Andros island in Greece is famous for its naval tradition, stunning art museums and fantastic beaches. But that’s not all – the beautiful, green Greek island has lots more to offer. Here are some of the best things to do in Andros Greece.
Andros Greece: An introduction
Among Greeks, Andros is famous for its rich naval tradition, neoclassical mansions, art museums and lovely beaches.
Nature lovers will really enjoy Andros island. There are dozens of fantastic, unspoilt beaches and a long network of amazing hiking trails. The island is privileged with lush vegetation, which is unusual for the Cyclades.
Andros is an excellent destination for history and culture. The main town, Chora, has several art museums, which often host temporary exhibitions. You will also discover several cultural events in the island’s art cafes.
Unlike some other Cyclades islands, Andros has largely kept its character. While you will find some touristy spots, it has mostly remained authentic.
If all this sounds appealing, here are some of the best things to do in Andros Greece.
Wander around Andros town, Chora
Chora is the capital and main town of Andros. It is located about an hour’s drive away from the port town, Gavrio.
Due to its prosperity and naval power, Andros town is also known as “Little England”. You will come across several neoclassical mansions among the famous white-washed Cycladic houses.
The ruins of the old Venetian castle dominate the pretty town. The castle was built in 1207 and was sadly bombed during the Second World War. It’s a lovely neighbourhood to walk around and take photos.
A landmark of the island is the Statue of the Unknown Sailor, in a large square overlooking the Aegean Sea. It was put up in 1959, to honour all Andros sailors who were lost at sea. Walk a little further, and you will see the picturesque Tourlitis lighthouse.
Don’t miss a relaxed walk on the scenic promenade leading to the Panagia I Thalassini church. That was one of my favourite spots on the island.
Chora has some of the best hotels in Andros, so this is where many visitors choose to stay.
Visit the Contemporary art museum and other museums in Chora
Andros town has a few interesting museums. Although they are located within walking distance from each other, it might take you more than one full day to visit them all.
The most famous museum in Andros town is the Goulandris Museum of Contemporary Art, hosting permanent and temporary art exhibitions. Works of foreign artists such as Miro and Kandinsky have been exhibited here!
If you are interested in art, you should also check out the Petros and Marika Kydonieos Foundation, which promotes exhibitions and cultural events in Andros.
The small Archaeological Museum showcases artefacts that have been found on the island, including some interesting inscriptions.
Close to the statue of the Sailor, you will find the Maritime Museum. You can see a few ship models, photographs, and plenty of important maritime documents.
Finally, while in Chora, you could ask if the Folklore and Christian Art Museum is open to visitors.
Explore the towns and villages in Andros
Apart from Chora, the big island has a few other towns and villages that are worth visiting. Depending on where you choose to stay, you can visit them on day trips.
Batsi is a popular place to stay in Andros. It’s a coastal town with a variety of tavernas, cafes and beach bars, and even an outdoors cinema.
Don’t expect dozens of night clubs in Batsi. Still, there are plenty of places to have a late-night drink. It’s also a popular town to stay in Andros.
The port town of Gavrio is small, and has a few shops, tavernas and rooms. There isn’t much to do here, though you can always have a coffee or meal with a view to the promenade.
Gavrio is a convenient town to rent a car, motorbike or ATV.
Korthi is a sleepy, relaxed coastal town. Not much is happening here, but we enjoyed having a meal by the seaside. There’s also a beautiful beach, where you can spend a few hours.
The traditional mountain villages in Andros
Andros also has a few traditional mountain villages. Menites, Apikia, Strapouries and Stenies are among the most popular places to visit in Andros.
If you go to the picturesque village of Stenies, try to count the churches – according to locals, there are over 25!
Visit the Cyclades Olive Museum in Andros
The founder, Dimitris Chelmis, is a passionate architect who restored an old, authentic olive mill, and transformed it into this lovely museum.
This is what they used to make the donkeys walk faster… can you guess what it’s made out of?
You will have a short guided tour, followed by a video Dimitris made after the mill was restored, showing how olive oil is produced.
This is a great museum for families, and the children will love playing with the old equipment.
Visit the Panachrantou Monastery
Like everywhere in Greece, Andros has several monasteries. If you only have time for one, go to Panachrantou Monastery.
It is one of the most fantastic places to visit in Andros if you are interested in Greek Orthodox traditions. Moreover, you will get some wonderful views of the island.
The monastery dates from the 9th century AD. Today, most of it has been refurbished and it looks brand new. It is home to a precious icon of the Virgin Mary and the relics of St. Panteleimon.
