This weekend I visited Andros island, the most northern of the Greek Cyclades. It is perfect for a weekend escape. It is two hours by ferry from Athens, leaving from the port of Rafina. Andros island is known for it’s stunning scenery and high quality tourism. It has gorgeous beaches, delicious local food, traditional villages and a great energy.
I visited the island with two of my friends, together we are in our late 20s and 30s. We were looking for somewhere close to Athens to relax and enjoy a couple of days of Greek island life. Andros was an island none of us had visited before. The reviews I read and the photos of the island had me sold immediately! For the three days we each paid 150 EUR for the transport and a cute room with a terrace over looking the sea.
Andros island: Batsi town
We stayed in the town of Batsi which is about 7km South of the port Gavrio. Andros is a fairly big island, about 40km diameter, but you do ideally need a car to make the most of it. As we didn’t want to drive we decided on Batsi as it has everything you need for a weekend. If I went again I would definitely hire a car to explore more of the island. However I didn’t feel like we missed out for the few days we were there.
The beaches we enjoyed on the South coast of Andros island were Golden Sands beach, Agios Petros and the beach in Batsi town. The first day it was extremely windy. The Cyclades normally do have more wind than other islands but this was extreme! We couldn’t lie down for more than 5 minutes without being sandblasted or having our belongings blow away. Not the most relaxing start but we still had a great time.
That night we explored the small town of Batsi. It’s one of the most touristic on Andros island but it still has a very local feel. We drank an aperol spritz in a bar overlooking the sea and surprisingly were offered a second one for free! The colours of the sunset hour were gorgeous and the time passed full of stories and laughter.
We had booked a table at a local tavern and completely lost track of time. Luckily Greeks are not known for their punctuality and didn’t mind when we showed up over an hour late for dinner. The meal was perfect. I always love the simple yet tasty dishes in taverns. The local ingredients and traditional recipes always make the best combo.
Beautiful beaches on Andros island
The day after we decided to take a taxi to one of the most popular beaches on Andros island. Golden Sands, as it says in the name, has soft golden sands and with the turquoise water it is a paradise. The day we went there it was very busy but not so much that we couldn’t relax. It has a beach bar selling snacks and drinks. They play pretty loud music if you want a more upbeat vibe but you can also sit far enough away that you don’t hear the music at all.
We stayed until just before the sunset and we had the beach basically to ourselves. We walked back to Batsi, about 3km along the coastal road. I can’t recommend it in terms of personal safety but it was definitely worth it for the views! There is a windsurfing school at one of the nearby beaches. We saw the sun set over the sea with colourful windsurfers zipping around. A magical moment!
Greek island night life
That night we went for a late dinner around 11pm. Not at all in line with my British eating schedule but I’m getting used to it after nearly 2 years in Greece. We ate at a cute seafood tavern offering fresh fish caught by fisherman that day. The portion sizes weren’t great, especially for Greek standards, but the food was delicious. We ordered spaghetti with prawns and two of the local fish, tsipoura and lavraki.
Afterwards we went for a cocktail in one of the two vibrant bars in Batsi, Andros island: Buka bar. Again it was quite full but not packed with just the right amount of people to create an atmosphere. We had a great time dancing to every possible genre of music (I think the DJ was trying to keep everyone happy with his music choices). Maybe we were a little bit enthusiastic compared to the locals but at least we weren’t the only ones dancing.
On the final day we spent the afternoon at Agios Petros. This is the next beach along the coast towards the port of Andros island. The sand is not as spectacular as Golden Sands beach but we enjoyed it even more as it was less packed. We sat at the beach bar Funky Donkey which played the best music! The beach had a very chilled vibe and we spent the afternoon relaxing and hopping in and out of the sea to cool down.
Afterwards we at in an amazing local tavern. We shared plates mezze style: a greek salad, baked aubergines, sardines, rice stuffed vegetables. Everything was delicious! I especially can’t stop thinking about the melitzanes tis yiayias – Grandma’s aubergines. I really should have asked for the recipe but I think they are a treasured secret.
When 6pm came and it was time to board the ferry from Andros island back to Athens, I wasn’t ready to leave. As always I settled into the rhythm of island life and being close to beautiful, healing nature. Now I am back in Athens and back to work. But I still have that warm feeling in my heart and I feel refreshed after a couple of days on Andros island.
If you like my travel stories and want to see more beautiful places in Greece, check out my previous posts from my trips to Evia and Kea island. Or you can follow me on Instagram for daily stories to see more of my life in Greece.
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