Andros On Foot: Walk the Trail
The last hurrah of the summer always marks the ending of the holidays. For some, that time comes as soon as August. For others (the lucky ones), that may be pushed back for a few months or indefinitely (if that’s you, well done). In Greece the high season lasts for as long as the weather permits, and what with climate change and everything, the season gets extended, permitting us simple folk to bask under the sun for a few months longer. You can deny the science all you want, but the evidence is staring at you in the face.
And while that is a detriment in many ways, the silver lining is more holidays and long weekends. Hurrah! There’s no better way of getting rid of those extra summer pounds and the summer blues than some exercise up in the mountains.
And the island of Andros has you covered! Only two hours away from Athens (with a fast service doing it in merely one), and with 170 km of trails, Andros is an ideal destination for nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts.
Andros is one of the greenest Cycladic islands. It boasts several waterfalls and many water springs, including the famous Sariza. These trails have been used by shepherds for centuries. Old water mills, abandoned farm houses and all types of fauna and flora are to be found here. Olive groves give way to old cobbled paths, stone bridge and Neolithic caves interspersed with chestnut, mulberry trees and weeping willows. Traditional villages with traditional squares and monasteries are to be found in abundance, too, as are the obligatory archaeological sites (namely Paleochora).
Andros was the recipient of the distinguished Leading Quality Trails-Best of Europe certificate in 2017. And a jaunt around the island mountain trails will have you knowing why.
With few tourists in high season (as it is predominantly a local enclave) you are guaranteed the island almost to yourself in October. And this year Andros takes it one step further with the introduction of the 1st Annual Andros on Foot Festival. During 6-28 October Andros will celebrate its legacy by organizing a program of events and activities centered around the network of hiking trails and villages, to promote the local culture (www.androsonfootfestival.gr).
A holiday in Andros in October kills two birds with a stone; you can enjoy a great island holiday sans the crowds, while burning off the excess summer binge of food and booze, walking around and marveling at nature’s glory.