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Folegandros or Sifnos?

Philadelphia...
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16 posts
45 reviews
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Folegandros or Sifnos?

I will be going to Greece and the Cyclades at the end of Sept. (16th - 30th) We are already doing two days in Athens, two days in Naxos, four days in Santorini, and probably end our trip in Crete.

I want to include another island between santorini and Crete and am torn between heading to Sifnos or Folegandros? I've read that Sifnos is packed August-time because it's a popular destination for Athenians and Greeks in general. I want to go somewhere beautiful, not too touristy and with a few sights and sounds to offer.

Also I would be taking the ferry from Santorini to either of those islands and back and then head back on to Crete if that helps you in advising me where to go! I must make reservations quick as I've left my planning until the last minute...

Any advice or insights would be terribly appreciated!

Toronto
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for Mykonos
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23 reviews
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1. Re: Folegandros or Sifnos?

We were on both Sifnos and Folegandros last September during the same time period you're planning to travel. You won't have to worry about either island being packed with tourists in late September; on the contrary, you will find many shops and restaurants have either closed for the season already, or have begun preparing to close. (Frequent TA poster travelerjan has aptly described this ambience as comparable to being in a restaurant late at night when the waiters are putting chairs on tables and getting ready to close up shop while one last group of customers dawdles over what's left of their drinks. We thought this analogy described Sifnos in late September bang-on.)

Sifnos was more "closed down" than Folegandros and, though we loved the island, we did not enjoy the end of season atmosphere. Although Kamares was fairly busy, a few tavernas there had closed and staff in a couple of stores told us they were closing for the season within days. Kastro practically felt like a ghost town; three cafes were open the afternoon we walked around, but business was sparse. In Apollonia, only a couple of restaurants were open, along with a handful of shops (mainly jewellery stores). There were just a couple of restaurants open in the main square at Artemonas. Overall, we thought Sifnos had a very "lonely" feel because so many places had closed for the winter and there weren't many tourists around to liven up the streets.

By comparison, most shops and restaurants were still open for business in all the main squares in Chora on Folegandros, and during the evening Chora was quite lively.

If you enjoy hiking, either island will be a good choice. An excellent network of pathways criss-cross Sifnos, while there are hiking trails to the various beaches on Folegandros and it's quite enjoyable (and scenic) to walk from Chora to the village of Pano Meria in the northwest.

ios greek island...
Destination Expert
for Ios
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797 posts
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2. Re: Folegandros or Sifnos?

apart from ios , folengandros is my favourite island your love it quaint and very original ,

only downfall like sanorini the beaches arent nice ,

so pop over to ios for a swim !

oioi

Philadelphia...
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3. Re: Folegandros or Sifnos?

Thank you Donny and O. your insights are appreciated... as I'm reviewing our ferry options, there are not many ferries leaving Folegrandos -- to Thira - and because we are short on time (wanting to end up in Crete) I'm afraid we might have to skip out altogether on this beautiful island - and maybe go to Ios instead. Ios has a direct ferry to Heraklion...

Donny ; did you guys book ferries ahead of time? I'm counting on the ferries not being entirely booked up at the end of September. Should i wait to book ferry reservations at the airport or book them online - times and availability seem to be always inconsistent...

Toronto
Destination Expert
for Mykonos
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7,072 posts
23 reviews
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4. Re: Folegandros or Sifnos?

Catou, we booked our ferries in advance last September purely to get that particular travel detail and expense out of the way before going to Greece. There were plenty of empty seats on all of the ferry trips we took (Milos - Sifnos, Sifnos - Folegandros, Folegandros - Mykonos) and had we waited until the last minute to purchase tickets, we would have had absolutely no trouble getting on board.

This photo shows one of the economy class cabins on the Speedrunner ferry we took to Folegandros on Sept 24; only a handful of seats were occupied in this cabin as well as in two others we looked into: …webshots.com/photo/2330309630053529710lsQkwR Occupancy was similarly minimal on our other ferry trips.

The only ferry-related problem we encountered was a weekend of severe winds that disrupted ferry service throughout the Cyclades Sept 21 to 24. We were on Sifnos at the time; ferry travel between all islands was cancelled for three days and we couldn't reach Folegandros until a day later than scheduled, once the winds eased up and ferry service resumed. If you're on a tight travel schedule, visiting an island like Ios that is easier to get to/from on a well-serviced ferry route might be a better idea, just in case you encounter delays caused by bad weather or anything else.

5. Re: Folegandros or Sifnos?

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