Updated June 21st, 2022 by TraveltheGreekWay
Folegandros island Greece is a stunning island, mostly undiscovered by mass tourism and ideal for your honeymoon or for romance with your beloved partner.
Folegandros island is also perfect for people who are seeking relaxed and low-key vacations, in a still unspoiled and traditional Cycladic Island, a unique wild-looking rocky Greek island.
Some of the best things to do in Folegandros are:
The picturesque and the most beautiful Chora in the Cyclades, swim in stunning remote beaches, use the water taxis around the island, and hike in rugged, imposing volcanic mountains.
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Up next I am going to tell you about the best things to do on Folegandros island!
Folegandros Island Quick reference:
- Where to stay in Folegandros: Polikandia Hotel (Boutique), Provalma (luxury), Perigiali Rooms & Apartments (budget)
- Heading to Folegandros from Athens? Book your ferry tickets in advance with no-hidden-fees FerryScanner or FerryHopper
- COVID INFO FOR GREECE: Ministry of Tourism Official Website
How to Get to Folegandros Island
Folegandros Greece is a small island of the south Aegean Archipelagos, belonging to the Cyclades island group with just about 650 registered residents. It lies between Milos and Sikinos islands and Santorini is only 22 miles on the northeast.
You can get to Folegandros island by:
Folegandros Airport: There is no airport on Folegandros but you can fly to Santorini and take from there the 1,5-hour ferry to Folegandros. That will allow you to combine a visit to both super-star island Santorini and Folegandros.
By Ferry: You can choose between the super-fast ferries (4 hours, can be bumpy if there is wind and is more expensive) which go directly to Folegandros and the slow ferry boats (8-10 hours, cheaper, you can buy a cabin) that stop at other Cycladic islands before they reach the island. Book your ferry transfer with FerryScanner or FerryHopper.
Interactive Map of Folegandros
Find your Folegandros Interactive Map where you can find all the sites, hotels, and beaches that are mentioned in this post.
Where Best to Stay in Folegandros
If you plan to visit in July – August, book your Folegandros accommodation much earlier. There is just a small amount of accommodation available that gets fast booked.
- Polikandia Hotel: A very impressive luxury hotel, centrally located in Chora Folegandros, with a heated pool and spa and free transfer from Karavostasi. Check availability and prices on Booking here
- Vrahos Boutique Hotel: Lovely Vrahos Hotel is located in Karavostasi, just a 1-minute walk from the beach. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar, the stylish whitewashed rooms with the hot tub. There is a free shuttle service at the property for your convenience. Check availability and prices on Booking here
- Perigiali Rooms & Apartments(budget) : Located in the beautiful bay of Agali, Perigiali Rooms, a family-run hotel offers amazing sea views, a spacious and spotlessly clean room, and a hearty breakfast. Check availability and prices for Perigiali Rooms on Booking.com
How to Get Around Folegandros
There are public buses at the Folegandros port, Karavostasis, to transport you to any of the island’s villages. You can also ask from your hotel to pick you up, they might include this service for free, check it out with them.
Taxis/Rentals: There is just one taxi on the island TAXI, tel:+30 6944693957 & +30 22860 41048! I suggest you rent a car for at least a day to explore further Folegandros.
Water Taxis: Folegandros has more than 10 impressive beaches that you can try and visit but not all of them are reachable by bus or on foot. A great way to get around is the water taxis, the small boats that take you to all the remote beaches. Contact them at (+30 for Greek phones):
- Island Spirit – Τηλ. : 693 2297896, 693 2511018 – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sea-U – Τηλ. : 22860 41624, 693 6092060, 697 6684159 – Εmail: email@example.com
- Stella Express (Island Tour) : 22860 41104 – Εmail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Stella Express ΙΙΙ (to Katergo Beach) : 694 5558820
Which are the Best Folegandros Villages?
Karavostasi Port & Village
Small and picturesque Karavostasi port has all kinds of useful amenities, hotels, rentals, buses, supermarkets, taverns, and bakeries. From Karavostasi you can also take the sea taxis – small boats – for the island’s tour and for many of its remote beaches.
Nearby Karavostasi there are some splendid beaches with green-blue clear waters, all within walking distance:
Vardia beach, probably the longest beach on Folegandros, is right behind the Karavostasi port.
If there are north winds, it can be very windy, so you should better choose a different beach probably in the south part of the island. Vardia beach is not organized and has no water or food available.
Chochlidia beach, has large white pebbles with clear waters, with trees for shade easily reached by car or bus.
From Karavostasis to Livadi there are also two small sandy beaches, worth visiting and swimming: Vitsentzou and Latinaki.
Katergo is a gorgeous green-blue water beach and one of the most popular beaches on the island. It is located on the south of the island, can be accessed either by car for the first 2.8 km from Karavostasi to Livadi and then on foot to the beach (about 30′ walking) or by boat from Karavostasi.
