Folegandros, Greece: 10 Amazing Things to Do!
Folegandros in Greece is a small dreamlike island of the Cyclades and, moreover, a real insider tip for traveling off the typical tourist routes. This steep, rugged island pearl is famous for its fascinating landscape, for the spectacular cliffs and also for the breathtaking beaches, which promise unforgettable bathing days at the Aegean Sea. Probably the most important attraction of Folegandros is the snow-white Chora with the famous church Panagia, which is enthroned on a hill above the old town and conjures a backdrop like from a storybook. The atmosphere on the island is incredibly relaxed, and you experience the famous Greek hospitality at its best. Especially those seeking peace and quiet, individualists and couples will find their personal vacation paradise on Folegandros.
In this travel guide we give you all the important information and tips about Folegandros Island in Greece. We show you the best pictures, the best things to do, amazing beaches and where to find fantastic accommodations.
General information about Folegandros
The Greek island of Folegandros is part of the Cyclades and is located not far from well-known vacation destinations such as Ios, Milos and Santorini. With a size of only 32 km² and with only about 765 inhabitants, it is one of the smallest inhabited islands of the southern Aegean Sea. Only a 12 kilometer long main road leads from the harbor once across the elongated island and connects the three larger villages Karavostasis, Ano Meria and the Chora with each other. The mountainous landscape is truly impressive, with the highest mountain on the island even measuring 455 meters.
Because of the karstic terrain, this island was called in history the Iron and also the Serrated. And during the Roman times it is said to have been a place of exile. Today, Folegandros is one of the absolute most beautiful destinations in the Cyclades, especially for those who appreciate tranquility and are looking for that very special Greek experience. Thanks to the many possibilities of activities such as hiking, boat tours, snorkeling and quad tours, this dream island is a guarantee for an unforgettable trip.
Things to do in Folegandros
On a trip to Folegandros Island you can expect romantic places, dreamlike beaches, exciting activities in nature and fantastic attractions. Here we have summarized all the highlights and the best things to do in Folegandros at a glance.
The Chora of Folegandros
The Chora, sometimes spelled Hora, is the capital of Folegandros and certainly, one of the most beautiful attractions of the entire Cyclades. It is located in the most spectacular position, directly on the edge of a steep cliff, at a dizzying height of about 200 meters above the sea. Impressive is also the town center of Chora, where the traditional white Cycladic houses, the small alleys, old churches and romantic squares conjure up a fascinating ambience. The most important attractions are the famous Kastro and the Pounta Square with a spectacular viewpoint, near which taverns invite you to linger. The landmark of Folegandros, the church Panagia with its famous zigzag path, is enthroned on a hill above the Chora.
Tip: An insider tip for an overnight stay is the beautiful, small Polikandia Hotel with pretty pool and garden, which is only a few steps away from the center!
A visit to the Kastro, the Venetian castle of the Chora, is certainly one of the best things to do in Folegandros. Once a medieval settlement, it served as a protection for the inhabitants against enemy raids and pirate attacks. The houses, some of which are over 800 years old, have been well restored and to this day, the Kastro has even remained continuously inhabited. The whole ambience, with the whitewashed little alleys, the blue-green door and window frames and the pretty potted plants, is absolutely magical. Also worth seeing is the church Panagia Pantanassa from which you can enjoy a magnificent view of the sea.
Tip: Directly in front of the entrance to the Kastro is the Café Kastro of the same name, where you can taste the local raki with honey, the Rakomelo, in a grandiose atmosphere.
Fishing Village Karavostasis
Karavostasis is the lovely little harbor village in the southeast of Folegandros and, by the way, a fabulous choice for a perfect stay on the vacation island. The village is nestled in beautiful landscape, and the white houses together with the turquoise sea and the two picturesque beaches form a backdrop like on a postcard. The place is absolutely romantic, and the atmosphere is hushed and relaxed to boot. Nevertheless, you will find here a few taverns, beach bars, nice accommodations, a travel agency and also two small supermarkets. In the summer months, excursion boats take you to other beaches on the islands and a public bus connects the harbor town with the Chora.
The Panagia Church
The Panagia Church is a real highlight that should not be missed during any stay on Folegandros. Its location on a rock is particularly impressive, with a paved zigzag path leading directly from the chora up to the church. Once at the top, you can enjoy the most beautiful view of Folegandros and the snow-white old town. This imposing structure was built slightly below the ancient acropolis and on the ruins of an ancient temple. Once it was a nunnery, although the year of construction is undetermined. However, it is known that ancient materials such as marble were used in its construction and it is believed that the church was renovated in 1687.
Tip: Watching the spectacular sunsets from above is definitely one of the best things to do in Folegandros. The whole ambience is just picture-perfect!
