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    Your Guide to Andros

    Just two hours from Athens’ Rafina port and the greenest of its Cycladic neighbours, Andros has in recent years gained a global reputation for its many charms, from scenic hiking routes, considered among the best in Europe, to pretty beaches and scenic villages. In 2021 the New York Times named it as one of the “52 Places to Love”, while Conde Nast’s Global Editor has described the island as one of her “favourite places in the world”.

    Unlike neaby Mykonos, Andros is not a destination for glamourous celebs and wild partygoers, in fact even its main town of Chora has no more than a handful of bars, most of which close before dawn breaks. There’s great shopping to be enjoyed, but it’s for local food products and handmade natural soaps rather than priceless kaftans, artworks or conceptual décor items. Even the dining scene is not as evolved as that of newly trendy islands like Milos and Kimolos or even its next door neighbor Tinos. However, Andros, also known as “the ship-owner’s island” because its Chora is home to a cluster of the country’s most influential ship-owning families, has its own particular glamour, elegance and beauty and this has become widely recognized.

    In response to the adulation it has begun to acquire, Andros has in recent years kicked into action by offering an exciting host of activities and experiences for visitors from near and far – from boat excursions and cultural treks along lush landscapes that include Venetian ruins and Paleolithic sites to holistic wellness experiences including spa treatments and yoga and gastronomy classes, the island is showings its best self and developing new attributes while trying to preserve its authentic character.

    Andros is large and varied, and it’s well worth renting a car to explore mountain villages like Sineti and coastal settlements like Korthi or Batsi, swim at a large array of beautiful beaches (including a few windsurfing beaches), visit archaeological sights like Paleopolis and the Geometric Settlement in Zagora, or monasteries like Agios Pandeleimonas and Panachrantou Monastery on the slope of Mt Gerakones. Throughout the summer the Goulandris Museum of Modern Art hosts an annual art exhibition presenting the works of Greek or foreign artists, while the Archaeological Museum presents interesting finds from around the island.

    There is always plenty to enjoy on Andros, although most pleasurable of all is to follow the example of locals and let hours pass as you sit at the village square sipping coffee or ouzo and watching the world go by, watching a movie in an open air summer cinema or connecting to nature along the well-cleared ‘kalderimia’ (old donkey paths), along which you’ll see everything from varied architecture to waterfalls and panoramic vistas. There are plenty of organisations offering services of all kinds and as well as some top quality hotels, there are more and more charming boutique hotels with lush gardens and tasty food.

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