Folegandros


Overview

Folegandros may not be the easiest island to get to, but as with most things in life, hard work is rewarded to those prepared to put in the effort.

Being one of the more westerly islands in the Cyclades, it’s a little off the standard ferry routes but is still well connected with daily services in high season. On our first visit, we arrived via Santorini – a 40-minute crossing – and departed for Naxos, backtracking via Santorini again, then Ios.

Highlights

If you’ve heard anything of Folegandros, it’s probably the well-known Church of Panagia that sits atop the steep hillside overlooking the main town. It’s an impressive sight, and worth the short (but tiring) walk for some excellent panoramic shots of the island.

In truth, there’s not a huge amount to do on the island. A few modest beaches adorn the coastline, none of them stunning by Greek standards. We visited Agkali via the daily bus service and found it a pleasant place to spend a few hours. There are only three populated areas on the island: Kavarostasis to the south-east, where the ferry port is located; Chora, the central capital; and Ano Meria further north-west. This isn’t to say that Folegandros is not worth visiting, but perhaps it’s a destination to spend 3 or 4 nights in between visiting other islands.

To stay longer than a few nights, you would really need to want some peace and quiet, but if that’s your idea of a perfect holiday, Folegandros is certainly somewhere to consider.

Accommodation and Dining

For a small island, Folegandros does not lack for good accommodation and dining options. In Chora, you will find several boutique-style hotels that are cheap compared to Santorini/Mykonos prices, but not dissimilar in style or desirability. Here are just a few to consider:

We stayed at Polikandia and found it a great balance of affordability, style and location.

TripAdvisor lists 59 restaurants on the island, of which no fewer than 20 are in Chora, so you could easily spend a fortnight here and never need to eat at the same restaurant more than once. We only got to try a few during our brief visit in 2019, but To Zimaraki was the stand-out favourite, providing you like Italian food anyway.

Conclusions and Alternatives

If you’re new to the Greek islands, I’m not sure that Folegandros would be the first place to visit. It is somewhat lacking in activities and really good beaches to be the only destination for a holiday. But, if you planned to combine it with other islands – as we did – then it provides an excellent contrast to busier places like Santorini or Mykonos. Even Naxos and Paros would seem pretty intense by comparison.

I would go so far as to recommend following a similar itinerary as we did: start on Santorini to get the most hectic island done first, then head to Folegandros to relax, before moving on to Naxos – or equally Paros – for a bit more variety of things to do. Then either fly back to Athens if you’re visiting from outside Europe or take a short ferry to Mykonos, which is well connected by air to several other countries – including the UK. You can read all about our trip here: Cyclades 2019.

If you’ve already been and wanted to find a similar destination, I would recommend Amorgos: it’s larger and has more to offer, but does retain a similarly traditional feel, as well as being off-the-beaten-track, keeping a lot of tourists at bay.

Hotel Reviews

Polikandia Hotel, Chora, Folegandros

Posted in Hotel Reviews

Review Rating: 5/5 Date of Visit: July 2019 We spent three nights at Polikandia Hotel but could have happily stayed much longer. Set in a quiet location on the outskirts…


Blog Posts

Day 7: Folegandros to Naxos

Posted in Folegandros, Naxos

Friday, 19th July 2019 Today we leave Folegandros and head to our final island, Naxos. To say I was excited would be an understatement! Naxos is one of my favourite…

Day 6: More Folegandros

Posted in Folegandros

Thursday, 18th July 2019 The update for today is going to be pretty brief. Largely because it turned out to be almost identical to yesterday: breakfast at Pounta cafe, back…

Day 5: Folegandros

Posted in Folegandros

Wednesday, 17th July 2019 Breakfast wasn’t included at Hotel Polikandia (though it is available), so we took a short stroll to a taverna called Pounta that we’d seen on our…

Day 4: Santorini to Folegandros

Posted in Folegandros

Tuesday, 16th July 2019 After a later-than-usual breakfast, I checked with the reception that they could organise a transfer to the ferry port so we could catch our 15:30 ferry…