Andros: A “hidden” Cycladic Paradise near Athens

For some an unknown place, for others an island near Athens that they visited for a weekend and did not appreciate it especially because they did not get to see much of it, and for others a Cycladic paradise that keeps its authentic character and its beauties well hidden. Guess what our take on that is!

Although its proximity to Athens is ideal for a weekend getaway, we do not recommend it as Andros is the second largest island of the Cyclades, it is beautiful from North to South and in 2 days you won’t have enough time to see its treasures. So do not come ONLY for the weekend, unless you are planning to come for the next weekend and the next after that as well. Yes, this is also possible due to its proximity to Athens.


However, we recommend that you spend at least 5 days on this beautiful and diverse island. It's worth it!


Prerequisite: Α Car! Preferably a car with a sufficient height from the ground as the most beautiful parts of the island also have the most difficult access (no coincidence there) via dirt roads.


So, what can you do in these 5 days? Everything! Andros will meet every kind of traveler’s expectations. You want a relaxing holiday in a quiet place surrounded by nature? Do you prefer action and exploration packed holidays? How about cosmopolitan places with restaurants, bars and cute, narrow whitewashed alleys? Visits to museums and taking part in cultural events? Crazy Greek dancing at traditional festivals? Hiking on 160 kms of signposted paths through nature? Secluded beaches with crystal clear waters? Organized Beaches with lively Beach Bars? Waterfalls and small lakes for a refreshing dive? Traditional taverns and pastry shops with local products? Mezedopoleia for some bites and tsipouro under the shade of a sycamore tree or beside streams? Walks around picturesque villages? ANDROS OFFERS IT ALL AND THEN SOME!


For your holidays in Andros we recommend our favorite points of interest and activities by category and starting from north to south.


Beaches

Zorkos – A beautiful long beach with crystal clear waters. Access is by road and an easy to drive dirt road. It is partially organized with umbrellas and sunbeds but not recommended for very windy days. On your return, a must do is a lunch stop at Taverna "Kosses". We advise you to call ahead and book a table and their specialty, oven cooked goat wrapped in parchment paper with cheese. Mmmm! You can thank us later!


Vitali – Gides (Goats Beach) – Two beaches separated by a small peninsula. Both beaches have incredible turquoise waters and a combination of sand and small colorful pebbles. Vitali Beach is organized with umbrellas and sunbeds while Gides is quieter and more secluded. Access is by road and an easy to drive dirt road. Vitali is ideal for diving from high cliffs and swimming. It has a very nice Beach Bar and a Tavern.


Agios Petros – Golden Sand – Kipri – 3 large and organized beaches just 5 minutes from the port of Andros. They are ideal for windy days as they are more protected. Here you can relax on the sun lounger, play with the golden sand or practice a Watersport. Access is easy as they are located on the main road of the island. All three beaches have Beach Bars.



Achla – One of the most beautiful beaches and the most difficult to reach. Nothing as beautiful as that is easy to reach! It’s totally worth it though. Amazing turquoise green waters and small colorful pebbles combined with a rich biotope with sycamore trees. Follow the river behind the beach and you will find yourself in the small waterfalls of the river where you can take a refreshing swim and enjoy nature at its finest. Access is through a rough dirt road or by sea. There is a boat that makes daily trips to the beach and starts from the port of the island’s capital Chora. The beach is not organized so you have to be properly prepared with snacks, water and shade.


Piso Gialia – Beach with golden sand and ideal for windy days as the bay is more protected. It is one of the first choices for young people on the island as it has one of the best Beach Bars. Access is easy via road and stairs. However, the beach also has a second small bay without a Beach Bar for those who prefer something quieter.

On the way back up to the car, get ready for some serious exercise.



Paraporti – One of the two beaches of Chora; it’s a large with golden sand and nice waters. It has a nice Beach Bar in a small and cozy corner of the beach. Access is available either on foot from Chora or by car from a road leading to the Beach Bar itself.





Grias Pidima (Old Lady’s Jump) – One of the most famous beaches of the island due to its name and beauty. Blue-green waters and an imposing rock shooting up from the sea. Access is easy via road and a small footpath. The beach is not organized, and we suggest you visit it in the morning hours as the sun hides early in the afternoon behind the steep cliffs. On your way back you can stop for food in Korthi at "Vintsi" or "Lithodomi".


Apothikes – Crystal clear, blue waters and golden sand in a very beautiful, little bay. The view from above when approaching the beach is great and worth a stop to admire. The beach is organized and has a Beach Bar. Access is via road and an easy to drive dirt road.



Villages and Sights


Gavrio – The port of Andros is always lively and has all the necessary shops you will need when you arrive on the island. It is a good idea to visit it the day you leave Andros; go a few hours earlier than your ferry departure time to the port, take a walk along the seafront promenade, sit for lunch in the fish tavern "Karavostasi" and then for dessert and coffee in one of the patisseries or cafeterias.


~ You can combine it with a swim in Zorkos beach or Vitali beach.



Agios Petros – At Kato Agios Petros you will find some shops, taverns and the Agios Petros beach. In Ano Agios Petros, on your route to Vitali, it is worth making a stop to admire the Tower of St Peter that stands there from the Hellenistic period (4th - 3rd century BC).


~ You can combine it with your swim at Vitali beach or the beaches of Agios Petros - Chrissi Ammos - Kipri.


Batsi – The cosmopolitan village of the island, where you will find many shops, restaurants, cafes, bars and lots of people walking and chilling around the small harbor and its surrounding alleys. It is worth an evening promenade for dinner in the traditional tavern "Stamatis" and then enjoy some intriguing cocktails at "Buka" bar.



~ You can combine it with your swim at Vitali beach or the beaches of Agios Petros - Chrissi Ammos - Kipri.


Arni – A green, mountainous village overlooking the sea, deep in the mainland of Andros with plenty of springs and streams. Take a leisurely walk along the circular hiking trail of the village through dense vegetation, streams, stone bridges and amazing green landscapes. Arni is also famous for hosting the island’s largest annual traditional festival “Panigiri” on the 6th of August. On your return from Arni stop in the village of Katakilos for lunch at the "O Gregos" tavern.


~ You can combine it with a swim in Achla Beach if you go by car.