If any of the Cyclades archipelago can be described as green on the background of all volcanic and barren landscapes, then Andros fits into this. Its mountainous landscape alternates with fertile valleys, water springs and long empty beaches, sandy or pebbly. Even the architecture is not typical for the group and roof-tile houses dominate over the cubical.
Andros is one of the largest Cyclades in size and tourist facilities are well developed but yet it is not much of a preferred destination, maybe because the white-blue spirit is missing here. This however perfectly suits people who avoid cosmopolitan places like Mykonos
. Andros can be reached via regular ferries from Rafina port (journey takes about 1,5 - 2 hours) and there are also connections to Tinos
and Mykonos. The main port where ferries arrive is Gavrio
, on the northwest coast.
The largest settlements on the island are Andros town and Ormos Korthiou
on the east coast, and Batsi
and Gavrio on the west. Due to its proximity to the main port, Batsi (written Mpatsi in Greek) is the most popular resort of the island, surrounded by many numerous beaches and coves. Andros town, or Chora, is built on a peninsula which ends with a tiny rocky promontory and ruins of a small Venetian castle. The promontory is connected to the peninsula via a small stone bridge.
Beaches are something you will never miss on Andros as there is plenty of them for everyone`s taste. The beaches around the resorts are mainly sandy and organized with beach bars, sunbeds and parasols. The longest and emptiest beaches are in the northernmost part which is almost uninhabited, such are Limnionas, Kalamitsi, Pyrgos, Vlichada, Peza and Zorkos. The beach Tis Grias To Pidima (or just Grias Pidima), the most characteristic beach of the island, is on the east coast close to Ormos Korthiou. Its name means "the old lady`s jump" and in its south end there is a narrow vertical rock coming out of the sea.
Interesting places and sights on Andros:
- Andros Town
with its Venetian ruins, Tourlitis lighthouse and the church of Agia Thalasini
- Agios Petros
tower near Gavrio, dating back to 3-4 century
- The old Monastery of Panachrantos and the impressive sea views from it
- Paleopoli, the ancient town of Andros near Batsi. Once the town was spreading over the entire hill and down to the sea but today only a few remains of walls and buildings can be seen, as well as a sunken pier in the sea
- Faneromeni Castle (Upper Castle) near Korthi village
- The watermills in Dipotamata gorge
- The chapel of Agios Ioannis Kremidis with a lovely remote beach below it
- The beach of Grias Pidima
- Pyrgos beach in the northwest, next to a rock with tower ruins