Andros is not just a walker’s paradise

The second-largest of the Cyclades, Andros, claims Lonely Planet, is a walker’s paradise. “Its wild mountains are cleaved by fecund valleys with trilling streams and ancient stone mills. On this lush island, springs tend to be a feature of each village and waterfalls cascade down hillsides most of the year” says the site but Andros is so much more. One of the closest Greek islands to Athens, this rich in history attractive piece of land is a popular weekend destination for those in the know.

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Perched on the slopes of the mountains or built amphitheatrically above the sea, Andros’ villages are full of surprises. Chora which is the main village of Andros, is superb with elegant and rather impressive mansions that belong to the families that defined Greece’s maritive supremacy (many of those beautiful neo-classical houses and mansions were owned by the captains and ship-owners of the island).

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With sandy beaches everywhere (Agios Petros is the most popular one, Ormos beach is the windsurfer’s spot and Ahla, Vitali and Vlychada are secluded yet amazing) Andros island will cast a spell. And last but not least, this is where The Goulandris Museum of Modern was established in 1979. Showcasing the works of the renowned sculptor, M. Tombros, originating from Andros and other Greek artists the museum has hosted numerous international art exhibitions over the years.

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This year’s temporary exhibition, which runs through the 27th of September is titled “Man Ray: The Visages of the Woman” and takes a look at the women who took leading roles in front of his this artist’s life and lens. At the Andros museum, visitors can explore Man Ray’s impressive over-50-year career through a collection of 150 works featuring a number of legendary figures of the time from the worlds of art, theater, cinema and Parisian society (Gertrude Stein, Peggy Guggenheim, Kiki de Montparnasse, Ava Gardner and Catherine Deneuve to name a few).

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With only 2 hours ferry ride from the port of Rafina in Athens, Andros is a low profile paradise that will soothe your soul.

All images via Discover Greece and MOCA