Greek Guide

Folegandros Island Greece Guide Folegandros

Folegandros Island Greece Greek Holiday Destinations

Folegandros is one of the Greek Cyclades Islands located in the Aegean Sea 181 kilometres south east of the mainland port of Piraeus. It's one of the jewels in the Cycladic crown an unspoilt island paradise frequented by just enough visitors to make a stay here both comfortable and unforgettable. You don't have to rough it on Folegandros but neither do you have to fight your way through the summer hordes which plague the more commercialised islands of the archipelago such as Mykonos and Santorini.

You can reach the island by ferry from Piraeus (nine hours) or from one of the neighbouring islands. There are regular ferry connections with Santorini, Ios, Paros, Naxos and Sikinos and less frequent services to Syros, Milos, Sifnos, Serifos, Kimolos and Anafi. The easiest way to reach the island is by ferry from Santorini (two and a half hours) which has regular Olympic Airways flights to Athens.

There are no banks and hole in the wall cash machines here, no car hire firms or all night discos throbbing with teens and twenty somethings. But there are just enough tourists attracted to the place to warrant a good selection of tavernas and lively bars where you can mingle with the islanders until the small hours.

Not that you come to Folegandros for its nightlife. This is an island for those who appreciate nature, tranquility, unspoilt beaches and a way of life which seems hardly to have changed for centuries.

The oblong shaped island, situated between Milos and Sikinos, is just 13 kilometres in length and 3.7 kilometres at its widest point. The centre of the island is just one kilometre wide. The 40 kilometre coastline is peppered with secluded coves and beaches, most of which are only accessible on foot.

The island has been inhabited for more than 3,000 years. The first settlers are thought to have been Cretans from the early Minoan civilisation; the Dorians (a Greek tribe from the north) settled here in the 8th century BC, the Romans later used the island as a place of exile and it was subsequently invaded by the Venetians and later the Turks. But an invasion of mass tourism has so far been held at bay and herein lies the island's charm.

Roam the rugged island trails in spring and early summer when the hills and fields are carpeted with wild flowers and the air is scented with thyme, oregano and caper flowers. Visit in late autumn after the last of the summer visitors has left and you'll be able to join the islanders for the annual olive harvest.

But make sure you book in advance if you're visiting towards the end of July or at any time in August because the island's limited supply of accommodation gets booked solid.

Discerning tourists snap up the best places to be found in the lovely capital of Hora which must rate as one of the most enchanting towns in the whole of the Greek islands. The medieval part of the town, perched high on a cliff top, is a delightful concoction of arched alleyways filled with sugar cube houses bedecked with bougainvillea, geraniums and hibiscus.