island Andros

Villages | Hora (Andros Town)

Hora begins its history during the Venetian period as a 'burgo', which means a settlement under the protection of a castle, the ruins of which are preserved at the tip of the peninsula. The castle was connected to the town at first by a wooden, and later a stone, bridge - the stone bridge still exists. The settlement was protected from the sea by a wall of houses, (a continual row of houses with their outer walls facing the sea and forming a protective barrier) (photo 2) and guarded from the land by walls and a moat. The stone entrance, which has been preserved built into a house in the Kairis square, still remains the gateway to the old city.

The very scenic old city has retained intact its medieval street plan and it is an exceptional example of a combination of Byzantine, Venetian (photo 3) and Ottoman influences as well as
more modern architecture. With the re-inforcing safety of its beaches, Hora gradually expanded beyond its protectivebarriers. After the establishment of the new Greek state, a new town was created outside the original walls. However, Hora really began to flourish at the beginning of the 20th century, when Andros ship owners controlled 23% of Greek shipping.

At this time, the tasteful neo-classical mansions (photos 4,5) were built, which gave Andros is queenly character. Worthy examples of contemporary architecture are two of Hora's museums: the Modern Art Musuem, which received an award from an international architectural competition, and the Archaeological Museum. Both museums were donated by the Goulandris Institute.
The sedate development of tourism is particularly focused in the Nimborio area, which offers the most accommodation, restaurants and bars. You will have several choices for swimming. The two beaches, Nimborio and Paraporti , on the left and on the right of Chora, are both accessible by foot from the town. To reach the scenic and usually deserted Lidi beach, follow the path which starts exactly at the far end of the Paraporti beach for about 20 minutes.
The beaches of Yalia and Pisso Yalia can be reached by car in about 15 minutes. Also, during the high season, small boats, from the Plakoura area (photo 6), can take you to the beautiful Achla beach where you can enjoy, as well as its clear water and clean sands, its aquatic beauty at the mouth of the Achla river.

The area of Andros Town
The valley of Messaria is covered with trees and covers the whole width of Andros from west to east, ending in Hora. Some of the most beautiful villages of the island are found here - Strapouries, Pitrofos, Menites, Lamira, Mesathouri and Ipsilou on the north side and Aladino, Falika, Koureli and Sasa to the south. All the area, with Messaria at its centre, formed the epicentre for the economic development of Andros in Byzantine times and also at the beginning of the 20th Century when navigation was flourishing.

Here are found most of the island's Byzantine churches and the Monastery of Panayia Panacrantou (Virgin Mary).

Also found here are the beautiful upper-class town houses and mansions of the ships' captains. All of these features are found in an idyllic, verdant landscape of gardens and rich farm buildings, which owe their existence to plentiful water, which literally flows everywhere.
By car you can only go as far as the outskirts of each village and from there on foot using the village lanes. If you decide not to take your car at all, then you can visit all this, taking in a complete picture of the area, by means of a large and well maintained network of footpaths.

Six kilometers north of Hora is Apikia. Here is found the famous Sariza spring, the Apatouria, a group of houses with stone bridges and some of the most beautiful old mansion houses on the island and the amazingly picturesque ravine of Pithara.

In Apikia is the beginning of a well preserved footpath, which after 45 minutes walking in the beautiful valley, leads to Stenies, the captains' village. It is worth going around its lanes to see the Pentavrisi (Five Fountains) with the communal laundry and to visit the Bistis-Mouvelas tower and the old pasta factory, which from 1864 until 1936 worked using the power of the largest water mill in the Balkans. The walker can finish off with a swim at either Yialia or Piso Yialia beach.

If you continue north from Apikia, immediately outside the village you will come across the walled monastery of Agia Marina and after a further 5 kilometres the large monastery of Agios Nikolas.

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