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 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).
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.
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.