The "continental" island
Evia, the second largest island of Greece, lies in close proximity to Athens. Two bridges, the old “Sliding Bridge,” known as the Negroponte Bridge in the west and the impressive modern, “Suspended Bridge” provide an easy access to and from Greece’s mainland, connecting Evia with Sterea Ellada and, thus, justifying its description as a “continental island.” A verdant scenery in the north with dense pine forests, which literally end where the sea begins, mountainous villages and island-like towns with Cycladic characteristics in the south, countless beaches with crystal clear water overlooking the Aegean Sea or the Gulf of Evia, countless antiquity sites and landscapes of outstanding natural beauty, give travelers endless opportunities for all kinds of tourism.
Let’s cross over!
When you have plenty of time for sightseeing or you are just a visitor over the weekend, take the island tour. Almost 80 km away from Athens and a road access to the rest of Evia, Chalkida, the city of the sacred spring Arethusa, is known for its famous tidal phenomenon, where once every six hours tidal currents reverse direction. The beautiful capital of the island, built on both sides of the Straits of Evripos, is also a favorite destination for a daytrip. Chalkida’s promenade is a famous meeting point as well as a starting place for a tour of the city. A beautiful esplanade for pedestrians pulsing day and night, since one finds dozens of cafes and restaurants along the waterfront.
• To Vasiliko, a charming village at the Lelantine Plain.
• To Mitikas, a village famous for its Twin Towers.
• To Nea Artaki, renowned for its fish taverns and its fresh seafood.
• To Vathi Avlidas, famous for its archaeological site and the temple of Artemis.
• In the central part of the island, Dirfis dominates the place, since it’s the highest mountain of Evia. Among the dozens of villages on the wooded slopes of Dirfis, Steni stands out. Built on an impressive gorge with running waters and many plane trees, Steni is considered an earthly paradise for those who love mountain activities. In the Aesthetic Forest of Steni one would enjoy hiking, climbing, biking and 4X4 routes. Within walking distance (1 km from the village of Agios Athanasios) there is the Agali Gorge, one of the finest and most fordable of Greece.
• Eretria, a coastal town (connected by ferry to Oropos, Attica), built on the glorious ancient city - state.
• Amarynthos, built near the ancient city, where, according to Strabo, was the temple of Artemis Amarynthia, the most important sanctuary of Eretria.
• Stropones, a beautiful mountain village leading to Hiliadou, the most famous beach of Evia and all time favourite of campers.
• Aliveri, with interesting historical findings, the wetland of Lake Dystos and the picturesque Karavos, the tourist center of the region.
• Kymi, "the balcony of the Aegean" with wonderful captains’ residences and one of the largest artificial ports in the country.
Let’s go north
Set out on a fascinating journey and follow the road from Chalkida to Aidipsos around the northern part of the island, which perfectly combines the sea and the mountain. Follow a scenic serpentine route through the mountain, adorned with conifer forests, olive groves as well as all kinds of wild flowers and herbs. Picturesque little mountain villages and pleasant ‘surprises’ of nature come out on every street corner, while one heads for the indented shores of the island and its naval towns, its famous spas, its religious sites and so many other places of great historical significance.
Let's take the tour together
Our first stop is Prokopi, where one can see the relic of St. John the Russian. A road on the right leads to superb beaches along the coastline of the Aegean: Pilio, Vlahia and Sarakiniko. Following the main road, one comes to the picturesque seaside town of Limni (Elymnion), where staying overnight is a must. This is the right place to enjoy diving in crystal clear waters and hiking in shady forest paths.
Driving along the Gulf of Evia in the northern part of the island, one reaches Loutra Aidipsou, with more than 80 thermal baths and excellent tourist infrastructure. On the north-western side of Evia there is the Lihada peninsula, which is home to some of the most beautiful beaches of the island: Yialtra, Gregolimano and Aghios Georgios. Don’t miss the chance to visit the tropical islets Lihadonissia, known as the “Greek Seychelles.” Continuing further north, one reaches Orei, a place inhabited since the prehistoric times and a well known tourist resort nowadays. Along the coast you will find many fish tavernas, where you can sip a glass of ouzo as you watch the light reflections on azure sea waters. The area is ideal for hiking, horseback riding at the nearby villages Kamatriades and Taxiarhis, and for fishing. The next stop is Pefki, a famous vacation destination, with a long sandy beach. At a stone’s throw the marvelous sandy beaches of Asminio, Ellinika and Psaropouli as well as Agali, the huge sandy beach of Agia Anna, will all cool you down, while you’ll enjoy a view of the Aegean.
Let’s go South
South Evia is equally interesting and enjoys a great tourist development, though it has completely different features from those of the north part of the island. It is less forested, yet it nestles sites of rare natural beauty; it enjoys an ecosystem with rare flora, beautiful canyons, an enchanting coastline with sandy beaches, picturesque islets, the legendary cape Cavo Doro, but also mysterious megalithic edifices!
We recommend your visiting
• Styra, built amphitheatrically over the ruins of the ancient city. The main attraction of the area is the famous Dragon Houses (Drakospita), a name given to them because of their enormous size. Archaeologists claim that these were probably ‘sacred houses,’ dedicated to Zeus and Hera, dated around the 6th to the 2nd century BCE.
• Marmari, a quiet vacation resort, connected with the port of Rafina. This is Evia’s wind park and at its opposite there is Petalioi, a private island group of ten islets.
• Karystos, a picturesque town and a port, known since early times for its celebrated ‘Karystos plates’.
• Hiking at the Dimosari Gorge, which starts from the village Myloi and ends at the Kallianos beach.
• Crossing the Valley of Platanistos, following a riverside path overlooking Cavo Doro (Cape Kefireas).
• Climbing up to the top of Mount Ochi, where one could see the best preserved Drakospito of Evia.
• Diving in the area of Karystos.