Cyclades’ most up and coming island
Nothing is hidden under the light of the Aegean. There are no secrets in its waters and that’s true of Folegandros. In the past, it had been discovered by the so-called alternative vacationists, those that searched for the successor to the Mykonos and Paros situation. The “don’t tell anyone” became “have you heard?” Now, followers and trend-setters cosign a memorandum of free cohabitation on the Cyclades’ most up and coming island.
When reaching the port of Folegandros the vibe you get from the rocky texture of the island is revitalizing, took my breath away. The Chora of the island is one of the most scenic villages of the Aegean, a genuine sample of the traditional architecture of the Cyclades. Folegandros creates a boho-hippie atmosphere with the colorful windows of the whitewashed houses and the romantic palette of sunset colors overlooking from the top of the church.
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Hotel / There are a few options for accommodation but my top choice would be Anemi Hotel, a member of Design Hotels. The only 5 star luxury hotel, located at the end of the harbor overlooking the south side of the island. With beautiful and spacious rooms, a swimming pool and an award winning restaurant, it also offers external spa and beauty amenities delivered to your room if needed.
Beaches / Folegandros will fascinate you with its barren beauty of the towering cliffs that resemble to a rocky mountain. For that reason though it is not known for its prestigious beaches but mostly for the boat stopovers to have a swim overlooking the cliffs. My favorite spots were Demenos, Kalamaki, Blue Lagoon, Kokkina and Vorina. I’m not going to say much the pictures speak for themselves. There is only one company in the island to hire for your daily excursions and that is SEA-U dive Centre. Both Spiros and Dimitris are certified divers who other than their occupation operate 2 motorboats and will show you around the secret spots not many people know. If you do stay more than 3 or 4 days then you also need to visit Livadaki beach and Katergo.
Food / Three full days are more than enough to see the whole island and enjoy it to its fullest. Put on your food list; Blue Cuisine, Eva’s Garden both in Chora, Synantisi in Ano Meria and of course definitely keep one day for dinner at the Anemi Ηotel. For me it was the best dinner of our stay. Exquisite Greek dishes with a twist of European touch in them. Try the octopus carpaccio, the tuna for main dish and for dessert the mastiha ice cream and the honey eclairs. In Blue Cuisine you need to try their 3 dips starter, the tuna tartar, the fish of the day carpaccio and the chocolate mousse for dessert. In the Ano Meria tavern ‘Synantisi’ try the matsata, their local dish; fresh made pasta with rabbit or lamb. Don’t forget to pay a visit to the restaurant Chic “ΣΙΚ”, they have the best goat dish with french fries and once you are there go to PIATSA for a dessert called karpouzenia which is watermelon, honey and sesami. Add on your list the Chora bakery and visit it at least once to try their cheese-pie, spinach-pie, chocolate croissant and their bougatsa! If you prefer to have breakfast outside of the hotel there are two places for that, Pounda and Anemomylos.
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Drinks / Late at night after your dinner there are not many things to do other than drinking the famous local product rakomelo either in Astarti or at BaRaki but also try the cocktails at Beez and finish with a drink at Laoumi before heading to your car at the northern parking spot.
Oh, I almost forgot… If you are a sucker for sunsets like me then walk all the way up to the church of Chora and spend a good 40 minutes overlooking the island covered with red, purple and pink colors. It is definitely the highlight of the trip.
When to visit / Best time to visit is early July, but from beginning of June till mid-September is summer season, the weather is perfect just check it’s not too windy. For those travelling from far away it won’t really make a difference because obviously you won’t know about the wind until 3-4 days before going there, but if you are lucky enough to get to see the island with “Bounatsa” meaning calm sea in the nautilus slang then you will experience the most of it. Fingers crossed you do.