AN AMAZING CLIFFSIDE HOTEL ON A QUIET GREEK ISLAND

[FOLEGANDROS, GREECE] — 20 hours, three planes, long layovers and a zippy ferry straight from Santorini, I arrived in the port of Folegandros after 9pm, in the pitchdark. The owner of my hotel, Dimitris was waiting for me at the port and drove me the short 3kms up to the town of Chora in his Jeep Cherokee. In minutes we were zig-zagging through the crooked streets of Chora, headed for my home for the next couple of days — the Anemomilos Boutique Hotel.

Anemomilos Boutique Hotel pool at night

A slow cool breeze, a couple of Mythos and music from the local tavernas conked me out for twelve straight hours. Set the phone for 6am to catch the sunrise, didn’t work… woke up at 10.

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About Folegandros — An Under the Radar Greek Island

Nine days I was on this incredible island. A mellow escape from the crowds of the other over-run Greek Cyclades Islands. The name took me forever to learn to pronounce because I was saying it with an Italian accent — but you pronounce the island fuh-LEG-andros, kinda swallowing the last syllable, emphasis on the LEG. Here’s a giant post I did on the whole island.

The hotel and Chora Town sit perched on the edge of this crazy cliff. It’s the same smacker view as Santorini but without a million tourists and loads of cruise passengers.

Skip Santorini and come here. Or at least fly to Santorini and take the quick 40 minute ferry ride. The secret to Folegandros is that it has no airport and no cruise terminal. The only way to get here is by ferry. So all the clouds of people that flood other popular islands don’t come here. Shhhhhh don’t tell anyone about it.

This is the money-shot view of the island, with Chora town below and the absolutely stunning greek church at the top, catching the rays of the sun from dawn to dusk. You can walk straight there up the zig-baggy path directly from the hotel. I did this multiple times a day. Who needs a fitness room?

Besides it’s jaw-dropping location, what’s great about this hotel and location is it just steps down the path of the main town of Chora (pronounced HORa) and hit a dozen great shaded restaurants. This island is just amazing. And the nicest people on the planet.  And ridiculous value. People stay for a month. I saw no other Americans during my stay. Mostly Greeks, a bunch of Scandis and Germans, a few Italians and that’s about it. Google it. It rates off the charts…except for that one grumpy Swiss guy…

A Review of Anemomilos Boutique Hotel

20 or so years ago this was all a rock pile of windmill ruins when the owner Dimitris bought this property and started to build Anemomilos. At that time, there was no electricity on the island, no banks, no ATMs, no hardware stores, no gas stations, no airport, people rode on donkeys to get around (some still do). There was no excavating equipment, so he did it all by hand, with iron bars and dynamite to loosen the most stubborn bits.

view of Anemomilos Boutique Hotel

He took three years to build this place, by hand. Every smooth white corner, every balcony cantilevered over the 1,000ft cliff. And now with the loving help of his dynamo wife Carmelina and their beautiful daughter Diana, they run this place like you’re on their sailboat. Tip top shape. All hands on deck, all the time. I tell ya, with those two, you could hook wires up to them and power the whole island. With plenty left over to run a cable over to Milos.

Anemomilos Boutique Hotel view of town
entrance Anemomilos Boutique Hotel
Anemomilos Boutique Hotel pool terrace
Anemomilos Boutique Hotel lunch
Anemomilos Boutique Hotel hotel review

I think this may become an annual visit. I can’t think of a more dramatic view of anywhere I’ve stayed. Ask for a Blue Room, room 12, the tippy top of the island. Or, if you can swing it, book the Blue Suite, which looks just amazing. 

Anemomilos Boutique Hotel pool view
You can see how close the hotel is to the church on the hill.

The Rooms at Anemomilos Boutique Hotel 

I’m telling ya, these are about the most dramatic, most undervalued rooms anywhere. Where else can you get a drop-dead view like this. You window opening right over the steep cliff, a thousand feet down to the water. When I saw this view in The NY Times, I immediately went “Wow, where is this? That’s exactly what I want.”

Anemomilos Boutique Hotel
Anemomilos Boutique Hotel suite terrace

Where else can you find a killer view like this?

Last visited September 2016 — 

More Information on Anemomilos Boutique Hotel 

The Anemomilos Boutique Hotel website. A slew of articles on the hotel on their website, covering just about every major travel publication. And here’s their iescape.com listing . Here’s their IG account, which makes me drool every damn day. And TripAdvisor reviews which give it a 4.5. And the Hotel Guru listing. And Culture Trip. And Condé Nast Traveller’s insider’s guide to Folegandros. And this is the article where I first read about this fantastic hotel and island in The NY Times. If you can’t get in to Anemomilos, here’s another cool design hotel down by the port I did a post on.

More Information on Folegandros

Here are some great reference reading and helpful links:

Here’s a fun little video I made that shows you what it’s like on Folegandros. This is the article that brought me here, in the NYTimes. Folegandros — the Most Charming Greek IslandA great article in Conde Nast Traveler Exploring an Under-the-radar Greek Island. The Folegandros official website. A great overview of Folegandros in Lonely Planet. Trip Advisor’s page on Folegandros. A guide in the UK version of Conde Nast Traveller. and another article on how to get there from London. An overview of Folegandros from The Travel Channel. A blurb on Folegandros in the July 2016 Travel & Leisure and a blurb on CNN.com about Europe’s Most Scenic Villages.

Here’s how to find ferry schedules to Folegandros.

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