This list below is a compilation of my favourite activities to do in Andros. Never mind trip advisor, this list is handpicked from years of experience pottering about the island. Enjoy!
1. Visit the old town of Andros (Chora)
The capital city of Andros hosts some beautiful neoclassical mansions perched on a narrow peninsula. Go for a wander down the marble pavements and stop for a coffee to admire the view. There is a museum of contemporary art and a variety of different shops. If you walk all the way to the end, you can go for a swim and admire the lighthouse out in the bay which was built in 1897. It was rebuilt in 1995 after being destroyed by a German bomb in the second world war.
2. Visit Batsi
Batsi is the main tourism base of Andros. With a large number of hotels, many different restaurants and bars as well as a large beach in the centre; it has most of the luxuries you would expect from a holiday in the med. In summer it is lively and vibrant with several bars open late in to the night. I would recommend spending an evening here to indulge the senses and maybe sample some of the local spirit ‘Raki’.
3. Explore the vast network of walking paths “Andros Routes”
In recent years a project to redevelop the traditional ‘donkey paths’ that wind their way through the unspoilt and beautiful corners of the island has achieved great success. The European Ramblers Society awarded the island with “Best In Europe, leading quality trails” in 2011 and again in 2018, an award that no other Greek island has achieved. The Andros Routes network is now attracting walkers & hikers from far and wide.
Visit the Andros Routes website for more details. Pick up a map of the different routes (from Gavrio, Batsi or Chora) and get your hiking boots on. Its a great way to see the island and truly appreciate its natural beauty.
4. Vitali Beach
This beach on the north east of the island is worth the drive. Crystal clear waters and a sheltered bay. It has its own Taverna cooking traditional food. There is a diving rock at the left of the beach with multiple tiers depending on how gutsy you are. Its worth noting the road to the beach is a dirt track and winds its way along some mountain passes making it good viewing for any passengers on board.
5. Visit the Cyclades Olive Museum
The Cyclades Olive Museum is located in Ano Pitrofos. It was voted as the sixth top Museum in the whole of Greece for the year 2018! Dimitris Chelmis, the tour guide provides a fascinating and engaging insight in to the history and techniques involved in olive oil production. Even if this isn’t something you feel you would be interested in, this 90 minuted tour gets consistently excellent reviews thanks mostly to the passion and enthusiasm of the host. Olive oil is something you must try while visiting Andros and this tour will give you a new appreciation of this delicious ingredient.
6. Watch the sunset over Evia
Evia is the second largest island in Greece and sits close to the greek mainland. The sunset each night behind the mountains of Evia is stunning. During the summer, each night you will be greeted with this magnificent scene that never seems to lose it ‘wow factor’. This sight is best witnessed from the north-western side of Andros.
7. Hike to the top of the highest mountain in Andros ‘Kouvara’
Me and my brother attempting to film from the summit (above)
Kouvara (seen in the distance on the photo above) stands at 990 metres above sea level. The easiest route to the top is to walk along the ridge line from Vourkoti. Alternatively a steep hike commencing from Paleopoli can be followed. It offers the best view of the island in my opinion (provided the skies are clear) and hardly ever has anyone else up there.
8. Try some authentic Greek cuisine at ‘O Kossis’
This is worth the excursion. Located about 20 minutes drive out of the port of Gavrio, this restaurant offers a traditional greek dining experience. The restaurant is set in an attractive valley with a variety of animals in the fields surrounding the restaurant (including deer, horses and cows). Kossi is a local farmer and therefore most of the produce is grown/reared within a few hundred metres of the restaurant. Ideally suited to carnivores as most of the menu comes off the grill. Follow this rickety sign below and you should find your way….
9. Rent a car/moped and explore
One of the best ways to see the island is rent a car/bike and head out on the open road. Don’t worry too much about the exact route. Andros, at 40km by 16km in size means you can’t go too far wrong, although some of the dirt track roads can be challenging for none 4×4 cars. Exploring the island this way will allow you to visit some of the lesser known beaches which are often quiet and excellent for a bit of escapism. Below are a few examples (in order: Felos, Zorgos, Grias to Pidima, Pyrgos)
10. Keep it secret!!
Part of the allure of Andros is the fact it is not over run buy tourism. It affords visitors with a chance to get beaches, mountains, hiking paths to themselves. It is for the most part clean and quiet. The locals in many rural parts of Andros aren’t used to seeing much tourism so it offers a glimpse in to real island life. The locals are hospitable and approachable and in terms of crime, it is largely unheard of. So remember when you get home, don’t tell anyone about how good your holiday in Andros was!