Andros island in the Cyclades is not very well known among foreign visitors. This is rather surprising, as the beautiful, green island has lots to offer. Here are some of the best things to do in Andros Greece.
What is Andros Greece famous for?
Andros is the second largest island in the Cyclades, one of the numerous groups of Greek islands. It’s famous among Greeks for its rich naval tradition, neoclassical mansions, art museums and lovely beaches.
Nature lovers will really enjoy Andros. The island offers dozens of fantastic, unspoilt beaches and a long network of amazing walking trails. In addition, the island is privileged with lush vegetation, which is unusual for the Cyclades.
Andros island is also an excellent destination for history and culture. The main town, Chora, has several art museums, which often host temporary art 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, the big island has mostly remained authentic.
If all this sounds appealing, here are some of the best things to do in Andros Greece!
Visit Andros town, Chora
Chora is the capital and main town of the island. It has some of the best hotels, so this is where many visitors choose to stay in Andros. It is located about an hour’s drive away from the port town, Gavrio.
The first thing you will notice in Chora are the ruins of the old Venetian castle. It was built in 1207 and bombed during the Second World War.
Due to its prosperity and naval power, the pretty Cycladic town is also known as “Little England”. You will notice several neoclassical mansions among the famous white-washed houses.
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.
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.
Andros town also 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.
Visit the museums in Chora
Andros is one of the best Greek islands to visit for some history and culture.
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, promoting 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, there are a few other towns and villages in Andros. 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 – still, there are plenty of places to have a late-night drink.
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. This 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 here, where you can spend a few hours.
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
One really interesting museum in Andros is the Olive Oil Museum in the mountain village of Ano Pitrofos. Even if you have been to an olive museum before, it’s absolutely worth visiting this one.
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 most Greek islands, Andros has several monasteries. If you only have time for one, go to Panachrantou Monastery, one of the most fantastic places to visit on the island. It dates from the 9th century AD, and is home to an icon of the Virgin Mary and the relics of St. Panteleimon.
Most of the monastery has been refurbished and it looks brand new. Still, it’s definitely a must-see place, if only for the wonderful views. To reach it, you will need 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. More on hiking, right below.
Go hiking in Andros
Andros is one of the best Greek islands to go hiking. There is a very long network of hiking trails and paths on the mountainous, wild island.
Works to clear, maintain and signpost the hiking paths were undertaken in recent years. At least 150 kms of trails have been cleared by the combined efforts of the Cyclades Prefecture and several groups of volunteers, such as Andros Routes.
The paths have been awarded with the Leading Quality Trails certification, which makes them some of the best walking trails in Europe. You can find more information here.
Depending on which paths you choose, you can hike through olive groves to the island’s picturesque villages. Serious hikers can explore parts of Petalo mountain, or reach some of the beaches, like Achla beach / Zorkos beach, on foot.
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. Or you can visit during the “Andros Foot Festival” which is organized annually in October, aiming to promote hiking tourism on the island.
This isn’t to say that you can’t hike in summer – just try to avoid the hottest part of the day. 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! It’s an impressive number and it is impossible to see them all in a few days.
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. Many of them are remote, and you would often need to drive on long dirt roads to reach them. You would need to bring your own shade, water and snacks.
One thing you should pay attention when going to the beach in Andros, are the seasonal meltemi winds. You can read more on this later on.
Relax on the easily accessible Andros beaches
There are plenty of easily accessible sandy beaches in Andros. 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. In our experience it is one of the best beaches in Andros when the winds are strong. At the time we visited, there were no facilities.
Explore the more remote Andros beaches
Perhaps the most famous Andros beach is Tis Grias to Pidima beach, with the iconic big rock jutting out of the turquoise waters. It is really picturesque and you should definitely check it out – just note that it gets crowded. It will take you a few minutes to walk down to the beach, through a steep trail.
Some of the best beaches in Andros are on the north side of the island. They are Zorkos beach, Vitali beach, Achla beach and Ateni. These are fantastic beaches with beautiful emerald waters, and are all worth visiting during your Andros holidays.
You can get to all these beaches by car, just be prepared for a long drive. Achla beach can also be accessed by boat from Chora. The only drawback with these beaches is that they are facing north, and will be affected by the seasonal meltemi winds.
Two of our favourite Andros beaches were Fellos and Kourtali, on the north west side of the island. There are no facilities on either, so you will need to bring everything you will need for the day.
If you are happy to drive on dirt roads, you can also go to Vlychada and Pyrgos beaches, that are more remote and even less crowded. To us, these were two hidden gems on the island.
There are dozens more beautiful beaches to discover on the Greek island. Get a good map, ask for some local advice, check the winds and start exploring!
Taste great 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 on 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. One thing to be aware of though, is the meltemi wind – more on this right below.
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 gets too crowded, so it’s ideal for people who like quiet holidays.
The meltemi wind in Andros
As mentioned above, one thing to keep in mind if you are visiting Andros, or any of the Cyclades, is the meltemi wind. This is a strong seasonal wind in the Aegean Sea, which generally peaks during July and August.
The meltemi comes from the north, so any north-facing beach will be affected. On those days, it’s best to go on a road trip around the island and find protected beaches where you can go for a swim. People who aren’t keen on driving around might want to stay at a hotel with a pool.
How do you get 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 the form below to book your ferry tickets, I get a small commission at no extra cost to you, which helps me run this website!
Other Greek islands to visit along with Andros
Given its proximity to Athens, Andros is an ideal destination for a quick getaway, or a longer vacation. It can also be easily combined with the nearby Tinos, or the better known Mykonos. There are also direct routes to Syros, Paros, Naxos and Tzia.
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 Cyclades like Mykonos or Ios, and certain areas in Rhodes, Zakynthos and Crete.
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 with house wine for 25-30 euro.
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 and culture. 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! I hope this article on things to do in Andros Greece has helped any of you planning to visit. For any questions, please comment below, or get in touch on the Real Greek Experiences FB page and FB group.