Visit Folegandros for a Quiet Cyclades Getaway
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Santorini often overshadows Folegandros, on the southern edge of the Cyclades, but it offers fine cliff scenery in its own right. At only 12 square miles, this tiny and beautiful island has become a secret to those that love the Cyclades. It’s not a lively island and it doesn’t have any discos or a lively nightlife but it does offer stunning views, downplayed tourism, good beaches, and a quiet getaway in the Cyclades.
All visitors arrive to Folegandros by boat, and there are more travel options in the summer than in the winter. There are regular connections to Anafi, Ios, Amorgos, Kea, Kimolos, Koufonisi, Kythnos Milos, Naxos, Paros, Serifos, Sifnos, Sikinos, and Santorini. The main port of Folegandros is Karavostasi, which actually means, “ferry stop”. Karavostasi is located on the east coast and there isn’t much to see or do here. Visitors typically take the bus from the ferry to the main town of Chora, 2 miles away, or take a boat to one of the beaches on the island.
Chora is the main reason to visit the island and is where most people stay while visiting. It is comprised of three main squares and located at the edge of the cliffs, 820 ft. above the sea, offering great views. The Kastro, or Venetian fort, in town is a sight to see. The Venetian duke of Naxos built it in the 13th century. The town is made for walking and like other villages on the island, doesn’t allow cars. You are better off utilizing the bus system than renting a car on Folegandros.
Another popular sight and destination is the Church of Koimisis tis Theotokou (or Dormition of the Mother of God). It is located high on a cliff, at the highest point in town, where the ancient settlement first stood. It dominates the skyline of Chora and offers fine views over the island. It’s even more spectacular at night when it is illuminated. On Easter Sunday, the chief icon of the Virgin Mary is carried throughout the town.
Three miles northwest of Chora is the village of Ano Meria. This tiny town is considered to be a smaller version of Chora. Its main attraction is the Folklore Museum. Its exhibits reconstruct traditional farming life.
Due to its landscape, Folegandros offers a variety of interesting hiking trails. If you are looking to relax on the beach, there are also plenty of options. Katergo is a popular beach that is protected by the sometimes-fierce winds of the island on its southeastern tip. It is best reached by boat from Karavostasi. Angali, on the opposite coast of Chora, is the island’s largest and most crowded beach and is lined with fine sand.
Folegandros might not be the most popular of the Cyclades islands, but visitors enjoy its quiet and laid-back vibe. July and August are the most popular months on the island, so if you plan to visit be sure to book a room in advance.
This post was written by GreekBoston.com