When searching for a summer holiday destination you often get through these classical popular places: Canaries, Hawaii, Maldives Greek Islands… Although, after looking at their main offer you tell yourself that not only are they all the same, but also, they are all filled with tourists making them no longer authentic. Well, you must now accept the fact that it isn’t perfectly true and you can check it yourself.
Folegandros is an unspoiled pearl among the Cycladic Islands. Obviously, it has everything that a typical Cycladic island would have, except the omnipresent crowds. The tourists become more and more present on this tiny piece of land, but it is incomparable with sites like Santorini or Ios. Thus, it remains untouched by mass tourism so it can keep its virgin beauty and the unadulterated style of its villages. There are few islands where you can feel their genuine spirit so strong.
Indeed, going through the ancient streets and crossing traditional taverns you will quickly get involved in a conversation or a party. The towns on Folegandros are delightful microclimates bumping the energy into anyone staying there. Under these circumstances, friends are made easily. In no time you will enjoy singing, dancing, talking and drinking typical honeyed raki with people you have just met. Folegandros is mostly a place to enchant and to give rest to your body and soul. Time on this island is not an issue, yet you are unable to see it pass. Every day on Folegandros seems longer than in everyday life, still you are surprised and disappointed when your stay comes to an end. The time to leave always comes too soon.
Hora and the Kastro – village on the cliff
Situated at 200 meters above the sea a Venetian castle and the quarter around it represent the oldest spots of the capital of Folegandros – the Hora village. First thing you will find inspiring about the village is its unique mixed style of medieval and Cycladic architecture. Houses are built so close to one another that they constitute the exterior wall of the castle. The white and blue is ruling the view – be it for the squared buildings and staircases or for the azure clear water of the Aegean Sea. If that is not picturesque and unforgettable, then what will be?
Ano Meria – The Folk Museum
The town of Ano Meria is the second and the last village on Folegandros. This traditional rural settlement used to be and remains, strictly agricultural, thus it exposes a typical farm complex, machines and tools related to Ano Meria’s activities. If you are interested in the traditional everyday life of Folegandros you should visit the Folk Art Museum – it tells it all.
The Panaghia church – old, beautiful and saint
One of the special Folegandros landmarks – the church of Panagia is a rare example of Aegean ecclesiastical architecture with three domes. It is located above Hora and a gentle zigzag path leads to it. Inside you can admire the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary, meanwhile outside the views will make you speechless. Pirate past and numerous stories are linked to the icon, one should consider asking locals for more explanations.
Hiking across the inland and the coastline
Folegandros is a perfect place for short and long excursions. Most hiking trails start in Hora, from where one can go up North to Chrissospilia to admire a stalactite cave or reach one of beautiful beaches: Agali and Katergo.
In fact, when going back to the coastline, pristine beaches of Folegandros are often pebbly, covered with tamarisk trees, like Vorina or Katergo. Ayios Nikolaos is a clothing-optional beach with a lovely tavern serving fresh local food. The view from here is also quite amazing, although not as majestic as the one at Agali beach, where a sheer cliff drops and makes it marvelous scenery to look at. If you are more into the sandy beach, the turquoise waters and a camping site in Livadi should be on your list.