The Folegandros Hideaway

Ano Meria, Folegandros, Greece Book from Book from £180 per night

On one of Greece’s smallest & prettiest islands, a Cycladic cottage for 2-4 with endless sea views that will steal your heart
High on a Greek island hilltop, overlooking ancient terraces, white-cube houses and endless blue horizons, is this simple but perfectly restored Cycladic cottage. It sits in the scattered hamlet of Ano Meria, at the end of the only road on Folegandros, which itself is one of the tiniest and remotest islands in the Cyclades archipelago. This is a place to disconnect and unwind, with the breeze in your hair, the sun on your face, and your toes in the turquoise plunge pool.

It’s also one of the most sympathetically refurbished village houses that we’ve seen. (Truth be told, we haven’t seen it in person yet; but we’ve studied the photographs, we know the location, and we love the people behind it, so we’re confident it’s a winner). You step inside to a cool, thick-walled sitting room with stone-and-beam ceilings and micro-cement floors. Everything is pure white, with tasteful wood and wicker furnishings and a few pop-art touches. There's a cosy double bedroom, a shower bathroom and a galley kitchen with all you need for home cooking - or wander along the lane to authentic Greek tavernas. So come with your other half (it's the perfect spot to honeymoon) or with the kids (using two sofabeds in the sitting room), for sunny days hiking to beaches, taking boat rides, eating al fresco, and doing all that Zeus meant us to do.
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.

Highs

  • Sunsets are breathtaking up here at 220m (650ft): inky seas below, ochre skies above, distant isles breaking a silvery horizon
  • The wide sunny terrace has a dining alcove, reading spots, sunloungers and a small heated pool with those giddying views
  • The island’s best sand beach, Agali, is below the villa: snorkel, jump on a boat, dine at the lovely Blue Sand Hotel (run by the villa’s owners)
  • Although it feels super-remote, Folegandros is actually only a couple of hours by ferry from Santorini, which has direct flights from UK and Europe

Lows

  • Be aware you're in a tiny village: there's a minimarket, a couple of restaurants and a bakery, but not much else
  • It's a 3km drive (or a 45-min walk) down to the nearest beach, so you'll want a car (but not use it much)
  • The house retains its traditional footprint: some rooms are compact
  • The pool terrace lacks natural shade (but the dining terrace is covered)

Best time to go

May, June and September are pleasantly warm and delightfully uncrowded - an island this size fills up quickly. In July and August, the temperatures rise (though there's almost always a breeze up at the villa; sometimes a strong one), and there’s a friendly buzz in the tavernas and bars. The villa is normally closed from late October through April.

Our top tips

Tucked into the cliffs below Ano Meria is a beautiful and totally secluded cove called Livadaki. You can catch a boat from Agali beach, or hike there from the villa in an hour (more on the way back up!), as follows. Head west along the road for 600m, turn left at the windmills (restaurant) and follow a jeep track south. At the last bend, turn left onto a path which curls down and right to the cove. To return, follow another path climbing steeply northwest from the cove, which broadens out among old terraces, then heads north to reach Ano Meria at its very western end.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Romantic
Beach
Eco
Family
  • Boutique Villa
  • 1 villa for 2-4
  • Self-catering
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Plunge Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Laundry Service
Room:

Rooms

This is a traditional village house - thick-walled, lime-washed, single-storey - with bright white interiors to offset the compactness, and tease it into the 21st century. Slate-slabbed roofs, bamboo ceilings and wonky oak beams combine with funky art and upcycled furniture to create a chic bohemian ambience, while air-con and smallish windows keep the house blissfully cool.

The sitting room comes with built-in L-shaped sofas (which double up as children's beds), a driftwood-style storage cupboard, low tables, dried thistles in tall vases. Two steps lead up to the dining room - where you’re greeted by a pair of psychedelic, goggle-eyed metal ostriches - and the compact kitchen (see Eating).

