The Ultimate Andros Travel Guide

The Destination

Andros, although the second largest of the Cycladic Islands, is not at all a typical specimen of this popular cluster in Greece. A diversified landscape with mountains, gorges, ravines, running waters, vines and hot springs, perfectly combining its aristocratic beauty with the rough Cycladic landscape, this is an island rich in culture and history, mostly known as the island of the marine elite.

Featuring a total area of 380km2 the island of Andros is only 2 hours away from Attica and, as such, one the most favourite destinations for Athenians for a weekend or a longer break. There are four mountains on Andros and various rivers and creeks that promote the development of lush vegetation in various parts. A shelter for unique flora and fauna, Andros is not only ideal for summer vacations. Spring and autumn are also a good time to visit and enjoy its untouched beauty without crowds.

Traverse its dozens hiking trails, get a glimpse of its culture and history in its numerous museums, admire its archaeological sites, get lost in its waterfalls, springs and cave formations and live the total summer bliss on its coasts.

Highlights

CAVE “FOROS”, ALADINO

The marvel starts even before entering the cave as visitors pass through a stone bridge, built in 1680, under which a river with ducks, eels and turtles passes. The cobblestone path then leads to the cave that hosts groups of 6 people each time, featuring a total area of 500m2, adorned with stalactites, stalagmites, helictites and various gore formations. The cave of Foros is the first cave discovered in Greece.

TOWER OF AGIOS PETROS

One of the best preserved towers in Greece, Agios Petros is a 20m tall tower made completely by local slate. It features a base of 9,4m diameter and, inside, there is a spiral staircase leading to more than 5 floors. The Tower was built during the Hellenistic Era (4th – 3rd century AD) and it is located outside Gavrio overlooking the sea which most probably explains the reason it was built: observe and monitor the sea for threats.

PYTHARA WATERFALLS

An incomparable aquatic biotope where rare species of plants and wild flowers thrive while one may also see various species of birds and amphibians. The path leading to the waterfalls predisposes visitors for the stunning nature they will see: “The Fairy Land” of Andros with its small waterfalls, lakes and ponds resembling a fairy-tale setting. The area used to irrigate the largest watermill of the Balkans, “Fabrika”.

CASTLE OF CHORA

A remnant of the past glory of the island, the Castle of Chora used to serve as the home of

Its Venetian ruler, Marinos Dandolos, and comprised of multiple small fortresses, towers and coats of arms of various other Venetian rulers. The Castle was connected to the island by a small, stone-built, arch-shaped bridge and was almost completely destroyed during the bombarding from the Germans in 1943.

 

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In Details

 

Andros is a blessed land and its aristocratic aura is prominent in all parts of the island. The perfect choice for either a weekend or longer holidays, the island’s proximity to Athens makes it a convenient and carefree destination which, surprisingly, has been kept unspoiled and is not at all a touristy place.

 

Gavrio, the island’s port, is a well-protected gulf nestled within a natural bay and offers many accommodation and entertainment options. The island’s capital, Chora, is built on a small peninsula surrounded by the Aegean Sea, leading to the small cliff where its Castle is found. A place of immaculate beauty and architecture, Chora is ideal for walking around its paved alleys, visiting the numerous museums, strolling by its small rivers and admiring the square of the “Missing Sailor”, a statue that honours all sailors lost in sea placed on a paved plateau with stunning views to the Aegean. Batsi, the island’s crown jewel, is a graphic settlement built around a small gulf vibrating with life during summer while Korthi, a charming fishing settlement, is perfect for a calm and relaxing stay.

 

Rent a car and head to the smaller villages of the island, like Paleopoli, the island’s first capital, Menites with its wells and running water from the mountain, Strapourgies and Ipsilou, two mountainous villages bursting in lush vegetation, and Katakalei featuring a literally breathtaking view to the Aegean Sea. Mind to also hike a bit through the island’s picturesque hiking trails, definitely visit Sariza, the spring of the healing water, and take a walk through Dipotamata filled with small paths, old watermills, springs of water and remnants of the area’s old rural structures.

BEST BEACHES IN ANDROS

Batsi A wind-protected sandy coast, fully organized but never crowded due to its length and width. Its shallow waters make it ideal for families with young children.

Neimporio Right next to Chora, Neimporio is a beautiful sandy coast protected by the summer winds featuring a small river that flows to the sea.

Grias Pidima Meaning “The old lady’s jump” the beach took its name from the high, narrow rock on its coastline. One of the top beaches and the landmark of Andros.

Achla Right at the end of a lushly vegetated ravine, Achla beach is not only a very graphic beach, with its sandy coast and cobalt waters, but also an important biotope.

Fellos A long and wide, sandy beach with easy access and a very calm ambience. It boasts natural shade from trees, and it is also ideal for fishing.

Paraporti Just a breath away from Chora, Paraporti is ideal for those that love deep waters and waves as the beach is usually windy during summer.

St. Petros A vast sandy coast very near Gavrio, St. Petros is rarely crowded due to its size. Mostly organized and perfect for families and water-sports lovers.

Vitali Found on the north-eastern part of the island, Vitali is a medium size coast with large pebbles and various rock formations making it ideal for snorkelling.

Zorkos A stunning large and wide coast on the north-eastern part of the island with amazing views to the Aegean, partly organized, also featuring a few taverns.

Ateni Consisting of two beautiful beaches, the coast here is sandy and the waters are clean and shallow while the left one is wind protected too.

Paleopoli Rarely crowded even during high season, Paleopoli is a diver’s paradise as its seabed is quite rich and diversified. Also, this is a spot that bursts with antiquities.

Agia Marina Very near Batsi, Agia Marina is a narrow sandy coast laced with trees that offer natural shade. A good choice for families which also features a tavern across the coast.

Apothikes A quiet cove with sandy coast surrounded by high cliffs, Apothikes is a relaxing choice that offers stunning views to the Aegean Sea and a seabed ideal for snorkelling.

Peza Two adjacent beaches on the northernmost part of the island, the Peza beaches are a heaven of calmness with sandy and pebbled coasts but affected by the summer winds.

Pisolimionas A vast sandy beach very near Fellos beach, Pisolimionas is a good choice for the busy summer days due to its size boasting cold waters and stunning sunset views.

Golden Sand One of the most cosmopolitan and popular beaches of Andros, Golden Sand is located between Batsi and Gavrio and features golden powder-like sand and turquoise waters.

Agios Ioannis Also known as Kremmides, this beach is a secluded paradise with pebbled coast and numerous caves. Access is best by sea as the dirt road leading to the beach is quite rough.

 

Location

HOW TO GET TO ANDROS

You can reach Andros in about 2 hours by a ferry from Rafina which is located on the north eastern part of Attica and is accessible from Athens in about 40’ by car. Andros is also connected to other Cycladic Islands like Tinos, Syros, Paros and Mykonos.

Accommodation

 

In order to enjoy your holiday, long or short to Andros, what best than to rent a luxury private villa in one of the island’s most beautiful settlements? Find your perfect villa with private pool and ensure that your daily explorations on the island will be the only thing you’ll have in mind. The Greek Villas offer a fine selection of luxury villas in Andros, either small and cosy for couples or large private villas for a family or a group of friends. Navigate through our list of holiday villas and have your pick!

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