The Second Andros On Foot Festival
From the 5th to the 20th of October we walk around Andros!
The Andros on Foot Festival is a celebration entailing an exploration of the exceptional beauty of the island: its monuments, villages, fetes, music, arts and flavours. Local cultural groups in villages across the island are preparing a range of activities along the hiking route network.
The festival aims to attract hiking enthusiasts, both locals and international visitors.
The hiking network has been restored, awarded European certification and extending across 170 kilometres of beautiful routes, gives visitors a glimpse of the beauty and the primordial lushness of the landscape.
The 100 kilometres route that crosses the island from north to south was awarded the Leading Quality Trails – Best Of Europe certification from the European Ramblers Association.
Eleni Petsa-Kourtesi has been involved in the restoration process of Andros’ traditional trail network from its early days. She donates proceeds from the sales of her soaps, which exude wonderful island aromas, to the cleaning and upkeep of the network. She is happy when the paths free of dry branches, rocks and general rubbish and shares in the enthusiasm of the Andros Routes team.
“The second On Foot Festival turns the spotlight on Andros and makes the island internationally known for its beautiful, natural landscape”, Eleni told A Magic Cabinet.
Which trail to choose from?
The 6 kilometres hike from the Chora to the picturesque villages of Ipsilou, Lamira, Mesathouri and Menites, which includes a tour of Menites and a lunch?
The 9.4 kilometres route from the mountain village of Vourkoti towards the arched bridge over the Achla river, the monastery of Agios Nikolaos and beautiful Achla beach where a local fete (panigiri) will await you?
Or the 8.9 kilometres trail from Batsi to Aprovato, through the lush, graded valley and on to the virgin beach of Koutsi.
Ramblers are free to choose their own paths of course, as there are so many wondrous options in Andros.
In old times, the Andros trails connected local villages, were used to transport goods and enabled access to churches, schools and to the sea, making communication with the outside world easier.
More recently, a lot of these ancient pathways were destroyed or simply neglected. The vision Andros Routes had, was to make these trails useful again, by encouraging the local population to get involved in the restoration process.
Participating in the second Andros On Foot festival will require registration three days prior each planned activity.
Hikers should have a small backpack with a few clothes, some basic food items and maps. On some of the longer routes, it would also be advisable to bring along some water.
Comfortable clothing and sports shoes will be necessary for the easier routes, while the more difficult trails through mountains will require hiking boots.