2nd Andros on Foot Festival – Report!

1 year in the making
8 member organising team
39 Andros villages
20 monuments & sights
18 local cultural associations with 90 volunteers
48 festival volunteers
60 sponsors
35 material & service suppliers
1100 pairs of legs
16 days
100kms hiked
Great weather.
A lot of work, patience & perseverance and most of all…
Lots of love!

The Second Andros Hiking Festival

The 2nd Andros on Foot Festival came to an end on the 20th of October 2019, after a 16-day journey, where we crossed the island from north to south.

Festival registrations exceeded 500. Sixteen all-day hikes were planned, with only one change and more than 1100 individual hikes taking place. The Festival planning this year began at the end of 2018 and continued until the festival ended in October 2019. A team of 4 Andros Routes volunteers was established to coordinate and collaborate with: 

  • 18 Andros Cultural Associations
  • 27 volunteers of the Andros Routes Project
  • 21 Festival volunteers
  • 60 sponsors
  • 35 material & service providers.

Distances covered, Places visited…

This year, 1115 pairs of feet walked sections of the signposted Andros hiking network, passing through most of the villages & urban Centres of the island:

In north-northwest Andros: Amolochos, Froussei, Varidi, Kalivari, Gavrio, Agios Petros, Batsi, Ano and Kato Aprovato, Paleopolis.

In central and eastern Andros: Katakilos, Arni, Menites, Mesaria, Lamira, Mesathouri, Ipsilou, Aladinou, Koureli, Chora, Livadia, Apikia, Katakalei, Vourkoti

In central & southern Andros: Kapparia, Piso Meria, Aidonia, Ammonakliou, Mousiona, Korthi, Ormos Korthi, Rogos, Lardia, Giannisaio, Exo and Mesa Vouni, Kochilou and Sineti.

Along the way, visits were made to the most famous monuments and sights of Andros along the hiking network, and where possible, with guides and specialists:

the watermills of the Froussei & Dipotama, the Agios Petros tower, the Agia Monastery, the Archaeological Museum of Paleopolis and the ancient Acropolis, the Aladinos cave, the fountains of Menites and Aidonia, the Pithara waterfalls and botanical garden, the Agia Eirini Monastery, the Agios Nikolaos Monastery, the Panachrantos Monastery, the Upper Castle, the Chora Archaeological Museum, the exhibitions of paintings by Yianna Andreas and wood sculpture by Kostas Skordou, and the Sineti Folklore Museum.

Visits were also made to areas of beauty, famous for local produce, such as the Liokitra and Polemis estates in the Livadia area.

The Festival covered 100km in 16 days.

The co-organizers of this colourful celebration were the people of the Cultural Associations of most of the villages. They were allowed to share their works, local customs and culinary delights with the hikers. Lavish lunches of local produce, cooked by the village folk, were waiting at the end of each hike. Most were served in the old school grounds of each Association. On several occasions, the meals were combined with small bazaars of local products, traditional music, dances and local customs such as the Tsounio game in Pera Choria.

This year, like last year, the majority of visitors were Greek (80%). Overseas visitors came from mainly northern European countries, such as the UK, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy and the Scandinavian countries, as well as Israel, Australia and Canada.
Of particular importance this year was the participation in the Festival of the Primary and Secondary school children of Andros, namely the Primary School and the Gavrio Gymnasium.
Also notable was the participation of 20 members of the Crete Mountaineering Club, who travelled by the direct ferry link between Andros and Crete, as well as mountaineering teams from Athens and Thessaloniki.

This year’s stand out activities were those on October 9 and 16, the first a day-long visit to the historic site and the protected area of ​​the island of Gyaros. The second, a day dedicated to the capital of Andros, Chora, with guided tours and visits to monuments, exhibitions, the newly created botanical garden of Andros, and a taste of the local cuisine and dancing of Andros.

Despite some initial problems with travel arrangements to Gyaros, a solution was found with the help of the Sophia Star, a magnificent wooden sailing caique.

The common denominator of both Festivals was the joy and good spirits of everyone involved, both hosts, volunteers and participants. People of different ages, nationalities and backgrounds all came together, a colourful, magnificent human mosaic.

The Festival enabled the sharing of the wonderful, natural and cultural heritage of Andros that only hiking the trails can reveal, along with the authentic Andriotic hospitality, the beautiful and enthusiastic face of Andros.

Gratitude and warm thanks to all who participated in the Festival.
Gratitude and warm thanks to those who worked for many months before and during October to make this multi-day event a reality :
to the core volunteer team of Andros Routes,
to the volunteers who supported the Festival,
to the co-organizers,
to the sponsors,
and to the Municipality of Andros and the South Aegean Region.

