Folegandros is a tiny Greek Island about nine kilometers in size and less than an hour’s ferry-ride from Santorini. With that in mind, you shouldn’t be visiting the island with a party mentality, but rather a relaxing and introspective mood. That being said, there are plenty of great places to have a drink and let your hair down. You just have to make sure you’re in-season.
Lorna and I chose to stay at Vardia Bay Studios, which is basically the first large-white-building you see as you hop off the ferry at the one and only port. You’ll also notice a large clowder of cats living between the rocks of the port. A particular black cat inspired me to make a short-movie about him, which I’ll get around to editing and releasing in the next few months.
It was just off-season when we arrived, but I think this fact made it a more memorable experience. We were literally the only English-speaking people on the island and two of only one hundred in occupancy. To say we felt intensely-isolated in the most amazing and down-to-Earth way, is an understatement.
The first thing you should do is secure a four-wheeler to get around the island. If you’re in-season you should have no trouble finding one, but if you’re off-season you may need to make a new friend on the island and ask them to try and find you one. One such cool person can be found going by the name of Helen. She runs her own cafe/bar on the sandy part of the port, literally fifty meters away from your new home. She also speaks fluent English and is the local vet and makes a mean ice coffee.
With the four-wheeler you’ll be able to explore the island and visit the main town called Chora. Again, there’s not too-much going-on there, but a few restaurants, cafes, bars and maybe two mini-marts will vie for your attention. However, you can actually walk to town from Vardia Bay, but it takes about 45 minutes each way.
Although it’s a pleasant walk . . .
Bring some water . . .
As for the island itself, especially during the off-season, if you’re a writer, an artist or simply want to truly escape from the rest of the world, I can’t think of a better place where it feels like you can leave Earth for a while to explore your inner-self, than visiting Folegandros.
A fun thing to do, if you’re the adventurous-type, is to hike or bike around the island and pull-over whenever you see one of the thousand-year-old rock mini-fortresses (there are about one hundred of them scattered across the island – mostly on the hill sides) and take a look inside. I found some weird and wonderful things left inside ranging from a few decades ago to even longer.
Because it was off-season, Lorna and I found it really hard to catch ferries between the islands. As long as it’s before Halloween though, you should be alright. As the end of October approached, we tried to get to Turkey as fast as we could. We got a ferry from Folegandros to Paros. Then from Paros to Syros and from Syros to Samos.
Because we only really spent our time in the main port-towns of Paros, Syros and Samos, I won’t write separate articles about them, however I’ll include some photos for you below.
Rob Kaay is an Australian author and musician.
Here are the photos from Folegandros . . .
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Here are the photos from Paros . . .
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Here are the photos from Syros . . .
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Here are the photos from Samos . . .
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