It extremely unlikely for visitors during their time on Andros not to notice the great depth of shipping culture and how this has shaped the island. Stenies village is one of the places that played an important role and paying this spot a visit is definitely a worthwhile thing to do.

Here, you will find no statutes, no archeological museums, no specials things. Here, you will have to discover everything yourself and for doing that, you will need a totally different approach. But first you need to understand why this is should be the way.

Generations of captains come from here, get off the bike and just… listen

The quaint alleys, traditional yards with blooming flowers, and flourishing lemon trees make any visitor to appreciate a “tidy”, clean villa full of smells and colors. But is that all? Certainly not.

Even from the beginning of the 18th century, becoming a seaman was a matter of pride among the small community of Stenies village. The more the years of experience in the open sea someone had, the more the esteem and the respect he received. In the case of being a captain in a big, steam powered vessels that was enough for someone to become one among the most prominent members of Stenies population. All of the seamen families here have been wealthy at some point. Many of them decided to go down a cosmopolitan way and they have moved to Athens, with some to have gone outside of the country (many of them are staying in London). The ones that stayed in Stenies, did so because this is their true home. It is breathtaking to think of people that have travelled the world for years, but could find no peace like the one back at home.

Therefore, for any curious cyclist who want to discover this true and fascinating side of the village, find the small “kafenio”, enjoy some coffee. Be always timid and avoid be loud or demanding; remember, that is the people’s special home and foreigners who do not respect this important place aren’t welcome – it makes perfect sense.

A cycling coffee stop full of stories from the sea

If you are lucky to see any of the locals joining you at the Kafenio, just ask them about the Stenies village and its history. If that person is in the mood to share more, do not leave. The stories you will hear would be real gold and then the magic will happen. You will discover this place through the people narratives and you will learn a lot about how the shipping industry was back then, at a time where real skills and courage needed to overcome on the hurdles of sailing in the open seas.

It has happened to us. What about you?

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