Folegandros is a small Greek island, part of the Cyclades archipelago. Also called Policandro, this island is authentic, characteristic and wonderful.
Three days are enough to see it entirely; in fact, it extends only for 32 km2 and has around 650 inhabitants but it is one of those places that immediately catch your heart, especially because it has a traditional soul that will literally take you back in time.
This island is still unknown by most of the tourists (I discovered it by chance, opening google maps and looking for islands around Santorini) so I can’t wait to tell you everything you need to know in the next few lines!
When to go, How to get there, Where to stay and How to move
The best time to visit the island of Folegandros is from June to mid-September. When I went there, the first days of September, the weather was simply perfect: heat, sun and zero rainfall. Also, I didn’t find wind, something really unexpected!
Folegandros does not have an airport but is easily accessible by ferry from Santorini or other Greek islands; I advise you to check the SEA JETS ferry company website, which I also used to get here, by booking the tickets for the route in advance. I suggest you to ask your hotel, then, to pick you up at the port once you arrive, because there is only 1 cab in Folegandros! The landscape around you, on the road reaching the centre, is quite fascinating: hills of rocks, stones and bushes contrast with the blue sky … the nature of this island, in fact, is barren and dry.
I suggest choosing the hotel in the Chora, the city centre, to have easy access to restaurants and shops. I chose the Kallisti, a beautiful structure with a swimming pool, in typical Greek style, which perfectly adapts to the colors of the island and from which you can enjoy a marvelous view over the horizon.
The best way to move around the island of Folegandros is by motorbike, which you can rent in the town centre (even without a reservation) and which you can use to stroll around the whole island. In this way it will be easy to discover the hidden crystalline beaches along rural roads.
Best Beaches in Folegandros
Premise: The beaches of Folegandros are not equipped, so I recommend that you take your beach umbrella (you can buy it in the Chora) and buy a packed lunch. In addition, many beaches have pebbles, so bring your rubber shoes for swimming!
–Agios Georgios and Lafano Beach: They are located in the northernmost part of the island and can be easily reached by motorbike. The first is large and sandy, the second is small and rocky.
–Katergo Beach: It is located in the south-east Folegandros and can be reached by boat from the port of Karavostasi (tickets can be purchased on site). This is my favourite beach because of the clarity of the water, the grey sand and its characteristic rock that can be reached by swimming (and from which the most fearless dive).
–Agali: Easily reachable by scooter, it is located in the western part; it is a large beach and close to food courts.
–Livadaki and Agios Nikolaos: to get to these two beaches you can take the boat service from Agali. I advise you to take a few hours in Livadaki, which is a deserted beach made of white pebbles, and then to go back and stop in Agios Nikolaos; here you can also find two restaurants. I had lunch at Papalagi Seafood that offers great food and a beautiful panoramic view.
Other things to do
One of the unmissable things that you can do in the island of Folegandros is to take the path that leads from the Chora to the Church of Panagia during the sunset hours: the view in front of your eyes, watching the sun go down behind the hills, will be unforgettable. Here I saw one of the most beautiful sunsets in my life!
Visiting the Kastro, the oldest part of the Chora, is also a must. It is not a real castle, but its walls act as a fence for white houses. I love the Cyclades architecture: the bright houses with the colored windows (mostly blue and light blue) are perfect for photography … if you also find the Bouganville plants around it, then lucky you!
I also loved getting to Agali from Agios Nikolaos on foot. It takes only 20-minute by walk, not too tiring, from which you can enjoy a stunning sea view up the hill until you reach two small religious domes.
Finally, for the most trained, I really advise to try to arrive at Katergo beach on foot from Livadi. I did not do it (thanks to the laziness that is felt more on holiday than at other times …) but, as many say, the view from the top on the beach repays the effort of the path that is not really easy.
Where to eat
In the evening, the atmosphere in the Chora is something beyond works: going through the streets of the town, you get to the three squares, located in a row and illuminated by light bulbs hanging in the trees, where the restaurants serve typical dishes at the outdoors tables. Everything looks so magical around!
Food in Folegandros costs more than in other islands, probably because it is almost all imported. Two restaurants that I can suggest for dinner are Piatsa and Melissa, one next to the other in one of the Chora squares. But I would like to advise you to walk around the neighbourhood and stop at what inspires you the most, eating bad food in Greece is really difficult! If your hotel does not have breakfast included, you can find some bars and small food shops in the town centre where you can buy fruits, drinks and other things for lunch.
In conclusion, this island will not disappoint you. Perhaps at the beginning it will seem too small, maybe you will think that there are not too many things to do especially at night; but if you look for a place that offers tradition, good food, beautiful sea and exceptional views, in a context of serenity and relaxation, you will definitely think of Folegandros.
I hope I have transmitted you the desire to visit this little gem, a place that I love and that I keep jealously among my best memories! ♥