Katergo, like most of the Folegandros beaches, has sand and small pebbles is not organized, and has no shade, water, or food.
Note of Caution: Katergo beach has strong currents that may pull you towards the open sea.
Nostalgia Tip: When I was young, all beaches in Greece were more or less like that, no beach bars, no music, no fancy restaurants. If we were lucky, there would be one tavern making the most basic of dishes, like a salad or fries or some fish. It was such a happy time and Greece was so beautiful and simple. Folegandros is special because it still has something of this old “aura” of Greece.
Folegandros Chora (Main Town)
Folegandros Chora is the prettiest Chora of all Cycladic islands! It is Folegandros’ biggest settlement, almost hanging over the high cliff, reminiscent of Santorini, with a breath-taking vista to the blue Aegean Sea.
As soon as you set your foot in the village you will realize that Folegandros Chora is a really magical place, that takes you back to the time when life was more innocent and simple.
Its small whitewashed alleys are literally made for walking, passing by traditional small white houses. Folegandros is perfect for the rebirth of the soul and for enjoying a good quality of life.
Beautiful Chora has well-preserved stone-paved streets with squares that lay one after the other creating the most amazing labyrinth you have ever been to.
Strolling the squares you get to the Kastro, a 13th-century construction built by the Venetian Markos Sanoudos that meant to protect medieval Folegandrians from the constant pirates’ raids.
The entrance to Kastro, Lotzia, is a small gate where on its top used to be a big bell warning the inhabitants of Folegandros of a possible pirate raid. Kastro is a tiny medieval village characterized by its white small houses with walls.
Best Boutique Hotel in Chora Folegandros is Polikandia Hotel.
Chora is car-free so if you have a car you better park it outside the village.
One of the best places to have your dinner in Folegandros Chora is the Pounta square which forms a semicircle with a balcony view to the cliff with a breath-taking sea view. Pick your table and enjoy excellently prepared food seeping your wine and looking at the view.
If you visit Folegandros in the peak season (July-August) there might be “competition” over the best tables, so you better book one in advance.
The Chora Folegandros Church with the Best Sunset!
On top of the Chora, some 350 steps up, sits the most famous and most photographed church of Folegandros, the beautiful church of Panagia (Holy Mother).
The church is built high on a rock, over an ancient Greek temple, and to get there from Chora you will need to get to Pounta square and climb up uphill the 350 steps.
The Panagia church offers a 360 degrees panoramic view of the whole island. But this is not just that. The spot offers a stunning sunset, that many visitors think is even better than the sunset of Santorini!
Chrisospilia – The Golden Cave
Right below the cliff of Panagia church and on sea level you can find one of the largest caves in Greece with stalagmites and stalactites. The cave has also great archaeological importance for its countless ancient names engraved on its walls dating from the 4th BC.
Access is possible by boat from Karavostasi port and you get the opportunity to swim in one of the most remote places of Folegandros in crystal clear waters and explore an impressive site.
Ano Meria Village
5 km west from Chora towards the west, you find the second big settlement of Folegandros, rural Ano Meria. Ano Meria’s farmhouses are its most characteristic aspect, known as “Thimonia”.
To fully understand what Thimonia is, you should visit the very interesting Ecological and Folklore Museum in Ano Meria. Essentially the Museum is a time-traveling exhibition of the Folegandros lifestyle in an authentic rural house (Thimonia) of the 19th century. The Museum is open from 1st of July to 15th of September at 5-8 pm with free entrance for all.
Gorgeous Hotel in Ano Meria: Provalma
Another impressive local site is the Asropounta Lighthouse, 15′ far from Ano Meria. It was built in 1912, is 11 meters high, and offers amazing sea views.
Very close to Ano Meria are also a number of beautiful, unorganized, and small beaches:
- Lygaria Beach: a tiny sandy and pebbles beach with incredibly blue-green waters, no trees, no other shade, no water or food available, 4.5 km from Ano Meria towards the north.
On the northwest of Ano Meria, you can find Ampeli beach. It is a rather small beach, with rocks and rich underwater scenery ideal for divers
Close by is the beautiful beach of Agios Georgios. There are a couple of summer houses, a few trees that can be used for their shade, and the “Syrmata”, the special nooks in the rocks that the fishermen store their boats.
Agali village and beach is in the west of Folegandros, a 10-minute drive (4 km) from Chora and mostly protected from the northern winds(meltemia). The Agali beach has fine white sand and is one of the few beaches in Folegandros easily reached by car. As Agali beach has hotels and taverns as well, it makes it the busiest beach on the island, especially when it comes to families with small children.
A fantastic hotel in Agali village is the Pasithea Folegandros(budget)
On both sides of Agali, there are a few other beaches: Fira, a small pebbled beach to the left-hand side, Galifos, Aghios Nikolaos, and Livadaki, to the right.
