Andros, Cyclades, Greece. A travelogue of my journey through this marvellous Greek island.
By Devashree Sanghvi, Thecrazyindianfoodie.
Have you ever visited a place so beautiful that it takes your breath away and you feel like you belong there?
The Greek island of Andros made me feel that way. This mesmerizing Greek island absolutely HAS to be on your bucketlist this year!
Sandy beaches, Rocky Mountains, winding roads, green valleys, chaotic coastlines, rugged terrain, beautiful streams and a host of things to do make the Cycladic island of Andros a MUST visit when in Greece.
Andros is the northernmost island in the South Aegean sea and at 40km long it’s also the second largest Cycladic island. Get lost in the lanes of Chora or drink fresh water from the Sariza springs, lounge at one of its many beaches or get struck by the beauty of Paleopolis.
TOP THINGS TO DO IN ANDROS, GREECE :
- Visit the Foros Cave :
Located in Aladinou village, this spectacular cave will leave you spellbound by its sheer unique beauty. Trek up to the entrance of the cave and grab your helmets and flashlights as you embark on an exciting adventure into one of Greece’s first caves formed millions of years ago. The remarkable stalactites and stalagmites, small water cavities, pearl formations and unique rocks make for an experience you just cannot miss when in Andros.
2) Visit the Holy Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi or Agia :
Get transported to the Byzantine period with this beautiful, soul-satisfying monastery located between Batsi and Gavrio with just two nuns as its residents. Full of religious images, sculptures and manuscripts of the 14th-16th century the experience takes you back to the medieval ages where the church was the most important social institution.
3. Get lost in the streets of Chora :
The capital of the island, Chora is full of winding lanes, pretty streets, beautiful cafes and souvenir shops. The neoclassical buildings, cobbled alleyways and steps leading down to the sea get you to the historic square of the unknown sailor with beautiful views of the Aegean Sea.
4. Try delicious Cycladic cuisine in Batsi :
One of Andros’s most popular tourist destinations with blue waters and sandy beaches the promenade of Batsi is lined with amazing cafes and bars that will leave you spoilt for choice. We loved eating an authentic meal at Taverna Stamatis! You must try their local cheese and delicious salads apart from some traditional Greek yoghurt.
5. Immerse yourself in Greek history at one of Andros’s many museums:
The Archeological museum and the museum of modern art are two major museums you must visit in Andros for a trip down Greek history. The modern art museum houses unique collections of paintings and sculptures & the archaeological museums showcase the history of the island with its Grand sculptures and Pre-historic findings.
6. Go swimming in one of Andros’s 80 beaches:
With a large coastline, Andros has all kinds of beaches including organised ones where you can swim amongst crystal clear blue waters. Choose amongst the family beaches of Kypri, Batsi and Neimporio or the special Grias Pidima, Achla, Zorkos, Ateni, Paraporti and Fellos. If you want to combine swimming with fun, head to St. Peter’s, Golden Sand or Piso Gialia.
Apart from the above, there are still TONS of things to do in Andros like drinking fresh water from the Sariza springs or driving around its rugged terrain with mesmerizing views.
WHERE TO STAY :
We stayed at the Aneroussa Beach Hotel a boutique hotel located very close to Batsi with cosy rooms, a private beach, beach bar and complimentary breakfast. The rooms overlooking the spectacular Aegean Sea made for a remarkable experience. Read more on our experience here in a separate blog post soon.
WHERE TO EAT :
Andros has a unique and varied gastronomy with Byzantine influences. From the fresh Local Cheese to delicious salads, Greek Yogurt to Local liqueurs and wines, if you’re a foodie this is the place to be.
There are a lot of restaurants and cafes in Batsi where you can find amazing Cycladic-Mediterranean cuisine. We highly recommend Thiriotrofio in Gavrio, ‘OTL KALO in Batsi and Fresco Juice + Salad bar!
HOW TO GET THERE AND AROUND :
There are frequent ferries by FAST FERRIES from the port of Rafina near Athens to Gavrio, Andros and it’s a short 2-hour ferry ride. The ride is extremely smooth and comfortable as the ferries are more like cruise ships carrying thousands of people on board.
You can rent a car in Andros as it’s essential to be on a vehicle to explore its various facets. You can also hire a private taxi/tour bus if you’re a large group.
BEST TIME TO VISIT :
If blue seas, crystal clear beaches, rugged mountains, deep valleys, delicious food and spectacular landscapes are your idea of a perfect gateway head to Andros, Greece Now!
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