Greek Guide

Folegandros Day Trips Greece Folegandros

Folegandros Tourist Attractions Day Trips Greece Greek Travel Guide

Come to Folegandros if you enjoy walking, fishing, swimming off Robinson Crusoe beaches or just relaxing in traditional tavernas away from the tourist hordes. There's little else to do here and therein lies the island's special charm for visitors who want to escape the summer madness of the more frantic Cycladic islands such as Mykonos, Santorini and neighbouring Ios.

You'll want to explore the island's medieval capital, Hora, which is one of the most enchanting towns in the whole of the Cyclades. You won't even notice it from the sea though it's perched high on a cliff 230 metres above sea level. The town was built inside a 13th century Venetian kastro (castle) and the outside walls of the houses, where villagers still live today, formed part of the defensive enclosure with arched gateways leading into the town.

The traffic free town is a delightful concoction of narrow cobbled streets lined with sugar cube houses and wooden balconies bedecked with bougainvillea, hibiscus and geraniums. There are shady squares where you can sit at one of the many cafes and tavernas beneath the lime, almond and pepper trees. Sip an ouzo or raki and practise your Greek phrases on the locals before settling down for lunch at one of the tavernas which offer a surprisingly varied range of excellent home made dishes. One of the best restaurants on the island is Piatsa, on the second square past the kastro, which offers some innovative daily specials and a range of vegetarian dishes. O Kritikos, on the third square past the kastro, is the place to go for top quality grilled meat.

Pay a visit to the fairy tale white domed church of Panagia which dominates the town from above its ancient walls. The star attraction here is a reputedly miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary which was stolen three times in pirate raids but allegedly floated back to its island home on each occasion. At Easter the icon is taken from the church and paraded through the town followed by a procession of islanders.

If you're a seafood fan head for the port of Karavostassis for lunch try the local "liokafto" fish dish, fresh lobster or locally caught sea bream.

From the port you can take a boat to see one of the island's most interesting features, the Cave of Chrissospilia (Golden Cave) in the cliff wall to the north east of Hora. The cave can also be reached on foot but the scramble is hard work for all but the most hardy of hikers. It's one of the most impressive of its kind in the whole of the Cyclades but mercifully has not been turned into a major tourist attraction it houses some beautiful stalactites and stalagmites and ancient inscriptions, broken pots and human remains have been found here. The cave takes its name from the golden treasure which the islanders brought here when they took refuge from the pirates who once plagued these waters. The invaders reputedly sealed the cave entrance and set fire to it, leaving only a pool of molten gold.

At the farming settlement of Ano Meria in the north west of Folegandros you can visit the local Folk Museum which gives an interesting insight into the traditional peasant way of life which has existed on the island for centuries. Ano Meria also has some good tavernas where you can sample the local specialty matsata (home made pasta with rooster or rabbit).

The island's Cycladic School, run by a Greek/Danish couple, gives you the chance to combine your holiday with learning a new skill. The school brings in foreign teachers to run a wide range of one and two week courses in subjects ranging from Greek cookery and folk dancing to painting and yoga. Telephone (+30) 2286041472.