When reaching the port of Folegandros the vibe you get from the rocky texture of the island is revitalising, took my breath away.
The Hora of the island is one of the most scenic villages of the Aegean, a genuine sample of the traditional architecture of the Cyclades. Folegandros creates a boho-hippie atmosphere with the colourful windows of the whitewashed houses and the romantic palette of sunset colours overlooking from the top of the church.
There are a few options for accommodation but my top choice would be Anemi Hotel, a member of Design Hotels. The only 5 star luxury hotel, located at the end of the harbour overlooking the south side of the island. With beautiful and spacious rooms, a swimming pool and an award winning restaurant, it also offers external spa and beauty amenities delivered to your room if needed.
Folegandros will fascinate you with its barren beauty of the towering cliffs that resemble to a rocky mountain. For that reason though it is not known for its prestigious beaches but mostly for the boat stopovers to have a swim overlooking the cliffs. My favorite spots were Demenos, Kalamaki, Blue Lagoon, Kokkina and Vorina. I’m not going to say much the pictures speak for themselves. There is only one company in the island to hire for your daily excursions and that is SEA-U dive Centre. Both Spiros and Dimitris are certified divers who other than their occupation operate 2 motorboats and will show you around the secret spots not many people know. If you do stay more than 3 or 4 days then you also need to visit Livadaki beach and Katergo.
3 full days are more than enough to see the whole island and enjoy it to its fullest. Put on your food list; Blue Cuisine, Eva’s Garden both in Hora, Synantisi in Ano Meria and of course definitely keep one day for dinner at the Anemi hotel. For me it was the best dinner of our stay. Exquisite Greek dishes with a twist of European touch in them. Try the Octopus Carpaccio, the Tuna for main dish and for desert the Mastiha ice cream and the Honey Éclairs. In Blue Cuisine you need to try their 3 dips starter, the tuna tartar, the fish of the day Carpaccio and the Chocolate Mousse for desert. In the Ano Meria tavern ‘Synantisi’ try the Matsata, their local dish; fresh made pasta with rabbit or lamb. Don’t forget to pay a visit to the restaurant Chic “ΣΙΚ”, they have the best goat dish with french fries and once you are there go to PIATSA for a desert called Karpouzenia which is watermelon, honey and sesami. Add on your list the Hora Bakery and visit it at least once to try their cheese-pie, spinach-pie, chocolate croissant and their Bougatsa!!! If you prefer to have breakfast outside of the hotel there are two places for that, Pounda and Anemomylos. Late at night after your dinner there are not many things to do other than drinking the famous local product Rakomelo either in Astarti or at BaRaki but also try the cocktails at Beez and finish with a drink at Laoumi before heading to your car at the northern parking spot.
OH I almost forgot.. If you are a sucker for sunsets like myself then walk all the way up to the Church of Hora and spend a good 40min overlooking the island covered with red, purple and pink colors. It is definitely the highlight of the trip.
- There are only 2 ATM’s on the island both located in Hora that in peak season (JULY-AUGUST) run out of cash due to large volume of visitors. Most of the places take credit cards but for example Eva’s Garden doesn’t.. It’s so 90’s still.
- Don’t leave the island if you haven’t visited the lighthouse of Aspropounda, the oldest lighthouse in the Aegean and so old school. The view of the lighthouse both by land and sea are precious.
- Avoid going to the north beaches if it’s windy, stay on the southeast side of the island that is definitely the most beautiful part.
- If you are looking to buy hand crafted products made in Folegandros then there is one place only and that is “To xylourgeio tou giganta”
- When packing your suitcase don’t forget to bring some jackets, it might get cold at night.
- Combine the island with the island of Amorgos. Spend 3nights/ 4 days in Folegandros and another 4 nights/ 5 days in Amorgos. (The Amorgos itinerary will be up soon..)
WHEN TO VISIT:
Best time to visit is early July, but from beginning of June till mid September is summer season, the weather is perfect just check it’s not too windy. For those travelling from far away it won’t really make a difference because obviously you won’t know about the wind until 3-4 days before going there, but if you are lucky enough to get to see the island with “BOYNATSA” meaning calm sea in the nautilus slang then you will experience the most of it. Fingers crossed you do 🙂