Folegandros, Greece

Folegandros is somewhat of a secret in the Cyclades. While the traveler world is becoming more-and-more aware of its unique beauty, it still has the small village charm where everybody seems to know each other. Many of the other international travelers we came across had visited the island before. Folegandros captured their hearts the first time,  so they would make a trip back whenever they can. The three things that are most memorable there are the dramatic cliffs diving into the sea, the privacy of coves that make up many of the island's beaches, and the small town charm. Just a short ferry ride west of Santorini, this gem is worth the stop for a few days of complete relaxation without any itinerary.

The hotel we chose was Kallisti. It had very affordable rates, and was one of only a few options that were open before the middle of May. It had the Cylcadic style white-washed building with some bricks to detail the base of the buildings. While not exactly in the luxury category, it provides stylish exterior with simple, but comfortable rooms. The pool feels like an oasis meant for relaxation during a hot summer afternoon. The office can provide cold beer at a great price to accompany you as you lounge poolside. Kallisti is conveniently located on the outer edge of the main village named Chora. Everything you need such as a café or convenience store is located in the city center just a 5 minute stroll away.

Kallisti's owner was very helpful in pointing out the best beaches and hiking trails throughout the island. He will also pick you up from the port free of any additional charge. Be sure to bring cash for you time in Folegandros. While there is a bank and ATM located in Chora, it doesn't seem to be very dependable. We learned this the hard way when we were buying ferry tickets for our departure back to the mainland. Some port offices require that you pay in cash which we had none of. The hotel owner paid for our tickets so that we would not miss our ferry, and trusted us to wire him the money once we had returned home. This was again another positive experience of Greek hospitality.