Where can you go in the Greek islands to get away from the hordes of tourists? It can be hard to find peace and quiet among the crowds on some of the more popular Greek Islands but this is certainly not the case in underrated Folegandros. A tiny island situated between Santorini and Milos, unscathed by mass tourism, Folegandros remains authentic and quaint. This is truly a place where you can get away from it all and feel like a local. I can’t say enough about this island and the beautiful hotel where I chose to base myself for my much too short stay. I spent two lovely days feeling like I had the place to myself because there were hardly any other tourists. The perfect spot to merge luxury and seclusion is Blue Sand Hotel and Suites, Folegandros.
With a late ferry arrival, it was dark before we even stepped foot on the island so we didn’t get to see Folegandros until the next morning. The hotel van picked us up and whisked us through the winding hills to the hotel less than 15 minutes from the port. Upon arriving at the hotel, the stunning reception and bar area welcomes guests with a chic bohemian vibe which is where we met the sweet and charismatic Michael. He graced us with freshly squeezed lemonade and insisted on carrying both of our luggage bags upstairs to our room. This was no small feat. My suitcase was rather ginormous.
The rooms are fantastically spacious and elegantly designed, with traditional white interiors and modern rustic touches. Our room looked like it belonged in a Pier 1 magazine. My favorite accent was the hanging nest chair. The large and beautiful bathroom has the best rain shower head I’ve ever tried and features a lovely line of natural toiletry products. I was thrilled to have plenty of counter space and room to spread out. The outdoor patio is the crowing glory, with a little wooden table and chairs and a view of the stunning sea and dramatic coastline below. A perfectly small property with only 15 rooms and suites, each is unique and features an elegant design and tranquil setting. You will get a king size bed and balcony with any room you book.
Amenities provided by Blue Sand adds a touch of home and comfort. These include a Nespresso maker, mini-fridge, hairdryer, and typical minibar snacks for an extra charge. The big fluffy robe and slippers were not wasted on me. I used those babies the entire time I was in my room. Although I never spend a lot of time in my room on vacation, occasionally before bed I like to catch a few minutes of the world news. It seems like I miss a lot when I’m off gallivanting around the world. So I truly appreciate having a TV in my room. And for those of us who require internet access, there is free Wifi, and although I found it a little slow, the poor weather may have had something to do with it. The breeze through the patio doors provides plenty of ventilation, however there is still air conditioning in the rooms, which is appreciated. I adore these luxuries that make a hotel stay that much more comfortable and relaxing. Blue Sand didn’t miss a thing.
Each morning, we awoke pleasantly to light streaming in from the door of the patio. A simple call down to the front desk allowed me to order anything off the ala cart menu for breakfast. A feast was delivered shortly to our beautiful balcony. I had a number of similar breakfasts at other hotels on other islands during my time in Greece, and Blue Sand’s was by far my favorite. You can order anything you want, including eggs, pastries, cakes, fresh fruit, greek yogurt, honey, traditional cheese pies, coffee, juice, and so much more. You have the choice of breakfast delivered to your room or eating at their open-air restaurant. Throughout the day, sample some of the fresh local ingredients from the restaurant or a cocktail or wine from the fully stocked bar. Room service is available if you just can’t get out of bed because the room is so alluring.
Blue Sand feels secluded but conveniently located. It is only about 7 km from the port and the hotel staff will provide a free transfer upon arrival and departure, which is a significant bonus. The hotel is also only 4 km (or 2.5 miles for my fellow Americans) from the main town (aka Chora) which they can take you for a small charge. Don’t miss this picturesque little town and the hike to the church for sunset. I recommend getting a scooter or ATV for the duration of your stay. They are cheap to rent and provide you with tons of flexibility for exploring the small island on your own. If driving in a foreign place makes you uncomfortable, rest assured, this is the easiest place to do it. There is one main road on the entire island and no traffic. There is nothing like cruising around a new place, wind in your hair, epic coastline views, pastures of donkeys and goats, and hidden beaches to be scoped out.
If you opt for solitude at the hotel more, there are a handful of traditional little restaurants all right by the hotel, as well as the hotel’s own restaurant. Blue Sand will be happy to assist their guests with special activities like boat cruises, helicopter rides, diving, or simply providing you with amenities to lounge at the beach all day if that’s what your heart longs for. The sandy Agali Beach by the hotel is dramatically beautiful. Regretfully, I couldn’t quite capture its true essence since it was so windy and a bit overcast during my stay. But normally it is quite calm and vibrantly turquoise. There is also a rather long but beautiful trail leading form the hotel along the cliff to another beach if you feel adventurous.
I can’t say a negative thing about Blue Sand. I wouldn’t hesitate to revisit Blue Sand Hotel and Suites or the lovely island of Folegandros in the future. This place is so undiscovered, I almost want to keep it a secret and not tell anyone else. Almost. If you’re looking for a less touristy gem in the Greek islands to avoid the crowds, look no further than Folegandros and the luxury Blue Sand Hotel and Suites. To book your unique and (hopefully not) once-in-a-lifetime stay at Blue Sands, click here.
Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary stay by Blue Sand Hotel and Suites, however all opinions expressed are 100% my own.