This short hike through Chóra, the capital of Andros, also introduces
you to the Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art. In
addition, this hike will make it easier for you to situate the departure
points of most of the other hikes. Also the beaches of Nimborió and
Parapórti are not too far away. This hike deserves an evaluation
Estimated time: It only takes a couple of hours to explore this small town, but the pleasant bars and restaurants will always remain attractive. To visit the museums you should count on half a day.
Chóra, the capital of Andros, is nicely situated on an elongated cape.
This cape leads to a small, rocky island, where used to be the fort or
the kástro of this town. In earlier days, Chora was indeed called Kástro
or Káto Kástro. Because of the island’s long history of seafaring,
Chóra also contains many neoclassical houses of ship-owning families.
Panoramic view over Chóra , nicely situated on a cape.
Perhaps you can
start your hike on the square near the large church of Our Blessed Lady,
the Panagía tis Kímissis, with its feast-day on the 15th of
August. You can see the large church from all over this town, so it is a
good point of reference. The street running along this square is the
main street of Chora, the Odos Alkibiádou Empiríkou. It is named after
one of the members of the famous family of ship-owners Empiríkos. As
benefactors, this family has left a lot of traces in Chóra. In the
beginning of the 20th century, the Empiríkos family
possessed 13% of the total number of steamships in Greece. It was thus
one of the most powerful families of ship-owners of the entire country!
When you take a
right in this street (facing the church), you get to a less interesting
part of Chóra. After a couple of metres, opposite the Alpha-bank,
the Odós Stamátis Empiríkou takes a right. Via a staircase of 53
steps you thus arrive at a newly laid out square with a couple of
restaurants. A bridge
over a small river brings you to the beach of Nimborió. At this bridge
you can find the departure points of the hikes in the direction of Apíkia
and Vourkotí (no ) and in the directions of Ménites, Messariá and
the monastery of Panachrántou (no ).
If you continue on
the main street you get to a large square. Immediately to the left there
is a small street leading to the Olga-square, where you can find the bus
station and the taxi rank. The post office is situated on the other
corner of this square. Continuing along this street you reach the gymnásio
(the secondary school). Slightly further down you get to the large Kaïri-library
– this is an impressive library in a neoclassical building. Theófilos
Kaïris (1784 - 1853), a famous philosopher and teacher, is another
well-known descendant of the island of Andros.
You return now and
you walk past the main church, entering the most interesting part of Chóra.
There are more shops, zarachoplastía (pastry shops) and bars and you
thus get to the Kaïri-square, the very pleasant centre of the city. On
the left you see the modern building of the Archaeological Museum, built
in 1981 with the support of the Goulándris-foundation.
The Archaeological Museum and the Kambani-fountain.
Thanks to Vasílis
and Elíza Goulándris the famous museum of Cycladic Art in Athens was
established, but they have also been very significant for Andros, the
native island of Vasílis. The museum contains an interesting collection
– some beautiful gravestones and especially the Hermes of Andros are
striking. This statue was found in Paleópolis in the 19th century. It
is probably a Roman copy from the 2nd or the 1st century BC of the
famous Hermes of Praxiteles, to be visited in the museum of Olympía.
The Hermes of Andros.
Off season, the museum is only open on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 10am to 2pm. During summer, it is open every day, except on Tuesdays, from 10am to 2pm.
small marble building in front of the museum is a fountain, built under
Turkish occupation in 1818.
immediately off the left, the Odós Goulándri, leads down to the two
buildings of the Museum of Contemporary Art. This museum was established
in 1979 to hold the collection of modern art of the Goulándris-foundation.
The museum has become famous because every year it organizes exhibitions
devoted to modern artists such as Picasso, Matisse, Kandinsky, Giacometti,
Klee, Rodin, Moore, etc.
Some nice outdoor
terraces such as the ones of the pastry shop Ermis, of café Plátanos (underneath
the beautiful tree) and of tavern I Paréa turn this square into a very
On the other side
of the square you can go down the long staircase - 135 steps - to the
beach of Parapórti. On the left of the staircase you see the large
church of the Panagía tis Theosképastis. At this staircase you can
find the departures of the hike in the direction of Sinetí and Kórthi
(hike no. ) and of the alternative hike to the Panachrántou-monastery
The staircase to the beach of Parapórti.
Continuing on the
main street, you enter the oldest part of the city via the vault of the
old gate, the Kamára or Pórta.
At this point, the
street is bordered with stately houses, which used to be inhabited by
wealthy ship-owners. We thus pass the house of Dimítrios Moráïtis, who
was the founder of the “Transatlantic Greek Steam company”.
The main street of Chóra, the Odós Alkibiádi Empiríkou.
The main street
zigzags for a short while and it then gets to the large square, devoted
to the Unknown Seafarer. The large statue is made by the Andriotic
sculptor Michális Tombrós, whose work can also be seen at the museum.
The house of the Empiríkos family used to be on the location of this
square. However, due to the heavy German bombardments of 1943 it burnt
down. The family then donated the ground to the city council. On this
square you can also find the interesting Seafaring Museum.
The monument of the Unknown Seafarer.
On the rocky
island at the end of the peninsula where Chóra is situated, a castle
was built by the Venetian Marino Dandalo in 1207. For a long time, the kástro
was in good condition, but it was almost entirely destroyed by the 1943
bombardment; only the bridge (the "Kamára"), linking the
island to the mainland, remained.
The remains of the Venetian kástro.
The beaches of
Nimborió and Parapórti surround the cape where Chóra is built. From
the first beach you definitely have the most beautiful view on Chóra.
Along the road running next to the beach there are some shops, bars and
B&Bs – it can be fairly busy here in summer time. The beach itself
is very nice for children, since the sea gets deeper only gradually.