Cliffs at Chora on Folegandros
Cliffs at Chora on Folegandros
Folegandros is located in Greece
Location within the region
Coordinates: 36°37′N 24°54′E / 36.617°N 24.900°E / 36.617; 24.900
Administrative regionSouth Aegean
Regional unitThira
 • Municipality32.216 km2 (12.439 sq mi)
Highest elevation
455 m (1,493 ft)
Lowest elevation
0 m (0 ft)
 • Municipality
 • Municipality density24/km2 (62/sq mi)
 • Population513 (2011)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
840 xx
Area code(s)22860
Vehicle registrationEM

Folegandros (also Pholegandros; Greek: Φολέγανδρος) is a small Greek island in the Aegean Sea that, together with Sikinos, Ios, Anafi and Santorini, forms the southern part of the Cyclades. Its surface area is 32.216 square kilometres (12.439 sq mi)[2] and it has 765 inhabitants. It has three small villages, Chora, Karavostasis, and Ano Meria, which are connected by a paved road. Folegandros is part of the Thira regional unit.[3]


According to Greek mythology, it was said to have derived its name from a son of Minos.[4]


Little is known about the ancient history of Folegandros. Its inhabitants were Dorians. Later it came under Athenian rule. The island contained a polis (city-state) called Pholegandros, which was sited at the modern Chora and a member of the Delian League where it appears on Athenian tribute lists between 425/4 and 416/15 BCE.[5] The island was called the iron Pholegandros by Aratus on account of its ruggedness, and is also noted by ancient geographers Strabo[6] and Ptolemy, who calls it Pholekandros (Ancient Greek: Φολέκανδρος).[7]

The island was conquered in 1207 by the Venetian Marco Sanudo and remained under the rule of Venice until 1566, when it was taken by the Ottoman Turks. The Greeks reclaimed it in the 19th century during the Greek war of independence. The island was visited by the British explorers Theodore and Mabel Bent in early 1884.[8] During the 20th century it has been used as a place of exile for political prisoners, especially during the 4th of August regime. [9]


Folegandros' landscape is varied, and includes tall cliffs and a large cave. The "capital" of the island, Chora, is built on the edge of a 200-metre high cliff. The port of Folegandros is the small village of Karavostasis. The Ano Meria village contains a small but interesting Ecological and Folklore Museum. Among the notable beaches on Folegandros is Katergo, accessible only by foot or by boat from Karavostasis. Katergo beach is used by naturists.[10]



  1. ^ a b "Απογραφή Πληθυσμού - Κατοικιών 2011. ΜΟΝΙΜΟΣ Πληθυσμός" (in Greek). Hellenic Statistical Authority.
  2. ^ "Population & housing census 2001 (incl. area and average elevation)" (PDF) (in Greek). National Statistical Service of Greece. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-09-21.
  3. ^ "ΦΕΚ A 87/2010, Kallikratis reform law text" (in Greek). Government Gazette.
  4. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium. Ethnica. Vol. Φολέγανδρος.
  5. ^ Mogens Herman Hansen & Thomas Heine Nielsen (2004). "The Aegean". An inventory of archaic and classical poleis. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 769. ISBN 0-19-814099-1.
  6. ^ Strabo. Geographica. Vol. x. p. 484 et seq. Page numbers refer to those of Isaac Casaubon's edition.
  7. ^ Ptolemy. The Geography. Vol. 3.15.31.
  8. ^ Theodore Bent, The Cyclades, or Life Among the Insular Greeks (London, 1885, p. 194 ff.).
  9. ^ "Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World, Asia Minor". Retrieved 2022-08-06.
  10. ^ Sinanidis, Mary (11 July 2014). "Your bare-all guide to nudist beaches in Greece". Retrieved 2016-08-07. Folegandros

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed. (1854–1857). "Pholegandros". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London: John Murray.