Evia, the second largest island of Greece and the third in the eastern Mediterranean, is located close to the Prefecture of Attica. However, it has a somewhat mainland character, since two bridges - the modern, suspended one and the older, sliding one - link it to mainland Greece, called "Sterea Ellada”.
A famous resort, which accommodates around 40.000 tourists during summer. The area is popular for its thermal spas which Aristotle and Plutarch used to visit.
Nowadays, there are more than 80 thermal springs with temperature from 28° C to 86° C. The curative characteristics of these springs help diseases like arthritis, while with spa-therapy women can treat gynecological diseases and men sexual dysfunction. The settlement of Aidipsos is located 4km NE of the spa city. As for the region of Aidipsos, it is located 111 km NW of Chalkida (via Limni-Rovies). dipsos is connected by ferry to Arkitsa, Fthiotida.
Eretria is a coastal town in Evia and the "gateway” of the island, as it can be reached by ferry from Oropos, Attica. Built in the place of the glorious ancient city-state, Eretria was a dominant maritime, commercial and agricultural power which established colonies in the Aegean region and in Southern Italy. It was destroyed twice by Persians and Romans, while later was abandoned until 1827, when refugees settled here from island Psara (the city's previous name was Nea Psara). Amarinthos is located 23,5 km SE of Chalkida.
Karystos is a picturesque town and port, with many squares and a functional street planning which was designed by city planners of king Othonas. It is known from ancient times for its famous Karistos slabs, slate rocks of the area. The village is located 124 km SE of the town of Chalkida.
Only 80 km away from Athens, the city of the sacred fountain of Arethousa is the main gate to the island of Evia. Thanks to its strategic geographic position, the city has remained a crossroad of cultures and ideas over the centuries, an apple of discord for many foreign conquerors. Today the cosmopolitan city of Chalkida, the administrative and commercial centre of the island built on both sides of Evripos straits, is a popular destination among Athenians for short breaks away from the hustle and bustle of the capital city. Thanks to its impressive ultra modern cable bridge, the access to the city has now become easier and quicker.
Chalkida is particularly famous for the tidal phenomenon that takes place in Evripos, i.e. the swift change of water direction every six hours, created by the Moon’s pull. During each change of direction the water stops moving for about eight minutes. An ideal place to watch this unique phenomenon is the sliding Negroponte Bridge. Another favourite meeting point for the locals is the waterfront; a charming pedestrian street lined with elegant cafes and restaurants buzzing with life day and night!
Evia has wonderful beaches, a pleasant climate, renowned monuments, many thermal sources and tasty food and is, therefore, a popular and nearby destination for the inhabitants of Athens. The island extends over a surface of 3,580 km2, its coastline is 48 km long and it has 220,000 inhabitants.
Various findings in several parts of the area (Istiaia, Kirinthos, Psachna, Amarynthos, Artaki, Karistos etc) evidence that Evia was inhabited from the Paleolithic Era. Important archeological finding have been excavated fro the period of copper. Ruins dating back to the Early Helladic period have been found in Lefkanti, Vasiliko and in Manika, Chalkida, while in Oreoi and Aliveri ruins of the Middle Helladic period have been found. Finally, tombs and ruins of post Hellenic and Mycenaean era have been excavated in many areas of Chalkida.
The ancient cities of Evia established important colonies in the Mediterranean sea (Chalkidiki, Asia Minor, Southern Italy), while Eretria was one of the most powerful cities during the Classic period. During the Byzantine era, Evia was very prosperous and formed part of the Department of Greece. During the Ottoman occupation, Evia was under Turkish control even after Kapodistrias’ arrival, and it joined to Greece only after the firman of 13th of June 1830.
After the tragedy of Asia Minor in 1922 a lot of refugees installed themselves permanently in Nea Artaki and Nea Lampsakos, as well as in refugee settlements in Chalkida and Amarynthos. During the Second World War, Evia was bombarded by the Germans while the resistance of the locals was very strong.