Agali is a tiny, beautiful village on the west coast of Folegandros. It is located in a gorgeous rocky bay, about 4 kilometers from the main town of Chora, and is a fabulous choice for a beach vacation on the island. In fact, in Agali and nearby are some of the most beautiful bays. The most spectacular is the eponymous Paralia Agali, with its magnificent white sandy beach and turquoise sea colors. The bay is sheltered from the wind and waves, which is also appreciated by families with children. In the village there are also a few good accommodations, and traditional taverns and cozy cafés provide local dishes and drinks.
Tip: The Blue Sand Boutique Hotel is in a prime location on the dream beach. Guests love the charming décor, the magnificent view and the delicious breakfast.
Village Ano Meria
The charming village of Ano Meria is located in the northern part of Folegandros and is the perfect place to get to know the island at its most authentic side. It is beautifully situated on a plateau and offers a magnificent view of the sea. Even the drive there is an experience in itself! On the way you will meet friendly locals riding donkeys, you will be amazed by the blooming gardens with magnificent lemon trees and by the many goats and sheep. In addition, along the main road there are several quaint taverns, a traditional bakery and even a small store. Worth seeing is the Eco-Museum, which offers insights into original farmhouses from the 17th and 19th centuries.
Tip: A quiet stay in Ano Meria is definitely worth it! An insider tip is the Kipari Apartments in a fabulous location and with incredibly hospitable owners.
The Katergo Beach is one of the most spectacular places on Folegandros and a natural highlight that absolutely should be high up on your bucket-list! This impressive bay is located in the south of the island and fascinates with a landscape like from a picture book. The dream beach is very secluded in the midst of untouched nature, between imposing cliffs, and also inspires with incredibly beautiful sea colors. The easiest way to reach Katergo beach is by taxi boat from the island’s harbor, which departs every hour from 11 am during the summer. Another option is the picturesque hike from Livadi.
Tip: A hike to Katergo is a dreamlike experience! This starts from Livadi, takes about 30 minutes and rewards with a magnificent view of the coast!
Aspropounta Lighthouse & Livadaki Beach
On Folegandros there are terrific possibilities for hiking, whereby the hike to Livadaki Beach and the nearby Asporpounta Lighthouse is certainly one of the most beautiful tours. From Ano Meria starts a beautiful 40-minute hiking trail that takes you down to the coast and directly to Livadaki beach. Further, the route then goes to the lighthouse Aspropounta, which is perched high on a cliff above the sea. Along the way you will enjoy an absolutely idyllic natural landscape, stunning viewpoints, you will meet many sheep and donkeys, and as a highlight you will then bathe at Livadaki beach, one of the absolutely most beautiful beaches on the island.
Tip: Sturdy shoes, sun protection and enough food is a must on this route.
Enjoy the Sunsets
Enjoying the outstanding sunsets is one of the best things to do in Folegandros because they are definitely among the most beautiful in the Cyclades. A real insider tip for this is a visit to the romantic white Chrysopigi church. It is located at the northeastern tip of the island, right where the asphalt road ends. The small church is located on a hill, embedded in an incredibly beautiful landscape, and inspires with a magnificent view of the sea. Especially locals, but also a few tourists like to come here now to enjoy the magical evening ambience and the spectacular sunset atmosphere.
Somewhat hidden behind the harbor town of Karavostasis is Vardia Beach, a fascinating bathing bay in a class of its own! Surrounded by high cliffs, with the most beautiful blue sea colors and soft sand, one experiences a true picture book beach there. Stairs lead down into the bay, and you can enjoy a magnificent view even as you descend. The beach is best visited when there is no wind because then there are no waves and you can experience Vardia Beach from its absolutely most charming side.
Tip: Behind the beach are the Onar Suites & Villas, an accommodation for a very special vacation, with stunning pool and beautiful views of the Aegean Sea!
Where to Stay in Folegandros
The island of Folegandros offers a small but very fine range of fantastic accommodations. From the noble boutique hotel, to the beach hotel, cute pensions and top-equipped apartments, everything is represented here. Here are our recommendations for beautiful places to stay on Folegandros…It’s worth a look!
- Boutique-Hotel by the Sea: The Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites is a stylish small hotel in a prime location on one of the most beautiful beaches of the island.
- Dream Hotel with Pool: The Onar Suites & Villas are a great choice for an exceptional vacation on Folegandros. Guests love the pool and the view of the Aegean Sea!
- Aparthotel with View: The Aeri is a beautiful hotel with a magnificent view of the capital of Folegandros, with a wonderful pool and a sun terrace.
- Quiet Apartment: An insider tip is the Kipari Apartments in a quiet location in Ano Meria. Guests love the authentic flair and the incredible hospitality.
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