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ANDROS

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General Information

In addition to being only a short distance from the port of Rafina, Andros is a favorite destination for its charming sandy beaches and its distinct cosmopolitan atmosphere, an effect perhaps created by the coexistence of neoclassical houses with the picturesque Cycladic style, all under the watchful presence of the towers and the lighthouses. Vivid cultural activity and a beauteous natural landscape are added to this picture, reassuring a pleasant stay and justifying the choice of this island as a favorite family resort. Its population numbers about 9000 permanent residents, while its extent covers an area of 385 sq.km, making it one of the largest of the Cyclades. 

 

History - Culture

A fertile island blessed with vast resources of fresh water and very close to the mainland, Andros has attracted inhabitants since the dawn of mankind. As revealed by the excavations in Strofilas, a highly advanced civilization existed here and flourished as far back as the 5th millennia BC. The name of the island comes from the Minoan Era (2000-1600 BC), when Radamanthys, brother of legendary king Minos, sent Andros ?a general, mantis and grandson of Apollo- to administer the island. Findings dating from the Mycenaean Era (1500 - 1000 BC) prove that this lineage remained unbroken, even if under the influence of differing centers of power. Sometime around 1000 BC Ionians settled on the island, which reached its peak between 900 and 700 BC. At that time, the city of Zagora was thriving and prosperous, and by the 7th century BC, Andros was is position to establish colonies, in Chalkidiki and Thrace. In the following years the island kept flourishing, and Paleopolis became the capital of Andros. In the Persian Wars, Persians occupied the island, which later on joined the Athenian Confederacy. Yet, due to large amount of taxes she had to pay to Athens, Andros sided with the Spartans during the Peloponnesian Wars. In the following years, the successors of Alexander the Great alternated in power fighting over the island which was eventually occupied by Romans in 199 BC, who placed it under the rule of the city of Pergamus in Asia Minor. Throughout the Medieval and the Byzantine period, Andros continued to flourish, making a mark in literature, finance and trade, in spite of repeated pirate raids. From the 13th to the 16th century, Andros was under Frankish rule, while she changed hands many times among Franks, Venetians, Russians and Turks, who occupied it until the Greek War of Independence broke out in 1821. The contribution of Andros to the cause of freedom was decisive, and the island was finally liberated in 1830. Andros is known to be the home of many prominent Greek shipping families.

 

Sights

Andros offers a complete set of attractions, providing such a full list of sights and landscape types that even mainland prefectures fail to match. It is endowed with beauteous, green-clad landscapes, running waters, beautiful beaches, ancient ruins, castles, numerous churches and monasteries of remarkable architecture and tradition. The medieval castle in the main town of Chora is one of the most significant monuments. Until the devastating Italian air-borne attacks of 1943 it was well preserved, but today it stands deserted. There is an impressive arched bridge of the 13th century linking the fortress with the peninsula where the medieval city (Kato Kastro) was built. Chora is also embellished with imposing old buildings and beautiful churches of the Byzantine and post-Byzantine era. As has become evident by recent archaeological findings, port Gavrio was a major port in antiquity. The circular Hellenistic Tower in the area of Aghios Petros is impressive. There are three archaeological sites of great importance on the island. These are the ancient cities of Paleopolis and Zagora, both of which came to know great prosperity and served as the capital of the island. In Paleopolis, there are temples of Dionyssos, Apollo and Athena, while in both cities one can see ruins of the ancient walls, houses, arcades, markets, temples and more. Significant findings coming from these sites are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of the island. The third site is that of Strofilas, a city of the Neolithic Age, one of the few of its time to reach such levels of organization and development. Andros is abound with beautiful churches and monasteries, while Mother Nature has seen to the endowment of the island with unique natural beauties. Thus, visitors are captivated by the numerous picturesque villages situated upon the captivating landscapes of Andros such as Stenies, Vourkoti, Mesaria, Menites, Lamyra, Katakoilos, Arnas, and the villages in the area of Korthio Bay. Concluding, one must not forget that Andros is an island with crystal clear waters and amazing beaches that add to this idyllic scenery, forming a package none can resist.

 

Entertainment-Sports-Shopping

As certainly expected of such a popular destination, the tourist infrastructure of Andros is perfectly developed and thus, the island offers many options in every aspect of tourist services. Accommodation, shopping and entertainment facilities are offered in many places, and with increased density in the towns of Gavrio, Chora and Batsi. There are numerous hotels of high standards as well as inns, rooms-to-let and camping sites. A large number and variety of restaurants, taverns, coffee and pastry shops, cosy bars or loud clubs, offers entertainment for all preferences. Some may find the local festivities and fairs far more enjoyable, especially the festival held on Korthio Bay. There is a rich market offering a diversity of goods in charming shopping places, with local delicacies (various sweets, honey and wine) being some of the best buys. Speaking of specialties, visitors should not fail to taste dishes representative of the local cuisine such as specially prepared sausages of local production, omelets, and dry cheese. A fine road network enables comfortable journeys and rides all across the island. Water sports equipment is available on most popular beaches, while there is also a yachting club. Those who will venture inland will discover many picturesque corners, and will rest under the shade of trees with the sound of the nearby stream to keep them company.

 

Access

Ferries and flying dolphins depart from the port of Rafina (27km from Athens) throughout the year with service being more frequent in the summer. There is also a service from the port of Thessaloniki.

 

Connections

All year round there is a ferry connection with Amorgos, Koufonissia, Schinoussa, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Syros, Tinos, Thessaloniki, Crete, and Karystos (with flying dolphins).

 

Museums

There is an Archaeological, a Modern Art and a Marine Museum situated in the capital of Chora. During the summer, the museum of Modern Art serves also as a gallery, and many significant events have been held there.

 

Alternative Tourism

Congressional, cultural, spiritual, archaeology, sporting (water sports, sailing, trekking).

 

 

Useful Telephone Numbers:

ANDROS AREA CODE:  22820-

POLICE STATION: 22820-22300

PORT POLICE: 22820-22250

MUNICIPALITY: 22820-22275, 61219, 71250

BUS STATION: 22820-22316, 24288

TAXI STATION: 22820-22171

POST OFFICE: 22820-22260

TELECOMMUNICATIONS ORG.: 22820-22299

MEDICAL CENTER: 22820-23333, 23703, 22222

PHARMACIES: 22820-22238, 22220

 

 

 

Photo Gallery
CYCLADES ISLANDS ANDROSCYCLADES ISLANDS ANDROSCYCLADES ISLANDS ANDROSCYCLADES ISLANDS ANDROS
CYCLADES ISLANDS ANDROSCYCLADES ISLANDS ANDROSCYCLADES ISLANDS ANDROSCYCLADES ISLANDS ANDROS
CYCLADES ISLANDS ANDROSCYCLADES ISLANDS ANDROSCYCLADES ISLANDS ANDROSCYCLADES ISLANDS ANDROS
CYCLADES ISLANDS ANDROSCYCLADES ISLANDS ANDROSCYCLADES ISLANDS ANDROSCYCLADES ISLANDS ANDROS
CYCLADES ISLANDS ANDROSCYCLADES ISLANDS ANDROSCYCLADES ISLANDS ANDROSCYCLADES ISLANDS ANDROS
CYCLADES ISLANDS ANDROS
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