The lighthouse on the rock in the gulf of Tourlitis. The island of Andros. Greece.

The lighthouse on the rock in the gulf of Tourlitis. The island of Andros. Greece.

Quiet, tranquil and a bit sleepy even at the height of the tourist season, Andros Island is, according to many travelers from Athens, the ideal destination for “close tourism.”

How to get to the island of Andros

Only two hours from the port of Athens: not much, but a whole journey. After all, first you need at least an hour to get to the suburban port of Rafina, the buses to which leave from the central station of KTEL, near the Athens park of Pedion tou Areos (or Mars Field, in our words). Ferries from Rafina to the island of Andros leave almost every half hour in the summer. And yes, you should always remember that Andros is sailed from Rafina and sometimes you might have annoying moments, when a traveler happily waits to find a boat to Andros in the port of Piraeus.

By the way: If you find it difficult to get to the island of Andros on your own, you can buy an organized one-day excursion boat cruise to the three islands of the Saronic Gulf – Idra, Poros and Aegina (with a transfer to the port of Piraeus and lunch).

Meanwhile, Andros, with its modest tourist fame, is the second largest island of the Cyclades group after Naxos. The people, experienced in Greek abundance, can confidently name the best beaches of Hellas, and these opinions will vary. However, those who have seen the beaches of Andros will call them some of the most beautiful, and they would be right. The island has both sandy and rocky beaches for all tastes, because the coastline of Andros is 176 km.

More about the beaches we’ll talk below, but for now let’s stop at the main port of the island called Gavrio.

Gavrio is a small town and unlike most Greek island ports, it is not the capital of the island. The capital and namesake of Andros is at the other end of the island. You can go there directly from the port on the local KTEL bus, or you can take a leisurely breath and look around. If the locals are to be believed, their island is the most beautiful jewel of all Greek treasures. So immediately, in Gavrio, of course, you won’t understand it. Everything around is pleasing to the eye: both the well-kept promenade, and the graceful family of swans swimming by the sea, and the abundance of small tavernas. It’s worth taking a stroll through the local streets in the cool of the evening, and you get a hunch that the first impression of Gavrio is far from as chic. But then you see the large well-kept houses with gardens, decorated with fancy carved stone ornaments, unusual plants, rare old palm trees and an abundance of seals – such was seen by one visiting tourist on the other side of the port town.

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Of course, there are plenty of seasonal properties for rent on Andros. But, for the most part, these are hotels – economy or posh, but hotels. One gets the feeling that the inhabitants of Andros prefer to live by themselves in their beautiful homes. However, island life is not for the faint of heart, so let’s leave the islanders to their fortified and ennobled homes. Gavrio grows upward from the shore, following the example of many Greek settlements, where they are used to a tight communal structure. For the newcomer, walking up the narrow stone steps linking the old streets will seem quite romantic. Traditionally, a church crowns the village: in Gavrio it is the large, majestic church of Agios Nikolaos, an Orthodox saint who is as much revered as the patron saint of the sea.

Holidays on Andros will appeal to families with children or couples looking for solitude. What you definitely shouldn’t go to this island for is the noisy parties and vibrant nightlife. It is clear that there are nightclubs in the “metropolitan region”, but the stars come here rarely, so all the partying on the island is somewhat parochial in nature. But those who combine beach with so-called active rest, will find all conditions on Andros. Not to mention all kinds of water sports, such as windsurfing, you can go hiking on the island. Andros is full of ancient hiking trails that crisscross the landscape and extend through the mountains and gorges. It is believed that this pedestrian network, linking strategically important points on the island, has been preserved in its original form since prehistoric times. A detailed map of these hiking routes is available at any tourist office in Andros, and you’ll see signs everywhere, with a little man with a backpack on his shoulders and an estimated travel time to the point you’re looking for. Before you choose your route, walk from Gavrio to St. Peter’s Tower, built before Christ. True, the locals, hearing about your intentions, will try to dissuade you, saying that it is far away, it is better to take a car. But this is because they are concerned about the safety of visitors to the island, and, let’s be honest, do not believe that anyone but the natives, are able to endure the long walks up the mountain. There is some truth in it – unaccustomed to the heat tourists are advised to go on the road or in the early morning, or when the sun is no longer scorching. And, of course, headgear and a stock of water are needed.

