Andros (2021 Pandemic Edition)

Andros is one of the most accessible islands of the Cyclades. It is about 2 hours by ferry from the port of Rafina, which is 40 minutes from Athens.

We booked a long weekend on a very nice-looking hotel cheap, a little bit after the COVID-19 ban on transport was lifted. We did not know at the time if it would be possible to travel without any restrictions, but we got lucky, and the various bans were either non-existent or trivial. Early booking proved valuable, as we arrived on Friday and the crowds from Athens poured in on Saturday afternoon.

It’s the second time we’ve visited Andros, but the first time with kids. The last time was a long time ago (2005 maybe?). We remembered that Batsi, where we stayed both that time and now, had a very relaxed atmosphere. This was still true, and we also found that it was very family-oriented, as there are places to relax, eat and drink in the evening, right on the beach of Batsi, while enjoying the sunset behind the hills.

Agios Petros

We had the chance to go to the beaches near the port of Gavrio, on the western part of the island (Kypri, Agios Petros, Chryssi Ammos [map]), which are great, sandy beaches with bars, sunbeds, umbrellas and such. Especially the Agios Petros Beach is one of the best, and there is also a part of the beach with no sunbeds or annoying crowds and music. “Golden Sand” beach, Chrysi Ammos is the most crowded one, with a beach bar that plays loud music.

We did not go to the most famous beach of the island, “Grias Pidima” – “Γριάς Πήδημα”, amusingly translating probably as “Old Lady’s Jump” or “Drop”- but we had been there the last time we visited, and there’s not an easy way to get there with small kids.

Menites

Menites, a village near Hora, is an interesting place. There is a small stream and headwaters in the village, surrounded by forest – something not commonly found in the Cyclades. There was not much water running in the stream, because there was not much rain this winter. It is a nice place for a stroll and locals also go to Menites for lunch or dinner in one of the taverns there.

“Hora” – the town – of Andros is also very nice in the evening. In Hora, there are many things to do and many interesting places to see – notably the Goulandri Museum of Modern Art. We got just a small taste of Hora on Saturday evening.

Visiting Andros again after all these years was like visiting for the first time. It is near Athens, with nice, sandy beaches and many interesting places to visit. A much-needed getaway after several months of lockdown!

Tony

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