lthough popular amongst Athenians and people in the know, Andros one of the less touristy Cycladic Islands. To the east of Andros are high, defining mountains that cascade into verdant, Tuscan-style hills, and ravines that open onto lush valleys split by rivers that tumble and roll into the azure Aegean Sea. To the more typically Cycladic west and south, the mostly dry and barren hills like slumbering reptiles dip into cooling waters below, accented by the uniquely formed Andriot walls that, uncannily, look like scaly ridges running down the length of their spines. Once known as Hydrousa, Andros is the second largest and most northerly island of the Cyclades group and stands out from the rest of the archipelago – as its original name suggested – mainly due to its abundance of water.
The Cycladic gem is also known as “the island of sea captains”, something that its elegant main town of Hora attests to; resting strategically on a slender peninsula with a crumbling Venetian fort at its tip, Hora boasts a plethora of architecturally grandiose mansions erected by shipping magnates during the last few centuries. As a tribute to all the mariners who dedicated their live to the sea, many never returning, a large bronze statue of the Unknown Sailor, by Michael Tombros, was erected in Rivas Square on the eastern tip of Hora in 1959.
Meanwhile Batsi, once a quaint little fishing village on the island’s west coast, just 15 minutes drive from the main port of Gavrio, is the key base for tourists and foreign visitors on Andros.
The Cycladic gem, also known as “the island of sea captains”