The Greek Cycladic island impresses with its beauty and seduces with its quiet nature. A holiday on Folegandros means relaxing with a panoramic view of the Southern Aegean. The main town Hora, dangerously close to the edge of the cliffs, captivates with many pretty squares framed by typical Cycladic church facades and traditional fish taverns. And the sea is never far away and invites you for a swim.
Until a few years ago, Folegandros was a well-kept secret in the heart of the Aegean. Today more and more visitors come to the tiny, remote island with its rugged beauty and relaxed rhythm of life. The main town Hora is probably one of the most spectacular villages of all Greek islands in the whole Aegean and was built breathtakingly close to the edge of a steep cliff. In the oldest part of the city, framed by a wall, lies the medieval, beautifully preserved Kastro. Standing at the bridge railing of Pounta Square is not everyone's cup of tea and is a dare - but the view is worth it. From here the other squares of Hora are also within easy walking distance. Each square has its own character, with churches and small houses shining white in the sunlight. Here you will understand the true meaning of "small but fine". In the walled castro once hung a bell in the covered passage, which rang every evening when the iron gate was closed. Today, the small houses in the Kato Rouga district stand side by side like sculptures in vibrant colours.
Above Hora, a white path zigzags across the hillside to a special attraction on Folegandros, the church of Panagia. As the church is one of the few examples of Aegean church architecture with three domes, don't miss the opportunity to visit it. Inside, a portable virgin icon is displayed, which is carried in a large procession through the two villages of the island on high holidays - an impressive ritual. And also the panorama from up here is phenomenal.
Whether on foot, by bus or by Kaiki boat, the beaches on Folegandros are charming and beautiful and just waiting to be discovered. The water is always inviting and crystal clear as on all Cycladic islands, whether on the pebble beach or the golden sandy beach. Pack a picnic, don't forget to pack your sun hat and large towel and start a 30-minute hike to the Livadaki Beach. If you're lucky, you'll have the beach to yourself, especially in autumn. A dream!
If you like hiking, Folegandros has many hiking trails to choose from. Generations of farmers and shepherds have flattened the many routes through fields and meadows, which are now used by hikers. Most are marked with stone markings. How about a hike to the 11m high lighthouse at Cape Mihelo. The view from here is indescribable.
If you feel more like culture - Ano Meria, the only village next to Hora, has lost nothing of its original agricultural character. On an old farm, visitors can get a glimpse of original farm life, with storage cellars, outdoor ovens, olive presses and - a phenomenon on Folegandros - walled lemon trees. In winter the wind blows here so mercilessly that the locals erected high stone walls around the trees to protect them.
And when the sun dips deep red on the horizon into the sea, the tables in Hora gradually fill up and the village turns into a big festive society. Honey raki flows, music sounds, you sing with the locals and make friends.
How you get there:
with Swiss to Athens and by fast ferry to Folegandros
How long should I go:
5 - 7 days (combine with island hopping)
Best travel time:
May - October
main town Hora, church Panagia, beach Livadaki
Tip for overnight stays: