The holiday began with a smooth outbound Easyjet flight (the benefit of departing at 5:45 a.m.: less chance of a delay). Athens airport was surprisingly nice; I suppose you can’t compare it with the smaller airports on some islands as it’s much busier, so it has had more investment. Our plane must have parked at the farthest end of the terminal, though, as we had a very long walk to baggage reclaim, though most of it was on moving walkways, I won’t complain too much.
Finding the right bus stop for our connection to Rafina would have been a bit of a challenge, but luckily, my friend had been before and knew which way to go – there are a couple of signposts inside the terminal, but they don’t appear to be any once you get outside! For reference, you turn left out of the building and head towards the large Hilton hotel just opposite; there’s a bus stop just outside.
The bus trip to Rafina was pretty short, though it does stop a few times in the towns along the coast road before it reaches the ferry port. I think it took about 45 minutes total. Unfortunately, our planned trip to the Temple of Artemis didn’t quite materialize – we needed lunch. After sinking a couple of cold Mythos with our food, we decided that life would be easier if we just chilled at the harbour until the boat arrived! The weather was quite windy and a little overcast, so it wouldn’t have been the nicest walk anyway; at least, that’s how we justified it.
Despite the windy conditions, the ferry crossing was surprisingly smooth, and we enjoyed sitting on the top deck, wind in our faces and our destination on the horizon. Luckily, just as we arrived at Andros, the clouds cleared, and we had a lovely sunset in the harbour, making for a very picturesque scene.
Our lodgings for the first two nights was the Andros Holiday Hotel – set just south of Gavrio on a small peninsula. The walk took about 10 minutes with our cases in tow. Check-in was efficient as we were the only two arrivals; the staff couldn’t have been more friendly and welcoming.
We finished the day by walking back into Gavrio and enjoying a lovely meal in one of the harbourfront restaurants, Pizza Memories, and had – you guessed it – a pizza!
Having been awake since 3 a.m. UK time, we strolled lazily back to the hotel and enjoyed a great night’s sleep ahead of our planned hiking day tomorrow.