Andros is the second largest island of Cyclades after Naxos. It is the northernmost island of the island-group, has an area of 381 square kilometers and a coastline of 176 kilometers. Like many other islands Andros is basically mountainous island with many ravines, streams, springs and lush valleys. The water sources and the good climate make Andros one of the most fertile island of Cyclades, although a small percentage of inhabitants engaged in agriculture. The interests of the residents is turned to the sea and tourism. Residents are gracious and hospitable people and strictly maintain the color and the culture of the island.
One of the most important attractions of the town of Andros is the castle. It was built by the Venetian Marino Dandolo after the capture of the island by the Venetians in 1207. It was included towers, barracks which were all well preserved until 1943 when Germans bombed the island. Today you can see only ruins, both in Inside-Castle and in the Lower-Castle.
Gayrio is the main port of the island and it is located on the north side of the island in a beautiful bay. Gavriou is the link between Andros, mainland Greece and other islands. This fact has contributed significantly to the development so you can find traditional taverns, quaint cafés bars and everything else you'll need.
Batsi is considered the tourist center of Andros. It is a beautiful, picturesque village with a characteristic sandy beach (blue flag) and a dock. In the streets of the village you will see beautiful orchards and houses with traditional courtyards that will take you back in time. The last several years Mpatsi has developed rapidly and can accommodate and provide numerous entertainment options at dozens of tourists who visit it every summer.
The beaches of Andros are unique not only for their strange names but also for their turquoise waters and the surrounding landscape. Andros has many beaches, with the more organized in the southeastern part of the island, near Gayrio and Andros. Northern near Andros capital, beaches are more distand and difficult to access. Some of them are Ahla, Vitali and great Peja. Problem for most beaches are the winds, cause even during the summer months many times the winds will make some beaches prohibitive. The most famous beach of Andros is "old woman Leap" with a characteristic vertical rock and amazing waters. Another beach worth visiting in the northern part is "Giali" and the "back Giali" in which you get yourselves going down about 120 steps. On your way to the Andros capital you'll find the most touristic beach of Andros, the "Golden sand" and some ather really close like "Kipri" and Saint Peter.
In Andros Town, to the "Kairis" Square, in a simple two floor building is housed the Archaeological Museum of Andros. Downstairs sculptures and other archaic and Roman items most of them from Palaeopolis, the ancient capital of the island. Upstairs there are findings from the village Zagora. Findings from Palaeopolis you can see also in the archaeological museum of the modern village of Palaiopolis. The Museum of Modern Art of the Bill and Elise Goulandris in Andros-town, inaugurated in 1979, and in 1986 acquired a second bulding. During the winter the museum present works by well-known Greek and foreign artists while during summertime you can visit exhibitions of artists of international stature. Finally, the Cyclades Olive Museum in Upper Pitrofos is an old mill that has been converted into a museum and gives visitors the opportunity to learn a lot about the production of oil.
Andros is connected by ferry with the port of Rafina and the daily trips last two hours, and less than one with a speedboat. Within the island you can move with the local bus route although τηε schedule is not often, especially on weekdays. Car or motorbike are suggested beacause they offer greater freedom of movement. The island is ideal for jeeps as many beaches require you to drive on a dirt road. Finally, from Mpatsi small boats depart for some of the most beautiful beaches.
The town offers many options for entertainment, but also it's worth taking time to explore the narrow streets. Batsi, in the west, is the largest tourist resort of Andros with a well organized beach in front, full of cafes, restaurants, bars and some hotels. The inhabitants of Andros are people with culture and apart from the museums and collections, they highlight the traditions, manners and customs of the island with dozens of music and dance festivals, theatrical performances and poetry readings throughout the year.
Flavors and shopping guide
Definitely try in some of the restaurants on the island, the local cuisine and the many traditional Andros meals. Specifically ask potato-balls. If you are visiting Andros during the Easter days you are going to try "lampriati", which is stuffed goat. The most famous meal is the Andros "Froutalia". It has no relation to fruits, it is omelet with potatoes, local sausage and cured pork. Simple but delicious. The cheeses are also in excellent quality. Try and take it with you when leaving "kopanisti" "Petroto" from goat's milk, "Volaki", a creamy cheese and "Manousos",a soft and salty cheese. For wine lovers we recommend the famous "Synetiano".