The aristocratic Cycladic island
Classy and unique, Andros knows how to steal your heart!
When the wind blows, you know that you are in the Cyclades, and if you come it will be love forevermore. Andros will win you over with its crystal-clear cold waters, its local cheese, its scenic villages and the natural beauty!
Just two hours from the port of Rafina, it is the northernmost island of the group with a great naval tradition.
What to see
The capital of the island, Chora, is home to famous Greek captains and ship owners, and there is a remarkable combination of medieval, neoclassical and island style evident in its houses.
The white-washed chapel of Panaghia Thalassini, built atop a rock at the old harbor of Chora, with Tourlitis lighthouse in the background, will make the ideal scenery for your summer photos!
Paleopolis lies at 16 km west of Chora, and used to be the ancient capital town of Andros, so definetely worths a visit as you enjoy yourselves through its narrow streets!
It is one of the classiest in all of the Cyclades. The island’s picturesque main town is located on a narrow peninsula on the island’s east coast and it is full of stately homes and neoclassical buildings they erected with their earnings a century or more ago.
The remains of a Venetian castle that once stood on the islet are still visible…
Housed in a lovely mansion, the Maritime Museum of Andros features an extensive collection that portrays the island’s rich naval tradition.
Finally, the Andros Museum of Contemporary Art which hosts exceptional exhibitions every summer.
A trip to the amphitheatrically developed Stenies, a village featuring superbly preserved mansions owned by prominent shipping families, comes highly recommended.
For a more cosmopolitan feel, head to Batsi and take a stroll. In Sariza, known for its springs, the fresh water may be enjoyed amid the area’s lush green surroundings.
Lamyra, Menites, Strapouries, Apikia, Vourkoti, Aladino, Messaria, Palaiopoli, Gavrio… Strange names when you first come across them, but they’ll become familiar once you start exploring the island.
Pay a visit to the Aghia Marina monastery church in Apikia. The monastery houses a famous icon of the Virgin Mary, said to work miracles.
The Zoodohou Pigis monastery in Batsi, the island’s largest, is equally impressive. Rare relics dating back to the Greek War of Independence (1821-29) and sacred items are kept here.
Also, visit the Panaghia Panahrantou monastery, built during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas in the 10th century. Here you’ll find another miracle-working icon of the Virgin Mary and other relics.
The monastery of Panayia Tomarhiani in Korthi, also worths your visit.
Wind-battered at the end of an open bay, this is a place for hikers and adventurers. East of Chora, Korthi could belong to another island! From here you can climb up to the ruins of a Venetian castle and from there walk down the Dipotamata Gorge where watermills once ground Andros wheat.
-Goulandris Museum of Modern Art
The Goulandris Museum of Contemporary Art was established in 1979 and organizes painting exhibitions of local and foreigh artists. This is the most important museum of Andros.
The Tourlitis Lighthouse off the coast of Chora is the only one in the Cyclades built on a rock in the middle of the sea.
-The footpaths of Andros
A network of well-marked hiking paths covers the island. Get yourself a map and follow the arrows that will guide your journey.
-Castle of Faneromeni
You may also hear it as Pano Kastro or The Castle of the Old Lady! It was the biggest medieval town of Andros (with signs of Roman fortification). It was built by the Venetians to offer protection from the pirates. It is located North of Gialos (Korthi Bay) at approximately 600 meters of altitude.
In eastern Batsi are the picturesque villages of Katakilos as well as Pano Katakilos located on both side of a ravine. Due to the presence of the springs that are found in this part of the island, there are many gushing waterfalls as well.
Bonefishing and Deep Sea/Reef Fishing
Often referred to as the world capital of bonefish, Andros is a fisherman’s paradise. The local Androsian guides are highly experienced in all of your fishing activities including big bonefish, deep sea and reef fish.
Diving and Snorkeling
Andros is famous for it’s barrier reef, it’s diversity of diving experiences and of course it’s spectacular blue-holes found on land and in the ocean. In fact it has the highest concentration of Blue Holes in the world. If wall diving is your passion, the precipitous ledges of the Tongue of the Ocean run parallel to Andros minutes away from shore by boat.
The unique undeveloped nature of Andros Island makes it a bird watchers’ paradise. Of course no visit to Andros is complete without spotting the great lizard cuckoo. Some of the species you will see on Andros are: waders, rails, bitterns, ducks, sora, limpkins and much more.
This is probably the most famous activity in Andros as here you will find a lot of designated paths to follow and unfold the unique beauty of Andros’ nature. For example, the path starting from Aegea Blue Resort to Mikrogiali in approximately one hour. This is a route that passes through the river and slopes to reach the beach of Mikrogiali where you can swim and rest.
The winds blowing in Andros’ beaches are the best place to enjoy summer sports like kite surfing, windsurfing and water ski. As for diving, all the beaches of Andros are ideal to enjoy your favourite sport and explore the underwater beauties of Andros.
