FOLEGANDROS



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Folegandros - history

History

The first evidence of human settlement on the island, at its northern extremity of Kastellos Point, dates from the Early Cycladic II period (mid-3rd millennium bc). Continuity during the Middle and Late Bronze Age (2nd millennium bc) is indicated by surface finds near the port of Karavos tasis and on Palaiokastro Hill, which is where settlement later concentrated in historic times. It is in this period that the island may have acquired its name from the Phoenician ‘phelek-gundari’, meaning ‘rocky land’; though it was also known to the Greeks, according to Strabo (Geog. X, 5.1), by the epithet ‘σιδηρείη·’ (‘like iron’) because of the hardness of its terrain. The island was colonised by Dorians, though later received much Ionian influence, eventually develop an Ionian dialect in Hellenistic times. It was assessed to pay a tribute of 2,000 drachmas into the First Athenian League in 425 bc. Most of the visible remains on the is land, such as the retaining wall in the cemetery of Chora and the inscriptions in the cave of Chrysospilia, date from the Hellenistic and Roman period however. Folegandros appears briefly to have minted its own coins in the 2nd century bc.
   The 12th century Arab geographer, Al-Idrisi, mentions the island by the name ‘Belikendra’. The island was taken by Marco Sanudo into the Duchy of Naxos in 1207 and passed to the Bolognese overlords of Kythnos, the Gozzadini family, in 1336. Although Cristoforo Buondelmonti in his Liber Insularum described Folegandros as virtually uninhabited when he visited in c. 1417, the island appears later to have been re-settled from Crete in the 16th century. The Ottoman Empire took complete possession of the island from descendants of the Gozzadini in 1617. In 1715 it suffered a punitive Turkish raid, leaving it once again depopulated. Between 1770 and 1774 it came under Russian rule along with the other Cyclades during the Russo-Turkish war. In 1828 it joined the newly independent Greek State. In 1918, 1926, 1936, and again in the 1960’s the island was used as a place of exile for the political undesirables of the moment. Electricity was only brought to Folegandros in 1974.


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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