Things to do in Andros
Andros is a prominent touristic getaway and still heaven for those seeking an authentic Greek island experience. It combines the rich and captivating culture of the Cyclades with authentic Mediterranean charm. All of this is a mere hour away from Athens. Follow our insider guide to Andros: you will see how the local people’s reputation precedes them as being jovial and hospitable, welcoming travellers into their community with open arms. So when it comes to things to do in Andros…
One would be remiss if one did not spend time exploring the intricate history of Andros Chora, the ancient town. Its proximity to Athens means the island features some distinguished historical and architectural landmarks. You would be astonished by the Kairios Library, which holds around 60000 volumes of rare publications, manuscripts and archives. Faro Tourlitis, the island’s most famous lighthouse, is also considered one of the most beautiful in the world and cannot be missed. The beacon of light stands on a solitary rock with waves thrashing all around.
Since you are in the city centre, make sure to visit the Agios Georgios church. The lines of art and architecture are blurred with minimal Aegean blue and white structures.
Take your time walking along the idyllic main street of the old town of Chora. Beautiful hidden corners are bountiful in between the imposing neoclassical architecture, the grand churches and the quaint cobblestone alleys. Local storefronts line the streets and are topped with the balconies of vintage mansions taking over the island.
Beaches of Greek islands are notorious for crystal waters and white sand and the beaches on Andros are no different. Delavoyas beach is one of the most exquisite beaches on the island where you can laze the day away on one of the sun chairs overlooking the Mediterranean.
The island has an extensive and fascinating maritime tradition that is still prominent today and ripe for exploring. For centuries, the people of Andros have had a complex relationship with the sea, and the island is home to some of the most influential and powerful Greek shipping magnates. The Capital town of the island is Chora, a charming seaside town with picture-perfect Cycladic buildings lining the cobbled streets. You can see Venetian and Ottoman influences all around, making the town a joy to explore on foot.
Not far from there, Batsi is a port town with a distinctly cosmopolitan flair. The fishing harbour is spliced with traditional vessels and modern yachts and on the other side of town, you can take a stroll down the sandy strip of beach.
The main port can be found in Gavrio. The town has seen lots of development in recent years and has a vibrant and lively atmosphere. In contrast to that, Stenies is built on mountain slopes overlooking the green valleys. With traditional red-tiled roofs peeking out from the foliage, this town is something to behold. Menites and Mesathouri are equally captivating mountain villages where you can get a truly local experience. The resort town of Ormos brings together all the best of the island with a sleepy atmosphere but with plenty of opportunities for entertainment along the way. It also boasts marvellous beaches and turquoise water as well as sweeping mountains spilling down into the village.
The mountainous scenes across the island are spectacular and well worth exploring on a Jeep Safari. But if you prefer taking in the sights and sounds on foot, you will be delighted with over 160km of hiking paths that have been established across the island.
For a more low-key experience, buy a bottle of Sinetiano wine and follow the path out of Apikia village to get to Pithara Waterfall. Colloquially known as Fairyland, you will walk through lush greenery, surrounded by the sound of trickling water coming from the waterfall. Take a seat on one of the rocks and admire the mossy rocks glistening in the sunbeams breaking through the trees while the waterfall tumbles away.
Andros is unlike any other Greek Island on the gastronomic front. Their sustainable water sources ensure that they can produce delectable cheeses and add flavours of citrus and nuts to their dishes that are not common on other islands.
When hunger comes calling in the morning, make your way to Ta Skalakia restaurant for a scrumptious Greek indulgence. Fourtalia is a special Greek omelette with eggs, sausages and potatoes – everything you need for a hearty meal- made from the freshest local produce. Local cured meats like Louza are loved for their hearty seasonings. Aromas of aniseed and smoke from cypress give unique characteristics to these delicacies.
When the inevitable craving for Mediterranean seafood hits, grab a table at The Binelikia restaurant for the best fish in town. This fantastic authentic tavern has a magnificent sea view and they pride themselves on serving the best-grilled sea bass.
After lunch, it is almost certainly always time for the classic sweets of Andros. Patisserie Lygizos should be your go-to in this case, offering traditional “Amygdaloto” which is made from sugar and almond or Kalitsounia – made of walnut, pine nut and honey.
Nothing screams island getaway quite as much as a cocktail on the beach. Locals love to soak in the last rays of the day at sunset at a trendy beach bar like Kampos or Kaliva Beach Bar. Wines from Sineti are renowned for their quality and rich aromas. The grapes are dried in the sun which promotes the complexities of the wine.
Spirit lovers, taste Raki, a popular distilled grape alcoholic drink that is often shared amongst friends along with dinner. Pontzi is the localised version of Raki that is infused with sweetness from local berries.
Wandering where to stay in Andros? At the Chora, can stay among Venetian and Ottoman influences. Many of the ancient buildings have been perfectly preserved and live harmoniously with modern extensions to facilitate the town’s growing popularity.
You may prefer the buzzing Batsi, which has developed into a tourist hub for its attractions and accommodation. In contrast to that, you may prefer to retire into the hills and find accommodation in Stenies, Menites or Mesathouri.
The resort town of Ormos brings together all the best of the island with a sleepy atmosphere but with plenty of opportunities for entertainment along the way. It also boasts marvellous beaches and turquoise water as well as sweeping mountains spilling down into the village.