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The Island of Culture and Art

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Discover Andros

Andros is the second largest and most northerly of the Cyclades.

It has a long naval tradition, as well as being the birthplace of important writers such as the poet Andreas Embirikos, and has been described as the island of culture and the arts.

Andros also boasts inexhaustible natural and cultural treasures. A unique characteristic is its striking geographical contrasts, the arid Cycladic landscape alternating with luxuriant vegetation and abundant springs.

The stately Andros Town, with its elegant neoclassical architecture and iconic museums, vies for the attention of visitors with the beautiful mountain villages that decorate the countryside. The island’s Byzantine monasteries and medieval castles are equally well-worth exploring, while the forested valleys of the interior, with their remarkable flora and fauna, lead to beaches with inviting emerald seas.

Magnificent and full of surprises, Andros is a travel destination for any time of year, offering unique experiences to lovers of nature, culture and history.

3 memorable experiences on Andros
  1. The view from the famous stone Tourlitis lighthouse (1897), the only one in Europe built on a rocky islet in the middle of the sea.
  2. If you choose one of the ferry tickets to Andros, don’t forget to make a stop at the village of Apikia to quench your thirst with the cooling mineral water from the renowned Sariza spring.
  3. Walking over the stone “Bridge of Love” in the village of Episkopio, a fairy-tale setting familiar from the film “Little England”.
Beaches of Andros

Andros has beaches to suit all tastes, from popular locations offering every amenity to more secluded spots for those seeking peace and tranquillity. Don’t miss the opportunity to discover:

  • Achla, considered by many to be the island’s loveliest beach, curving around a closed bay with fine sand, small white pebbles, and calm blue-green waters. It is ideal for diving and snorkelling. Access is relatively difficult, either by dirt road from the village of Vourkoti or by excursion boat from Andros Town.
  • The much-photographed “Old Lady’s Jump”, one of Andros’ most instantly recognisable landmarks. This renowned beach owes its irresistible charm to a huge (15-metre-high) pillar of rock rising out of the sea a few metres from the shore. According to legend, it is the petrified form of an old woman who ended her life by throwing herself off the cliffs at this point. The long stretch of sand and the shallow turquoise waters attract many families, despite the relative difficulty in getting here.
  • The cosmopolitan Batsi, which stands out for its endless golden sand and sheltered shallow sea that makes it ideal for young swimmers. It has excellent amenities, with water sports facilities, tavernas, cafes and beach bars. It also has a superb view of the traditional village of Batsi, so it is a particularly magical place to swim when the lights come on in the evening.
  • The popular and lively Golden Sand, with its amazing aquamarine sea. Its amenities are good and it is a particular favourite of young people.
  • Zorko, an idyllic beach with exotic scenery of rocks and aromatic plants surrounding a bay with magnificent views of the Aegean. Although the coast is exposed to the wind, the golden sand and crystal-clear waters are an enchanting combination. Tourist facilities include a taverna serving delicious local food.
  • The beach in the village of Sineti, which is famed for its rare natural splendour and rugged beauty. Its deep blue sea, bright white pebbles and impressive underwater caves featured in the film “Little England”. It is an ideal spot for snorkelling and diving from the rocks.
  • Saint Peter, the island’s largest beach, a paradise of golden sand and shallow waters, which is exposed to strong winds. It is located along the coast from Golden Sand and has a full range of amenities, with several beach bars and family-run tavernas.
Postcards from Andros: 10 things not to miss

Andros Town
Built on a small peninsula that ends in a Venetian castle standing on a tiny islet, the capital of Andros is distinguished by its aristocratic atmosphere and imposing neoclassical captain’s houses of the 19th and 20th century. The iconic Riva Square, dominated by the legendary Statue of the Unknown Sailor, is among its most romantic and much-photographed spots.

The Goulandris Museum of Contemporary Art
As one of the best-known modern art museums in Greece, the Goulandris has long attracted culture lovers from all over the world. The Old Wing contains a fine collection of contemporary Greek sculpture, while the New Wing, added in 1986, hosts summer exhibitions by painters such as Picasso, Matisse, Klee, Kandinsky, and Chagall.

The interior
The countryside on Andros is a treasure-trove of natural and man-made monuments. Don’t miss the Springs of Dionysus, in the village of Mainites, where the water flows from the mouths of marble lions’ heads, as well as the tower houses of Aidonia, the archaeological site at Palaiopoli, and the valley of Dipotamata, with its stone bridges and 22 watermills, and a gorge of the same name.

Andros Archaeological Museum
Occupying a modern building (1981) in Andros Town, the museum has an impressive collection of riches from ancient Greece to Byzantine times. They include the “Hermes of Andros”, a marble Roman statue found in Palaiopoli in 1833, and two headless kouroi (statues of young men from the Archaic period).

Aladino Cave
This stunning cave in the village of Aladino was discovered in 1932. It is between 4.5 and 5 million years old and has five chambers full of stalactites and stalagmites. The hanging rocks are particularly spectacular.

The Castle of Faneromeni
The island’s strongest fortified city in the Middle Ages is located above the village of Kochylos and has fascinating remains of churches, houses and cisterns. Visit the chapel of Faneromeni, 600 metres above sea level, with its fantastic view of the Aegean and southern Andros.

Panachrantos Monastery
This attractive Byzantine monastery, dating from the 10th century, stands on the spectacular slopes of Mount Gerakones. Its icon of the Virgin Mary, supposedly painted by Luke the Evangelist, is said to have miraculous properties. The breathtaking views to the town and the villages of central Andros give you the feeling that you are hovering in mid-air.

The Tower of Agios Petros
Built on the plain of Gavrio, with a view of the sea, this round, 20-metre-high Hellenistic tower is impressively constructed from local slate. Inside, there is a spiral staircase that goes up five floors.

Andros’ best-known seaside village is notable for the way in which it marries tradition with a cosmopolitan atmosphere. Its countless cafes, bars and tavernas make this the heart of the island’s nightlife.

Perhaps the most picturesque of Andros’ mountain villages, Stenies is an architectural jewel of stone houses, ornate wall fountains, and mansions belonging to prominent local shipping families. Make sure you visit the imposing Bistis tower, which dates from 1734.

Tastes of Andros

Try fine local products such as smoked pork sausages, louza (air-dried pork), cheeses such as Petroti, Volakia and Manouso, and Koumari wine. The island’s most famous specialty is fourtalia, also known as froutalia (an omelette containing potatoes and Andros sausage).

Other dishes not to miss include braised rooster with pasta and roasted stuffed goat.

Discover the traditional local flavours by choosing one of the itineraries to Andros.

The island is celebrated for its sweet preserves (especially walnut, lemon blossom and sour cherry), as well as for its amydalota (almond confectionery), kaltsounia (filo parcels filled with walnuts and honey), and avgokalamara (folded strips of fried dough served with honey).

You should also make the time to enjoy an aromatic shot of pontzi (made with raki and local thyme honey).

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