Yachting and Cruises
Andros’ island long tradition in navigation and the active yacht club of Andros is making the island a paradise for all kind of sailors. In addition, the proximity to other famous islands of the Cyclades makes Andros the ideal starting point for cruises to Tinos, Mykonos and many more destinations in the Aegean.
Andros beaches vary in style: organized or not, remote or popular, accessible by car or boat. The most popular beaches in Andros are Agios Petros, Batsi and Golden Sand (Chrissi Ammos), on the western side of the island.
Ormos on the eastern side is also popular with windsurfing and other watersports. On the northern side of the island, visitors will find amazing and totally private Andros beaches, but they are not easy to access due to the track roads that lead there.
10 km north of Chora, sandy and not organised. The shore has soft white pebbles and the water is crystal, with blue green colorings. A small river ends close to this beach, creating an impressive biotope with plane trees.
30 km west of Chora. This is one of the most beautiful beaches in Andros. It has golden sand and amazing crystal water. It is sandy, family friendly, partly organized and suitable for water sports.
One of the most famous beaches of Andros, Agios Petros has a long, sandy coastline and crystal water. This beach is developed as a tourist resort. It is 30 km west of Chora, sandy, family friendly, partly organized and suitable for water sports.
It is located 22 km west of Chora. The seawater of Batsi is shallow, perfect for swimming and ideal for a family hangout. The sand is fine and soft.
Grias to Pidima beach
The meaning is “the place where the old lady jumped” in Greek. It is a beautiful sandy beach on the southeast coast of Andros, very atmospheric that worths a dive!
When referring to the gastronomy of Andros, one should first mention its desserts and especially its spoon sweets or preserves made of fruits and sugar. The most popular ones are the walnut (the island abounds in walnut trees), the bitter orange, the “rose” from rose petals, the sour cherry and the great “lemon flower” sweet. It is also worth tasting the traditional spoon sweet “pampiloni”, made from the large aromatic citrus fruit of the island, as well as the bergamot.
Other famous desserts are the “amygdalota” (made from marzipan and flower water) which have a unique scent and flavor, “kaltsounia” with nuts and honey filling, and “pasteli” (sesame seed candy) made of local walnuts and sesame.
Spicy kopanisti: Made of the Greek cheese “mizithra”, when placed in a clay pot and fermented with salt.
As for food in general, the island’s “trademark” is froutalia. It is an omelette made of potatoes cut into thin round slices, herbs, local sausages and “glyna” (pork fat), which give froutalia its special flavour.
It is worth drinking the red wine made of “Koumari” (a village) variety of wines.
On the island of Andros you will find a lot of traditional Greek taverns located in coastal areas and in unique spots on the hills. In the following lists, we present some lovely restaurants in Andros.
-Balcony of the Agean
West of the island, up on the mountain, after a short drive up a steep slope lies this simple family-run taverna. You are literary eating on the balcony, on the side of the mountain with an amazing view of the Aegean. Time it well and you can see the sun setting in the mythological waters. The menu is meat-based, and local goat and goat cheese are highly recommended.
-Cabo Del Mar
Located within a close distance from Chora, in the quarter of Nimborio, Cabo Del Mar is a popular bar-restaurant. It is housed in a splendid stone neoclassical building offering a view to the sea.
-Cavo D’ Oro
In the picturesque, coastal settlement of Batsi you will find Cavo d’ Oro, a cafe-restaurant located under some green trees and offering splendid view to the blue Aegean Sea.
Barbarola is a beautiful restaurant situated in the charming village of Stenies, at the north side of Chora. It is a magnificent spot to enjoy Andriot cooking offering a terrific view to the countryside.
En Gavrio is a cafe-ouzeri in the port of Gavrio, which has emerged as an active tourist hub over the last years. With a mixture of traditional and vintage style, this ouzeri serves a great variety of drinks.
Ermis Patisserie offers an extensive selection of pastries, desserts and sweets along with coffees and other beverages.
-Centro Cafe Bar
Centro has an open-air patio that looks onto the waterfront commercial street of Ormos Korthiou, and has views of Korthi Bay and Mylos beach.
A perfect spot to enjoy a vibrant atmosphere, among the crowd of tourist hub. The small terrace offers spectacular views to the island and the deep blue Aegean Sea and it is a great spot to enjoy a coffee or drink.
How to reach Andros
The island of Andros is easily accessible by ferry from the port of Rafina, on the north eastern side of Attica. There is no airport in Andros but the closest is the International Airport of Athens that receives many internal and external flights.
The airport of Athens is only 30 min by bus from the port of Rafina. All ferries to Andros depart from Rafina, not Piraeus port, and the trip takes 2 hours.
There are frequent buses from Athens airport to Rafina and the bus trip takes 30-40 min. Ferries to Andros depart 3 or 4 times per day in summer days and they also connect Andros with other islands of Cyclades, such as Tinos and Mykonos.