Andriot farmers have long produced very good, if little known, cheeses, but only one dairy produces them to EU specifications. It is located in a village between Batsi and Paliopoli, and bears the unlikely name of Ano Aprovato (sheepless), where the owners also run a taverna called To Balkoni tou Aigaiou (the balcony over the Aegean), that lives up to its name. There, in addition to fresh kopanisti, a spicy, soft cheese, they serve their own bread, sausages, fresh vegetables from their garden and rooster with homemade noodles, as well as agreeable wine (most local wine is amber in color and very potent).
Belalis, on the corniche above Batsi, is a simple taverna that also prides itself on fresh produce, Pertesis, at Strapouries near Hora, has both a view and delicious cooked food, while Yiannoulis on the coast between Batsi and Gavrio, the port, is an Andros institution; a favourite for lunch, this is the place to try froutalia, the island’s rich omelette. Studded with sausage, preserved pork and fried potatoes, this is not a dish for dieters!
Andros also produces fabulous sweets: amygdalota (almond paste cylinders), kaltsounia (a confection of walnuts, honey and cloves), pastelli (thick and chewy diamond-shaped bars of honey and sesame seeds), spoon sweets, and pastitsakia or macaroons. Look for these at Anthos Gavriou or Tolis in Gavrio, or in the Hora at Konstantinos Laskaris’s shop on the main street.
Ferries leave from Rafina only, in the mornings and afternoons. The trip takes two hours. Rafina Port Authority, tel: 2294 022300.
Most hotels in Andros are located between the port of Gavrio and Batsi, a fishing village turned tourist resort. Among the most pleasant are:
Aktio Apartments, just outside Gavrio
Tel: 2282 071607
Perrakis Hotel, overlooking the beaches of Agios Petros and Chryssi Ammos
Tel: 2282 0071456
Blue Bay Hotel, at Delavoria, on the coast just south of Batsi
Tel: 2282 041150
Egli, in Hora, small and friendly
Tel: 2282 022303