Andros is the northernmost island of the Cyclades and the second largest after Naxos. Just 2 hours from the port of Rafina, it is one of the least picturesque but also one of the most beautiful and unexplored islands of the Cyclades. Due to its short distance from Attica it is ideal for short vacations.
Unique architecture, rich nature. Here you will admire Venetian castles, old monasteries, waterfalls and watermills. You will swim in golden beaches and you will try the traditional dishes. It is the island of shipowners and captains with countless treasures. A unique destination for all.
Andros Island Sightseeing
Places and sights in Andros are many and scattered all over the island. It’s worth seeing as much as you can. Some of them are :
Chora of Andros
The imposing houses of the shipowners and captains of Chora (capital of the island) will bring to your mind images of long journeys, ports and wealth. You will admire the statue of the Afani Nafti, made in honor of all the sailors who died at sea. It is a work by Michael Tombros, donated by the Goulandris family. You will also see the Tourlitis Lighthouse at the entrance to the port of Chora. It is the only one in the Cyclades but also in Greece that has been built on a rock that is in the sea. It was built in 1897.
Bisti Tower – Mouvela
It is located in the nearest village in Chora of Andros, Stenies and is one of the many on the island. One of the characteristic architectural remains of the island’s glorious past is the tall square towers of the 17th-19th century nobles. They have underground storage ares and many rooms, accessed via a moving ladder and a raised door. Both the Tower of Bist and the rest of the towers evolved after the 19th century and the development of shipping in today’s mansions, considered to be a more elaborate and well-cared for variant.
The Castle of Faneromeni
Faneromeni Castle or Pano Kastro or Gria Kastro Castle(Old Lady’s Castro) was the largest medieval town of Andros. They are built by the Venetians for protection from pirates. The castle still has ruins of houses, aqueducts and walls. The mountains in the area are steep and their tops are cut. Stones, rocks and walls justify the myth of the impersonal and there are many legends that reinforce this view. Most have an old lady who either betrayed or wanted to warn, or tried to escape. Whatever the case, the memory of the old woman remained engraved and shortly afterwards gave the name to the famous beach -Tis Grias to Pidima (The Old Lady’s Jump). Near the castle entrance is a cave with stalactites.
Located in Apoikia ,ten minutes from the main road and the route predisposes you to the beauty you will find in the ‘Fairyland’ as residents call it. Its plentiful waters run wild and create an amazing habitat within the green landscape, forming waterfalls and lakes where aquatic life abounds. It is a small ecosystem for many birds, amphibians and at the same time rare species of plants and wildflowers that grow throughout the stream.
The Tower of Agios Petros in Andros
The Tower of Agios Petros in Andros, Hellenistic (4th-3rd century BC) is one of the best preserved Cyclades. It is cylindrical tower of 20m height. The diameter of its base is 9,40m and it is made entirely of local slate. A preserved helical stairway leading to at least five floors inside.
Andros Museums & Churches
Archaeological Museum ( Chora)
It was built in 1981 by a donation from the Vasilis & Eliza Goulandris Foundation with designs by Stamos Papadakis. It has collections of findings from excavations in Andros. In the beautifully landscaped rooms with the help of photographs and sculptures, the visitor travels the island’s history from the Neolithic to the Byzantine times.
Museum of Contemporary Art
The Museum (total floor area of 200m2) , is a work by architect Stamos Papadakis and was designed with the prospect of housing and presenting the complete collection of works by sculptor Michalis Tombrou. He was then enriched with works by other artists.
The love for the sea and the maritime profession, traditionally followed by the locals, led to the establishment of the Maritime Museum. Its exhibits reveal the rich history of the shipping of Andros, with charters, contracts, maritime events calendar and diaries, lithographs, photographs and models of Andriot ships.
Nearly 3,000 volumes from Theofilos Kairis private collection and 85,000 books in total are here. Also, many rare editions, manuscripts, historical records, works of art and a small archaeological collection. Exhibitions as well as literary and musical events are organized during the summer.
In Andros one can visit remarkable monasteries dating from the Byzantine period to the last years of the Ottoman Empire.
Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi
The Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi or Agia is the largest monastery on the island and is located between Gavrio and Batsi. Initially monks lived in the monastery until 1928. From then on the monastery was converted into a women’s monastery. There is a rich library of books and manuscripts, a museum with sacred vines and utensils, and a small collection of prehistoric tools.
