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This remote and tranquil isle in the Cyclades is strikingly different from its neighbor Santorini, with no high-end restaurants, boutiques or even cruise ships at its port. It’s ideal for those looking for a peaceful retreat, in a place where the waves gently crash against pebbled shores, goats scurry around the hills and old wooden windmills spin in the salty breeze. The Chora hosts, timeless creations of traditional Cycladic architecture, while eateries serve tasty homemade dishes like matsata and local delicacies such as goat cheese paired with the region’s famous beverage, rakomelo.
Folegandros At A Glance
Population of Folegandros 750
What to See in Folegandros Visit the Ecological & Folklore Museum, The Church of Panagai, Hike the network of old donkey tracks, Relax on one of the secluded beaches
Towns or islands to visit near Folegandros Ios, Amorgos, Naxos, Paros, Kamari, Sifnos, Serifos, Santorini
Things to do in Folegandros
Ecological and Folklore Museum of Folegandros
Located in the village of Ano Meria, this museum is set within a house built using old traditional methods with mud and stones. It showcases an extensive collection of well-reserved items from daily life like local costumes, an old loom, utensils, a primitive wine press and remains of an olive press. The museum also hosts an open-air theatre in its courtyard that was once a threshing floor and boasts a panoramic vista of the entire island and the surrounding turquoise sea.
The Church of Panagai
Don’t miss visiting the picturesque Church of Panagia, the island’s most famous church. It sits atop a hill above Chora, providing a breathtaking view of the island and the sea. The grounds also host the remains of an ancient temple. Marble from the temple was used as building material for the church you’ll see today, and visitors can see ancient inscriptions that were made as well as the bases of statues in the interior. The traditional church is just a 10-minute walk from Pounda Square in Chora along a paved path.
The island has an extensive network of old donkey tracks for hiking. The paths were once used by locals for transportation and span a total of 12.5 miles. With Folegandros’ untouched natural beauty, it’s one of the best destinations for travelers who like to hike. There are many different options, including the walk from Chora through Stavros, Agia Paraskevi and Giorgi t’ Aga to Ano Meria, which takes about two hours. A one hour and 20-minute hike leads from Chora to the beaches of Fyra and Agali, bringing the opportunity for a refreshing swim
Past the rock-strewn, barren land along the coast are many pristine, unspoiled beaches framed by crystal-clear blue waters. If the first one you reach doesn’t fit the bill, just keep going and you’re sure to find your perfect stretch. Agali, set along a bay between rocky cliffs, is a favorite, located just over three miles from Folegandros town, a sandy beach lined with sun beds and umbrellas for rent while offering a host of water sports. Karavostasi is ideal for families with its frequently calm, shallow waters and sandy sea bottom, situated less than two miles from Chora.
Our Favorite Restaurants & Bars
Sinadisi is a traditional taverna in Ano Meria that’s been in the same family for a century, over three decades as a restaurant after being converted from a market and café. If you’re look for dishes your Greek grandmother would make, this is the place to go – and you can enjoy that genuine food with an incredible view over the Aegean and the island’s gorgeous sunsets. Look forward to generously-sized portions that are affordable priced, including items like zucchini meatballs, matsata and Greek salad with orange cake for dessert.
Set on Agkali Beach, O Psaromiligkas is a family-run taverna with an ever-changing menu that includes what they happen to have in that day, meaning you can be sure everything is fresh, including the fish. Expect genuine home-cooked Greek foods in a place that feels untouched by time. Dine on a wide range of simple yet delectable dishes at value prices on one of the two terraces that overlook glistening Agkali Bay, like fantastic moussaka, goat with lemon sauce and red snapper.
Located at the Vrahos Boutique Hotel, Vegera offers an especially romantic setting on a terrace, complete with stunning panoramic views of Karovostasis harbor and the sparkling lights of the village after dark. Enjoy a magical ambiance and an idyllic mix of contemporary and Greek traditional cuisine, including items like grilled organic lamb chops, homemade pasta with tomato sauce and Greek meatballs, fresh fish, calamari and baked eggplant. There’s an impressive wine cellar too, with a wide range of local and speciality wines.
Located in a beautifully restored building, complete with a well-preserved old kitchen fireplace, or “parostria,” Windmills offers traditional Greek delicacies that includes just-caught fish and matsata dishes, including sea bass and swordfish with seaweed, matsata with goat, and other local Cycladic items like graviera cheese from Naxos and other local cheeses. Pair it with wine from Santorini, some hard-to-find wines or unique crafted beers. Everything from the appetizers to dessert are made to perfection, while service is exceptional along with the view.
This family-run ouzo bar in Chora has just a handful of tables, providing an intimate dining experience despite being in the heart of Pittoresque square lined with tavernas. The service is impeccable while the menu features local delicacies all freshly prepared, from the chickpea soup, fried graviera cheese and aubergine pie to goat, fried zucchini meatballs and veal in tomato sauce. As with most Greek restaurants, dessert is complimentary, so be sure to save a little room, especially for the orange pie.
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