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The first (and longest) stop of our Island Hopping holiday on the Greek islands this summer, which painted our summer dreams with brilliant blue, was Folegandros. An island, personified by Greek Goddess Artemis. Its wild beauty swept us in from the very first moment we stepped foot on Karavostassis, its main harbor. However, we hadn’t seen anything yet. Climbing the road to Chora is when Folegandros began to reveal its unbeatable charm.
An island, that is said to be the next Santorini, still keeps its beaches pure, and has a charismatic medieval feel from the time of the pirates, with its’ bohemian squares in the picturesque Chora; it really is pure magic.
On the island that took its name from the son of Minos, you will also find a magnificent cliff at Chora, which is surrounded by the endless blue of the Aegean Sea. Here the breeze takes away any pressing thoughts you may have brought with you from the city. Folegandros has a natural wild beauty and its picturesqueness makes you feel sublime.
15 amazing things to do in Folegandros
1. Eat breakfast at the colorful “Punta”. Whether you’re sitting on the front side or in the garden at the back, Punta is beautiful. Try the Dakos or omelet.
2. Stay in Agali for a few days. This settlement with its small bay and fine sand is a terrestrial paradise. Anything you may need is a 5-minute walk away and it really is the best way to relax and shut down from the daily grind.
3. Take your book and walk from Agali to the next nearby beaches of Fira, Galipho, and Agios Nikolaos. In Galifos you will also find rooms without electricity. At these small beaches, you can enjoy the summer retreat without the basics.
4. In Agali you can eat at “Pasithea”, with a great view and if you want a more gourmet dinner you will find it at “Blue Sand Boutique Hotel and Suites” restaurant. The scenery is cinematic and totally romantic. Also visit the tiny Panorama cafe for breakfast, traditional pies, or a handmade dessert.
5. Take the boat from Karavostassis to the most spectacular beach of Folegandros, “Katergo” (galley). Do not be fooled by its name. It’s a completely unspoiled beach with crystal clear waters.
6. Lose yourself in charming Chora, with its’ many squares and a breeze from the past. Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful of the Cyclades. A Chora-magnet with narrow paved alleys, picturesque houses, and chic tourist shops await you. For drinks or Raki, the road will drive you to Beez, BaRaki, and Astarti. Going from one square to another, you will feel as if you’re being carried away from one feast to another celebration.
7. Climb the path to the island’s star, Panagia Church, and enjoy the sunset embracing the steep cliffs throughout the duration.
8. Wander through the narrow streets of Kastro. Whatever door you enter – Paraporti or Lontzia – you will be enchanted by this medieval settlement built for protection against pirates and inhabited to this day.
9. Have delicious souvlaki in Mama’s Pita. This is not souvlaki, it’s Ambrosia.
10. Whether you go to Katergo beach, or take a tour of the island, you will see a special natural monument, Chrysospilia, a cave with chambers in which shells, stalactites, and carved ancient teen names were found on the walls. It is also said that in ancient times, the teenagers of the island needed to arrive at Chrysospilia as a maturity test, after which they wrote their names.
11. Eat at Eva’s Garden. The impressive bougainvilleas and jasmine that surround this restaurant will make you stop and admire it before you enjoy its’ dishes.
12. Admire the view of Chora and the Panagia Church with its path from the heliport. The icon of the Virgin Mary is considered to be miraculous and is associated with pirates and myths.
13. Enjoy Galaktoboureko (creamy custard pie) or Portokalopita (orange pie) in the courtyard of the café “The Lojgia” and the pancakes at “ParasAgas” just below.
14. Try Garidomakaronada (spaghetti with shrimps) at the “Chrysospilia” tavern. A little pricey but it’s worth it.
15. Go to Ano Meria to see the authentic rural life of Folegandros. There are no narrow streets, squares, and cobbled streets there because here you will find small independent farms. There is also a Folklore Museum, but first, you can go for traditional Greek handmade pasta, called “Matsata”, accompanied by a rabbit from the hands of Mrs. Irene at “Kafepantopoleion”, where you can also buy handmade products.
We would like to thank the Deputy Mayor of Folegandros Mrs. Efthalia Papadopoulou and Christiana Papitsi, Regional Councilor of the South Aegean and Special Co-worker of the Municipality of Folegandros. Blue Sand Hotel and Suites in Agali, Folegandros Apartments in Chora for the wonderful hospitality, and Evo Rent A Car in Folegandros Chora for our car.
*All photos by me (Copyright)
*This article was originally published in Greek City Times
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