Santorini & Folegandros
More about your Oliver: Sterling Boyd
Trip Type: Family
Ideal Length of Trip: 7 - 10 days
TO & FROM
- If you are traveling through Europe and want to go to Greece but don't have a ton of time, this is the guide for you. You can spend months traveling all the incredible Greek islands as they all have something unique to offer. This trip combines visiting Santorini, one of the most scenic islands, with Folegandros - a tiny hideaway island where the Greeks go on holiday.
- Start your trip flying directly into Santorini. (We spent three nights in Santorini and one week in Folengandros.) Ferries run from Santorini to Folengandros at least three times a week. The Fast ferry Sea Jet reaches Folengandros in 45 minutes. Don't be surprised if the ferries are running late, get there on time with a bottle of wine and wait. This is Greece!
Hotels in Greece turnover quite often so I would always checkout the latest reviews. Below are three we have stayed in over the years and love.
- Nostros Apartments (Santorini). Nostros Apartments are in a great location on the island. We also loved the fact that we had a mini kitchen and our own balcony so we could start cocktail hour whenever we pleased! The pool is also nestled right on the edge of the cliff which makes for amazing day and evenings swims.
- Aigialos Residences and Suites (Santorini). The hotel was of a very high standard with beautiful rooms and suites. Also a great location. The only downside at this hotel is that the pool doesn't overlook the cliffs.
- Anemomilos Apartments (Folegandros). We LOVE this hotel. It sits right on top of the beautiful town of Chora in Folegandros. The service is spectacular, pool is incredible and we dream about the brunch overlooking the ocean. The hotel staff are also amazing. We would pick this hotel every time.
EAT & DRINK
- Pack your swimsuit, towel and a change of clothes and head to the end of the island for a swim between the island and Agios Nikolaos. It is a great place to people watch and enjoy the afternoon in the sun. Grab a table at 'Sunset Ammoudi Taverna' for the sunset, drinks and dinner. Some of the restaurants in Santorini can be shockingly bad given how many tourists frequent the island so do your research before you go!
- Wine tasting trip around the island is a must. We planned a trip around the vineyards on our first day so that we could explore the island through food and wine. It was fun for us to buy all the bottles we loved to enjoy over the holiday. Make sure to pick some wineries for the wine and others for the ambience. The gardens and food at the wineries are spectacular.
- Matsata please! The island specialty in Folegandros is called matsata which is a fresh pasta made with tomato sauce and rabbit. It is delicious.
- Iced coffee every morning. I know this sounds strange, but you can't beat the iced coffee in Folegandros. I don't know how they do it, but it is out of this world good.
- I can't begin to describe the beauty of the main town Chora on top of the cliffs in Folegandros. All of the main restaurants surround a square that is lit up at night under the bougainvillea. You can't go wrong with any restaurant you choose.
- Rent an ATV and check out the local beaches on the Eastern side of the island. You can rent an ATV right outside of Nostros Apartments and take off from there.
- Walk down the steps of the cliff on the port side (western side) of Santorini. Take a dip, check out the yachts, grab a beer or an aperol spritz (yum yum!) and then walk back up. It is a good way to burn off your indulgent holiday!
Walk up the cliff to the church of Panagia at sunset. The church is built on a rocky hill above the town of Folegandros. At night, they light up the church with candles. It is pretty breathtaking. If I could sing, you might have caught me humming the toons to Mamma Mia.
- Beaches, beaches, beaches. Given Folegandros is mostly cliff, all the beaches are largely only accessible by boat. So make sure you stay in a hotel with a pool in case you don't feel like taking a trek to the beach. On one of your first days, rent a boat and driver to take you to the surrounding beaches. You may find that you are the only ones on the beach! It also gives you a good sense of which beaches you want to go back to as you can then take the local boats (that run on schedule) with the locals.
- Check the weather before you take a local ferry. Trips will often get cancelled if the weather is bad.
- Plan to take plenty of cash with you to Folegandros! There is only one bank and one ATM (that sometimes doesn't work) so we changed all the money we needed before our trip and packed cash.
- Tours on Santorini.
- Avoid the shops at mid day when all the cruise ships unload. Plan to do your shopping at night before and after dinner. It is much more enjoyable and the locals are in a better mood.