Greek Island Hopping.
‘The water sparkles over here’
This little island is how I imagine Greece to be, old Greece from the pictures of a blue, blue sky, a church and perhaps a goat, nothing else but space and a view, yes that photograph, that is what we are talking about. So in ‘Mary Poppins’ style we jumped right in. Folegandros the idyllic Greek Island, it is a far cry from the party all night land of some of its close neighbours, it has no airport, no big package tours or big hotels, all huge ticks in my book. Its remote location and quiet and peaceful charm puts it up there as one of my most favourite Cyclade Islands.
Having a slight obsession with anything of a ‘yesterday’ feel I felt as if we had been transferred back to the 1940s in this quiet, small, friendly Chora. Either that or on a film set on Captain Corelli, (even if it was the wrong island) I was existing in my favourite time. The cobbled streets with the famous blue and white decor, a beautiful tree lined square where locals and holidayers chatted. We drank Greek wine under the fairy lights which were entwined in the trees, ate the most luscious lunch at Chrisospilia tavern, with all the cats gathering around us waiting for us to drop a crumb, it was a perfect start to our time on this Greek Island. This is the place where the inevitable question arises, Could you give it all up and come and live here?……Okay!
In order to burn off our lunch we walked the fifteen minute trek up the stone Zig Zag path or actually the very steep hill, to the beautiful, whiter than white Church of Panagia. It is possible that the church was constructed on the ruins of an ancient temple but the exact year it was constructed is not known, although a marble sign says that it was renovated in 1687 but it certainly took centre stage on this Greek Island. Hawks flying low, (or were we just walking so high) heat pounding down on our backs and the back drop of the bluest sky, sweaty work, but oh so worth it. When we reached the church it was just endless views over the sea, space, and horizon, an element of absolute quiet and calm when we reached the top. Once again my mind went back to the days when this church was built and the heat and endurance people would have gone through to be involved in the weekly or perhaps daily service, but up here everything was a feast for the eyes, the white stone of the church in massive contrast with the blue of the sky, with the faint view Santorini Island and the sun pouring in….Maybe not such a hard endurance for church goers. The church is visible from almost everywhere over the island, so proved the perfect sunset back drop in the evenings from our room.
One of the things I liked about Folegandros was how they displayed the island hopping schedule on a black board, just written with chalk, so simple, and actually correct unlike the National Rail app on my phone. This drew attention to the local boat tour that stopped at all 5 beaches around the islands, so after a cold glass of white wine we headed back to our Greek abode to prepare for the boat trip the following morning.
We started the day in the Chora with warm buttered toast and jam with hot coffee in the coolest little cafe. Yes back under the trees and shade (always a good start for me) and with Ludovico Einaudi playing, reading one of Nicolas’ (the owner) many books and working out the little riddles he leaves you on post-it notes, hands down the coolest cafe owner ever, do not miss this place! We left Nicolas and set off for a day on the waters.
The boat trip was one of my most favourite days of our whole Greek Island adventure, it was so refreshing, super fun and beautiful! Happiest on the water. The small little boat took a gang of us around this island, and we spent the whole day stopping at various bays and beaches, jumping in and out of the crystal blue water….yes the ‘sparkling’ water, swimming in the small little bays, sunning ourselves on slate from the eroding cliffs, eating a gorgeous Greek lunch. How you prepare a lunch that tasty on a small boat is beyond me, I find it hard to whip up a salad in my own kitchen but eating tomatoes and feta sitting on the edge of the boat was perfect… I remember feeing very, very alive and very, very happy!
With dangling feet over the edge of the boat, with the waves crashing on the way back to the island will always be remembered, getting completely soaked and then drenching the bus seat on the ride home will also always be remembered! Sorry to the people that sat in those seats after us.
We spent three days and two nights on this perfect Greek Island, the boat trip was by far one of my favourite days and is a must for anyone visiting this island, but just whiling away the hours slowly, sitting, chatting, thinking, eating, and doing what the Greek’s do best, in the Chora square, now that was equally my favourite too.
So visualise that photograph, blue, blue sky, old, old church, the view that goes on and on, not forgetting the little goat, now if you look really, really carefully you will see us etched in there too.
We visited Folegandros as part of a Island Hop around the Cyclades. We flew to Athens with BA Airlines and then caught a ferry to Naxos- Santorini – Folegandros We then flew home from Santorini via Easy Jet. We booked the ferries through http://www.ferries.gr/greek-islands-ferry/ before we left the UK. This I recommend you do if you have a tight schedule and are in peak season. If you are a bit freer, just see where they take you!
Over the full trip we had a mixture of accommodation from boutique hotels to island homes and in Folegandros stayed in an Airbnb room, https://www.airbnb.co.uk/ which was a perfect greek abode, however there are some amazing hotels on www.i-escape.com
We booked our boat trip at the tourist information in the Chora but you can have a look here.
We drank at: MIKRO KELARI
We ate at :
and had the best breakfast at Nicolas’
Go, go and I will be so envious!