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Andros Island, Greece

It is the most northerly island in the Cyclades, the second-largest in the group and also among the most beautiful. Successive mountains ranges with steep slopes, separated by gorges, river-beds and large valleys planted with olive trees, figs, oranges, lemons and vines through which run numerous streams, go to make this a landscape which often goes beyond what we think of as typically Cycladic. The mountains end as rocky cliffs or steep promontories, while at the mouths of the valleys are sandy beaches. In the south-east is Andros or Hora, the capital of the island and its second most important harbour. This is a most attractive town, with neo-classical mansions side-by-side with Cycladic houses, steep and narrow alleys lined with arcades, fine churches and two pretty squares in the centre of a town which will make a lasting impression. Among the most important monuments of Hora are the castle, now ruined, and the church of Our Lady Palatiani within its walls.

On the cultural side, there is an Archaeological Museum with finds from the Geometric, Classical, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods, a Museum of Modern Art with works by the sculptor Michalis Tombros as well as other significant Greek and foreign artists, while during the summer season it also organises temporary exhibitions of international importance, and a Nautical Museum (the island has an important nautical tradition), with a rich collection of ship models, photographs and ship’s instruments. Interesting cultural events take place all the year round.

Gavrio is the island's principal harbour, on the west side of Andros. Among the interesting features in the vicinity is the tower of Agios Petros. Andros has numerous interesting things to see: the church of the Archangel at Messaria, the monasteries of Zoodohos Pigi at Batsi, of St Nicholas at Apikia (which is also the site of the Sariza mineral spring), of Our Lady 'Panahrantou' at Falika, and the Apano Kastro or “Tis grias to Kastro” (Upper Castle) to the north of the village of Kohilos. Special mention should be made of the ruins of an ancient city, which have survived at Paleopoli. At Zagora, to the south of Paleopoli, one of the most important Geometric temples to have been discovered anywhere in Greece has come to light.

There are good swimming beaches at Nimborio, Paraporti, Korthi bay near Batsi, Gavrio, Vitali and elsewhere. Andros has good tourist amenities and can easily deal with the steadily increasing numbers of visitors, who choose it for its natural beauties, its attractive villages, its historical monuments, its superb beaches and its medicinal springs.

Things to buy: Cheese pies (“kaltsounia“), almond confectionery (“amygdalota”) preserved fruit

 

Useful telephone numbers

Police: 22820 22.300

Port Authority: 22820 22.250

Municipal Offices:22820 22275

Archaeological Museum: 22820 23.664

Museum of Modern Art: 22820 22.650