Beyond this is the shower bathroom, with its eye-catching black tap fittings, sleek basin, pampering bathrobes and organic toiletries; and the cosy, white double bedroom, which comes with a wall-to-wall double bed, a trestle desk, natty “knotted rope” reading lamps and white storage niches. It’s simple, comfy and utterly peaceful.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Coffee maker
  • Desk
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hairdryer
  • Hob or stove
  • Iron
  • Mosquito net
  • Oven
  • Plunge pool
  • Pool/beach towels
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • Toaster
  • Toiletries
  • TV
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi

Eating

The thin galley kitchen squeezes in everything you need for home cooking: oven, hob, sink, coffee-maker, toaster, retro fridge-freezer, sharp knives (but no dishwasher, note). There are plenty of utensils, glasses and crockery stored in handy niches within those thick walls; but limited surface area means you need to stay tidy. Next door, the dining room has a table for 4 beneath hanging wicker-basket lamps, but our bet is that you’ll eat all your meals outside in the reed- and wind-shaded dining alcove.

Better still, wander along the lane to one of three authentic Greek tavernas - Irini currently gets our vote - and take a sea-facing seat for the dramatic sunset. Expect local matsata (noodles) with pork and grated goats’ cheese, home-cooked lamb with okra, delicious aubergine and chick-pea salads. Often as not, the ‘menu’ will be delivered orally and you just say yes or no. Irini also doubles up as a mini-market, or you can drive 5km into Chora, the island’s main village, for a wider choice of shops.

Features include:

  • Chef on request
  • Coffee maker
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob or stove
  • Oven
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Shopping service
  • Toaster
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Relax on the villa's sunny terrace, with its (heated) plunge pool, deck chairs and plunging views over the coast
  • Walking trails cover the island - some descend to the coast, others cross old terraced fields - but there’s little shade, so be prepared
  • Drive or walk down to beautiful Agali Beach, where the clear blue waters look good enough to drink
  • Book the owners' RIB boat (with skipper) to explore hidden coves, coastal cliffs and top snorkelling spots
  • Drive to the main village of Chora, one of the loveliest in the Cyclades: whitewashed pedestrianised lanes, tumbling pink bougainvillea, mewing kittens and bustling open-air tavernas

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Hiking
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming

Kids

The villa can accommodate a family of 4 in reasonable comfort. You'll be using the sitting room as the kids' room (there are 2 single sofabeds) so it will feel a bit cramped indoors; but most of your downtime will be spent outside on the sunny terrace and the dining patio, so it's not too bad.

We think it works best for older kids who love swimming or snorkelling and don't mind a bit of walking to get there; or young children who can splash happily in the villa's small pool (but mind the strong sun and unprotected edges), and who will enchant the friendly villagers. As a fallback, you'll be pleased to know there is a TV and good WiFi.

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

Baby equipment:

  • High chair

    Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

  • Kid Friendly:

    Location

    The Folegandros Hideaway is in the tiny hilltop village of Ano Meria, on the small Cyclades island of Folegandros. Chora, the little island capital, is a 10-minute drive away.

    By Air and Ferry:
    There is no airport on Folegandros. Instead, fly into Santorini (30km) then take a ferry / hydrofoil / catamaran to Folegandros (1-3 hours). Alternatively, fly to Athens and take a ferry / hydrofoil from Piraeus (4-8 hours). Ferries are daily during summer; typically 3 times a week for the rest of the year.

    From Folegandros Harbour
    The hotel provides complimentary transfers to and from the harbour (a 15-minute drive).

    Getting Around
    We advise hiring a car or jeep on arrival at Folegandros, or perhaps a quad bike if you're feeling brave. The villa is in a small village (seasonal restaurants, minimart, no bus connections), and it's a 3km / 45min walk to the nearest beach. Having said that, if you're a keen walker looking for a remote getaway, you could get taxi transfers from the port, and explore on foot.

    Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.

    Airports:

    • Santorini 30.0 km JTR
    • Athens 250.0 km ATH

    Other:

    • Beach 2.0 km
    • Shops 0.3 km
    • Restaurant 0.3 km

    Our guests' ratings...

    Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

    10/10
    Room
    10/10
    Service
    8/10
    Value
    9/10
    Overall

    Folegandros is absolutely magical and the The Folegandros Hideaway is utterly charming. It has been decorated with real style and is extremely comfortable. Katerina could not have been more helpful and charming. The only warning is the wind that we experienced for our stay in August. It rumbled down the open chimney like threatening thunder, whipped the water out of the pool and lifted cushions, books and hats. As a result, we didn't use the outside space as much as we would have liked.

    9/10,

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