Exploring Andros

The incredible red soil of Andros seems to make absolutely everything glow red sienna at sunset, particularly on the northern heights, a region which was settled centuries and centuries ago by a group of orthodox Albanians – now their small and basic huts of stone are contrasted starkly with the red tiles and whitewash of the other, more affluent and wealthy villages. The farmland remains divided up by the carefully and painstakingly constructed walls of stone, the frakhtes that are unusual because of the triangular slate patterns incorporated into their designs.

AndrosGavrio in the northwest is the port town and doubles as a decent resort although in the South Batsi is a more traditional sea and beach resort, with more of the traditional resort development and facilities and some very attractive beaches. To the east on the coast there is Andros town, which has a far more upmarket tourism and receives a large proportion of its visitors from well to do Athenians who have second homes there. There is a divine Museum of Contemporary Art which has a broad and impressive selection of artists including the likes of Kandinsky and Matisse in addition to a fantastic garden of sculptures and a regular calendar of impressive temporary exhibitions. Another great place to visit is the Archaeological Museum which includes the wonderful centerpiece of the Hermes of Andros, a second century of Praxiteles statue.

Between Andros Town and Batsi there is a broad sweeping valley which has terraces all the way up its sides and which stretches towards the island’s high point, the mountain ranges which reach up to 994 meters. Walnut and mulberry trees are fed by a number of springs that trickle down from the top of the mountains most especially at Menites where you will find the charming Church of Pangia Koumoulous which has a spring that is considered sacred and which was once the site of a large Dionysos site. Andros center is an excellent place for hiking with more than 14 local trails of quite fantastic beauty.

Lastly, of course there are the endless fine and stunning beaches of Andros – the easiest to reach are Nimborio which is located to the north of Hora and the collection of beaches between Batsi and Gavrio, Gialia and also the beaches further out of Fellos and Vori.

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