Andros Greece is one of the closest Greek Islands to Athens (only an hour and a half away) and next to Tinos. Andros is a very attractive island of the Cyclades whith some traditional and very picturesque villages. The fortified capital of the island is a real jewel which combines Venetian and Cycladic architecture, narrow stone paved alleys, arcades and bright coloured flowers. Andros is a great holiday destination.
Andros is an island that has enough tourism to be quite well organised, but not so much that it has become too commercialised.
A fairly green island for the Cyclades, Andros offers some really nice beaches, pretty villages and a quiet, relaxed atmosphere. It is the second largest island among the Cyclades, and its high mountains and deep valleys make an unforgettable impression.
Although not a party island, the nightlife here is quite varied and those who love fishing, sailing and snorkelling will certainly find their paradise
Getting There :There is no airport on Andros, so you’ll have to fly to Athens or maybe Mykonosand take the boat from there. The suggested itinerary is from Athens (Rafina) , there are daily 3-4 ferries departing from Rafina to Andros check here for the daily departures. The orange buses (KTEL) for Rafina depart from Pedion Areos (ticket price 2.10 euro). A faster option is to take the Athens Metro until the station ‘Ethniki Amyna’ in Mesogeion street and from there to continue with the KTEL bus to the port of Rafina.
Getting Around Andros is quite a large island, so it is definitely a good idea to rent a vehicle. There are also local buses connecting some of the main villages, as well as taxis. From Gavrion the buses to Chora are at the exit of the port.
Geography : Andros is the most northerly and second largest island of the Cyclades after Naxos. Its size is 374 square kilometres, with a length of 39.8 kilometres and a width of 16.7 kilometres at
its widest. There is approximately 110 kilometres of coastline. The terrain is mountainous but the habited areas are relatively level. The island is divided into five regions by four
mountainous masses. These are, Mount Saranda (725 metres) which faces north from the highlands of Makrotandalos (approx height 200 metres) and south from the valleys of Batsi,
Ateni and Katakoilos. Mount Petalo the main mountain on the island, with the highest peak of Andros (Kouvara at 994 metres) lies between the above mentioned valleys to the north
and the valley of Messaria in the south. Mount Gerakonas (at 720 metres) lies between the valleys of Messaria and Korthi. .Finally is Mount Pachi (at 681 metres) which is south of the
valley of Korthi and ends at the most southern tip of the island.
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Four small rivers cross the island from west to east.These rivers, along with the mountains, are the beauties of Andros. Unlike many Greek islands they flow all year round fed by the
mountain peaks. The River Arnipotamos flows into the bay of Lefka, the River Achla which flows into the bay of Achla, the Megalos Potamos River flows into Paraporti beach in Hora
and the Dipotamata River flows into the bay of Syneti. Aside from these rivers there are around seven streams which also flow continuously all year. This makes a total of eleven
waterways, nearly all of which shape small aquatic areas at the mouths, with rich vegetation and remarkable aquatic fauna
What to See In Andros’ capital, Chora, there is a museum about the island’s shipbuilding through times. There is also an archaeological museum with artefacts from many periods in history.
The Sariza wells are natural wells where you can drink that water straight out of them. Much of the bottled water on Andros comes from here.
Menites is a lovely village to stroll around in.
The tree covered valley of Messaria covers the complete width of Andros from the west to the east and ends at the coastal capital town of Hora. Here you can find some of the most
beautiful villages of the island. On the northeren side are the villages of Strapouries, Pitrofos, Menites, Lamira, Mesathouri and Ipsilou and, to the south the villages of Aladino, Falika,
Koureli and Sasa. In Byzantine times, all this area, with Messaria at its centre, was the epicentre for the economic development of Andros. The same area saw a second boost in its development at the beginning of the 20th Century with the growth of navigation. In this area, too, you will find many of the island’s beautiful Byzantine churches and the Monastery of Panayia Panachrantou (Virgin Mary). Hora itself, stands out as an elegant and well-maintained town. Here you can see the beautiful, neo-classical town houses and mansions of the
upper-classes and ships’ captains who lived here throughout the last century. All of these features are found in a lush, idyllic landscape of gardens and rich farmlands, which owe their
existence to the plentiful water, which literally flows everywhere. The final wonderful quality of Hora is its peace and tranquillity owing to the fact that its main centre is pedestrianised.
