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Wild and not very crowded Andros is the second largest and northernmost island of the Cyclades islands. Andros is a natural paradise thanks to its wonderful beaches and crystal clear sea besides a marvellous coast and tiny typical greek villages.
This island is very popular among Athenians that come here to spend their weekends. This is also because the island is so close to Athens and for this reason it is also considered one of the easiest islands to reach.
Andros is connected to the ports of Piraeus, Rafina and other island in the Cyclades like Ios, Santorini, Kimolos, Naxos, Anafi and Amorgos. From Athens you will take about 2 hours to reach Gavrio, the island’s port.
Why choose Andros?
If you are looking for a vacation surrounded by nature, sea, traditions and Greek atmosphere, Andros is the ideal island for you. Here you won’t find any discotheques, live music, bars or crowds of people. This island is close to the mainland and other important islands, yet, it is incredibly quiet and relaxing. A great place for a peaceful vacation.
There are also many routes and pathways that follow if you love trekking or if you just wish to go for a walk. Many paths follow some small streams and rivers that become waterfalls. The first place you will see when arriving in Andros is Gavrio, the island’s main port. Here you will have the chance to rent a vehicle for visiting and exploring the island’s center and coasts.
The place where you will find most nightlife around Andros is called Batsì but don’t expect to find the vibrant nightlife that there is on other bigger islands. On the coast there are many small creeks, in some of these you will find some small hidden beaches which are absolutely magnificent. Some of them can be difficult to reach and might need to be accessed by boat.
There are hundreds of beaches around Andros’ coast. Some of them are hard to reach without a boat as the island is very barren and with many mountains. Luckily some of the nicest beaches on Andros are easily accessible and can be reached with a bus. If you want to visit some of the other beaches the best option is to rent a car, a scooter or a taxi boat. Another option is to explore the island by taking part to a boat trip around the island.
Located on Andros western coast, north from Gavrio, this small island is almost completely hidden and very badly signaled (all the indications are in Greek). Fellos beach isn’t equipped with many things and there aren’t any bars or taverns. A lovely place to visit for a daily trip.
Agios Petros beach
A beach with fine sand located in the northern part of Andros’ western coast near Gavrio gulf. It is one of the most famous beaches of the island. Some parts of the beach are free and without any services while others are well equipped. Many people decide to rent a place where to spend the night here as there are many isolated apartments. Spending a day on this beach will give you the chance to relax under the sun and enjoy a crystal clear sea with every comfort.
This sandy beach is very equipped as it is near the village of Batsi and it isn’t very crowded usually. There are also some free parts of the beach that are covered by trees that are very helpful during the warmer months of the year.
This beach on the western coast of Andros is quiet and not very crowded. A perfect destination for those that want to enjoy the sun while naked as this beach is considered one of the best beaches for nudists in the whole of Greece.
Located in the western part of Andros it is a beach that is mostly visited by the tourists that are staying in the hotel that is in front of the beach. You can rent beach umbrellas and seats even if you aren’t staying in the hotel.
Grias To Pidima beach
In the south-eastern part of Andros near the small city of Ormos there is Grias To Pidima beach. In Greek the islands name means “the place where the old lady jumped”. There is a path leading to this beautiful sandy beach with the characteristic rock which gave the name to the spot. It is believed that during Turk domination the Castle of Kohilos was given to the enemy by an old lady that asked shelter from its inhabitants but when she entered the castle, she opened the doors deliberately and the Turks dominated it. The old lady was so shameful that she jumped from the cliff and it is believed that she has been turned into stone ever since. Despite this "unpleasant" legend, the beach is a very beautiful cove and pretty popular among visitors and locals.
If you carry on walking along the coast up to the Chora in Andros you will find Sineti, a small isolated beach surrounded by nature, it isn’t very equipped but there it is great if you are looking for a place where to swim in peace.
Piso Gallia beach
If you want to visit this beach you will have to follow the indications that are written in the village of Steines that will lead you to some steps that have direct access to the beach. There is a tavern above the beach where you will be able to eat at an excellent price. The beach isn’t very crowded but there is always someone as it is quite famous.
Achla is a very popular destination, but it is advisable to rent a place on a ferry from Andros as the journey via land is very long and full of dirt roads for which you are going to have to rent a cross-country vehicle. The boat trip only takes 20 minutes and takes you directly to this small and quiet beach. The beach hasn’t got any shops or facilities so you should bring food and drinks from home.
