Think Greek islands and no doubt the whitewashed buildings and blue-domed churches of Santorini, breathtaking beaches and glamorous nightlife of Mykonos spring to mind, but if you are looking for untouched beauty and some peace and quiet for your next holiday in Greece, their smaller, lesser known neighbors provide an equally tempting slice of paradise. You have probably never heard of these islands before but if looking for tranquility, traditional villages, Cycladic architecture and gastronomic paradise, you are in the right page!
Folegandros small island (32 km2, 650 inhabitants), has become fashionable, but it is still an untouched piece of true Greece. On account of the simple and relaxing atmosphere that reigns all around the island we like to distinguish it as the “island of Peace”.
|TOUR ENDS||ON THE 7TH DAY|
Morning transfer from your Athens hotel to Piraeus port for embarkation on your Hydro to Folegandros.Upon arrival in you will be met and transferred to your hotel for a 3 night stay on Bed & Breakfast basis.
Shining under the Aegean sun, Folégandros was named after the son of king Minos. This off-the-beaten-path destination captivates the visitors with the untouched beauty of its beaches, the luminous blue of its waters, and the unadulterated style of its architecture.
Day at leisure. Folegandros Chora, closed to car and motorcycle traffic, has a unique “center” of three squares in a row, with trees under which to enjoy a drink or food in a quiet,romantic atmosphere. In the gentle breeze passing through the small streets you may feel the perfume of lime trees or of the local (exceptional) bread. Bougainvillea and hibiscus color the small wooden balconies around the Kastro (XIII century).
In the the morning you will be transferred to the port for your embarkation on Hydro to Milos. Upon arrival in you will be met and transferred to your hotel for a 3 night stay on Bed & Breakfast basis.
In Milos you can enjoy 80 amazing beaches; among them stands out Kléftiko with its turquoise waters and Sarakíniko with white sharp rocks cutting deep into a sheer cliff; add the unique lunar landscapes, the rocky secluded caves, the mysterious catacombs, the “sleeping” volcanoes and a picturesque Cycladic Chóra and experience a unique version of romance!
Don’t forget to visit Apollonía, on the northwestern tip of the island; looking for an unforgettable experience? Rent a boat from its picturesque little harbour to guide you through the island’s rugged beauties or to take you to the opposite situated island of Kimolos!
In the morning you will be transferred to the port for your embarkation on Hydro to Piraeus (Athens). Upon arrival end of services.
At 200m above sea level travellers will discover Kástro, a Venetian castle. Hóra, the capital town of the island, it’s been built partially in it. Bougainvilleas leaning over the balconies, sugar-cube whitewashed houses, and sheer cliff drops convey the island’s ethereal, yet wild, beauty.
Walk along the cobblestone narrow streets of Hóra past white houses with multi-coloured doors and windows, timeless creations of the traditional Cycladic architecture. If you need to take a rest, plane trees will offer you their cool, welcome shade. Wait until the sun sets into the eternal blue of the Aegean and join the locals in the village’s squares. Share with them homemade dishes and local delicacies, such as “matsáta” (handmade noodles with rooster or rabbit), sourotó (white goat cheese), and drink “rakómelo” (raki with honey) the famous spirit of the island.
The Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary
Towering above Hóra and with a stone path leading to it, a whitewashed impressive church awaits to be discovered. Allegedly built on the site of an ancient temple, the church hosts significant ancient immured inscriptions and statues’ pedestals in its yard and interior. Tradition has it that the silver-plated icon of the Virgin Mary is miraculous. Linked to pirate stories, the icon is carried around the town in a procession held every year on Easter Sunday.
The picturesque village of Ano Merá is a traditional rural settlement of the 19th century. To learn more about the traditional everyday life of Folégandros, visit the Folk Art Museum (open from 17:00 to 20:00 in the summer).
Chrysospiliá is a natural monument of great interest, and not just to archaeologists and speleologists. Situated below the monastery of the Virgin Mary on a rocky beach at 30m above sea level with impressive stalactites and stalagmites, the cave is globally unique for the ancient male Greek names written on its walls and roof, dated back to the 4th century BC. Nicagoras, Themistocles, Cleon, Callimachus, Pythagoras, and Lysicrates are some of the names carved on the cave walls. According to some theories, the cave was used as a worship site where ceremonies for young men coming of age used to take place.
The funny shapes of the rocks and their wonderful colours at the beautiful white sandy beaches are one expression of the volcanic features of Mílos; the economic activity is another: minerals such as obsidian are excavated here. What is more, one of the most ancient mines in the Mediterranean is on this island.
References had been made by Hippocrates to the peculiar morphology of spectacular caves (Papáfragkas and Sykiá) and a multitude of thermal springs (Kanáva, Alykí, Provatá, Pikropiyí).The diving enthusiasts will find a paradise in the underwater caves in the triangle formed by Mílos, Kimolos and Polýegos islands.
The island’s villages are lovely too: the stately Pláka (the island’s capital), the harbour of Adámantas, the beautiful Hivadolímni, the marvellous Emporiós with the little lagoon of Revary and the old iron mines.
As far as archaeology is concerned, Mílos is an ideal destination: the early Christian catacombs, a prehistoric settlement in Fylakopi and the mining museum (exhibiting 11,000 years of mining history) are definitely worth a visit.
Last but not least, there are local tastes offering a special gastronomic experience. Don’t miss out on watermelon pies, cream cheese pies and bonbons with white pumpkin.
Only on Milos and its neighbour, Kimolos, will you encounter small colourful houses by the sea, the so-called “sýrmata”, which the fishers used as shelter for their boats in winter. Other sites worth visiting are the Catacombs of Tripiti and the mystical Sulfur Mines. The whole area of Trypití is full of caves carved on the rock that were used as family tombs.
Must visit: As many beaches as you can! The white rocky landscape that embraces Sarakíniko forms an once-in-a-lifetime encountered lunar landscape while on Kléftiko, which can be reached only by boat, you can dive in secluded rocky caves with crystal clear waters. Add the wild beauty of Alogomántra, the open cave of Papáfragkas, the sheltered Ahivadolímni- the biggest beach on the island where also the island’s camping site is situated- and the beaches of Fyripláka, Yérakas and Tsigrádos adorned with grayish-red rocks.