Folegandros & Sikinos sailing holidays

The long straddling island of Folegandros - Φολέγανδρος, between Milos and Santorini, is still relatively untouched by the tourist trade.

The cliff-fringed eastern part of the island, with its highest hill of 413 m is bare and arid; the western half is milder, with water from springs, and supports a modest terraced agriculture.

Both islands - especially Sikinos - are well off the beaten track, rather peaceful, and illustrate the authentic Aegean culture.

The Chora of Folegandros – perched on a precipice and half built inside a Kastro – is one of the most exquisite untouched examples in the whole Aegean sea.

Previous islands: Milos • Kimolos • Polyaigos ↑

Sailing map of Sikinos and Folegandros - Yacht charters in Greece
Folegandros and Sikinos sailing map; ports and anchorages

Next island: Ios ↓

The islet of Ayios Georgios guards the anchorage of Ay Georgios bay on Sikinos' south coast.

With its poverty and lack of sheltered harbours Folegandros was never an island of any importance. Its destinies were closely linked with those of Naxos and in Roman times it was a place of exile.

From the sailing port of Karavostasi – a must-see when sailing in Greece – it is an hour's walk or a short trip with the only taxi on the island to the chief place, Chora, a beautiful village of typical Cycladic houses with a medieval Kastro.

To the east is the hill of Palaiokastro, with scanty remains of the ancient town.

Sikinos - Σίκινος, west of Ios island, is a bare rocky island fringed by sheer cliffs, with rugged hills in the north and north-west and with gentler country in the south-east (terraced cultivation).

With its inhospitable soil and lack of sheltered anchorages, Sikinos was never of any political of cultural importance in antiquity. Like Folegandros it was used as a place of exile.

From the harbour of Alopronia it is an hour's climb to the chief place of the island, Sikinos / Chora, in a wooded gorge. It is a typical little Cycladic village, with the picturesque Kastro quarter within its medieval walls.

On the hillside above this lies the main village Chorio. Higher up are the ruins of the Nunnery of Zoodochos Pigi  .

One and a half hours' walk west is the chapel of the Panayia, which belonged to the Episkopi Monastery (5th - 7th c.), built on the site of an ancient sanctuary of the 2nd c. BCE.

On the steep hill beside the little Church of Ayia Marina are scanty remains of the ancient city.

Folegandros island: Voreina Βορεινά bay on the NE coast (across from Vathi bay).

More photos and information can be found in this logbook of our sailing trip from Athens to Milos via Karavostasi - Folegandros.

Folegandros island: Karavostasi port.

Ports and anchorages

Folegandros

Karavostasi - Καραβοστάση is the only port on Folegandros and serves as the gateway to Chora. Avoid the reefs on the approach and drop the anchor near the green beacon of the ferry quay and reverse towards the yacht quay.

Omitted in a popular pilot guide is that also the long side of the ferry quay is used, particularly by hydrofoils coming in at 20 knots.
Snorkeling to check the anchor is ill-advised here: instead use the dinghy + outboard engine.

Good holding (mostly sand, some rocks); sheltered against the gusts (mainly from N and NE) but a very rough swell can penetrate the bay.

Vathi - Βαθύ bay at Agkali - Αγκάλη beach on the SW coast of Folegandros, just east of Cape Aspropounta, is a delightful anchorage. It is sheltered from NW – E winds, but a strong Meltemi will result in violent gusts (NE mostly).
Anchor either just south of Ay Marina church (tavernas ashore) or 150 m further west at Galifos beach. photo anchorage

On the NE coast – across the island's narrowest section – is Vorina - Βορεινά bay. This unfrequented anchorage is appropriate in southerlies and westerlies. A sheep's path leads up to the main road to Chora.

Sailing holidays Cyclades Greece
Folegandros island !

Just north of Karavostasi port – SE of Cape Grotto/Panagias – is the “Golden cave” or Chryssospilia. While it is too deep to anchor, in light conditions it is possible to approach the stone steps with a dinghy, and we have explored it in true Indiana Jones fashion  .
The Georgitsi Cave is also worthwhile, again only accessible by dinghy; just SW of Cape Vitsentzos/Gadara, south of Karavostasi bay.

Sikinos island: Alopronia or Skala port.

Sikinos

Alopronia - Αλοπρόνοια or Skala - Σκάλα is the only port from which to visit the exceptional Chora. Beyond the ferry quay the shallow sandy rocky bay often is silted up.

The current state can easily be established when sailing in a strait line between Karavostasi and Ios port. Best place to dock is behind the yacht quay in the south-westernmost berth, stern-to or along-side and use a tripline. We used the dinghy to drop the second anchor in <1 m depth directly north.

Ayios Yioryios - Άγιος Γεώργιος is an attractive anchorage on the south-east coast – guarded by the Ay Yioryios islet. See gallery photo 2, good holding (sand), generally just suitable for a lunch-stop, there is a taverna in the summer months, but mostly solitude.

Ayios Nikolaos - Άγιος Νικόλαος bay is situated between Sikinos port and Ayios Yiorgios; this tiny Dialiskari - Διαλισκάρι beach is also lined with Tamarix trees

Folegandros island: Agkali Αγκάλη beach in Vathi Βαθύ bay on the SW coast east of Cape Aspropounta.

All Greek isles and the next Cycladic island to the east is Ios island.