Firs and tamarisks, imposing mountains and endless beaches, fish and game, “drakospita” (dragon houses) and lighthouses, the Edipsos thermal springs, old monasteries, waterfalls, ravines, industrial monuments, stone-built guesthouses, the Cavo Doro Cape… and one capital, Chalkida, friendly and affordable, ideal for endless promenades by the sea. Yes, Evia, one of the most impressive greek islands, with its unique beauty, looking out towards the Aegean Sea, holds the whole of Greece within its shores!
What to do on Evia
North, central or south? Whichever route you choose, touring around Evia will be a delight. In the north you will find countless fragrant pine forests, old monasteries such as Galataki and Osios David, the beautiful settlement of Limni Evias, the Drimonas waterfalls and Edipsos. In central Evia there is Dirfis and its alpine landscapes. Sumptuous beaches dominate the north-east side of the island, along with the mediaeval towers at Messapia and the byzantine churches at Avlonas. In the southern part of the island discover the land of the winds, with the enigmatic “drakospita” (dragon houses), the Ohi mountain range, the enchanting Dimosaris gorge, the Eretria archaeological treasures and the mediaeval castles at Aliveri, Stira and Karistos.
The best beaches of Evia
There is a magnificent beach hidden around every bend on Evia. In the north, discover the beaches of Edipsos, Politikon, Limnionas, Kavos, Gregolimanos and, of course, everyone’s favorite, Agia Anna – Agkali. In central Evia you will find the famous Hiliadou with its lush vegetation, sand and pebbles of every shape and size and its sea cave that is just begging to be explored. The beach took its name from the small byzantine church of Panagia Hiliadou – meaning the thousandth –as, according to tradition, this was the thousandth church built by Empress Theodora. Here you will also find Mourteri beach, loved by wind and kite-surfers, Eretria beach, Agios Merkourios, Kalamos and Korasida. In the south, the beaches of Nea Stira, Limnionas Stiron, Xrysi Ammos and the popular Figia will welcome you into their turquoise waters.
Famous thermal springs
Famous since antiquity thanks to the unique properties of their waters, the Edipsos springs help heal the body and soul. To the never-ending line of emperors and roman generals that have visited the area’s baths, you may add 19th and 20th century prime ministers, writers and ship-owners. Immerse yourself in the healing waters, admire Thermae Sylla -a neoclassical masterpiece built around an impressive tower- marvel at the old baths designed by Ernst Ziller, breath in the sea breeze and feel reborn!
Chalkida, the city of the “crazy waters”
Honestly, the inhabitants of Chalkida are totally sane , despite the peculiar behaviour of the waters under the old Chalkida Bridge, which change direction on a whim every six hours. The reason for this phenomenon? The moon’s gravity, as well as the difference in sea level between the north and south Evoikos Gulfs. Fresh fish and sea food, endless promenades along the quay with its cafes and restaurants, important sights such as the Kokkino Spiti (Red House) of 1884, the House with the Statues, the archaeological museum and the Mayor’s Hall, whose architecture features baroque and Italian eclecticism elements, all make up the unique character of Evia’s sunny capital.
A bridge to behold!
It has the power to attract the visitor. The new Chalkida Bridge, connecting the island of Evia with the rest of Greece since 1993, is a masterpiece – especially impressive at night, when it is all lit up. It is a suspension bridge of , 694.5m. long, of which 215m. are at a height of 35.5m. Its pylons are 90m. high and its road is suspended by 144 wire cables. Admire it from all angles, especially when crossing it!
Marvelling at Cavo Doro
Awe is the first word that comes to mind when coming upon one of the most difficult passages of the Greek seas. No matter how calm the weather is, at Cape Kafireas (Cavo Doro) the windis always inclined to put on a bit of a show for you! Cavo Doro means the Cape of Gold. It is claimed that gold “ Konstantinata”coins from Byzantine shipwrecks are still being washed up on nearby shores. You can get to the Cape at the end of southeast Evia, by an accessible dirt road of 35km., which starts after Platestos, or by rented boats that set out from Karistos.
Sports and activities on Evia
For those who love adventure, Evia is a paradise on earth. In Chalkida you can kayak the turbulent Evripos waters. On Eretria’s mainland, at Malakonta, you can go horseback riding. At M. Nikolaos mountain lodge you can rest after hiking the area’s trails. In northern Evia you can walk the trail between the Drimonas waterfalls and the top of Ksiros Mountain. In southern Evia you can enjoy a four-hour hike along Dimosaris gorge. Or you can walk up Ohi, a natural “balcony” overlooking all of the central Aegean. Finally why not delve into the mysteries of the famous “drakospita” or dragon houses at Palli Laka – the cyclopean constructions attributed to the pre-hellenic Dryopes, a tribe thought to have had supernatural powers.
- Chalkida, the city of the “crazy waters”
- Thermal springs of Edipsos
- Chalkida Bridge
- Marvelling at Cavo Doro
- Old fort in Karystos
- Mount Dirfi