The irresistible combination of mountain and sea, and cosmopolitan character render Karystos an ideal destination for you to welcome the summer. This picturesque town, endowed by nature and history, offers a wide variety of options. Its coastline boasts innumerable beaches alternating between calm sandy shores and wild rocky bays. If we add its history and legends, then you can be sure that your stay here will be amongst the most enjoyable in Greece. Close to Athens, you can easily get there by ferry from Rafina or Agia Marina (in northern Attica) to Marmari or Nea Styra in southern Evia.
Things to do in Karystos
Sea & sun galore
If what you are looking for in a holiday is hours of carefree fun, then Karystos is the ideal destination for you. Endless sparkling clean sandy shores, organised beaches as well as small hidden coves are ideal for swimming, snorkelling, surfing, kite surfing, fishing, sailing or plain and simple seaside fun. Enjoy the water at Megali Ammos, Giannitsi, Archampoli and Agios Dimitrios. Short boat excursions are organised from Karystos and, if you like scuba diving, Karystos Gulf is made for observing aquatic life.
A distinctly neoclassical air
After thrills and spills at sea, it is time to get to know Karystos itself. Its town planning, for which it is indebted to the Bavarian engineer Mirbach, under commission from King Otto, will impress you. With neoclassical buildings, beautiful squares and wide streets, Karystos lends itself to early evening strolls. Dedicate an afternoon to seeing Bourgi, the 13th-century Venetian tower. Also, the extensive Giokaleio Foundation Library is well worth a visit, not least because it is home to the Archaeological Museum of Karystos, with exhibits ranging from prehistoric to Roman times.
After your cultural tour, a stroll along the harbour, especially at sunset, will be just the thing. Walk down to the seafront to dine and enjoy yourself in one of the numerous restaurants and bars. As for your accommodation, Karystos has room for everyone and you can choose between luxury hotels or rented rooms, according to your needs and tastes.
Mystic Mt Ohi
Mt Ohi rises behind Karystos. A mountain of exceptional beauty with rare fragrant flora and vivid land formations, it presents a delightful challenge for hikers. At its foot, you will see the imposing Castello Roso, built at the beginning of the 13th century. From Myli, a village with lush vegetation and running spring water, you can walk to the Roman Quarries or begin the ascent to the mysterious Drakospita (dragon houses), megalithic buildings dating from the 6th to the 2nd century BC. Legend says they were built by dragons.
The most impressive drakospito of all is at the summit of Ohi. The stone lintel above its entrance weighs approximately 10 tonnes. The question of how it was raised and its purpose are mysteries that remain intriguingly unsolved. Once you’ve come up with a theory of your own, then you can carry on hiking to the Dimosari Gorge, one of the most beautiful in Greece. In the heart of the gorge, the ponds and small waterfalls are an inviting prospect to cool off from your trek.
And, Ohi has another surprise in store, especially for those with linguistic or anthropological interests – Adia village, where the older inhabitants still speak the language of whistles. It is a rare form of communication born out of the need of the villagers to talk to each other across mountaintops. The language is slowly disappearing, so you could be one of the last to hear it before it is consigned to the annals of history.
Spoilt for choice with all kinds of tasty treats
Gastronomically speaking, southern Evia stubbornly refuses to decide whether it belongs to mainland Greece or the Cyclades. And there’s only one winner of this culinary conflict… and that’s you. The outcome is unequivocally delicious! In the numerous tavernas of Karystos and the nearby villages you will sample seafood famed as the best in Greece. However, of equal reputation are the traditional goat casseroles, vegetable pies, cockerel in red sauce accompanied by “kourkoubines” (the local handmade pasta) as well the local cheese, traditionally associated with the mainland. Indulge yourself in its delectable dishes and raise a glass of ouzo or Karystos wine to a place full of unexpected treasures.
- Bourgi castle
- Castello Roso
- Dragon houses
- Mystic Mt Ohi
- Hiking in Kastanologgos
- Monument to the “Unknown Sailor”