Vitali beach is on the western coast of the island and since it has many creeks along the coast and lots of dirt roads it can be reached more easily with a cross-country vehicle. There is also a longer but easier road that will lead you directly to the sand. The beach is very wide and long, not very crowded usually and there is even a tavern where you will have the chance to eat some typical food. In this beach there is also a river that make this place extra special.
The center of Andros is divided into two parts by the Chora and Batsì. This last one is certainly the most active center of the island, especially during the summer. There are many activities to choose from when visiting Andros. Here is a list of all the things to see in Andros.
Visiting the island’s Chora
You can start with visiting the island’s Chora and enjoying the relaxed atmosphere surrounding it. Here are still the remains of an antique Venetian castle that was built on a tiny island just off the coast and connected to the main part by a bridge. Besides the castle remains and the natural beauties once you arrive at the beach you will see the island’s lighthouse. If you follow the main road you will also find a statue dedicated to the unknown sailor. In the Chora there are also some the following museums:
• Contemporary art museum
• Nautical museum
• Archeological museum
The wells of Sariza
If you go towards the center of the island you will find the wells of Sariza, where all the water for the island’s locals and visitors is collected. The water in the wells is all fit to drink and if you take a bottle you can collect it directly by the wells.
Located in the island’s Chora, here there is a church that is perfect for meditation and for spiritual people. The church can’t always be visited and the local priests may be a bit skittish if you aren’t Greek and orthodox. There are also many places where to buy souvenirs made by the locals and different desserts and coffees.
Trekking in Andros, the paths on the island
The island is very green and has a landscape that changes according to which part of the island you are visiting. Contrarily to other islands in the Cyclades where you will find barren hills on this island you will find many places covered in pine and oak trees. There are also Green and lush valleys where you will find 11 streams. On this island as previously said you will find a lush nature and a vast network of paths that are perfect for long walks, this will give you the chance to admire the island’s natural beauties. It will also give you the chance to admire the historical remains from prehistory all the way to the second world war. There are also many buildings that were built during the Venetian Ottoman occupation. You can choose to take part in an organized tour that can be booked in the Chora or Batsi.
Streams and waterfalls
On the trekking routes you will also find small rivers and streams that often, thanks to little natural dams that form some picturesque waterfalls. If you are planning to bathe in them remember that the water is very cold all year round.
Visiting the village of Ormos
The southernmost village of Andros, located on the eastern coast, is called Ormos. There are also many pigeons huts that were once very common in this island. Another traditional feature of the island are it’s typical windmills. There is also a small beach nearby but as it is very windy it is often crowded with surfers.
The island’s center is very interesting in a naturalistic point of view. From the small village of Remata you will have the chance to admire some of the island’s beautiful streams and the monastery of Zoodochos Pigi. If you are planning to visit this monastery remember to bring some long clothes with you as they are required for entering these sacred places. The dress code in this monastery is a lot stricter than in other ones.
Tour around Andros
Taking part in a tour around Andros will give you the chance to fully enjoy some of the island’s most hidden spots and beaches. Some tours even visit the small island of Megalo, located in front of Andros. Here you will be able to bathe and swim in complete relax.
Located in the center of the village of Aladino this is certainly one of the island’s most famous attractions. The caves in Foros reach a depth of 350 meters and especially during the summer are a perfect solution to avoid the constant heat as inside it there are 16°C all-year round. Inside the cave, there are also many stalagmites and stalactites that have been built created over thousands of years. The entrance costs around 8,00 €. If you haven’t got a car and you still want to visit it you can ask one of the island’s tour operators as they often organize triops to visit this cave.
On the island you will also have the chance to practice many water sports. Luckily there are many places that rent the equipment for people that want to try this sport for the first time. The waves may not be very high but you will still have the chance to enjoy a different experience. In Andros there are also beautiful seabeds that are perfect for someone that loves snorkeling and swimming. Also in this case you will have the chance to rent all the necessary equipment and even get a teacher that will teach you everything you need to know about this sport.
For moving around Andros you can take advantage of the local bus line that will take you to the main villages and points of interest of the island. But if you want to explore all the hidden corners of this wonderful island you will have to rent a vehicle. In fact on the island there are a few car rentals that also give you the chance to hire a scooter or a motorbike.
Renting a car or a scooter in Andros
Most of the rentals are located in the area around Gavrio, where there is the island’s port, but there are also some in Batsi or in the Chora. Also many owners of hotels, apartments and studios offer some discounts on car rentals. Renting a car is an ideal solution for someone planning to explore all the island’s hidden and most beautiful spots like the caves of Foros or the hidden beaches that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to reach.
Better renting a car or a scooter?
