I have heard so many things about Andros and watched probably (too) many videos that featured the capital of the island. That explains my excitement for spending 3 days there as a part of campaign and collaboration with Micra Anglia Hotel.  That luxury piece of paradise is located in the center of attention. Behind the main street with the stores and those traditional delicious taverns. I wish we could stay there one night more to enjoy the live Greek music at the main square. But I guess that a bit longer weekend was perfect time to explore. We decided to try all possible roads that one time we got lost at the blind road. It ended up as we had to go through stairs at very narrow road about 15 minutes. Do not worry – we are fine, just the car was a bit damaged.   Ah we also wanted to see if there is another shorter road from Gavrio, the port, to the Chora, so we ended travelling two hours more through the mountain roads without light. Again, we didn’t want to stop. We wanted to explore more.
The second day started from Aladin’s village.  I do not know why the village has that name but when I heard about it, I decided to make a list of my wishes. Who knows? Maybe Aladin was around the corner. I still believe in fairy tales.  The story began at the Old Bridge, built in 1680 A.C. by the famous Epirous builder Kitso Zoi.

Just after the bridge, maybe around 399 meters, you will find the sign and the ducks. Yes, the ducks. They welcomed us but not being so friendly to chit chat. So we decided to follow the paved road. Take a bottle of the water with you as a road is a bit for hiking experienced people.

At the entrance the guide was waiting for us. In the past I visited many caves and still nowhere I have received the safety equipment. It made me to wonder, how far are we going and what is it inside?

Helmet on the head, the flashlight in the hand and I was ready.

Temperature inside the cave is around 16 degrees throughout the year and it has 75 percent of humidity. Do not let the numbers to make you afraid, it was pretty warm inside, although a bit slippery. The first what I was dying to ask was about the name. That’s how I learned that the name of the cave Foros Cave or Aladin’s Cave has few meanings. Many say that it is from italian word which means “opening”, while the others believe that it is from the  superstition of the locals.  According to them when animals fell in the cave they disappeared, like that they are paying a form of tax to the evil spirits. I wanted to believe in Disney story, as every cave needs the one. The guide also showed me the statue with the shape of magician. Can you spot it?

This cave is a hidden world, which was being sculpted by nature over million of years. Thanks to the one Greek couple which has explored it back in 1937, today the cave is open to the  public. The one thing that took my attention was that everything was WILD, making you to feel like explorer. There is no electricity or paved road at the cave, so you should be careful while you are inside.

For the cave, it was needed about one hour to observe everything. Need to admit that I loved the road back a lot more than the one when we were going uphill, or maybe it was the fact that I knew that food time was coming.

In the case you do not have a car, and you love to walk Andros is your island. One group of volunteers, called by name Andros routes, have made various roads in order to make the island as an hiking idyllic destination.  I love the fact that after every 400 meters you would spot the sign that you are following the good road. There is no possibility to be lost.

That’s how we arrived at Menites village. Everyone was telling us that we would enjoy there and that it is something special. I am not sure if it met our expectations but this is a small village famous for its spring and nature. Trees, flowers are creating beautiful scenery. It is also the starting point for hiking to the main attractions of the island like the Paleopolis for the archaeological site and the village of Lamyra where  are more sophisticated mansions. Close to Menites is the village of Mesathouri with its stunning views and the lovely nature to walk.

The village lies at the foot of the mountain Petalos and has about 150  locals.  According to them, in ancient times wine flowed from the statue of lions’ heads. These days – water flows. According to tradition, wine festivals, called “Dionysus parties” were held here. These were feasts with an abundance of wine. Hence the lion heads were called “the sources of Dionysos.” Would love to have a chance to see it and spend a day there celebrating the wine with the locals! What about you? Being here, we had to try the local wine. And after the cave, I got also hungry.

I asked my ‘stories’ tribe where I could find the best traditional food in this area and the answer was unanimous. –Drosia Tavern (the exact same spot which I spotted on social networks long time ago).

Shade trees, a thick vegetation surround the outdoor of dining terrace of Drosia tavern.  There I was welcomed by the owners Adonis and Vicky.  During our coffee time, they have explained me the traditional dishes of the island, their specialty, but also their story. I could say that they are the island entrepreneurs. Vicky was proud showing me her handmade sweets of flowers, the ones I never tried before. She also showed me the place from where she takes the ingredients from the meals. At this place everything was fresh and local. Unfortunately, she had to leave us as she is also the owner of one clothing store at Chora.

“Antonis will prepare you now our traditional island omelette. He is the best in it.” , Vicky told me while leaving us.  The main chef was experienced in his work. He explained me that this omlette, called the fourtalia, in a way resembles the Spanish tortilla. Locals are very proud of it, and as usual there is a lot of local competition between the villages about the best recipe. It is traditionally accompanied by the unique local pork sausages, and the potatoes are sauteed in pork fat. Also the pork’s fat, which is used instead of oil and butter is called “glina” and is used in Andros for cooking and for preserving the country style sausages in it.

I need to say that I am not the biggest fan of this meal, especially as I am not meat freak but wherever you go, do not miss to try something local. That’s how I realized that at this island everyone puts one herb everywhere. It taste like a mint  a bit. And if you are visiting Drosia, ask for their sweets! Maybe they have a jar to sell, as this would be amazing souvenir to bring home. This place will definitely stay in my memory, by its unique food,  its hospitality, people and ambient. There we met Karolos who invited us to that Greek traditional night and who became our guide.  ( check on this link for the story)

 

On the whole list of destinations to visit, Karolos’ first tip was to see the waterfall. “You should go there, the scenery is fabulous for the photos.” was the first sentence he said. As you imagine it was not hard to cajole us on something. He draw us the map, although we were sure that Andros routes have marked the road. With them, the challenge was easy! After the sign of Pithara, on the left side there is one small road which you will need to follow. The road is abandoned. In the night it would be scary to walk around so it is not recommended.  Also during the warm days bring something against mosquitoes with you. If you have all those necessary things, then prepare camera, take your partner for a hand and enjoy. We did! I wish I could stay there longer but the night was on its way.

So guys, have you been to this island? Do you like to explore the natural gems when you travel?!

What about those destinations of Andros?

 

 

 

 


This post was made in collaboration with fashion brand SHEIN.  Honestly this was the first time I have collaborated with them and I was a bit suspicious as they are based far away from Greece. However, my amazing comfy jumpsuit has arrived in less than a week and I was super happy wearing it during all the trip. If you are also searching for a summer outfits you can check shein.com. I’ve decided to share with you what I am planning to have for my upcoming trips. Be free to share your wish-list with me in the comments 🙂 


 

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