Amazing Andros with kids – Cultural Activities

Amazing Andros with kids – Cultural Activities

Beautiful Andros is the second biggest northernmost island (374 km2) in the Cyclades. The island is very different from the other Cycladic islands. The locals often call Andros “Rock”, both due to its rocky coastline and the islets surrounding it. Andros is unique because of it’s rich nature, it’s particular soil morphology, it’s unexpected green areas with springs and waterfalls, it’s medieval castles and ancient monuments. It’s three towns are different and unique too: the port is located in the friendly Gavrio (from Athens you can take the ferry boat to Andros leaving from the ports of Piraeus, Rafina and Lavrio), Batsi is very cosmopolitan and Ándros’ capital, also called Chora, is classy and sophisticated. Andros has the advantage of being touristy enough to have organized infrastructure and facilities but without being commercial or loud. There are many beautiful green beaches and villages in a quiet and relaxed ambient. Andros has a vibrant cultural life too and organizes special cultural evenings and events throughout the year. The stately capital and its amount of cultural events and many museums truly sets Andros apart from other islands.

Andros is a special place for me personally too. It was the first Greek island that I visited with my baby. Many islands followed. In the summer of 2016 I visited Andros again. This time with 3 kids and a dear friend.  My friend knows Andros inside out and showed us the best places for kids. I have listed my personal top favorites – including the best places to eat –  in two blog posts. One is about Andros family friendly beaches and outdoor activities. This one describes my favorite cultural outings in Andros with kids.

A visit to ‘Chora’

The sophisticated capital of Andros also called Chora has so much to offer. You can spend a whole day there with your children. Well preserved public buildings, squares and open spaces, neo classical houses and spectacular views. I have never seen a ‘chora’ on a Greek island like the one in Andros. It is built on a narrow peninsula between two bays and sticks out into the sea. Chora is like an outdoor car free museum. It’s past of ship owners and other prestigious personalities from Andros is obvious in it’’s public buildings and rich cultural organisations. Our children loved running through the car free alleys in the evening and enjoyed ice cream at the vibrant Kairi square in the centre of the town.. We also enjoyed the Goulandris museum. The museum organizes a variety of children’s programmes. Other museums that can be interesting for your children are the Andros Archeological Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Folklore and the Maritime museum.

An excursion to Chora must include a visit the Riva square with its énormous and impressive bronze statue of the unknown sailor. This statue pays tribute to sailors that were lost at sea.

Across from the Unknown Soldier at the edge of the Chora is another one of my kids’ favorites  the so-called Kato Castro. At the end of Riva square, at the end of Chora, there is a large vault, a stone bridge connecting the peninsula of the Chora with an island and a Medieval Castle or Kato Castro. It offers an exciting and spectacular view. Don’t forget to look down and find a huge white fish drawn on the stones!

Across from the Unknown Soldier at the edge of the Chora is another one of my kids’ favorites  the so-called Kato Castro. At the end of Riva square, at the end of Chora, there is a large vault, a stone bridge connecting the peninsula of the Chora with an island and a Medieval Castle or Kato Castro. It offers an exciting and spectacular view. Don’t forget to look down and find a huge white fish drawn on the stones!

Eating: We loved eating at the famous ‘Ta Skalakia’ – steps or stairs in English – in Chora. The outside tables are located on narrow white stairs. The gardens, church and colorful lights next to the tables created a fairy tale like atmosphere at night. Inside, the tavern looks like a museum, with a rich collection of bottles, pots and pans in all shapes and colors. My kids could not get enough of the colorful collection of soap bars in the restrooms The menu is small but the food was amazing with child friendly meze such as meatballs and Greek sausage. I had pasta with a sauce of ouzo and it was delicious! Very popular place and needs a reservation!

The open air cinema in Chora. How more to enjoy the summer with your children by watching their favorite movie under the stars!

The Museum of the Olive

This museum is on Pitrofos village and it is as small as an olive extraction facility used to be. Owner Dimitris Chelmis bought it in a wrecked state and renovated it. He built his house on top of it, but kept the ground floor as it used to be. Dimitris is an amazing story teller, educated, kind and warm welcoming! The museum is distinguished by Trip Advisor and certainly worth the visit.

Ice cream and an afternoon stroll in Batsi

In the sixties, Batsi was a picturesque fishing village and it was the ideal film setting for plenty Greek movies. Today, Batsi is a cosmopolitan harbour and the most touristic part of the island. The whitewashed houses of the village are built as an amphitheatre over the bay (it reminds me a lot of Hydra). Batsi has it all: hotels, restaurants, shops, bars and cafes. There is also a large organized Blue Flag beach in Batsi. Although Batsi was not very exciting during the daytime, at night, it offers much entertainment and becomes a very charming place. We loved strolling around the marina enjoying beautiful yachts and it was great taking the kids for ice cream and watch the little shops.  You can also have a drink or something to eat while you children play at the beach.

Eating: Oti Kalo. The best restaurant in Batsi overlooking the bay. Traditional Greek food with a bit more finesse. Needs a reservation in the summer weekends!

Have you been to Andros and what was your favorite activity with your children? Let me know if you have any tips!

Celeste Tat

Celeste Tat is an expat living in Greece for 20+ years of which 16 years in Athens.  She is the mother of 2 young children and always searching for family friendly activities and vacation destinations.  She is the creator of Family Experiences Blog and the exclusive Blogger and Community Manager for Family Goes Out in Greece.

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