The property is situated in 5 acres of rugged hillside surrounded by plantings of olive, fig and fruit trees, accessed by private gated drive. The hills are the home for sheep, goats and a wonderful selection of birdlife including eagles and partridge. At the bottom of the valley is a river from which we obtain our water supply. It is 2 km from beach.
The house is made up of two buildings, the very old small house (annex) which flanks the more recent 'grander' house separated by a terrace
The main house comprises of a double bedroom accessed from the bathroom, its own outside door and terrace.
An elegant sitting room leading into a twin bed room, and another passage bedroom, off the kitchen, bathroom and another inner terrace. The kitchen is well equipped with a fire place and leads onto the front terrace.
The annex has a similar arrangement with one double bedroom, shower ensuite, and one twin bedroom. There is also a kitchen with stone oven and fridge.
Andros is a real Greek island, unspoilt and very family orientated. Chartes, a village on the NW side of the island, was first cultivated in the 16th C, by Albanian mercenaries who were given tracts of land in exchange for their services. The remains of their walls and dwellings are still scattered amongst rock and thistles on rugged hills. My property, once such a dwelling, was extended in the fifties with the help of the local villagers, into a comparatively grand residence inscribing the dates in wet cement. Not so in 2004 when I bought it during the worst winter in 70 years, under a metre of snow.
There was still a cow in the (now) main bedroom and goats roamed everywhere which would explain why there was no vegetation but thistles and a solitary pine tree.The 3 acres were farmed until the late 90's, particularly the mulberries used for Cipero the local hooch, distilled in what is now the bathroom.
In the last 8 years we have restored and conserved the house using the same materials, original woodwork and typical bright colours and quietly modernised, introducing a bathroom, laundry/ loo and newer kitchen. Fireplaces are always found in kitchens, which we also use cook on and wood burning stoves have been put in for use in winter and spring.
Early stone and later woven bamboo ceilings are typical of the Andriot architecture and the rooms are easily dated by the beams, the more crooked, the older they are. These are clearly evident in my son Theo's house, the annex and earliest dwelling, now comprising of 1 twin and 1 double bedroom with an en suite bathroom. In the corner of the L shaped house is the typical oven, used to roast a whole lamb or goat. This small kitchen has an extra fridge and old fashioned sink.
The Pine tree, now has company, with trees planted every year, and hedges to provide shelter from the wind for the olives and fruit trees. Planted 7 years ago we were able to harvest our 1st olives for oil last year.
It is a home where one lives outside listening to the cicadas, bees, partridges, hawks and eagles, watching them hovering over the river, while the hills provide grazing for the sheep and goats, outside our fence!. Our neighbours are still farmers for whom life style and values are much the same we had as children in the 1950's and 60's.
However, history aside, there is lots to do, beaches, picnics, sun bathing, reading, cooking, tavernas, shopping in the capitol Andros, exploring, playing games and communicating. This is the antithesis of high tec, wi fi, air conditioning,
electronic amusement which is available everywhere else.