Folegandros Island Guide
Folegandros may not be the easiest island to access, 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 the high season. On our first visit, we arrived via Santorini – a 40-minute crossing – and departed for Naxos, backtracking via Santorini again.
The interactive map below shows some of our favourite hotels, restaurants, beaches and places of interest on Folegandros. Click the markers to see more details.
The well-known Church of Panagia sits atop the steep hillside overlooking the main town of Folegandros. It’s an impressive sight and worth the short (but energetic) walk for some excellent panoramic shots of the island.
In truth, there’s not much to do on the island. A few modest beaches adorn the coastline, none stunning by Greek standards. We visited Agkali via the daily bus service and found it pleasant to spend a few hours. There are only three populated areas on the island: Kavarostasis to the southeast, where the ferry port is located; Chora, the central capital; and Ano Meria, further northwest. 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.
You would need a strong desire for peace and quiet to stay longer than a few nights, but if that’s your idea of a perfect holiday, Folegandros is certainly somewhere to consider.
Folegandros does not lack good accommodation and dining options for a small island. 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 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, provided you enjoy Italian food.
If you’re new to the Greek islands, I’m not sure that Folegandros would be the first place to visit. It lacks activities and good beaches to be the only destination for a holiday. But, if you plan to combine it with other islands – as we did – it will provide an excellent contrast to busier places like Santorini or Mykonos. Even Naxos and Paros will seem pretty lively by comparison.
I would go so far as to recommend following a similar itinerary as we did: start on Santorini to get the most crowded 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 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 authentic feel, as well as being off-the-beaten-track, keeping a lot of tourists at bay. Sikinos is also worth investigating if you want an even quieter, more traditional Greek experience.
You can read more about our experience of Folegandros in the blog posts below: