Folegandros is a small island in the Cyclades, with just about 800 inhabitants but it fills up with thousands of tourists every summer. Yet, ir retains its relaxing and carefree atmosphere, for this it is referred to as the ‘island of peace’. It’s probably one of the top places in Greece for those who desire a peaceful and romantic honeymoon.
Folegandros has reached its pick in tourism only during the last decade. Having learnt from the mistakes of other islands Folegandros has preserved its traditional character, with no modern buildings, neon signs even cars are limited in number. There are not many places to visit or things to do, however, you will not get bored. The longest route, only 10km long, allows you to walk the island.
As you approach the island by ship, it appears like a huge rocky mountain emerging from the sea.
Arriving at Karavostasis, the port, you admire the dry, wild but beautiful landscape There are frequent bus trips to Chora, or if you wish you can take a taxi or rent a car or motorbike. A motorbikes is preferable as it allows you to drive off the beaten track to more secluded beaches like that of Agios Georgios, Ambelaki in the northern part of the island.
Chora, the main town of Folegandros is built on a steep cliff 200 m above the sea. There is a car park outside Chora as vehicles are not allowed to enter. Outside Chora you can stop and admire the spectacular view from Pounda, a balcony with a view to the Aegean, on your right you can see the Church of Panagia, imposing on the top of the cliff and on your left you get a unique view of the outer side of the Kastro, with its walls actually hanging at the edge of the steep hill.
The town of Chora is the most picturesque of all in the Cyclades. It has remained untouched by the modern world. It appears unreal, you must spend some time wandering along its cobbled alleys, flanked with freshly white-washed houses, ocean blue painted doors and windows. Enjoy the fragrance of basil, yiasemin, and the colorful bougainvillea and hibiscus and the aroma of freshly baked bread in a traditional oven. Visit the Kastro, a Venetian fortress; it will take you back in Medeival times.
Ano Meria, the Upper Town, is a rural traditional settlement, its characteristic is the ‘themonies‘ houses scattered along the road, ‘xerolythies‘ dry stone walls built around trees to protect them from the strong winds. There you can taste the local ‘matsata’ , the cheese of their own produce, and drink rakomelo. There is also the Folklore Museum worth seeing.
There are plenty of hotels and rooms to let in every part of the island. The best beaches are Katergo, reached by boat or on foot, Angali a family beach with tavernas, Hohlidia and Vardia in Karavostasis.
You can travel to Folegandros by ship from Piraeus about 11-hour journey or by speed boat just 4 hours. There are also connections from Ios, Santorini, Milos, Naxos, Paros Sikinos. Folegandros is a peaceful island all nature lovers must visit.