All contributors are presented in detail below.

Local Associations and Providers of Festival Meals (North to South)

Residents & Community of Macrotantalos, home of Mr. Aristogeiton

Paleopolis Cultural Association

The Thomas taverna in Kato Katakilo

Arni Cultural Association

Vourkoti Cultural Association

Cultural Association of Ypsilos-Lamira-Mesathouri

Menites Cultural Association 

Aladinos Cultural Association

Pera Chorio Cultural Association 

Livadia Cultural Association

Vrachnos Cultural Association

Apikia Association

Agia Irini Monastery

Chora Women’s Association – Dance Company “Chorevandros

Syneti Cultural Association

Kochylou Cultural Association

Korthi Women’s Association

Association of Friends of the Folk Museum of Syneti

Kappararia Cultural Association

Parents & Guardians Association of Piso Meria “the Mustacheio”

Co-organizers & Supporters (in alphabetical order)

EOT (sponsor)

Municipality of Andros

Andros International Festival (Aegis/Auspices)

South Aegean Region

Sponsors (in alphabetical order)

Municipality of Andros

Diapoulis, Aris – Pharmacy

Kourtesi,  Eleni – SOAP BY ELENI


Micra Anglia Hotel

Sariza Spring Hotel

Fast Ferries

Verstrynge, Rosemary

Hosts & Catering Sponsors

Athina Kirtata & Sakis Antonopoulos, offering a snacks and drinks during a visit to the “Liokitra” estate in Livadia

Tridimas Bros. Butcher, providing snacks in Chora

“Ermis” Pastry Shop, providing snacks in Chora

“Endochora” restaurant, serving snacks in Chora

“Lithi” restaurant, providing snacks in Chora

“La Strada” cafe, serving dishes in Chora

“Krisilias” bakery, providing snacks in Chora

“Laskaris” Pastry Shop, providing sweets & Sweets

Agia Monastery

Agia Irini Monastery

Panachrantos Monastery

Andros Traditional Grocery, offering snacks in Chora

Polemis Spiros, donated his estate for lunch by the Livadia Association

Rodozachari, delicacies in Chora

Androp Distillery, beverage supply in Chora

Blue Dolphin – accommodated our WWF tour guides and Maria Fotouchou, guide to the Upper Castle

Fresco Juice & Salad Bar, serving treats in Chora

Micra Anglia Hotel – space for volunteer seminar

Pension Stella (hosting first aid seminar)

Vassiliki studios – ERT workshop and jour

Tour sponsors

Andreadi Gianna – guided tour of the “Thorns and Amaranth” exhibition at the Kaireios Library.
Archaeological Museum of Andros – visit to the Byzantine church of Taxiarchis in Mesaria
Vrontisi, Maria – Assistant Professor at the University of Thessaly – Guided Tour of the Apikia-Katakalei-Vourkoti Valley
Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities – visit to the church of Agios Ioannis Theologos in Korthi and a visit to the Church of the Taxiarchis of Messaria
Kaireios Library – Hosting at the Agadakis Estate and visit to the Botanical Garden
Calabria, Eleni – Head Archaeologist of Andros – Presentation on the Agios PetrosTower
Paleokrassa, Lydia archaeologist-excavator in Paleopolis (tour of the Paleopolis Archaeological Museum & the ancient Acropolis)
Papanikolaou, Stavroula – details on the Agios Ioannis Theologos church in Korthi
Stephanou, Dimitris – guided tour of the valley of Vourkoti and Agios Nikolaos
Fotouchou, Maria archaeologist of the excavation team of Mr. Doris – Tour of the Upper Castle
Cyclades Protected Areas Management Agency – Permission to Visit Gyaros
Adamantia Gallery – wood carving exhibition
Life Andros Park – guided tour of the flora of Andros
WWF Hellas – Syros office, Christos Papada for co-organizing the visit Gyaros, and our guides Vicky Danaxas and Apostolis Zamblakos

Travel & Security Sponsors

EKAB (Andros Routes First Aid Volunteer Training) – Special thanks to Kostas Avgeris, EKAB instructor in charge and Antonis Pertesis). 

Special thanks to Argiro Tsialou, EKAB paramedic who walked with us on most days of the Festival.

