This study focuses on the status of the Makrotantalon Unit (Andros, Greece) within the framework of the Cycladic nappe stack. We document unambiguous evidence that this unit has experienced blueschist-facies metamorphism and identify previously unknown lawsonite ± pumpellyite assemblages in glaucophane-free metasediments. The position of the presumed tectonic contact at the base of this unit is vague, but roughly outlined by serpentinites. Only a single outcrop displays a weak angular unconformity with cohesive cataclasites in the footwall. Rb–Sr geochronology was carried out on 11 samples representing various rock types collected within or close to inferred or visible fault zones. Owing to a lack of initial isotopic equilibration and/or subsequent disturbance of the Rb–Sr isotope systematics, isochron relationships are poorly developed or non-existing. In NW Andros, direct dating of distinct displacement events has not been possible, but a lower age limit of ~ 40 Ma for final thrusting is constrained by the new data. Sporadically preserved Cretaceous ages either indicate regional differences in the P–T–d history or a different duration of metamorphic overprinting, which failed to completely eliminate inherited ages. The detachment on the NE coast records a later stage of the structural evolution and accommodates extension-related deformation. Apparent ages of ~ 29–25 Ma for samples from this location are interpreted to constrain the time of a significant deformation increment. On a regional scale, the Makrotantalon Unit can be correlated with the South Evia Blueschist Belt, but assignment to a specific subunit is as yet unconfirmed.