Folegandros is a Greek island located on the southern part of the Cyclades complex in between the islands of Milos and Sikinos. This tiny spot on the Aegean is only 13km long and 4km wide or a mere 12sq miles in total. The three settlements on the island host about 700 permanent residents while in the winter the population does not exceed 300. The appeal of Folegandros lies in its remoteness and quiet setting. While a much smaller and less accessible island than others nearby, visitors chose to visit for its laid back style and unpretentious vibe. A barren island, Folengadros is characterized by its rocky coastline and sheer cliffs with its most spectacular beaches only reachable by sea. Naturally, this makes it an excellent option for yacht charters and sailing holidays for those keen to avoid the crowds.
There are only two places to anchor in Folegandros that provide some shelter from the Meltemi: Karavostasi and Ormos Vathi. When arriving in the charming port of Karavostasi, yachts can go stern or bows-to the mole, especially during southerlies. Poor holding in certain areas due to sand and rock bottom and when the Meltemi is strong the swell can be uncomfortable and dangerous. Several reefs around the bay. Night approaches are not recommended for Karavostasi. The anchorage of Ormos Vathi is on the SW, opposite side of the island. In calm weather, it is possible to anchor off here in 4-5m.
Folegandros is one of the lesser-known islands in the Cyclades and a place of peace, solitude and relaxation. There is no airport on the island but in recent years ferry connections between other islands are steadily increasing during the busy summer months. The two anchorages are also the only beaches on the island reachable by car. One of the most popular dishes to try on the island is Matsata; fresh homemade pasta accompanied with meat, especially goat, rabbit or rooster, and a rich tomato sauce.
History of Folegandros
According to one account, Folegandros was named after the son of Minos, a king of Crete. It could also derive from the Phoenician word for rocky land which perfectly captures the essence of the landscape. The ancient history of the island is relatively unknown but after the 2nd millennium BC, we know it came under Athenian rule before it was conquered by the Macedonians. The castle in Chora was built under the Venetian ruler Marco Sanudo around 1215. In modern years, population decline on the island was a major concern until tourism helped to revive the local economy.
Places of Interest
The main village of Chora has enough tavernas and bars to keep visitors occupied but it is the architecture that sticks with you the most. Cobblestone alleyways, white cube-shaped houses and beautiful squares. There are no cars allowed in the village of Chora.
Domestic and international visitors will love the medieval castle in Chora, one of the most picturesque and impressive villages in the Greek islands offering panoramic views of the Aegean Sea and a flawless Cycladic aesthetic. Kastro forms the highest and oldest part of the main village of Chora. No shops or cars can be found around this area.