Next to Gavrio begins a series of coastal villages located on a long beautiful beach called Chrysi Ammos, or the Golden Sands. It is true that in each local area the beach is called with a local word, but its essence remains the same. The villages of Kipri, Batzi, Stivari and others are the ideal place if you want to wake up and fall asleep near the gentle sea. The combination of azure blue water and truly golden sand has the best therapeutic effect known to mankind. In general, all Andros as if created for the enjoyment of bathing in the sea. There are practically no “sagging” areas like on many Greek islands, where as a rule, one of the extremities is rocky and spiced with breathtaking cliffs. Wherever you go on Andros in search of maritime adventure, whether on the west or east side, success awaits you.

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The beaches of the southeastern part of the island near Korfi and Ormos Korfia are singled out by locals because this is where the “party” life of the island is concentrated. The most colorful is the beach of Pidimata tis Grias, or Old Lady’s Leap. This toponymic idea of the local wits prompted by an unusual shape of rock, sticking right out of the water at the edge of the shore. Apparently, someone once joked that it would be nice to push the old ladies from this shapely rock. True, except as a joke, no daredevil will be able to jump off this rock due to the trivial shallow water. There, in the southeast of Andros, you can find traces of the Venetian period of the island, such as carved stone pigeons, which in abundance can be found only on neighboring Tinos. An ordinary pigeon house, you might think, but when you see it you realize what the phrase “music encased in stone” means.

On the west coast of Andros is the village of Paleopoli. Once it was even the capital of the island. But today it is interesting mainly because of its archaeological findings. Here, there are the remains of the unique prehistoric settlement of Plaka, which dates back to the Early Cyclopean period: the geometric structure, as it is called in travel guides, Zagora and the Neolithic fortification by hand. In reality, all this does not look as impressive as it sounds, but if you are imbued with the historical significance of the place, it is not so bad at all.

The village itself is home to just over a hundred people. This village is, perhaps, more interesting to modern explorers (of which all travelers are) than all the excavated antiquities. Here is the spirit of old patriarchal island Greece, where all inhabitants live as one organism, performing daily household rituals and gathering in a close community circle for Sunday prayers in church. Through the rumble and howl of the wind on the scorched slopes, one hears the lamentations of an old Greek woman as old as this village, and the old woman tells of the countless hardships and sorrows of her age, impossible to imagine that they exist under this sky so blue and over this sea so blue. Yes, the views here are extraordinary, poetic, especially when viewed from above. Basically, the whole main highway of Andros runs through the high points of the island, leaving the villages on the slopes and in the lowlands, so any way from point A to point B automatically turns into an endless enjoyment of the views.

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The main city of the island, Andros, also has a lot to see. A colorful city where neo-classicism and Cycladic architecture are thoroughly mixed and the result is a stunning effect of a colonial city. For a long time in the capital of the island settled the local nobility and just rich people, and each of them tried to surprise the citizens and add to the overall style of his “flavor”. Do not save time for a thorough walk through the capital, and probably you will not regret it if you take your camera. First of all, you will be surprised by the abundance of unusual plants and trees. The fact is that there was a period in local history when the Greeks from Alexandria moved to the city, they brought with them seeds and saplings from Egypt and planted them near their homes, shifting, as we would say today, the traditional accents.

The stores, restaurants, and the local Andros food market with fresh produce are to be found on your own. We’ll stop at one of the most picturesque parts of the city, where several local attractions come together. There is a spectacular ensemble in the capital’s small port, which today is used for its intended purpose only by groups of sea kayakers. It is a small square, as if overhanging the sea, on which there is an impressive monument to the missing sailors. The statue seems to go out to sea and seems to symbolize the seafarers’ endless posthumous love for the endless abysses of water. The sailor looks out from the square at the ruins of the old castle opposite, which are perched on a cliff that rises out of the sea. This is the former fiefdom of the Venetian captains of Andros, quite preserved all the years before World War II and destroyed by German bombing raids. Even surprisingly, as preserved stone arch bridge that connects the cliff with the old castle and square with a statue of a sailor, behind whose back the whole city. This bridge is also a landmark. Like the most famous lighthouse of Greece, Tourlitis, which was also destroyed during a German air raid. A few years after the war, the wealthy Andros family of Goulandri invested in restoring the legendary lighthouse to its original form. Locals pride themselves on the fact that the Tourlitis Lighthouse is a purely Greek work from the get-go. It is one of the most modern and most picturesque lighthouses in Greece.

