This Hotel in Andros Is a Skater’s Paradise, and Here’s Why

Gratitude Tracks at BluEnigma Hotel
Gratitude Tracks at BluEnigma Hotel | © BluEnigma Hotel

The Greek islands are generally famed for their glittering blue seas and tranquil beaches. But skate fans will find they have another reason to catch a boat from the mainland.

1. BluEnigma Hotel

Boutique Hotel, Hotel

© BluEnigma Hotel
BluEnigma Hotel is an insider gem, situated in the picturesque village of Apika on Andros island. Nikos Garyfallos opened the hotel in 2010. Nikos decided to revive his family business, but when it came to re-opening the hotel, he proceeded to do something a little different.

Instead of simply offering a bed-and-breakfast experience, Nikos fused his passion for skateboarding and BMX into the mix. The final results are pretty spectacular. He and the team built the skate bowl by hand. The cement bowl is a unique figure-of-eight shape that provides ample space to nail tricks and perfect techniques. It’s painted a bold, terracotta red. Nothing beats spending an afternoon hanging out with other guests and visitors, listening to great music and soaking up the vibrant atmosphere.

Alongside the skate bowl is a 2,500-square-meter (26,910-square-foot) track, located just above Apikia village on the mountain of Kakosouli. Sea views are tranquil and beautiful. The track itself gives endless room to experiment. ‘These gratitude trails feel like a desert freeride’ explains Nikos of the contrast between the more compact skate bowl and the expansive tracks.

Community and family are at the heart of BluEnigma Hotel. This is true whether you like skating or are just drawn to the atmosphere; it’s not an exclusive hotel. Quite the opposite. Beyond the skate bowl, there are ample community spaces. A communal bar with a snooker table, ping pong and outdoor sofas make for a perfect place to relax after a long day at the beach. Tables for breakfast and supper are long and inclusive, offering meals to be enjoyed together rather than apart.

The hotel’s five rooms are simply furnished and brightly painted. Each space has a balcony and a sea view, and there are kitchen facilities too. Adding to the friendly, communal atmosphere is the food. The kitchen works with local produce, so you can enjoy Greek plates which reflect the vibrant natural surroundings.

As an island, Andros is well worth exploring. Accessible from the port of Rafina, Andros remains relatively unspoilt. The island is famous for its fantastically green beaches and vivid blue waters. Nature is rich and luscious. There are plenty of dramatic cliff edges, ferocious waterfalls and quiet lagoons. The staff at BluEnigma are well equipped to give tips on secret spots and best places to visit.

In Andros, there’s a thriving art scene too. Head to the 1970s building which houses the Museum of Contemporary Art to enjoy the wealth of Greek artists on display. If you’re more interested in sightseeing than relaxing on the beach or experiencing the skate bowl, there are also ancient ruins to explore. Highlights include Paleochora’s castle and the area’s Byzantine monasteries, which are housed in striking locations on cliffs and at the top of mountains, offering impressive views. Whether it’s the allure of sunny days spent by the skate bowl or enjoying a fresh, healthy meal that’s served against the backdrop of beautiful natural scenery, BluEnigma will ensure you enjoy all that Andros offers.

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Nature in Andros

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