FOLEGANDROS



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Folegandros - general

General

Approaching the island in an evening of February 1884, when the world’s skies still possessed the lurid sunset col our given them by the eruption of Krakatoa six months previously, James Theodore Bent felt that of ‘all the is lands of the Aegean Sea, Pholygandros can boast of the most majestic coastline; in fact’, he claimed, ‘I doubt it can be equalled anywhere’. The island is indeed somewhat like a wall or wind-break in the sea with dramatic cliffs on all sides except on the east, opposite Sikinos, where they re lent sufficiently to allow for a small harbour and an apron of fertile land. Few islands furthermore can boast a more dramatically sited, yet attractive, Chora than Folegandros. It possesses a compact mediaeval centre and a chain of beautiful, shaded squares. What surprises is that it feels so gracious and reassuring when one is inside it, unaware of its dramatic position on the edge of a two hundred metre drop to the sea.
   Folegandros is a delightful island which has deservedly begun to receive a faithful and discerning tourism. It has several civilised places to stay, pleasant cafes, many attractive beaches and a number of interesting walks along the island’s network of stone-paved mule paths. Contrasting pleasantly with any detectable preciosity in the island’s beautiful Chora, are the widely dispersed settlements of Ano Meria along the island’s western plateau where an unaffected, rural life continues centred around a centuries-old tradition of husbandry and agriculture.
   The island’s most interesting archaeological site is un fortunately also its most inaccessible. The cave of Chrysospilia—which takes its name of the ‘Golden Cave’ from the colouring of the iron oxides present in the rocks around its entrance—is at the foot of a sheer wall of rock in the north coast which rises 300m above its entrance. The approach by boat is difficult unless the sea is very calm. Apart from the interest of the chambers of stalactites and stalagmites in its interior, its walls are covered in places with names and phrases, incised or written in pigment in the 4th and 3rd centuries bc, when the grotto with its phallic stalactite-formations appears to have been the focus of a curious ephebic cult.


Folegandros Island is part of the Cyclades Island Group, Greece.


access

Folegandros Island, Greece.

To reach Folegandros, it is often necessary to change ferries at Ios or Santorini.
Direct connections to Athens are only twice weekly with G.A. Ferries (from Piraeus), and once a week with NEL Lines (from Lavrion). Throughout the summer however, there are frequent connections to Ios and Santorini, daily by fast Flying Dolphin or by regular ferry (SAOS Lines) five times weekly, which plies between Santorini and Ios , via Folegandros and Sikinos. This last is generally operated with the F/B Arsinoe—one of the museum-pieces of Greek ferry lines, with a small chapel dedicated to St Nicholas, patron of mariners, on its upper deck.

Folegandros Travel Guide

beaches

Folegandros Island, Greece.

Vardia beach
Aggali beach
Livadaki beach
Ampeli beach

Folegandros Travel Guide

eating

Folegandros Island, Greece.

Taverna Mimis in Ano Meriá, 4km from the chora, is a traditional taverna, with a number local dishes such as rabbit with matsata—a home made pasta. The tavernas in Chora aim more for tourists, though Spitikó serves good home-made dishes, as its name implies.

Folegandros Travel Guide

lodging

Folegandros Island, Greece.

Small and characterful, the most pleasant hotel on Folégrandros is the * Kastro Hotel in the heart of the old Kastro, with raftered rooms, traditional furniture and beautiful views (open Apr–Oct, T./fax. 22860 41230, www.hotel castro.com).
Anemomilos Studios (T. 22860 41309) and Artemis Rooms (T. 22860 41313), both at the beginning of the road up to the church of the Panaghia, are simpler, but pleasant and panoramic.

Folegandros Travel Guide

museums

Folegandros Island, Greece.

Folklore Museum

Folegandros Travel Guide

practical info

Folegandros Island, Greece.

840 11 Folégandros: area 32 sq.km; perimeter 42km; resident population 676; max. altitude 416m. Port Authority: T. 22860 41249. Information: Maraki Travel, T. 22860 41273 & 41221, www.folegandros. com

Folegandros Travel Guide

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