It’s a little after midnight and we’re in Hora, debating whether to go to Aquarius for cocktails, Astarti for pasteli snacks and raki flavored with honey, Baraki for the music or Laoumi for a night of philosophizing. Later, the first of us to go to bed will say: “Breakfast at Pounta?” “Sure, what time?” says a newcomer to the group. “Whenever you get up!” the rest of us answer in unison.
It’s pure magic! A formula for fun since we were in our teens, going off for a “whatever” vacation works just as well now that we’re married and have children as it did 20 years ago. From Michaela, who wakes up at 07:00 because her son Konstantinos is an early riser, to Sofia, who’s punctual to the minute, to the always-late Alexandra to Milena and Angeliki, the peacemakers (“Come on, relax, we all made it”), our group has grown to 15 people, who still all meet up during our Folegandros vacations for breakfast (or brunch, as the case may be for some) at Pounta every day.
Those long, lazy breakfasts encapsulate the essence of summer. In the pretty courtyard behind a massive bougainvillea, we spend the mornings moving our table every quarter of an hour or so to stay in the shade as the sun comes up, enjoying freshly baked bread, local cheese, homemade cake and fresh watermelon juice. The adults chat as we sip our coffees and the kids play between the tables.
The decision of where to go for a swim isn’t hard: if we want something easy and close by, it’s Agali; if we want a boat ride or a walk, it’s Aghios Nikolaos; if the wind is coming in the from the north, it’s a boat ride to Katergo (Folegandros’ most iconic beach); but if it’s coming in from the south, then it’s Vorina (my personal favorite).
One of our annual customs is a “pilgrimage” up to Ano Mera – a wonderful walk through Livadaki – for a platter of matsata, a local pasta, at Irene’s kafeneio. Our nights are spent in Hora. Sitting at either one of the two squares, the kids can play their hearts out in a safe, car-free environment and set up their little stalls selling pretty stones foraged from the beach.
The adults may split up and head to different restaurants – Chic, Kritikos, Goupi and Piatsa – but we’ll drop by each other’s tables at some point for a nibble or a drink. If it’s a bit of solitude you’re after, there’s no better place to enjoy the sunset than from the Panaghia Monastery. For an amazing fresh fish dinner paired with carefully selected wines, try Zefiros Anemos.