Andros! An island blessed with beautiful scenery, ancient paths, fertile terraces, diverse flora and fauna, glorious beaches, clean seas and running springs and waterfalls.
Nature and humans have melded together over the centuries and evolved harmoniously. The “developments” of the last few decades have hardly touched parts of Andros. These areas remain undisturbed and retain the ability to awaken in each of us a joy that can only be experienced by walking along our ancient paths. Around half of Andros is designated a nature reserve, due to its high biodiversity. ( Natura 2000 – EU).
Our paths were once used to connect and support the inhabitants of the communities and villages. These trails were the lifeblood of the Island, bringing produce up from the valleys and bringing people together through church and school, and finally, enabling access to the sea. Over the years, many old routes have been destroyed or blocked and forgotten. Our mission has been to make the footpaths a useful resource once again for the community. We encourage and motivate our local communities to support their preservation.
We, the volunteers, the Andros Route Angels, come from far and wide. We are a collaboration of native Andriots, Greeks from further afield, and volunteers from other countries, who have settled here. What unites us is our love of the natural and wild beauty of Andros. Our enjoyment is in climbing our high hills and walking through our valleys and terraces, with a passion for supporting this Island’s future sustainability.
We have been restoring these paths to support and creatively inspire the local communities and to enable the modern-day hiker to enjoy. By sharing the treasures of Andros, we can all be reminded of the ancient Cycladic heritage.
We work with our hands, unlocking the ancient walkways, careful to respect the beauty and nature of our beloved Island. We also maintain the vital waymarking, enabling visitors to cross the Island from end to end. We apply our minds creatively seeking ways to make this ancient heritage, both natural and man-made, useful again for the communities of Andros and all. We communicate creatively to increase awareness about the paths, with events such as maintenance hikes and publishing informative guides and maps.
We fundraise to support the upkeep of our trails. Although manned mostly by volunteers, there are costs incurred in areas such as additional labour, tools, materials, equipment, admin support and marketing . We invite hikers, visitors, local people, and companies to support us.
Finally, we encourage our local communities to connect with hikers, through guided visits through their villages, or activities, experiencing food and produce from their land.
We are committed to making the festival as sustainable as possible. We are taking some measures to minimise our carbon footprint and reduce the use of plastic.
This year, all Festival meals are served on crockery that is washed and taken to the location of the next day’s lunch. We will not provide plastic cups at any of the Festival events. As part of registration, this year hikers will receive a bamboo cup for drinking at meals and events. The Festival kit contains reusable and recyclable items.
This year we are encouraging hikers to leave their cars at home and use the Island’s bus service to get to and from Hikes and Events. Where possible, we have organised the hike start and end times to link with the local bus company (KTEL) schedule. KTEL has kindly offered a discount on fares for registered Festival attendees. When a local bus isn’t available, we have arranged special Festival buses.
If you are coming from abroad, you could consider coming by train. It may be quicker than you think; for example, it is possible to get from London to Andros in 48 hours. We have provided details on how to do this on our website.
Andros Routes – Seven Steps to Sustainable Hiking
- Respect the wildlife of our Island.
- Encourage the use of public and shared transport to minimise car use.
- Minimise the use of plastic.
- Leave no waste.
- Strive to use ethical and local sourcing.
- Take care to prevent wildfires.
- Experience the landscape. Notice the ancient landscape around you.
Help us with our Sustainability goals and observe our Seven Steps.
- Respect the wildlife of our Island
Respect flora, fauna, terraces
In areas of protected habitats, stick to the path
Don’t pick the flowers and plants
2. Make use of public and shared transport to minimise car use.
Try to arrive by bus
Use car-sharing where possible
3. Minimise the use of plastic
Use reusable crockery and cutlery
Ask hosts to use reusable tablecloths, napkins
Don’t use plastic bags – use reusable bags
Use alternatives to plastic water bottles, reusable cups, paper straws and more
Bring water in reusable containers
4. Leave no waste
Take all the waste with you
Collect garbage on the way
Use recycling areas with clearly marked bags/bins for different kinds of material
Reduce paper use by media coverage, websites and email accounts, Facebook and Twitter and online booking capability
5. Strive to use ethical and local sourcing
Buy local products and produce, wherever possible
Encourage the use of organic produce
Buy from ethical organisations
Be curious with local providers about the raw materials they use
6. Take care to prevent wildfires
Reduce the risk of fire
Be aware fires can start and spread easily
Extinguish matches and cigarettes before discarding them
Keep the Emergency Number +30 2282042199 in your phone and call it if you see any sign of fire
7. Experience the landscape
Walk at your pace
Enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and flavours
Notice your surrounding landscape, nearby or further away
Connect with nature
Listen to local people
Make new friends