the church of Panagia, which is perched on a hilltop, to take in the breathtaking views, before you head for one of the charming bars or restaurants of Chora.
Be sure to attend one of the “cultural evenings”, the traditional feasts that are regularly organised in the summer for locals and visitors.
If you are feeling active, Folegandros offers a network of hiking paths that offer stunning views of the island. The island is not famed for its beaches, but its waters are crystal clear and the seabed rich, so there is some fantastic snorkeling and diving on offer.
You can also rent a boat to explore Folegandros' coastline. You can choose to do so in luxury, or you can choose a more traditional means and take the Kaiki that offers daily trips around the island.
You can reach Folegandros by boat from the port of Piraeus. The ferry takes about 3.5 to 4 hours. You can also fly to Santorini, Paros or Naxos and take the ferry from there. Be sure to check the connections, especially during low season.
Folegandros is one of the upcoming favourite summer destinations and, as such, it boasts some of the most authentic holiday villas to rent. Guests in search of luxury villas in Folegandros will realize that here luxury has been redefined: traditional and at the same time super modern, minimal yet warm, a holiday villa with pool on this untouched gem of the Aegean is all one could wish for.