A fabulous new destination just joined the Go! Running Τours family. The Greek island of Andros, the northernmost and second-largest island of the Cyclades, is just a 2-hour boat ride from the port of Rafina in eastern Athens. Andros offers an adventure well beyond the Greek island stereotype of sunny weather and beautiful beaches. Here are six reasons you’d want to pick Andros for your next vacation:
1. Stunning Nature and Landscapes
The diversity of Andros’ natural environment is unique. Mountain ranges reaching an altitude of over 1000 meters, combined with lush valleys, fertile agricultural land, rivers, and waterfalls, create a runner’s (or hiker’s) paradise. Most of the island’s surface is within the Natura 2000 protected network. So it provides a home to rare, endemic species of flora and fauna. Within a few kilometers, you can experience all that in one of the routes of Go Running Tours Andros. You can start your route beside a river bed, reach a mountain top, and end up by the sea to finish off with a nice swim!
2. Pleasant Mediterranean Climate
Sitting at the Northernmost point of the Cyclades group of islands, Andros enjoys the pleasant Mediterranean climate associated with Greek islands. For 240+ days in the year, the weather is fair, sunny, and warm. The hot summer days are cooled down by the seasonal northeasterly wind (Meltemi) – usually between mid-July and mid-August. Its mountain tops pose the first barrier to the northern sea-breeze as it blows down the Aegean sea. The mountains are often covered in mist during autumn, offering the unique experience of running in the clouds. I can’t think of many better ways to cool down during a run or a hike.
3. Intriguing and Rich History of Andros Island
Andros Island’s history stretches over thousands of years, with remains of settlements dated before 3000 BC. Since the 13th century AD, several historical events forged the island’s strong nautical and trading tradition. They blessed it with numerous historical sites, both in-site as well as in local museums. This includes the capture by the Republic of Venice during the 4th Crusade, the struggles for its possession between Venetians and Ottomans, and the Greek War of Independence in 1821.
4. Ancient Andros Stone Pathways
Among the most precious pieces of living heritage is an extended network of ancient stone pathways stretching across the island. These pathways were once the only means of transportation between administrative or religious centres, water sources, agricultural land, villages, markets, and other points of interest. The trails of Andros are famous for their craftsmanship and present an ideal opportunity to combine a day of exercise and sightseeing.
Unfolding through the valleys, across bridges and waterfalls, along hilltops, villages, and historical sites, these handcrafted stone pathways are a site in themselves. Time seems to stand still along with them, as they stand there, unchanged through the centuries, and imagination runs wild with the ancient stories they must have witnessed. Despite the construction of roads during the last few decades, these pathways (trails) dating since medieval times are still used and preserved to date thanks to the work of local voluntary groups, displaying the interaction of man and nature over the centuries. The Go Running Tours routes in Andros take place along these same paths and trails.
In 2015, Andros was the first island in Europe to be recognized by the European Ramblers Association. The Andros Route was certified as one of the Leading Quality Trails – Best of Europe, becoming a top European hiking & walking destination.
5. Authentic Local Cuisine of Andros
Quality ingredients are always the cornerstone of all local cuisines. The island’s weather conditions, combined with the soil, rich in all sorts of trace elements and minerals that the sea breeze carries along, provide a unique micro-environment for locally grown produce. Each of the Greek islands has its own twists in culinary tradition – so you can expect nothing less in Andros. The fact that the island has not been commercially developed or exploited means that most local tavernas and restaurants offer a homey, relaxed atmosphere and dishes prepared with care and traditional regional recipes, suitable for all kinds of diets.
6. Magnificent Sailing, Artistic, and Agricultural Culture
A deep nautical tradition, developed through the centuries, runs through the DNA of Andros. It is home to some of the most prominent shipping families in the world. Every family on the island has a member or two whose life at sea continues this tradition. And you’ll often find them spicing up conversations with sailing stories from around the world. The Andros Maritime Museum, home to numerous historical artefacts and literature dating as far back as 1750. It is an excellent destination to study and observe this tradition
Besides, Andros has been the home of intellectuals such as poet Andreas Embirikos and scholar Theofilos Kairis. Kairis was the heart and soul behind the Andros joining the Greek War of Independence in 1821. You can experience some of the artistic and intellectual heritage of Andros in venues such as the Kairios Library, the two Goulandris museums of Modern and Contemporary Art, the Kydoniefs Foundation Modern Art Gallery, to name a few.
The Andros Archeological museum displays artefacts found in excavations. The collection ranges from figures and vessels of the Early Cycladic period to the prehistoric period – early signs of civilization. The Cycladic art figures are the oldest art forms in ancient Greece, dating as far back as 5000 BC.
Finally, you can see the island’s agricultural tradition in the Cycladic Olive Museum. The museum is a pre-industrial olive oil production mill, where all the ancient production processes are displayed and explained.
Check our Andros running tours and live the Andros experience. The place, nature, the sea, the breathtaking views, the trails, the history, the culture, the food, the way of life. Andros!