Cars are parked at the edge of the centre and the centre itself is reached by foot. The same goes for the outlying villages. You can only go as far as the outskirts of each village by car
and from there on walking using the village lanes. Furthermore, the whole island is a paradise for walkers as you can visit all this, taking in a complete picture of the area, by means of
a large and well maintained network of footpaths.
Gavrio :Gavrio is where all visitors enter the island and, although there is no known historical background to this town, it lseems it was an ancient port that connected Andros to Attica in the same way it does today. As the ship enters the port you can see the small town of Gavrio which has many kinds of shops, cafes, restaurants and tavernas on the seafront. Walking along the promenade you can find small sandy beaches. From Gavrio, buses depart to Hora. If you want to discover Andros under your own steam, you will find car hire firms and tourist offices at the portside. Also, if you are interested to buy land or property on Andros, here you will find many real estate agencies. A good idea is to visit Ano Gavrio, either by foot or car. The road takes you through glorious countryside and farmland, over babbling brooks and passes a fine example of the famed pigeon houses of Andros, the pigeon house of Manjoros is just past the first little bridge over a river and is easy to spot with its traditional quaint structure and decoration. Continuing along this road will lead you to the church of Agia Sofia, the main church of Gavrio.
Batsi :Next to Gavrio, towards Batsi, is the wonderful sandy beach of Agios Petros. Here is located the interesting Tower of Agios Petros which is worth a closer look. Batsi is probably the most developed tourist town of the island, although it must be said that it is nothing like the mass tourist developments that can be seen on other Cycladic islands. At Batsi you will find most of the hotels, apartments and the only camping site on the island. Batsi has a small marina where yachts and fishing boats berth. Around the marina and along the promenade you will find many restaurants, tavernas and clubs. Batsi, like Gavrio, belongs to the municipality of Hydrousa. The most beaches of Andros can be found here as well as many picturesque villages clustered on the slopes of the mountains and the bays.
What to Do :Andros is a perfect island not only for walkers but also for people who like to swim, snorkel, fish and sail. Every summer sailing races are organised and there are countless wonderful beaches for windsurfing on the island fuelled by the well-known Cycladic winds. At the little harbour town of Batsi there are various water sports available during the summer season. Recently the Town Council of Andros has developed a programme to develop and support low-key tourism. This has involved clearing and signposting the basic network of
footpaths on the island for the use of residents and visitors alike. Although the maintenance of these paths is at times patchy, they do provide an ideal way of getting around the island.
If you want to experience the history and tradition of over six thousand years in Andros and to get to know its wonderful and special nature, its mineral and curative waters, its fauna
and its hundreds of species of wild flowers and herbs (some of which can only be found here in Andros ),- then all you need to do is follow the ancient paths which have supported the
socioeconomic life of the island from prehistoric times until the early post-war years. The experience will be one that will stay with you forever.
Beaches The most popular beach is probably Batsi, but other places to recommend are also Agios Petros, Fellos, Korthi, Gavrio, Kypri, Lefka, Kaminaki.and the bay of Korthi.
Nighttlife :If you insist on “clubbing” a bit, there are music bars in Batsi and Gavrion, at least during high season. There are also many bars, and you can enjoy both Greek and foreign music, whatever you prefer. In Chora there is also an outdoor cinema: all films are shown in their original languages with Greek subtitles.
Food There are many taverns and restaurants on Andros, and quite a few local specialities. You should try the local sausages, sun dried wine and various mezedakia – tit bits. The pastries should not be missed: Andros is renowned for its excellent sweets especially those that are made of almonds the famous “kaltsounia”. Coming out of the ferry in Gavrio the restaurant ‘Konaki’ right on the waterfront offers excellent Greek cuisine. In Chora you will find local meze dishes in ‘Nefeli’ opposite the church of Panagia, in Georgiou Empeirikou street that leads to the Archaeological museum in Korai square and further down to the Maritime Museum and the statue of the Unknown Sailor.