Opting for a scooter is by far the cheapest solution (besides taking the local bus line), but given the size of the island, you may want to go for a car. If you prefer motorbikes we advise you to go for a 125 cc scooter as the roads can sometimes be very steep and you will require a slightly more powerful vehicle.
Moving around Andros by bus
The local bus line is well organized and reaches both the bigger towns of Chora, Batsi, Gavrio, Korthi besides the most famous beaches and the small villages near them. During high season the busses run from early in the morning to late at night. Of course you will have to check in advance the position of your accommodation and the closest bus stops.
Andros doesn’t have an airport. For this reason you will have to land in the airports of Athens and Mykonos, where you will find direct ferries for Andros. Even if it doesn’t have an airport but it is luckily located close to the capital, Athens, and for this reason it has many ferries that reach Andros in about 2 hours. Otherwise you can choose to take a ferry in Mykonos and taking part in a tour of the other nearby islands.
Reaching Andros from Athens
Once you have landed in Athens’ airport you will have to reach the port of Rafina instead of Piraeus. We recommend you find a transport from the airport to the port beforehand, otherwise you can take a bus (for the price of 3,00 €) or a taxi. Once you have reached the port of Rafina you will be able to take a ferry for Andros. The price of the ticket is 20,00 € per person.
Reaching Andros from Mykonos
If you are instead landing in Mykonos and not Athens the journey will be a little longer. According to which route or bus line you will choose the journey will last from two and a half to three hours. Inform yourselves in advance about the timetables and options you can choose from when reaching the port from the airport. The prices range from 10 to 20 euros per run (not per person).
Here you will find some of the timetables that run between june and october towards Andros, Rafina, Mykonos and the nearby islands of Syros and Tinos.
LENGTH OF THE JOURNEY
2 - 5 per day
3 - 5 per day
2 a week
2 - 5 per day
Spending a night in Andros means discovering the hidden and mysterious atmosphere of this fascinating island. There are many options to choose from when visiting it. The main structures are mostly located in Batsì, Gavrio, Korthi, Ydrousa and around the island’s Chora. Here are some of the places where you can spend the night in Andros.
Where to spend the night in Andros
In Batsì, a fishermen’s village, there are many hotels, apartments and studios. An ideal place where to book a holiday and to use a base for your daily excursions on the coast. In Gavrio besides many apartments you will also find the only camping site on the island. Obviously apartments and hotels can also be found around the Chora while many apartments are located near Pitrofos and Ahla.
Most of the hotels in Andros are located near the western coast of the island, near the gulf of Batsì, the perfect place if you are looking for a relaxing holiday surrounded by the sea and the Greek atmosphere. So how can you choose where to rent you apartment or hotel room in Andros?
Thanks to the island’s shape you can choose if staying close to the sea near a small village or in the island’s central and hilly area surrounded by lush nature. Here are some of the places you can choose from:
•Near the sea and the most active parts of the island. Probably the best options in this case are Batsì, Gavrio or the Chora where there are different options to choose from. Here besides finding apartments or studios that can be rented directly from one of the locals. The hotels offer both all inclusive or only breakfast options.
•Villages in the island’s center like Menites and Pitrofos are surrounded by beautiful landscapes and a magical typical Greek atmosphere. If you decide to rent a place for the night in one of these places remember that you will have to rent a vehicle or decide if taking the local bus every day for moving around the island.
•Apartments and studios spread throughout the island. Some locals give you the chance to rent an apartment or studios directly from them. Most of these are located inside small villages usually located at about 15 minutes from the sea.
•If you decide to spend a holiday in Andros without renting a vehicle it is very important that you check beforehand how close the bus stop is from the part of the island where you are staying is.
Camping sites in Andros
In Andros there is also the chance to go camping. The camping site is located in Gavrio
Studios, apartments and B&B
The apartments and studios are spread throughout the island. Most of these are rented directly by the locals or by the many Athenians that have bought houses here to take advantage of the increasing tourism. Speaking with the local people will give you the chance to discover the island’s best spot and will make you feel even more surrounded by the wonderful Greek atmosphere.
Hotels in Andros
In Andros there is a great variety of hotels to choose from. Most of them offer all kinds of comforts in order to satisfy any client’s needs. In Gavrio there is also a luxurious and wonderful resort.
Villas in Andros
Spending your vacation in one of Andros’ villas means enjoying beautiful views of the Aegean sea, sipping a fresh drink and grilling all night while enjoying the Greek evening breeze. There are many villas spread throughout the island, some are near the sea while others are located in the island’s center.