Andros is an island that is the best of the Ionian islands and the Cyclades thrown into one. With the beautiful, whitewashed buildings and warm, sandy beaches it fits in with its neighbours as part of the Cyclades. However, one half of the island is full of luscious greenery, filled with different types of trees and shrubbery. This mix of the two gives it a very different feel to others in the Cyclades and makes a refreshing change if you’re island hopping or staying for a night or two from Athens. Andros is one of the most authentic Greek islands and is largely unaffected by mass tourism, instead it is a popular spot for many Athenians to go on holiday due to its proximity. In this article we’ll take you through what makes Andros great and why you should make it a stop when visiting the Cyclades.
How to get there
Andros is the closest of the Cyclades islands to Athens and therefore it isn’t too far on the ferry. This also makes it a good first stop if you’re embarking on a island hopping trip of the Cyclades. It doesn’t have its own airport so we recommend flying into either Athens or Mykonos. If you’re thinking of flying into Athens, the ferries will go from Rafina port which is served by a bus service which runs every 25 mins from Athens airport. You can fly into Athens or Mykonos from Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and Stansted. Check the individual pages for Athens or Mykonos for other regional airports, but we will advise you of this at the time enquiry.
Walk around the beautiful, whitewashed villages
Andros has a number of stunning towns and villages dotted across it. The first one you see when you Gavrio, as it is the main port for the island. It is full of many restaurants, tavernas and cafes all of which were only visited by locals until a few decades ago when Andros became more popular, and ferries began running there more regularly. It still holds this local feel however, yet it gets busy for an hour or so when a ferry arrives. Overlooking the town is the Hellenistic Tower of Agios Petros, a well-preserved tower, originally built in the 4th or 3rd century BC. Chora is the capital of the island, also sometimes called Andros after the island, it is located on the eastern side of the island is full of things to do. Moving down from the ruins of Andros Castle on the small peninsula into the town, you get a very different feel in Chora than many capitals of Greek islands. Chora reflects the islands past as a naval power as it is filled with neo-classical mansions and wide-open squares which stand out from the whitewashed houses which fill the rest of the streets. Batsi, along with Gavrio, is where much the accommodation on the island is located. As such it is full of restaurants, cafes and shops full of happy customers. Follow the sun-soaked streets to the beach which fills much of the bay in which Batsi is located. If you visit small villages such as Episkopeio and Menites, you’re transported back in time where many of the locals live as they have for hundreds of years. Menites is also famous for its springs. Some other great villages to visit are Korthi, Aidonia and Sineti which can be found at the end of a gorge dotted with waterfalls.
Relax on the stunning beaches
As with many of the Greek islands, the beaches are a main draw to tourists. Andros is full of great beaches whether they be next to the towns and villages or in some more remote locations. Many of the beaches are full of golden sand but you can find the odd pebble one if you’re looking for it. The beaches at Agios Petros (just down from Gavrio) and Batsi are popular ones as they are near settlements and have plenty of facilities. This is the same with beaches Meimporio, Paralia and Lydi in Chora which fit in between the jutting peninsulas bay. Tris Grias to Pidima has a 15 metre sea stack just out to sea of the beach which gives it quite a unique look. If you’re looking for a pebble beach check out Fellos, its pretty quiet and is a means you can sit back and relax
Hike along the trails
Andros has 18 marked trails on the island, that can take you wherever you want to go and these are perfect for hiking lovers. With the trails having varying lengths depending on your ability and how long you want to take there’s something for everyone. If you’re going for the hiking, you can follow the amazing Andros route which enables you to walk from the north to the south of the island in 10 days, taking in and stopping at a new village each day. If you’re looking for something a little (ok maybe a lot shorter) you can try the route from Apikia to Pythara Waterfalls, it takes just over 2 hours and can be done in any footwear. For the full list of routes check out www.androsroutes.gr
Explore the culture of this unique island
Andros is a island with as rich history and this can be seen across the island in its landmarks, museums and scenery. You can find archaeological museums in both Chora and Paleopolis, which also has the site of a town, which was the ancient capital of Andros. There is also an ancient site at Zagora as well as Castles at Faneromeni and Chora amongst others. If you enjoy monasteries, take a visit to Batsi where you can see the monastery of Zoodochos Pigi or see the Panagia Tomarhiani in Korthi. Andros also has a number of museums to satisfy your cultural itch, the Museum of Modern Art and are Nautical Museum can be found in Chora. You also visit the Cyclades Olive Museum in Pitrofos which is in a restored oil mill showing the traditional method of creating olive oil and much more.
We hope this has helped you see what Andros has to offer and why it stands out from the rest of the Cyclades. To find out more about the rest of Greece take a look around our website or call us on 01157843388. If you know where you’re looking to book call us, email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in our contact form with what you’re looking for. Don't forget to follow us on social media to find out the next Destination of the Week and for all your Greek Holiday needs. If you've been to Andros, where was your favourite place? What was the best thing you did or do you think we missed anything? Let us know in the comments or on social media, just click the buttons below which take you to our social pages.
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