I live in Athens and have been visiting Andros for the last 12 years now. The reasons have remained the same: it’s only two hours away from Athens by ferry, Andros is incredibly diverse – combining lush nature and stunning beaches – and the island is still somewhat untouched by tourism.
I’ve always been a traveller at heart. My father used to take me on his business trips when I was young all over Greece. This ignited my passion for exploring. Later on, I got my first job in London and was able to afford my own travel journeys. I jumped on a plane every chance I got.
Andros is still one of my favourite places to this very day. On my most recent trip there I was able to work remotely. I stayed on the island for a whole month – visiting my favourite beaches and discovering a few more hidden gems. The island offers a great selection of different beaches.
Visiting and photographing Chora is one of my favourite things to do in Andros. Although this island is based in the Cyclades, the architecture is distinct from what you see on other Cycladic islands. It’s predominantly neoclassical which makes exploring this village a lot more intriguing.
Immersing Yourself in the Culture of Andros
Andros has a long nautical history. It was known as “Little England” because of the affluent ship-owners and businessmen with ties to London. The best way to immerse yourself in the culture is to explore as much of the island as possible. There is no shortage of hospitality on Andros.
The island has a nice mix of tradition, tourism and development. On the one hand, you have places like Chora which have a strong desire to preserve the history of the island. On the other hand, villages like Batsi are willing to move with the times and embrace tourism and cosmopolitanism.
Favourite Places in Andros: Achla Beach & Lydi Beach
I adore all of Andros but I do have a few favourite spots. Achla Beach is always high on my list of places to visit. This insanely beautiful beach is home to an unusually rich environment. There is a river which flows out to the beach, plantain trees surround it and swans are regular visitors too!
Then there is Lydi Beach which is a hidden gem. Just a short drive from Chora, this beach has remained a secret with locals for years. A small yet steep path leads you to a beach with turquoise waters. It’s rare that you ever see anyone else at Lydi. I love the feeling of seclusion here.
Top 10 Things To Do in Andros
Andros is the second largest Cyclades island home to wild mountains, fantastic walking trails, stunning secluded beaches, natural springs, cascading waterfalls, ancient villages and archaeological wonders. Discover my top 10 recommendations for Andros island below.
1. Explore the Beautiful Achla Beach
Achla Beach is so much more than just a beach! Here you will find turquoise waters, a stunning river and lush plantain trees. The beach is slightly difficult to reach which adds to the adventure. The best way to navigate the dirt roads is by jeep. You can also take a boat from Chora.
2. Marvel at Tis Grias To Pidima (The Old Lady’s Jump)
Tis Grias To Pidima beach otherwise known as ‘The Old Lady’s Jump’ is a beach with epic rock formations. I am personally fascinated by the story behind the name. There are a few versions but all of them involve an old lady who jumped into the sea to run away from Ottoman invaders.
3. Swim at the Stunning Apothikes Beach
Apothikes is one of the best places on Andros to find emerald waters and a spectacular seabed. On the way to Chalkolimiona, under Stravropeda, head down a dirt road on the left that leads to this awesome beach. Spend the day sunbathing, exploring the area and swimming in the gorgeous waters.
4. Spend a Couple of Quality Days in Chora
I recommend spending at least a couple of days in Chora. Stroll around the emblematic neoclassical mansions and wander down the narrow alleyways that lead to Riva Square. At the town square you will find the imposing sculpture of the Unknown Sailor and views of the Venetian Castle.
5. Discover another Gem of Andros, Zorkos Beach
Zorkos Beach offers a large stretch of sand to explore and crystal-clear blue waters to go swimming. Located on the northeastern part of the island, this is another beautiful beach that you absolutely have to visit. Relax with the sound of waves washing up on the shore and enjoy the tranquility.
6. Road Trip to the Secluded Vitali Beach
Arguably the best drive in Andros is from Gavrio to Vitali Beach which is around a 15km distance (45 minute drive). Enjoy spectacular views of unique mountain landscapes and clear blue waters as you arrive at the beach. Head down a 3km dirt road and arrive at the stunning Vitali Beach.