KTEL Buses of Andros – special rates on the regular bus service

Christos Balogiannis, providing transportation to selected days of the Festival

Andros Fire Brigade (available in case of rescue)

Andros Volunteer Firefighters Association (availability in case of rescue) 

Aegean Ventures

Euro rent a car – Anna Vrettou

EXPLORE ANDROS, providing transport on selected days of the Festival

GOLDEN STAR FERRIES, special prices for Festival members and free Festival guest & journalist tickets

FAST FERRIES, special prices for Festival members

Media Sponsors

Andriakí newspaper – Marianna Fotopoulou

ERT television

Loukis, Vangelis

Marmaras, Nodas (Festival promo video)

The Andros Film Club (blog)

ASTERAS 92 -Michalis Astras

Sponsors of sites, materials & equipment

“Anthos Gavriou”. (sweets)

Victoria Marika & Elias-We Insurance (insurance)

Kallivroúsi pastry shop (sweets)

Andros Film Club (screening of “Little England” movie and supporting WWF movie)

Laskari Pastry Shop (sweets & space for the Chora Festival Info Point)

Liokitra farm – Athina Kirtata & Sakis Antonopoulos (visit, snack and guided tour of the property)

Logaris bookstore (space for Gavrio Festival Info Point)

MIKRA ANGLIA SA (film production company – screening)

Bakelas Pastry Shop (sweets)

GUTENBERG Editions, by Yiannis Mamais & Giorgos Dardanos (printing)

KOUROS – Yiannis & Chara Tserka (banners)

Andros Routes Volunteers (in alphabetical order)

Myrto Apostolopoulou

Nikos Avgoustis (hiking)

Violandi Vratsanou (hiking)

Alexandros Vrachnos (steering group & hiking)

George Vrettos (hiking)

Olga Karayiannis (Coordinating Team & Hiking)

Achilleas Kleisouras (graphic design & sketches)

George Kontomarkos (accounting support)

Ioanna Kriezi Le Bolloch  (financial management)

Alexandros Kostis (hiking)

Alexandros Mavis (support in organizing a trip to Gyaros)

Dimitris Bothos (hiking)

Joseph Papadopoulos (hiking group)

Nikos Paraskevopoulos (Hiking & Coordinator of end of hike Meals & Monument Visits)

Leandros Petrakis (hiking &  Gavrio Info Point Support)

Vasilis Petropoulos (hiking)

Konstantinos Svyriadis (Social Media manager)

Yiannis Tridimas (hiking)

Athena Halas (support at Pera Choria Association lunch)

Christopoulos Stefanos (hiking)

Jola Gillespie (Coordinating Team & Support for Gavrio Festival Info point)

Richard Gillespie (Coordinating Team & Support for Gavrio Festival Info point)

Gerard Kleijne (Website support, promotion in the Netherlands & website statistics)

Gerard Kramer (Festival Materials Manager, Hiking, etc.)

Ulli Stahlmann (Coordinating team, hiking & Festival Info point of Gavri)

Peter Straatjes (Festival material management & hiking)

Marianne Tuit (Material management & hiking)

Festival Volunteers (in alphabetical order)

Vicky Bernardi  (hiking & check in / out support)

Costas Ioannidis (hiking support)

Evi Karpeti (Chora Info Point Support)

Eleni Dalari (Chora Info Point Support)

Dimitris Karpetis (Chora Info Point Support)

Andrianna Korkodilou (Chora Info Point Support)

Vasilis Kouris (hiking)

Athina Kyrtata (Chora Info Point Support)

Maria Labriadou (Chora Info Point Support)

Katerina Logothetis (Chora Info Point Support)

Nafsika Makrigianni  (Chora Info Point Support)

Violetta Markou (Projection Support)

Yiannis Mandinos  (Greek Media Press Officer)

Mariza Nikolaidou (Korthi Info Point  support)

Dallari Helen (Chora Info Point Support)

Eleni Politou (Gavrio Info Point Support )

Katerina Tridimas (Gavrio Info Point support)

Andreas Tridimas (Gavrio Info Point support)

Argiro Tsialou (EKAB rescuer – first aid)

Miles Blackley (Gavrio Info Point Support)

Katerina Pantazes (Gavrio Info Point Support)

Laura Wark (Gavrio Info point Support)

Andros Routes Partners

George Avgeris (Software Partner)

Eirini Lazaris (Associate Copywriter, Booking & Communication Management & Staffing at Korthi Info Point)

Epaminondas Marmaras (photo & video festival coverage)

Georgia Stephani Georgia (record management)

More detailed reports will be released in the coming weeks that will include, among other things, feedback from participants and the impact of the 2nd Andros on Foot Festival in Greek and foreign media.

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