We chose Andros with a friend in order to have a pleasant long weekend, however 3 days proved to be insufficient for exploring the second largest island after Naxos in Cyclades. We liked the fact that it is just two hours by ferry from the port of Rafina, and also that we hadn’t heard much about the island, leading us to believe that we would not find ourselves in an overdeveloped and crowded tourist environment. Andros has breathtaking scenery and offers many experiences to its visitors. You need at least 5 days to get a good taste of the island, so I just may have to come back again. Certainly the period we visited, in the beginning of June, was not suitable for two single men, as there were very few tourists, however we had a great time, enjoying the sea and the food. To book a hotel in Andros click here.
Chora is the main town and lies on a small peninsula on the eastern side of the island. Unlike the rest of the Cyclades complex, the houses here are mansions with tiled roofs. On the main road that crosses the town you can find anything you need, as is it also the central market. Walking down you will find taverns and nice cafes, where at night they turn into bars with louder music. Locals recommended that we have our first drinks here because later on in the evening the bars and clubs are out of the city centre. In Chora there is the archaeological museum and the Maritime Museum. At the bay north of the town you will find a few night clubs where you can have a drink until the morning hours. At the end of the peninsula there is the square of the Missing Sailor, where you’ll see a large statue of a Sailor created by Michael Tompros in honor of all sailors who have lost their lives at sea. At the edge of the square there is a big rock that has the ruins of a Venetian castle. In front of the castle is a Lighthouse, which is said to be the only lighthouse in the world built on a rock in the sea. The main town is very beautiful and being located in the center of the island makes it a good base for exploring Andros.
Bats is the most touristic place in Andros. It has 1,000 residents, and it hosts a large number of tourists every year. It is also known for its lively nightlife. Bars, cafés and restaurants are scattered throughout the town, and locals told us that we should eat some fresh fish and try some local specialties.
Gavrio is Andros’s port and also one of the big tourist spots on the island. It is located on the south side of a natural bay and if you choose to stay here, a few kilometers south you will find two beautiful beaches to swim at, St. Peter and the Gold Coast.
Paleopoli was the first capital of Andros and is an important archaeological site, as in this area they have uncovered remarkable finds. The submerged ancient breakwater located here is visible even out of water. It’s at a distance of 17km from Chora and 15km from Gavrio.
- Bay of Korthi
A seaside village that has 750 inhabitants, where you may find taverns, cafes, and also a marina for yachts.
- Piso Galia
It is 9km from Chora and from the parking area you have to walk about 400 meters, or climb down some steps. It is nice, sandy and organized.
- Tis Grias to pidima
“Tis grias to pidima” means “the Old Woman’s bound“. I think that the name alone would make you want to visit it! Legend says that the name came when the Turks, having occupied the island of Andros, wanted to conquer the so-called Upper castle. Unable to achieve their goal, they sent an old woman along with her pregnant daughter to seek help from the Greeks in the castle. At night she opened a gate of the fortress allowing the Turks to invade and massacre its inhabitants. So the woman having remorse for her act of treason jumped from the hill and petrified as she hit the water. The beach is located 23km south of the main town, and after parking your car on the road, you have to walk on a small path, which leads down to the sea. It is a small beach with sand and fine pebbles. It is not organized, so you should bring some water with you.
It is a quiet sandy bay with crystal clear blue water, at a distance of about 22km from Chora. You can also go there by driving at a difficult dirt road or by boat.
Chalkolimionas is 13 km from Chora just across the west side of the island. It is a beach about 100 meters long of sand and pebbles and has a beach bar that plays loud music. It is easily accessible as the road is paved next to the sea.
It is 500m south of Chalkolimiona and to get there you have to ride two and a half km and then walk a few meters as well. During high season this beach is also organized.
It’s at a distance of 16 km from Gavrio in a beautiful route. The last 4 km of the road is dirt road, but very easy to ride. The beach is very beautiful, I think I liked it more than any other we visited. There is a tavern here but it is open only during high season.
- Archaeological Museum
Exhibits a collection of sculptures from Archaic to Roman era, and a Byzantine sculpture collection.
- Maritime Museum
Its exhibits include traditional costumes, ship models and other artifacts related to shipping.
- Karavostasi (Gavrio)
Sea food tavern.
- O Nonas (Chora)
Sea food tavern.
- Lithodomi (Bay of Korthi)
Sea food and local specialties.