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Hiking in Andros Greece – A Paradise for Walkers

Hiking in Andros is such a great experience. Whether you want to walk the 100km Andros Route, enjoy some shorter, circular routes during your stay or something in between, the island is perfect. Andros has a variety of different environments, landscapes and cultural sites to explore. Stunning beaches, ancient paths and lush vegetation from prolific springs make for a beautiful backdrop and an unusual one in the typically arid Cyclades.

Andros isn’t just a beautiful location for hiking, the paths are well maintained and the main route is certified, too. The organisation Andros Routes worked hard to get the continuous 100km Andros Route certified as a Leading Quality Trail. It was the first European island to be recognised by the European Ramblers Association and I know they have quite strict criteria for approval.

After wanting to go to Andros since October 2020, I finally had the pleasure of visiting and getting to know some of the Andros walking routes in October 2021. In part, my visit to the island was to volunteer with Andros Routes’ sister organisation, Clean Green Andros. Before and during my 18 days with them I got to do some hiking on the island. I loved it and will definitely be back to do more.

Quality of Hiking Routes on Andros

Andros Routes is run by a passionate group of volunteers who maintain the routes. (If you visit Andros and hike on the routes I’d suggest making a donation to help the team continue their work.)

There are dedicated Route Angels who take ownership of specific routes. They walk their routes 5 – 6 times per year and keep them clear and well waymarked. There are also regular group maintenance hikes to support the Angels and to maintain routes that don’t have anyone, in particular, to look after them.

If you’re on the island when a maintenance hike is taking place you’d be welcome to join and help. Everyone is introduced at the beginning in both Greek and English and often there is the opportunity to go for a meal at the end.

What is the Andros Route?

The Andros Route is a 100km continuous path that runs from north to south. It crosses the mountains so that you get to see traditional villages, beautiful scenery and important sights.

How Long Does it Take to Walk the 100km Andros Route?

The Andros Route is broken down into 10 stages designed to be walked over 10 days. The average amount of walking each day is just under 10km with the longest stage being 15km.

Is There a Luggage Transfer Service?

Andros Routes has hiking friendly accommodation partners that you can choose to book with. Check with the place(s) you’re interested in staying at as to how they can help. Usually, they’ll do things like transfer your luggage to the next place you’re staying or transfer you to trailheads if you’re spending your walking holiday in one place.

One Foot Forward organises walking holidays on Andros. They have a 9-day self-guided option that closely follows the Andros Route. It’s not the exact route so as to allow you to walk inn-to-inn. The walking has been organised so you end each day at your accommodation which isn’t the case for each of the Andros Routes official stages. Included in their package is a luggage transfer service so that you only need to carry a day pack on your hikes.

How Many Andros Hiking Routes Are There Altogether?

As well as the actual Andros Route there are 35 day hikes (some of which are branches off main hikes). Together they span almost 200kms’ worth of walking route. The Andros day hikes are independent of the main route although there are many points where the paths cross or run together for a while.

Where Are the Day Routes and Are There Any Circular Ones?

There are hiking routes all over Andros. To see the day routes the best thing to do is go to this page of the Andros Routes site. You’ll get an overview of where each route is and you can click to find out more like if there are amenities en-route.

There are nine circular routes and they’re all grouped together on the page. Scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see the circular options at the end.

Andros Routes Map

If you’re coming hiking on Andros I’d suggest picking up the Anavasi Hiking Map of Andros. I got a copy from the bookshop in Gavrio and I used it a lot during my stay. You can also get a digital copy of the map through Anavasi’s app. I’ve yet to use the app but it seems worth exploring. They make the maps available offline and you can locate yourself on it too.

On their site, Andros Routes has mapped the start and endpoints for all of the routes which I found helpful as well. You might find this information useful to get to the trailheads using Google Maps if you’re not being transferred.

Where to Stay in Andros for Hiking

Because there are hiking routes all over the island you’ll have walking options nearby regardless of where you decide to stay on Andros. Having said that, I think that staying in Chora puts you close to the biggest number of walks. Plus it’s easy for you to get a taxi if you need one.

Can I Combine Hiking in Andros with Anywhere Else?

Yes, Tinos is right next door to Andros and also has some lovely hiking routes. Like Andros, it’s a lesser-known island and the hiking routes are well waymarked. Tinos is much more what you’d think of for a traditional Cycladic island. So if you’re after narrow streets and whitewashed sugar-cubed houses you’ll find them there. There are daily ferries throughout the year between Andros and Tinos.

Naxos is also a nice option. I think it’s quite like Andros with its natural springs and different landscapes. It’s a bit livelier than Tinos but it also has traditional villages. If you’re not doing the whole Andros Route and want to do a few hikes in different places then Andros, Tinos and Naxos would be a good little island hopping and hiking adventure.


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