The monastery is about 4 kms from Chora, close to Falika village. If you are driving, you can easily follow the road signs. Just be prepared to drive on some pretty steep mountain roads.
Visit Aladinou Cave
There are caves everywhere in Greece, and Andros couldn’t be an exception!
Aladinou Cave, also known as Foros Cave, is on your way from Batsi to Chora, close to Panachrantou monastery. It’s a small cave, and you will be shown around by some very enthusiastic locals.
It is also possible to come here on foot, through the hiking paths.
Tip: If you are interested in caves, a cave I love here in Greece is the cave in Antiparos, another island in the Cyclades group.
Go hiking in Andros
Andros is one of the best Greek islands to go hiking. The mountainous, wild island offers a very long network of hiking trails and paths.
In recent years, at least 150 kms of trails have been cleared and signposted. This is a result of the combined efforts of the Cyclades Prefecture and several groups of volunteers, such as Andros Routes.
The paths in Andros are among the best walking trails in Europe. They have even been awarded with the Leading Quality Trails certification.
Where and when to go hiking in Andros
Depending on which paths you choose, you can hike to the island’s picturesque villages through olive groves and lush vegetation.
Serious hikers can explore parts of Petalo mountain, or hike to beaches like Achla beach, Zorkos beach and Vitali beach. You can also check out the Achla river trekking experience, and discover a hidden waterfall!
Spring or autumn are the best seasons to go hiking in Andros. You will be able to explore the island’s beautiful landscape without the uncomfortably high summer temperatures.
Another idea is to visit during the “Andros Foot Festival”. This is organized annually in October, and aims to promote hiking tourism on the island.
In any case, if you are visiting Andros in summer, try to avoid the hottest part of the day, from about 11 am to 5 pm.
Whenever you decide to go hiking, make sure you have appropriate footwear, a hat, sunblock, water, and a few snacks.
Explore the beautiful Andros beaches
For some people, the beaches are one of the main attractions on the Greek islands. I am one of these people 🙂
Every local we asked told us that Andros has over 170 beaches, bays and coves. This is more than twice as many as Milos has!
You could easily spend your whole time in Andros just enjoying the sun on different beaches. Then you would need to start planning your next trip to see more of them!
There are all sorts of beaches in Andros. Some have beach bars where you could rent deckchairs and umbrellas and spend the whole day. However, the majority of Andros beaches are natural and wild.
One thing you should pay attention with when going to the beaches in Andros, is the seasonal meltemi wind.
The meltemi wind in Andros
The meltemi wind is a strong seasonal wind in the Aegean Sea. It generally peaks during July and August, but you can also get it if you are visiting in September.
The meltemi comes from the north, so any north-facing beach will be affected. On those days, go on a road trip around the island and find the more sheltered beaches. If you aren’t keen on driving around, you might want to stay at a hotel with a pool.
And now, let’s look into a few of the best beaches in Andros.
Grias to Pidima beach
Arguably the most famous beach in Andros is Tis Grias to Pidima beach. This long name roughly translates into “The Old Lady’s Jump”. The iconic big rock jutting out of the turquoise waters is the most famous landmark in Andros.
According to legend, the beach owes its strange name to an old lady, who jumped into the sea from a cliff. As she died, she was instantly petrified. When seen from a specific angle, the tall rock resembles an old lady – check it out!
There is a bus taking you here, or you can drive in your own vehicle. To reach the beach, you will then need to walk down a steep trail. Just note that it’s a popular beach, and typically gets crowded.
Relax on the easily accessible Andros beaches
Andros has plenty of easily accessible sandy beaches. They are ideal for all visitors, including families with young children.
Batsi beach is the obvious choice for people staying in Batsi town. You will find all amenities, including loungers and umbrellas.
Between the port town of Gavrio and Batsi, you will find Kypri, Chrissi Ammos and Agios Petros beach. These are among the most popular beaches in Andros, offering facilities and water sports.
Korthi beach, on the east side of the island, is also long and sandy with some small pebbles. In my experience it is one of the best beaches in Andros when it’s windy.
At the time we visited, there were no facilities on the beach. There are a few tavernas and cafes in the nearby Korthi town.
Finally, people looking for beach bars and some music should head out to Piso Gyalia or Apothikes Beach. Don’t let the winding roads put you off!
Discover the more remote Andros beaches
Some of the best beaches in Andros are wild and remote. Reaching them usually involves a long drive on a dirt road, often in bad condition.