Galifos beach: A 10-minute walk from Agali you find yourself at Galifos beach, a tiny sandy beach with a couple of “rooms to let” around it. In Galifos the rooms have no electricity, most appealing to visitors that would like to forget about the modern world and technology and embrace the stunning beauty of Folegandros.
Agios (Saint) Nikolaos sandy and pebbles beach, is one of the most picturesque and most popular beaches in Folegandros.
It has quite a few trees to protect you from the fierce summer Greek sun, 2 taverns to have your lunch, and the church of Agios Nikolaos. You can get there by taking a small boat from Agali or you can walk for about 20′.
Livadaki beach has stunning green turquoise waters, white pebbles, and flat limestones around the beach. The impressive rocks are formed by salt and sulfur are great for some scuba exploration.
Easily reachable by boat from Agkali in only 10 minutes; alternatively, take the footpath from the end of Ano Meria (there is a sign) and get there after a 45-minute walk.
Petousi & Livadi Settlements
Livadi is 10 minutes far from Karavostasi and is a fertile area so you will see several farmhouses and cultivated land.
Petousi place can be reached from Chora in 15 minutes by car and it also has a few farmhouses.
What are Folegandros Best Local Dishes?
Greek cuisine is famous for its tastefulness, being one of the top healthy diets in the world, usually made with fresh ingredients. There are well-known dishes that are served all over the country such as dolmadakia and tzatziki and Greek salad. Besides, the all-time-classic Greek dishes here are some of the only found on Folegandros dishes that you should try when you are on the island:
- Matsata: local pasta, something between lasagne and noodles. Freshly made pasta accompanied with fresh tomato sauce, grated cheese, or chicken.
- Souroto: local soft white cheese, used widely in Greek salads instead of feta
- Kalasouna: Kalasouna is the local savoury pie, which is essentially an onion cheese pie – to die for!
- Biskotenia: Sweet choice of biscuits with chocolate and cream
- Watermelon pie: Sweet choice with fresh watermelon, honey, and sesame, totally yummy! You can have it by itself or with a ton of ice cream on top (my usual choice!)
Hiking Folegandros Island
If you are going to try all the Folegandros local food, you will then need to burn some of those calories!
Folegandros is a mountainous rocky island with deep valleys, steep uphills, and cliffs. Most of the island is a protected Natura 2000 habitat with shrubby vegetation and caves where the Mediterranean monk seals find refuge.
The highest mountain of the island is Agios Eleftherios mt with a peak at 455 m, on the south, and an ideal spot to watch the impressive sunset and the nearby islands of Milos and Sikinos. The second highest mount is Merovigli just at 312 m high on the north of Folegandros.
Folegandros is a small island, shaped by centuries of agriculture. It has a modest hiking network of 30 km of well-preserved trails.
There are 13 trails, most of them short ones (1.5-2 h) and one longer and more demanding hike the “Ano Meria – Livadaki – Agali – Chora” trail. In this trail, you should not miss visiting the wonderful Aspropountas Lighthouse and if it is summer, swimming in the secluded and astonishing wild-beauty beach of Livadaki.
When is Best to Visit Folegandros?
Folegandros never gets as busy as some other very popular islands (eg Mykonos, Santorini). Having said that, August might be also a busy month even for Folegandros.
If you visit in April, roundabout the time of the Greek Easter, you will be fascinated by the richness of the wildflowers covering the island such as Aegean anthillis, crocuses, wild carnations, daisies, lilies.
Related Article: When is the Best Time to Go to Greece?
Especially in Folegandros, there are extra local customs: they celebrate Easter with tasteful delicacies such as Lazarakia (bread with raisins) or small honeypies, or Easter pies. Durins Sunday celebrations in Folegandros, they also process the Icon from Panagia church above Chora to all the Chora houses, beaches, and ships for the blessing from the Icon.
The Icon procession is always on foot or on boats when visiting the beaches and the Icon moves on from Chora to Ano Meria to Karavostasi and to all the Folegandros settlements.
A lot of people are following the parade all over the island. As the procession enters the villages, the bells chime as a welcome to the Icon while the houses will have a great variety of dishes of food for the people to sample.
Summer is ideal for swimming and enjoying the island. In August it may be windy and as I mentioned already a bit more crowded than usual. September is a fantastic month not only for your holidays but also for some hiking which is almost impossible on the warm days of the summer.
For the adventurous, Folegandros is open and working all year round even in the winter.
Useful Info for Folegandros Island
There is no hospital on the island but there is a small clinic and a pharmacy. For any health emergency call +30 22860 41222 or +30 22860 41540 (Pharmacy)
There is no bank but 2 ATMs.
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- Ferries to the Greek Islands: Book your ferry transfer with FerryScanner or FerryHopper, and get the best prices in the market with no hidden fees
- Athens Metro Website (timetables and tickets info)
- Map of Athens Metro
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- Booking.com: I use Booking.com because I can get the best deals on both hotels and apartments, free cancellations, and great prices!
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