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Andros – the jewel island

24 August 2013 / 17:08:48  GRReporter
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The Cycladic Islands are known for their lack of greenery, but they have turned this disadvantage into an advantage. There is a perception that the farther away from Athens - the better. Thus, Mykonos, Paros and Santorini, Ikaria or alternatively Koufonisiya are considered to be the best tourist destinations. These two stereotypes are disproved by Andros, which is the greenest Aegean island, full of waterfalls and greenery, gorges and valleys filled with vegetation. And the best thing is that it is only 2 hours away from Athens and it is the perfect place for a weekend escape.

The beaches

Beaches of Andros are outstanding, and some of them are among the best in the Aegean Sea. The island is large and it is better that you have a vehicle in order to explore various areas. Besides the port of Gabriel, where there are rooms for rent, you should also go to Ano Favrio, Agios Petros and other places. Felos beach is near the harbour which is relatively protected from winds, there is sand, a lot of trees for a shade and everything you need for the first sea bath.

The best beaches are in the north, but they are difficult to access because of the unpaved road that connects them, but it is worth a swim to there. These are Pyrgos, Vlychada and Kaminaki. Pyrgos is famous for the Venetian tower of Makrotandalos at the north-eastern end of the beach.

One of the best beaches is even farther to the north - Zorkos. You should go there if you are looking for something secluded and quiet, all you will hear there are the waves and the wind, and turquoise waters will make you feel as if you are on a Caribbean bay. There are rocks with a lot of caves. To the south you will find beaches such as Vitali and Vori and along the same road, where the island forms a "nose", you will find the famous Ahla beach. On the road from Batsi to Gavrio you will see two more beaches with beach bars: Chrisi Ammos and Agios Petros.

The village of Chora is located on the eastern part of the island, with its famous beaches Nimporio and Paraporti. Nimporio is close to the village, where you will find a lot of yachts. You can walk from Chora to Paraporti, but there many winds blow and it is suitable for experienced swimmers. The beach “Tis grias to pidima” (The jump of the old woman) is small beach, but it is among the most popular because of the interesting landscape. There you can go by boat from the Gulf of Kortios or by car.

Batsi is the most famous beach on the island, known from the movie "Girls in the sun." The organized beach is constantly full of people and it has restaurants, cafes and beach bars. The beaches of Anerousa and Agia Marina are near it.

Chora

Andros is a large island and you will need days in order to get to know it. The big centres are two: Chora in the east and Batsi in the west.

Chora is not reminiscent of a Cycladic capital city. Despite the streets that are covered with tiles and traditional houses with blue windows, there is a special Venetian atmosphere. Its past, which is related to shipbuilding, can be seen because of the neoclassical houses with green yards and the houses of captains. There are also a lot of museums.

You can also see the library of Theophilos Kairis there, the High School, named after poet Andreas Embirikos, who is originally from the island and the church “Assumption”. There are countless restaurants, cafes and many restaurants with delicious local dishes.

Batsi

Batsi is a tourist centre, but it is far from the respective centres of Mykonos and Paros, for example. This is a traditional village situated amphitheatrically, which is very beautiful and picturesque. At night, it becomes the heart of the nightlife.

Corti

The southern centre of the island is near the region of Corti, in a valley with spectacular gorges and flowing waters. There, the Faneromenis fortress is worth visiting – it is an old medieval fortress, with beautiful views of the Aegean Sea. Corti has many sand beaches in small and large bays. There are windmills and water mills, monasteries, bridges, beautiful houses and green orchards.

Specialtiesof the island

The most famous local dish is called “froutalia” and looks like an omelette with sausages. But it is very different from the traditional omelette because it also contains potatoes, and is much more satiating than any omelette. Chora’s omelette is considered to be the most authentic omelette.

Besides food, you will also find great desserts in Chora. The most famous are those with almonds which you can find in Laskari, a confectioner’s shop founded in 1906, but you must also try the pasties and “kaltsounia”. Very good ice cream can be found in Ermis as well as homemade jams - in Rodozahari.

In Batsi, we recommend you to dine in the following restaurants: "Thalassa", "Stamatis" and "Yakoumis", in Gavrio - "Sails" and "Yanoulis", and in Ano Gavrio - in "Kossi", perhaps the best tavern on the island.

How to get there

Tags: Andros Cycladic Islands Chora Batsi beaches
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