Thomson Holidays

Dovecotes of Andros

Although neighbouring Tinos is considered to have both more and better, there are still enough intricately designed dovecotes on Andros to make them a holiday island highlight.

Dovecotes are dotted all over the island and are a legacy of the Venetians who kept their doves for both sport and for meat.

If the dovecote towers on Andros are nowhere near as impressive as those on neighbouring Tinos, they are still very fine nevertheless.

Most are two-storey affairs; the upper part housing the doves and the lower is usually used as a storeroom.

Entrances for the doves were created by triangular arrangements of the slate-like schist stone that is found all over Andros.

The triangle motif is found everywhere on Andros island buildings as a decorative feature. On the quayside at Gavrio a dovecote has been turned into a tourist office.

Field walls of Andros

The most northern of the Cyclades and just couple of hours from Athens by ferry, the Greek island of Andros has become festooned with holiday homes and weekend cottages.

Many older buildings on Andros are built from the island bedrock of crystallised schist which has been used in their construction, giving rise to some unique building methods.

This is nowhere more in evidence than in the walls that were built to contain the extensive terracing that creep up many of the steep hills across the island of Andros, a legacy of when the land was tilled by hundreds of small farming families.

Some liken the walling to works of art, while others think it a complicated mess. Large vertical slabs are often infilled with smaller, horizontally laid stones, giving the walls a stuttered, concertina look.

The technique in both interesting and effective as many of the walls, built on incredibly steep slopes, have lasted for centuries.