Rather than attempt some all encompassing guide to the Greek Islands (which is impossible to do) I’ve decided the best way for me to let you all know about choosing which Islands to visit once I’m done. In the meantime, I’ll let you all know about the Islands i’m currently in, what they’re known for, who they’re suited for and what to do.
I decided to visit Folegandros because I needed a little change from the crowds and find a little piece of the Greek Islands that hasn’t been affected by tourism. I had heard about Folegrandros when researching where to find the best hiking trails in the Cyclades. I was happy to find that it was also one of the quietest islands. Perfect
Getting to Folegandros
There are frequent ferries running from Piraeus in Athens (8h), the Western Cyclades (Serifos, Sifnos, Kythnos, Milos and Kimolos – 2h 30min) and the Central Cyclades (Paros and Santorini – 1h 30min). You can book your tickets in person at any port or book in advance online here.
Where to Stay
Unfortunately, because Folegandros is one of the off the beaten path islands, there really isn’t much infrastructure for tourism. Accomodations range from expensive hotels to moderately expensive hotels.
Vrahos Boutique Hotel This is a wonderful hotel right in the heart of Folegandros built into the hillside facade of Karavostasis. There is an infinity jacuzzi, onsite restaurant with some amazing food including an amazing breakfast buffet overlooking the mediterranean. Rooms are clean and modern with 5 main beaches within walking distance. Rooms start at €146. There are many activities included in this price including free bike and kayak rentals. An amazing deal!
If you’re looking for something more budget friendly, there is a small selection of affordable Airbnb‘s on the island
What to do in Folegandros
One of the best ways to familiarize yourself with the island is on bike. I recommend doing it right away. You can rent a bike from Vrahos Boutique Hotel and ride it into Chora or Livadi village. Stop off for some refreshments or food on the way.
Folegandros is an ideal place for hiking. There are a lot of footpaths which cross the whole island and pass by dry stone walls and abandoned windmills, picturesque white chapels and traditional stone settlements. Some of my favourite hikes are
- Ano Meria (Taxiarchis)-Livadaki- Faros Aspropountas (lighthouse)-Ano Meria (windmills) (round trip 2 hours 10 minutes)
- Chora-Stavros- Fira-Angali (45 minutes)
- Ano Meria-Ai Yiannis-Marmaro- Agios Nikolaos-Angali (1 hour)
- Ano Meria-Agios Andreas-Agios Georgios-Lygaria- Zoodohos Pigi (1 hour 15 minutes)
- Ano Meria-Agios Pandeleimonas-Ampeli (30 minutes)
You can rent kayaks from the Vrahos Boutique Hotel and take a tour around the crystal clear waters of Karavostassis
Cruise around the Island
This is by far the best way to experience the island of Folegandros. Reserve a full day tour with Diaplous Travel. The tour lasts 6 hours and takes you to five of the most incredible beaches in Folegandros that can only be reached by boat. Depending on the weather conditions the tour will take you on the north and south sides of the island. It is best to take this tour when there is very little wind. Reservations are necessary. Prices start at €20 and a light meal is served on board.
Where to Eat
To Goupi An inexpensive restaurant serving traditional island food. I definitely recommend ordering a selection of Mezedes as opposed to a larger dish. Pair it up with some ouzo. Amazing combination.
Pounda One of the most famous restaurants on the island. I’d say it was a reasonably priced splurge. Located in Chora, tables here are set in a beautiful garden setting and adorable little stray cats walk between tables looking for scraps. the food was fresh, and not too heavy. Do not even think about leaving here without having the zucchini fritters. Breakfast here is also so incredible.
Best time of Year to visit
While you can visit year round, some accommodations shut down during the off season. For me the best time to visit is in the spring. Summers can get extremely hot and even though Folegandros isn’t as busy as the other islands it’s still best to come here while you can take advantage of all the hiking and cycling that you can before the heat gets to be too much. With that being said given the crowds on other islands in the summer, this is still a wonderful place to get away from it all, all summer long.
If you do visit Folegandros let me know what you think in the comments. I’d also love to hear your Greek Island tips.