The island of the rich natural environment
Andros is a breath of all Greece in one place; its high mountains, ravines, small rivers, valleys planted with vines, numerous sources of running water, olives, greenery and spas combine amazingly with the dry Cycladic landscape, activating all the senses and satisfying every demanding eye.
Its coastline is rocky with the waters of the deep bay of Gavrio being often choppy because the wind is dominant almost all year round on the island. Its nature is beautiful due to the many kinds of trees, the fragrances from the gardens, which are mixed with thyme, oregano and create an intoxicating atmosphere. In the spring, wildflowers make up an incredible carpet of colors and anemones, orchids, bellflowers and irises sprout everywhere.
In Andros, there are many shelters and food for all species of birds living in its rich flora, such as owls, nightingales, partridges and carders, but also predators such as snakes, peregrines and black peregrines, while in its dense vegetation smaller animals find accommodation as well, including bugs, hedgehogs, turtles and frogs. Streams, torrents, springs and rivers are scattered and embellish the expanse of the island, offering excellent conditions for animals and nature to thrive.
In addition to its natural richness and the wild beauty of the rocks, Andros enchants both with its villages and beaches. Chora is the capital of the island, which does not look like a Cycladic capital as it preserves its glory and modest majesty; beautiful neoclassical mansions and houses, paved streets, squares, picturesque alleys, beautiful churches and very interesting museums. Its historical and cultural heritage with its many museums and classical architecture are also vivid. It is located in the northeast and is built on a small peninsula that seems to “cut” the sea in two. The peninsula from the main road that crosses Chora leads to Afani Nafti Square and the sea and ends up in the small island where the medieval Venetian Castle (13th century) stands and the rocky island of the famous and unique Turlitis Lighthouse.
The capital is surrounded by two sandy beaches, the central beach of the capital, Neiborio, to the west, and Paraporti, to the east. It is the homeland of renowned shipowners and captains because one’s gaze can be filled with the blue of the sea, the overgrown adjacent gullies and the white of the Cycladic houses as much as it wants – something that no sea lover can resist. An arched stone bridge connects the Castle with the Country in Andros, while the square opposite the castle is dominated by the statue of the Unknown Sailor, in honor of all sailors who lost their lives in the sea. It is the work of Michael Tombros, donated by the Goulandris family.
Among the most important spiritual institutions are the Kaireios Library, housed in a 1919 mansion, the Archaeological Museum, the Naval Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art. The Petros and Marika Kydonieos Foundation, the Museum of Folklore and Christian Art. Also the house of Theophilos Kairis, the theologian, philosopher and fighter of 1821. The ecclesiastical monuments are admirable as well.
Andros has Gavrio as the main port and the island’s gate is built on the bay of the windy natural bay on the northwest side of the island. It is equipped with many tourist accommodations, hotels, taverns, cafes and bars.
Batsi is built by the sea, with an intense nightlife and many dining options. The sheltered sandy beach is fully organized and an ideal option for families and water sports enthusiasts, since the latter will find there the appropriate means to ride the waves. The blue lines of the horizon and the shrubby green create an image that spontaneously refers to images of carefreeness and summer happiness.
Ormos Korthi, or Yialos, is located in the southern part of Andros, between the mountainous masses of Gerakonas and Rachi. The settlement is flanked by the view of most of the surrounding villages, while in the area dominates the castle of Faneromeni (Pano Kastro) and the long beach, Mylos, the sheltered harbor of Agia Aikaterini and, behind the hill, the famous beach “of the jam ” is amazing for swimming.
The traditional dish of the island is frutalia, an omelet that also contains potatoes and traditional Andrian sausages. Another is the Lambriatis, a meal cooked at Easter – it is a goat meat with cheese filling. Traditional desserts of the island are the “spoon sweets” and the ones made of almonds, such as caltsounas and pastitsies. Due to its small livestock units, Andros produces local cheeses and also wine, liqueur, orgeat and raki in local cooperatives.