Folegandros is the island of good measure. The mild tourism development of the last two decades has allowed the island to preserve the full extent of its character and physiognomy. At the same time, however, modern infrastructure and organized tourism services have been developed.
The inhabitants of Folegandros, whose main village (Chora) has been included by CNN Travel in the 7 most beautiful villages in Europe, continue to care for their land and enjoy life in their own way, which they now share with more and more of the island's friends.
Folegandros’ network of old paved streets and footpaths is an attraction for hikers, allowing them to experience the riches of Folegandros’s historical character. The network of selected footpaths crosses a large part of the Folegandros countryside and constitutes the Footpaths of Historical and Cultural Interest, which lead to destinations with a particular historical-cultural or environmental importance.
Now a collective effort between the residents, the Municipality of Folegandros and the Network of Sustainable Islands (DAFNI) has just started! Through crowdfunding, the Folegandros Routes campaign aims to fund the organization and development of the hiking network and also the construction of a safe sidewalk - that will focus on the needs of people with reduced mobility, connecting the port (Karavostasis) with the Chora.
The dedicated pedestrian route intents, also, to create a tour for those who desire to explore cultural heritage, history and natural landscape of Folegandros by walking. The pedestrian route will be the entrance to the Chora, as well as it will have an intersection point with the network of trails that is being expanded through the island.
Decades ago, the foot paths were the only access to move around within the island. With the help of mules and donkeys, the “heavy duty” means of transport of all times of the time, the farmers were able to reach their land.
Despite its limited size and thanks to volunteers and the Region of South Aegean, Folegandros has now a marked network of old cobblestone roads and paths, with an approximate length of about 25 km, forming the Routes of Cultural Interest, which cross or end up to destinations of historical, cultural or environmental importance. Footpaths and roots next to chapels, dry stone walls that lead to “secret beaches” and bays with the amazing view of the Aegean blue Sea!
The mission of this campaign is to design a new Rural & Hiking Trails Network (which can be considered as an extension of the existing network) and to promote the dual identity of Folegandros, as a Landscape of Particular Natural Beauty and as a Cultural Landscape, highlighting this way the Cycladic landscape, the art of dry stone walls and the general natural and cultural assets of the island.
Folegandros belongs to the south-western Cyclades. It has a maximum altitude of 455 metres, an area of 32 square kilometres and around 650 inhabitants. It is 104 nautical miles away from Piraeus port.