Nature of Andros Island
Andros has many peculiarities compared to the rest of the Cyclades islands, creating suitable conditions for hosting a large number of fora and fauna species. It features rivers and streams flowing all year round and a large number of springs, making it the greenest island of the Cyclades Archipelago. Although it can be considered as a typical Cycladic landscape, it has also a unique habitat mosaic, due to its high altitude, intense relief, the presence of canyons, springs, streams and seasonal ponds. Its vegetation is quite similar to that of the rest of the Cyclades islands, whilst more species are directly related to and dependent on water abundance. Furthermore, its rich fauna includes many species that are not found on the islands of southern Cyclades, and are rather found on Evvia Island, with which Andros was once connected, or mainland Greece.
Thus, Andros can be considered as an island sharing common characteristics to both mainland Greece and the Cyclades, with a particularly rich and interesting variety of fora, fauna and mushroom species.
Natura 2000 sites of the island
A large part of the island, as well as of its surrounding marine environment, is of particular value for biodiversity, not only at local and national, but also at European level, and is part of the Natura 2000 network. Three Natura 2000 sites have been established for the protection of Andros’ special characteristics and the protected species and habitats it hosts.
Plants, mushrooms and wildlife of Andros
Andros, the northernmost and most humid island of the Cyclades, presents a unique habitat composition for the region and a particular fora numbering 1,046 wild plants, 400 mushroom species have been recorded, while it also hosts rich terrestrial and marine wildlife.
Use the plant and mushroom guide on your excursions and learn more about the biodiversity of Andros.
Visit places by hiking trails
Visit the Botanical Garden that has been created at Apatouria at the Agadaki Estate, which hosts 150 plant species of the island and a mushroom garden.
Andros Island has an extensive network of trails, which are marked and maintained by the Andros Routes initiative. Following we suggest hiking routes to enjoy the nature of Andros Island.
2a: Apikia – Pythara Waterfalls: Visit to the Pythara Waterfalls.
3: Chora – Syneti – Dipotamata – Kochylou – Ormos Korthiou: Visit to the valley of Dipotamata, and to a terraced landscape of the island. The area hosts one of the most emblematic species of eagles of the Aegean islands: the Bonelli’s Eagle, while during the summer Eleonora’s falcons hunt insects there.
6: Vourkoti – Monastery of Agios Nikolaos – Achla Beach: Visit to a characteristic terraced landscape of the island and drive parallel to the largest river of Andros, Achla, towards a landscape of coastal vegetation.
8: Apoikia – Apatouria – Stenies – Gialia – Niborio: Visit to a verdant route running parallel to the Pythara ravine. Possibility of visiting the Agadaki estate and the Botanical Garden at Apatouria.
13: Arni – Remata – Lefka Beach: Visit to a characteristic terraced landscape and a route running parallel to the Arni river, reaching the beach that hosts an alder forest.
13a: Arni circular: Visit an area with riparian vegetation and alder stands that are rare in the Aegean.
In case you are interested in an organized hike you can participate in the open to the public hikes organized by Andros Routes on the island and the Andros on Foot Festival that is organized every year on the island. You can plan your own excursion in collaboration with local businesses: One Foot Forward.*
If you prefer trail running, find out about the Andros Trail Race that is organized every year on the island.
Dive into the underwater world
On Andros Island you can go scuba diving and observe the rich marine life and the abundant Poseidonia meadows that surround the island. This activity is offered by the following local businesses: Explore Andros, One Foot Forward and Scuba Andros.*
* Businesses are presented in alphabetical order. In case your business offers this activity and has not been included in the list, accept our apologies for the omission and please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to include it.