The faster but more expensive hi-speed catamarans and hydrofoils seem to leave Santorini at more convenient times (not 1am). Whether this is by design is anyones guess but using these means you are not left homeless for the day and enables you to change islands and be sunbathing on a new beach within a few hours.
The port of Karavostassi makes a good base with a reasonable beach and all the requisite facilities. A couple of neighbouring coves to the south provide a little more privacy and the beach at Loustria is well situated for Livadi camping - only 20 mins walk from the port. The road to the right of the campsite leads you inland and with sporadic signposts to the beach of Katergo. A stretch of sand and shingle beach which enjoys the sun for most of the day. The island excursion boats also call here so you will have plenty of company albeit for only an hour or so.
The big appeal to Folegandros though has to be Hora and probably the most authentically Greek of the Cycladic capitals. 3 interlinked squares containing churches, tavernas and quaint shops benefit from the abscence of traffic which is banned in the evening. If you didn`t take the offer of rooms at the port you should have little trouble finding lodging here at any time either side of July and August. The mini-bus for Efgena Rooms / Aigaio Hotel meets most ferries and their rooms (20 euros 09/02) are conveniently situated just down from the bus stop. Most rooms have a patio area, bathroom, fridge and fan and the proprietors are friendly enough.
At night, like most villages, Hora comes alive with enough patrons to keep all of the tavernas busy. We can recommend H Pounta by the bus stop which has a deceptively large garden to the rear. Intimate lighting combine with rustic masonry and the taverna boasts daily specials (in common with most of the tavernas in Hora), a good selection of vegitarian meals and excellent souvlaki.
Good boots are needed if you intend to get out onto the mountains. For great views over Hora and the rest of the island take the road past the Heliport and head towards the transmitter masts and the church of Agios Elefetherios. The trig` point is past the masts and from here you can see the top of the cliffs to the left of Angali as you look out to sea. With sheer drops of 100m extreme caution is required and it`s not until you get closer to the edge that you see the un-nerving cracks, some 2m wide running vertically down adding to the sense of danger and excitement.
The hamlet of Angali, 3.5km from Hora, can be reached by bus which drops you off on the road above. A steep track down to the coast will provide a good cardio-vascular workout on the return leg but is worth the effort. In addition to the beach, a couple of tavernas provide refreshments and there are a number of rooms to rent. The path left goes to the shingle beach of Fira or the right path to Agios Nikolaos after 20mins. A nudist affair with tamerisks at the back and a taverna on the hillside with eccentric management.
When the time comes to leave the island you can purchase ferry tickets from the Maraki agency in Hora which displays the forthcoming weeks schedules on blackboards outside and you can check your e-mail while you are waiting.
After the hordes of Santorini, Folegandros makes for a welcome change in pace annd if you want to experience true Greek life you really should head here.
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Photograph Gallery of Folegandros