The scenery here is picture-perfect. I recommend checking out the small secluded bay on the right hand side of the beach which is home to a stunning seaside chapel. It’s a fun activity to swim around the bay. Vitali Beach itself has fine pebbles and small stones on the shore.
7. Go on a Hiking Adventure in Andros
Andros was made for walking! The best resource on hiking is Andros Routes which provides a network of restored and signposted paths over 160km of trails. Discover a world of lush green valleys, flowing rivers, beautiful beaches and ancient pathways unique to Andros.
8. Enjoy the Local Gastronomy of Andros
Andros is full of natural springs and lush vegetation. This makes it easy to consume local produce. There are quite a few local cheeses to devour, high quality honeys, a local zucchini-like vegetable called “lyraki”, typical meats and a variety of sweet delicacies with nuts, sesame and honey. Yum!
9. Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art
If you are a museum-lover like me then you can’t miss out on visiting this world-class museum. Every year the Museum of Contemporary Art organises different exhibitions by famous international artists. The museum was inaugurated on the 28th of July, 1979 in the Chora of Andros.
10. Wander around the Quaint Menites Village
Menites is situated about 6km’s from the capital, Chora. Enjoy the serene sounds of fresh spring water coming out from an array of marble lion heads as you have a coffee at a local cafe. The village was built on Petalo Mountain, around 200 metres above sea level. It’s just a phenomenal place!
As well as being famous for its springs, water and greenery; the village is also a trekkers paradise. There are many fantastic hikes to go on such as towards the Panachrantou Monastery and Lamyra-Chora. Get your walking shoes on and go exploring around the Menites village.
Best Restaurants and Bars of Andros
No matter where you travel in Greece you will find delicious food and Andros is no exception to this rule. The cuisine here is organic and produced locally. Below you will find a list of my go-to restaurants and bars.
- Endochora (Chora) – Local Greek cuisine with a twist
- Nonas (Chora) – Fish tapas by the sea
- Barbarola (Piso Gialia) – Seafood restaurant by the beach
- Kossis (Gavrion) – Meat specialists with traditional recipes
- Sea Satin Nino (Korthi) – Delicious fresh pasta
- Stamatis (Batsi) – Local Andros cuisine and fresh fish
- Mastello (Batsi) – World-class modern cuisine
- O Giannoulis (Agios Petros Beach) – Classic Greek tavern
- The Aegean Balcony (Ano Aprovatou) – Local cuisine and sea views
- Lithi Bar (Chora) – All day cafe/bar serving great cocktails
- NeoBar Andros (Chora) – Bar with excellent pizza
- Bukka Bar (Batsi) – Lively bar with tasty cocktails and good music
- Zairis (Chora) – Pastry shop with local sweet delicacies
Where to Stay (Accommodation) on Andros
There are a tonne of fantastic places to stay in Andros. A great place to start your search would be Explore Andros which lists a variety of boutique hotels and villas close to Chora. I have stayed at both Castel Abaso and Villa Hortensia. On the other side of the island, I enjoyed staying at Krinos Hotel.
Travel Tips for your Visit to Andros
I can’t stress enough that Andros is a big island! It’s the second largest of the Cyclades after Naxos. You definitely need to hire a car to make the most of your stay. There are too many places to visit and a car is essential.
Even better, try renting a jeep that allows you to go off-road and navigate the many dirt roads. These roads lead to the most exceptional beaches of Andros. Don’t forget to bring your hiking shoes to enjoy the many walking trails and snorkelling gear to swim around the clear blue waters.
I wouldn’t recommend Andros if you’re looking for a party island. There are a few cool little bars but the party scene is not the main selling point of Andros. This island is best suited for nature-lovers and those keen on discovering beautiful new places hidden in the Cyclades.
Thanks for reading my travel guide to Andros. I hope you found it inspiring. If you have any further questions feel free to get in touch!