Batsi, Andros – Not your typical Greek Island Destination
Going back to a Greek island was our goal for the summer of 2017. We were in search of a picturesque, relaxing, uncrowded island, which ultimately led us to the island of Andros.
It was difficult to decide on where to go. Greece has so many wonderful options! We wanted to go somewhere in the Cyclades island group due to the traditional architecture of white houses with blue accents and the sparkling blue sea. However, we didn’t want to end up on one of the more touristy spots such as Santorini or Mykonos. Having checked all of our options, we chose Andros due to the proximity to the port of Rafina and also because Andros seemed to satisfy all of our wishes.
After spending a lovely evening in Rafina, we departed early in the morning for a quick 2-hour journey on a ferry to Andros. We enjoyed a nice Greek frappe on the ship and before long we were approaching the port of Gavrio on Andros.
We hopped on one of the buses that met the ferry and a quick 20 minutes later we were in the charming village of Batsi, our chosen destination for the next week.
Batsi used to be primarily a fishing village but now it is the most touristy village on the island. This sounds scary but in reality it is not overrun by visitors at all and still is very traditional. Sometimes, we felt like we had the place to ourselves!
Batsi is a classic Greek island town with white houses rising up around a little harbor still filled with fishing boats. At the top of the village is a traditional Greek orthodox church. Along the seafront surrounding the harbor are countless great restaurants and cafes. There are also several nice bars with great views to spend the evening.
The majority of visitors to Batsi are Greeks coming from the mainland to spend a long weekend. During the week, the town was considerably quieter. The restaurants catered more to Greeks than to foreigners and this was a fantastic thing! Throughout our stay, we enjoyed one delicious meal after the other. It didn’t take us long to discover a few favorite restaurants where we returned several times. After our meals, the restaurants usually provided some complimentary fresh, sliced watermelon and raki.
There were several small hotels and many studio apartments to choose from. We decided on Sunset Studios, a short 10-minute walk from the village. We were very happy with our decision. We were surprised upon being led to our studio and discovering it was on top of the building with a breathtaking view. We had a massive private terrace surrounding us where we spent a lot of time taking in the stunning scenery. The water was such a beautiful deep, dark blue!
The beaches in Batsi were another delight! On the other side of Batsi was the local city beach. The beach was surprisingly empty, especially compared to other islands. Many tavernas and cafes set up umbrellas and lounge chairs along the beach. These are either free of cost or a minimum consumption charge per person (usually 3 euros). It was a pleasure to swim in the clear blue water while having a beautiful view of the village rising behind us.
A 5-minute walk in the opposite direction from our studio brought us to a small cove with a quiet little beach. Behind the beach was a very traditional taverna serving local delicacies. What a great way to spend the day!
We enjoyed Batsi so much that we are already planning a return journey. The only drawback to our time is that for several days it was extremely windy which made lying on the beach a little difficult sometimes. However, this is common for many Greek islands in the summer and the wind usually goes away before too long.
We felt like being lazy on this trip and didn’t explore the rest of Andros besides a walk around the bay from Batsi. We definitely plan on returning to this relatively unknown place and exploring the rest!