“She told me of the ‘Folegandros experience’ about arriving 29 years previous with her husband Aris and falling in love with the island.”

Folegandros was my last island stay on my 23 day Greek Island pilgrimage. I chose it based on a recommendation from my host in Santorini. I was looking for an island that was authentic, that had maintained its integrity despite the tourist trade.

I reached out to Mirka – the owner of Themonies a beautiful restored stone farmhouse located just outside of the chora on Folegandros. She told me of the ‘Folegandros experience’ about arriving 29 years previous with her husband Aris and falling in love with the island. I did my own research and read about the chora being one of the most beautiful in the Aegean. I read about motor vehicles and neon signs being banned in the Hora and the commitment to maintaing the traditional heritage. This was the island for me.
When putting together my itinerary, I had made the decision to avoid the party islands. I could drink and party every day of the week in NYC…I was after a journey rich with experiences. I wanted to immerse myself in the Greek culture and spend time with the locals. In Folegandros I found all of this and more…
My room: I stayed in the Shepards House – a gorgeous stone cottage oozing with charm. I loved the exposed beams and sunken bedroom. It felt like this enchanting little cave I could curl up in. Aris…an engineer in his past life has done an amazing job restoring the cottage, creating a space that is functional, warm and inviting with all the traditional elements still intact.

The Hora: Any preconceived ideas of what the Hora would be like were exceeded. It was bright and cheerful and immaculate. The town squares created an intimate setting to dream the day away and the  perfect environment for a friendly chat with a local.

The Island: is covered in Lavender, Sage and Thyme. It smells glorious and produces delicious honey. Perched on the edge of a cliff, the town has amazing views across the Aegean sea. Around 32 square kilometres, it is a small island with lots of charm.

The Food: The Greeks are serious about their food. By serious I mean – I am sure the fact that I couldn’t consume twice my body weight in food was seen as a personal shortcoming. I did my best really…thank you to Demitris from Themonies for being so hospitable and opening my eyes to all the culinary delights the island has to offer. Be sure to try the Matsata. A local specialty unique to the island, it is a type of pasta that I ate served with a red sauce and local rabbit. The ultimate comfort food.

Thank you to Mirka, Aris and Dimitris for making me feel so welcome and sharing with me your island paradise. I will be sure to return for a longer stay and take my time to appreciate all your beautiful island has to offer.

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