The Greek Island Of Andros - Holiday, Beaches, Walks and Photos Guides.
Andros is a beautiful, rarely visited Cyclades Island easily reached from the Greek mainland.
Andros is located in the Cyclades group of islands in Greece and there is no commercial airport on the island. In recent times Andros has gone off the map for many package holiday companies i.e. it's hard to find a complete two week holiday to the island - this does
mean you have to do it yourself to a large extent. The obvious way to fly into Athens
(and perhaps do a days sightseeing?) and then
take the 120 minute or so ferry ride from Rafina over to Gavrio (there is a regular bus service from Athens airport down to the port of Rafina costing just
a few Euros). Because Andros is on the main ferry routes another option might be to take a cheap holiday booked on a nearbye island (for instance Mykonos) and then go off for a little island visiting or hopping for a few days.
Getting around and about on Andros Greece - buses, taxis, cars and scooters. Andros Buses:
The bus service on Andros is cheap and reliable but not that frequent - as an example there are 07:05 and 10:20 services to Andros Town (buy the tickets on the bus) which takes about 45 minutes and the
last bus back is at 15:00 - there are later buses back on Friday and Sunday evenings however at 19:30. These times were for May which is quite
early in the holiday season so probably more buses will be put on in June/July/August.Taxis:
You can find a taxi rank on Batsi at the seafront by the square and the tax-drivers can
often be found sitting around in the taverna opposite during quiet periods.
Car and Scooter Hire:
Batsi only seemed to have one car hire place and we thought their rates were rather expensive - also for a one day only hire they additionally had a per kilometre charge. One of the taverna owners suggested we go over to Gavrio where there are several car hire companies - thus competition - and this proved worthwhile. There are scooter hire firms in Batsi by the bridge).
There are apparently only 4 or 5 petrol stations on the Island, known ones by us are: one just as you enter Chora on the main road, one at Gaviro on the road towards Batsi and one on the Batsi by-pass road. (Please note buses times above are liable to change and are for guidance only).
driveable Tracks i.e. driving around on Andros Greece.
A lot of the roads connecting the villages are tarmac - apart from the main Batsi to Chora road these roads are often quite narrow, very hilly and full of hairpin bends. The smaller roads are prone to huge potholes in places - quite often on the invisible side of a
hairpin bend so you have trouble avoiding them. Goats and sheep are everywhere and seem to take great pleasure in sauntering across the road just as you are driving past - there again they are the locals and you are the visitor and what is the hurry anyway?. As per normal the farmers in
their pick-up trucks have the Greek island habit of driving in the middle of the road and -maybe- only moving over at the last minute seemingly surprised that anyone else is around. The tracks really vary in their condition - one of the problems with a car as opposed to a jeep hire
is that small cars have very little ground clearance. Certainly some of the Andros beaches which are accessible by track in the north and south of the island are not any good in a car because of the deep ruts. Also bear in mind how hilly Andros is so that the tracks often drop/climb very very steeply and can be very sandy or scree/rocky due to rock-fall. Note the road from between Remata and Arni which branches off to Vourkoti may be shown as a track on maps but is now tarmac
Generally about the extensive tracks and paths available to walk along on Andros Island in Greece.
Walking and hiking can be quite difficult at times but is extremely enjoyable - the island is seriously hilly with quite often 500 to 800 metre climbs involved during some of the walks. The moni path (stone paved paths) system is extensive although some of the
stone walls have collapsed and surfaces also can be very overgrown with thorns and thistles. Nevertheless there is a very good walking opportunity on the island, you just have to sometimes take the
information on the maps with a pinch of salt. There are a couple of maps available for Andros Greece plus several books which you can buy in Batsi. Road Edition no.101 ISBN 960-8481-10-4 and also Andros Touring and Hiking Guide (available on the island).
The paths are often high walled so vulnerable to damage caused by the incredible amount of goats and sheep jumping and knocking the stones out. Also no doubt
winter takes it's toll as well, and the very lush foliage also knocks the stones out as it grows through them - the result is that some paths have become more or less unusable.
Note about numbered footpaths:
Some of the walks are along numbered footpaths. We found that sometimes the numbering was frequent and clearly indicated where a change of direction etc. was needed, but on other paths we walked a long way without
any help from the indicators. Because the maps of Andros do not show many of the paths and tracks which you can come across this can make things ambiguous at track or path forks and so on. As a rule we found that where a path split or forked if there was no indicator then the answer was to continue straight ahead as much as possible i.e. keeping the same direction.
Because of the myriad of tracks and paths which can cross your route it is best to have a clear idea in your mind of your general route direction/layout. Our walks descriptions are not comprehensive since we would never have walked anywhere if we had noted every cross path etc. Because of the really heavy undergrowth in places it can be easy to miss a path indicator so
you may well go wrong and come to a dead end and have to retrace to a previously noted indicator to find the correct way.
Photos of and about the holiday location of Batsi on Andros Island in Greece.
Many people going on holiday to the Greek Island of Andros will probably stay in Batsi
since the town has plenty of tourist accommodation on offer. Bear in mind though that this may well be harder to
find in August as the Greeks come over on holiday from nearby Athens in considerable numbers. Batsi is a pretty little town and it's well worth having a wander around the small alleys - don't miss the beautifull levada's and springs which you can find by walking up an alley which leaves from the corner of the square. We found this Greek Island really nice to visit for our holiday with it's lovely scenery for sightseeing
and touring, loads of wildlife and the usual (if not better than usual) friendliness from the islanders. Also helpful is that Andros is one, if not the cheapest, of the Greek Islands we have been too from the point of daily costs i.e. food and wine.
Batsi has it's own quite long sandy beach plus another smaller beach on the edge of the town - other Andros beaches on the way to Gavrio are quite an easy walk along the road and are also mostly sandy. There are several supermarkets,
several local bakers/cake shops, a fruit and vegetable shop and also several gift shops but the town is really very small and not commercialised at all. The only time it seemed to get remotely busy was on the weekends - this is when the folk from Athens come over on the ferries - but presumably in August the town may well be terribly busy.
Our other items about Andros in Greece:
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