You would also need to bring your own shade, water and snacks as very few of them have any facilities.
Zorkos beach, Vitali beach, Achla beach and Ateni are all fantastic sandy beaches with beautiful emerald waters. They are all worth visiting during your Andros holidays.
The only drawback with these beaches is that they are facing north. It’s best to avoid them on a meltemi day, as it’s unlikely that you will be able to swim. In fact, the small boats departing from Chora to Achla beach will not run when it’s very windy.
Two of my favourite Andros beaches were Fellos and Kourtali, both on the north west side of the island.
If you are happy to drive on dirt roads, you can also go to Vlychada and Pyrgos beaches, that are even less crowded. For me, these were two hidden gems on the island.
There are dozens more beautiful beaches to discover in Andros. Get a good map, ask for some local advice, check the winds and start exploring!
Andros has fantastic local Greek food
Anywhere you go in Greece, you will find delicious food, and Andros is no exception. You will find many of the staple traditional dishes that are popular all around Greece.
On top of this, there are several types of yummy local cheeses, sausages and cured meats. The local fourtalia omelettes, which contain pretty much every available ingredient, are also amazing.
Wherever you go in Andros you will find at least one small taverna or kafeneio, so you won’t go hungry.
We absolutely fell in love with the taverna O Kossis, up on the mountains. They specialize in grilled meats, that are absolutely divine! Vegetarians won’t go hungry either, as they have huge salads and some fries to die for.
For me, this is one of the best restaurants in all of the Cyclades. They also have a small farm, where children can get acquainted with the animals.
Best time to go to Andros island
The best time to go to Andros island is late spring, summer and early autumn. Then you can appreciate nature and enjoy the lovely beaches, keeping in mind the meltemi wind.
Like other Greek islands, peak season in Andros is in July and August. It’s a popular place for weekend getaways, and many Greek families spend a few days there to enjoy the beaches.
Outside peak season, Andros never really gets too crowded, and is ideal for people who like quiet holidays.
Getting to Andros island Greece
You can get to Andros on the ferry from Rafina port, which is close to central Athens and Athens airport. No ferries depart to Andros from Piraeus port.
Depending on the type of ferry you choose, it will only take you one or two hours to get to the island.
You can check routes and book ferry tickets on Ferryscanner. If you use this link to book your ferry tickets, I get a small commission at no extra cost to you, which helps me run this website!
Where to stay in Andros
Generally speaking, the best areas to stay in Andros are Batsi, the part of the coast between Gavrio and Batsi, and Chora.
If you are planning to rent a car, you can stay anywhere on the island. Note, however, that most roads have many twists and turns. Travelling around might take you longer than you think!
Island hopping from Andros to other Greek islands
Given its proximity to Athens, Andros is an ideal destination for a quick getaway, or a longer vacation. I have been there many times and still haven’t been to all the beaches!
This guide to island hopping in the Cyclades will help. I’ve included a brief introduction to each island, and how to travel between them.
Frequently asked questions about Andros
People visiting Andros often ask questions like the following:
What is Andros Greece known for?
Andros in Greece is best known for its rich naval tradition, its art museums and its fantastic sandy beaches.
Is Andros a party island?
While there is some nightlife, Andros doesn’t really qualify as a party island. People looking for all-night parties should check out other islands, like Mykonos or Ios. The best places in Andros for some relaxed bars are Batsi and Chora.
Is Andros Greece expensive?
Prices in Andros are similar to most of the other Cyclades islands. Outside peak season, you can find accommodation from 35-40 euro. Meals prices vary a lot, but you can easily have a dinner for two, including house wine, for 25-30 euro.
Do you need a car on Andros?
Renting a car on Andros is the best way to explore the island. Alternatively, you can use either the bus services, which are quite limited, or taxis.
Is Andros a pretty island?
Andros is one of the greenest Cyclades islands. It has some lovely landscapes, including dozens of beautiful sandy beaches.
Check out our book on Amazon about Andros and Tinos!
I hope this guide has inspired you to visit Andros! For more information about the island, the extensive Real Greek Experiences travel guide to Andros and Tinos is available on Kindle and paperback.
We’ve included details on attractions, art museums, villages, beaches, food, culture, accommodation and best ways to get around. Check it out!
Hi! I am Vanessa, a travel writer from Athens. Summer on the Greek islands is fantastic, which is why I’ve been to dozens of them! For any questions about Andros, please comment below. Alternatively, you can get in touch on the Real Greek Experiences FB page and FB group.