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Perhaps the final touch to the portrait of Andros is the claim that the island is Greece in miniature. It feels like a collection of all the natural diversity of Greece and the peculiarities of the traditional architecture of the different regions of the country. Being a member of the Cyclades islands, Andros is not as bare and rocky as many of its fellows. On the contrary, the land is very fertile and the islanders support themselves with almost everything. Even the well-known problem of the Greek islands, with the lack of drinking water, is compensated in Andros by the mountain springs, which are not sufficient for the global needs of the island but they are a constant thirst-quencher for the weary traveler. A picture of the beautiful orderly economic life of the island, which opens up at every step, without exaggeration, will delight the inquisitive stranger.

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FARO TOURLITIS LIGHTHOUSE ON THE ROCK IN THE GULF [FARO TOURLITIS LIGHTHOUSE] (NEAR ANDROS ISLAND, GREECE) AT 1:100 SCALE (GOGOL SHOP)

1:100 scale model. Prefabricated collection detailed model-copy of a real lighthouse complete with rock, paint and illumination of electric candles. Time of assembly – 5-6 hours. Number of parts: 94 pcs. The size of the model is 36 cm high. The size of the package – 28x19x17 cm. Weight of the model in the package – 1.5 kg. Eco-friendliness: made of high-quality birch plywood. Country of origin: Russia.

Assembly WITHOUT GLUBbing!

An interesting lighthouse on a rock can be found near the east coast of the Greek island of Andros in the Aegean Sea. The Faro Tourlitis lighthouse is an impressive structure on a tiny piece of rock!

The building gets its name from the name of the bay in which it is located. The lighthouse Tourlitis was commissioned in 1887 and reconstructed in 1994. Faro Tourlitis was the first automatic lighthouse in the Greek lighthouse system. The keeper is not actually there all the time, but oversees its functioning.

In 1943, during World War II, the lighthouse was completely destroyed by the Nazis. And in 1950, as part of the reconstruction of the country’s lighthouse network, a regular tower was installed in its place, and Turlitis became operational again.

In 1994, the lighthouse tower was restored to its original form – with carved steps leading to the door of this marvelous stone masterpiece standing… in the middle of the sea. The modern structure is an exact copy of the old one and was built at the expense of the Greek oil magnate Alexandros Goulendris and the lighthouse was a symbol of the memory of his deceased daughter, Violante.

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Tourlitis lighthouse looks like a fantastic picture and is one of the main attractions of the island of Andros. Many tourist booklets present the lighthouse on a rock in calm, quiet weather. But in fact, the sea in the vicinity is extremely rough, so the presence of a lighthouse is not so much a landmark, but a justified necessity. Strong winds and waves are common here.

The total height of the lighthouse together with the rock is 36 meters and the height of the lighthouse itself is 19 meters. The interval of the floodlight flashes is 10 seconds.

It is the only lighthouse in Greece, built right in the sea 300 meters from the coast and just in front of the island’s capital, Chora (sometimes called Andros). Towards the lighthouse there is a curved stone staircase carved in the rock and on the promontory leading to the lighthouse, there is the Maritime Museum of Andros.

Thurlitis was the first lighthouse in Greece to be featured on a postage stamp, and many travelers consider it the brightest lighthouse in the world. It is the only lighthouse in Greece, built entirely by Greeks, that is, without the involvement of foreign specialists, and is the most northern lighthouse in the Cycladic archipelago.

The Faro Tourlitis Lighthouse (near the island of Andros, Greece) is a 1:100 scale model of the lighthouse, a collector’s itemized model with paint and candlelight, as well as a kit for building and decorating the rock. This is a real miniature model of the lighthouse on the rock for sea lovers. You will be able to assemble and paint a real lighthouse with lights inside. It is a great gift and accent detail in the interior!

Visual design of the Lighthouse fully repeats the original Faro Tourlitis Lighthouse, located near the island of Andros (Greece), preserving all the distinctive features and original coloring. The parts of the constructor are made of wood and fit together perfectly, creating no difficulty during assembly. The height of the assembled wooden model is 36 cm.

To assemble the Faro Tourlitis Lighthouse (near the island of Andros, Greece) in 1:100 scale from the Gogol Shop, it takes a little time because all the necessary parts are already inside the kit. Follow the instructions and assemble the Lighthouse one by one by pulling the parts out of the wooden slats. And when the model is assembled, paint it with paint from the kit. And all that’s left – light the lights inside and wait for the first ships!

Sea puzzles 3D puzzles Gogol Shop – a fascinating pastime and a great idea for a gift for children or adults, a wonderful decoration for home interiors or memorable corporate souvenir!

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