Monastery of Agia Marina.
The Monastery of Agia Marina is located in the village of Apoikia. It is unknown when it was built, the oldest reference to it being dated to the 17th century. The Holy Monastery of Agia Marina with its holy water and its miraculous icon attracts many believers mainly from Cyprus because of the miracle that was done years ago to a child from there.
Monastery of Agios Nikolaos
The monastery of Agios Nikolaos in Vounenis is located in the Achla river valley under Bourkoti. It was built according to tradition in 1560 and repaired in 1760. The cathedral is cruciform with a dome decorated with frescoes.
Monastery of Panahrantos
The Monastery of Pawachrandos is located in the place of Katafigio on the north slope of Mount Gerakones. The view is breathtaking. It gives you the feeling that you are hanging over the gap
Andros Traditional Products
Andros Island is famous for many products. Some of them include traditional sweets ,the most famous are the amygdalota (sweets or cakes with almonds, looks a bit like marzipan) and kaltsounia (sweet pies). Cheese-making is also a traditional practice, made by old housewives. Although there is no organized distillery on the island, you can easily find homemade liqueurs and raki. Poji is special.
Andros products are characterized by strong taste and high nutritional value.
Andros Folklore Festivals and Cultural Events
Religious Feasts & Festivals
In the beautiful island of Andros, religious feasts are highly appreciated by the locals and the tourists. Visitors taste the local food that is distributed at the churchyard at noon. After the litany, people are gathered in the square to eat, drink and dance till the early morning hours. The most notable feasts in Andros are:
On the 15th of August, the feast day of Virgin Mary is celebrated with local events in Pano Katakolo, in Panachrantos Monastery in Korthi, in Mesaria and finally in the small chapel of Panagia Thalassini, in Chora. There is a big feast that includes music, dancing, and dancing until the morning hours.
Another religious festival that is worth seeing in Andros is on the name day of Panagia Theoskepasti, two weeks before Easter.
Gavrio is home to Gavriotika Festival which marks the beginning of the summer festivals. The event involves art exhibitions, folklore items, sports games, and other events.
A traditional feast which is worth seeing is the Carnival Parade of Gavrio which takes place on the last Saturday of the Carnival festivities. Local treats are offered to visitors.
During August, the cultural festival of Korthiana takes place in the village of Korthi.
The famous Ploes Festival is organized by Petros and Marika Kidonios Foundation and highlights the musical and art events presented in Andros.
Andros has many long and varied beaches that satisfy all tastes. Beaches for families, fully organized, with easy access, but also secluded beaches.
Some of these are:
Fellos Beach in northwest side of Andros is a long beach with green waters, soft sand and a few trees that offer shadow. It is not organized and is ideal for swimming and easy access to both Batsi and Gavrio makes many of the island’s visitors prefer it.
Pyrgos Beach took its name (meaning tower) from the Venetian tower of Makrotantalos that now lays in ruins on a rock above the beach.. It is a small bay with sandy main beach, protected from the winds.
Achla is the most famous beach of Andros and one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece. A beautiful landscape with emerald water and fine white shiny pebbles and sand. At the beach flows the river Achla, responsible for the creation of a rich habitat right behind the beach, with a forest of plane trees and small waterfalls!
Zorkos Beach is a long sandy beach, organized but quite quiet. It is considered one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. In the only tavern you can enjoy delicious appetizers.
Chrissi Ammos Beach (Golden Sand)
Chrissi Ammos beach is also, one of the most popular beach in Andros. As its name indicates, it has fine golden sand and is fully organized. It is the beach that most young people prefer ,as it has beach bars with loud music, sun loungers and water sports.
Tis Grias To Pidima Beach (Old Lady’s Pidima)
Small sandy beach near Ormos Korthiou. Characteristic of the landscape is the impressive monolith 15m high. Its name is said to be related to an old woman Andriotissa, who helped the Turks invade the castle of Faneromeni, but when she understood the consequences of her act, she jumped from the hill and “fossilized” at sea.
Batsi beach is a vast golden sandy beach, ideal for children, families, protected from the winds, organized and charming. It is ideal for young children beacause the sea is not deep. The beach is also an ideal choice for a night bath.