Take a hiking holiday on the Greek Island of Andros, the largest Cyclades Island. The Island of Andros can easily be reached from the Greek mainland by ferry and the trail is a European standard trail fully maintained by local volunteers. On the Island of Andros, you shall see great sandy beaches, characteristic buildings and ancient sites, lush green valleys, picturesque villages and the beautiful capital of the island, Chora.
The trail runs north to south, the full length on old mule tracks which are often walled in a characteristic pattern. These take you through terraced fields passing through one picturesque village to the other. The houses are unique, built-in local grey schists and differ from the typical white houses and blue-domed churches that are found on the other Cycladic Islands.
Andros is less dependent on the tourist market and so you find a more traditional and authentic experience. You shall stay overnight in four locations meaning you can walk every day should you wish or take the occasional rest every other day.
The walks are mostly on footpaths and cobbled paths (kalderimi). Moderate day walks are interspersed with more strenuous excursions, 4-6 hours per day (excluding breaks) on hilly to mountainous areas using well kept, sometimes stony paths.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Hooked on Walking that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the chosen activity and for emergency evacuation and hospital care.
In this part of Greece, the choice of accommodation is limited. The accommodations we have chosen are optimum choices having in mind the atmosphere, comfort, hospitality and their period of operation. All rooms have private facilities and almost always a balcony or terrace.
Your room and/or balcony offer sea views towards the west, so great chances for the perfect sunset. Rooms are simply furnished, but all rooms offer a modern bathroom, a balcony and a kitchenette with a fridge. There are aircon and WiFi. There is a nice garden for drinks and a snack. Breakfast consists of local and/or homemade products.
If the studio complex is fully booked, you shall stay in a bigger hotel just outside Gavrio on a peninsula. This hotel has also a swimming pool.
After your arrival at Athens airport, our taxi driver will take you to the port of Rafina, from where you depart in the late afternoon to Andros. The ferry crossing is around 2 hours. After your arrival in the port of Gavrio, you travel by local bus to the village of Ormos Korthiou. The public buses on the island connect with the arrival times of the ferry.
Upon arrival, you will receive a welcome package that includes a small pruner and gloves, in order to contribute (if you should wish) to activities of the voluntary organisation that maintains the trail and help optionally with cutting back vegetation on the side of the paths.
Please make sure your flight arrives before 2.30pm to allow time to catch the ferry to the Island of Andros.
Today your walk starts at a monastery that is located high on a cliff overlooking the west coast of Andros. The walk takes you via walled paths that will provide some shade on certain sections. Passing quiet and interesting villages along the route you shall also enjoy panoramic views of the wide valley of Korthi and the sea on the far horizon. A short section today is via a dirt road, but most of the walk is on old footpaths that were once the only connections between the villages. In the villages you walk sections on a tarmac road. The route is mostly hilly and undulating but without too many height differences.
Today you walk from Ormos Korthiou to Andros Chora. You follow a great route through the semi-deserted inland of Andros with outstanding views, tiny, well-hidden villages, old watermills and beautiful stony trails. The first part of the route leads you through the traditionally cultivated land, that has been made suitable for small-scale farming centuries ago. Then you cross a mountain ridge to go from the valley of Korthi to the even wider valley of Andros Chora. You will have impressive views over this great valley and the white town of Andros Chora. Now you walk through some forests and orchards until you reach the town. You then cross the town until you come to the beach of Nimborio where your next accommodation is situated.
Today you have a few options. Andros Chora offers 2 fine museums and is a great town for a stroll and a relaxing coffee in a local café.
In the road book that we supply for your trip, you will find descriptions of two possible walks:
1) Via wide paved paths (kalderimia) and through a forest to Apikia, a village situated in a green valley that is famous for its spring water. You then descend along cypress hedges to the old tower house and further to the sandy beach of Gialia. Now follows a short, demanding climb before you finally descend to the beach of Nimborio.
2) Via great walled footpaths, you ascend to the charming villages of Lamira and Messaria. You then cross an arched Venetian bridge of Stichiomeni, after which is a steady climb which leads you via ancient paved steps to the monastery of Panachrantou at 590m. The monastery is impressive as it appears to be literally clinging to the side of the mountain. The hospitable monks will show you around in this important historical and architectural monument. After a break, you will descend through a lushly vegetated valley of Livadia towards Andros Chora. The excellent path along the river leads you to the beach of Paraporti followed by the last section through the interesting wetland.
3) With the detailed map and excellent signposted trails, you may select a different route or make a detour based on the supplied route descriptions.
Today you will walk on the west coast of Andros. Firstly, you take a local bus or taxi to Messaria or a taxi to Ano Pitrofos. From Messaria you walk to the beautiful verdant village of Menites. In the village square, you will find many water fountains, considered therapeutic in ancient times. Refreshed you start a more demanding climb on the Petalo mountain, followed by the old trading route over the side of the mountain with great views over green valleys, villages and the sea far below. On your ascent, you come through the village of Ano Pitrofos (If you take a taxi to this village, you avoid half of the ascent, 300m, and shorten the walk with 5 km). Lastly, you descend to the charming seaside resort Batsi, where your accommodation is near the fine, sandy beach.
You take a taxi to get to the nearby village of Remata. Here starts your walk via a shaded, lush, stream bed ascending to the green villages of Arni and Katakilos with their luxuriant vegetation. The via a wide valley with terraced fields you walk to the hills above Batsi and then descend to the village enjoying great views of Batsi and the sea.
A nice, not too long walk above and parallel to the coastline. On your way, you can visit the Monastery of Zoodochou Pigis that looks like a fortress. Further down is the imposing spring at Agios Petros. The walk ends at the Beach of Agios Petros where your accommodation is located. If the accommodation in Agios Petros is not available, you may stay in nearby Gavrio instead.
The last day of your Andros Route, you will take a walk in the interior of Gavrio. You walk is below the beautifully located village of Ano Gavrio, you ascend via a pleasant, but steep path to the summit where you shall be met with great views! Now you descend into the valley of Agios Petros and walk past the imposing Hellenistic Tower back to the beach. If you stay in Gavrio, you walk along the coast to your hotel in Gavrio.
Today you can travel back to Rafina by ferry and then to Athens airport, book a flight late afternoon. You can also travel by ferry to other Islands such as Naxos.
It is always possible to buy ferry tickets at one of the agencies in the port prior to departure on the ferry
Fly to Athens airport. The transfer from Athens airport to Rafina port is included (app. 30 mins) as is the ferry ticket from Rafina to Andros. The duration of the ferry is 2 hours. The last ferry in low season leaves at 17:30 hrs. In summer season can be later.
Please make sure your flight arrives before 14:30 hrs.
2021 Prices – For complete tour price breakdown please click the book now button and select your holiday tour date. Prices will then be listed.
|Tour Code||Prices From (per person)||Book Now|
|Andros (8 Nights)||from £548||Book Now|
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