Feast on local Greek pasta at family-run tavernas, dine in converted Cycladic homes or dig into al fresco meals in scenic village courtyards on this small but satisfying island.
With its typical whitewashed Cycladic houses, narrow streets, cheerful painted shutters and blue-domed churches, the tiny Greek island of Folegandros – at only 31sqkm (12sqmi), three villages and a year-round population of 800 people – is the perfect traditional Greek island getaway, where it’s not uncommon to see goats gamboling freely. The island’s small size means restaurants and cafes are mostly family run, dotted throughout the main Chora (town), the port and the beaches.
Located at the entrance to the Chora, you’ll love the courtyard/garden setting at Blue Cuisine – one of the the top spots in Folegandros to enjoy a meal, with uninterrupted views of the church. A little more sophisticated, so not your typical family-run taverna (hence more expensive), this is a place to treat yourself. Bread is homemade and their dishes come with a twist – such as shrimp donuts, cuttlefish risotto or goat with chickpea mash. Round this off with white-chocolate panna cotta, if you’ve room.
A lovely seafood and vegetarian beachside taverna open from lunch through to dinner with lovely views across the bay from the terrace. Wash down sea bream, clam linguine or grilled tuna with house white or red, before or after your afternoon swim from Agios Nikolaos Beach. If it’s a light snack you’re after, the Dakos is a must: barley rusk, topped with chopped tomatoes and crumbled feta or mizithra cheese, flavoured with dried oregano.
The charm of Irini is that it’s housed inside an old Cycladic building that doubles as a small grocery store. Two tables are located at the front entrance with a scattering of seating inside. Titular owner Irini cooks up a delicious matsata – the local pasta, indigenous to Folegandros, made from flour, olive oil, salt and water, typically served with pork and beef – but she can tailor-make any sauce you wish. Or try her homemade onion pie or the keftedakia (meatballs). A traditional experience in Ano Meria – one of Folegandros’s lovely villages.
In a quiet area of the Chora, Zeryfos is al fresco delight, where sitting outside to dine in their courtyard will give you great views of the famous Folegandros church. If you like fish, you’re in for a treat with dishes such as red snapper or octopus. Round off with karpouzenia: the dessert native to Folegandros, a sweet pie with a mixture of watermelon, honey, cinnamon and sesame seeds.
A small taverna in the tiny village of Ano Meria, operating since 1920, Sinadisi specialises in delicious local dishes such as ampelofasoula: similar to string beans, boiled then seasoned with salt, olive oil and lemon juice or vinegar – a great salad alternative. Or try their homemade meatballs, goat in red sauce or a meze of tiropita: cheese pie made with local cheese and zucchini croquettes. All served against the backdrop of a traditional farming village.
Get ready for your stay and book one of the best hotels in Folegandros through Culture Trip. Explore more of the area by discovering the best things to see and do in the city. For more, go further and visit not so far off Mykonos. Book a stay in one of the best hotels and chill out on the beach until it’s time for a well-deserved drink in one of the island’s best bars.