The island of Evia (Eubea) Greece

Evia (Euboea) is the second largest island of Greece after Crete, and has a lot to offer. It is excellent for driving around on, since there are many villages and interesting places worth visiting. Of course, there are nice beaches as well, and depending on where you stay, you can enjoy some real peace and quiet, or a hectic nightlife.

Evia can be visited both in the winter and the summer. It has a ski center which is very popular amongst the Greeks, as well as places for water-sports. The island that has the narrowest sea crossing to the coast of Central Greece opposite the straits of Euripos.

Until recently, traffic between the island and the mainland passed over the old draw-bridge, which opened to allow ships to pass. From this bridge can be observed the periodic tides through the straits. The island is now linked with the mainland by a high-level bridge that shortens considerably the journey. The following are the main sites worth seeing at Chalkida.

The Kanithos fortress on the Boeotian coast, on the summit of a hill covered with pine trees, the Roman aqueduct, the Historical Archive, the Municipal Library, a number of mansions, and the churches of Ayia Paraskevi (St Paraskevi is the patron saint of the city), Agios Nikolaos, etc.The Archaeological Museum.


Evia has been inhabited since pre historic times. Its most important settlement early became today’s Chalkida, since it was the closest to the mainland and had natural resources of copper, making the city a trading centre of great importance. The island’s name means “rich in cattle”.

During the 5th century it was part of the Athenian league against the Persians, and one of its most important centres was Eretria. It helped the colony Miletus during the Ionian revolt in 499BC, but when it failed, war with Persian was unavoidable. Eretria was destroyed by the Persians seven years after the revolt. In the 4th century BC it was an important cultural centre, and the Eretrian School of Philosophy was founded here.

The Romans invaded in the 3rd and 2nd century BC, and Evia became a vassal to the mighty empire, just like the rest of Greece.

During the Byzantine period many churches and monasteries were built o on the island, and it kept its trading status, even though parts of the island was raided by pirates from time to time.

The Venetians came in the 13th century, and Evia was to become a battle ground between them and the Turks, because of its strategic position.

The war of Independence began in 1821, and the people of Evia were to fight hard against their oppressors.


eviaTaking Chalkida as starting point, you may take the road that leads north to Nea Artaki, Psakhna, Prokopi and Mantoudi. Prokopi is built in a fertile valley with plane trees and cultivated crops. A short distance away from the village is the monastery of Ayios loannis Rossos, where the saint’s relic is kept. The monastery celebrates its festival on 27 May, attracting large numbers of worshippers. Mantoudi (8 km north of Prokopi) is a beautiful village with an abundance of running water and vegetation.

On the Kastri hill can be seen the remains of the ancient city of Kerinthos. The church of Ayios loannis o Theologos, built in the 19th c., is also of some interest. On its feast day, 26 September, there is a major festival, with traditional musical instruments and dancing. Visitors can swim at the beaches of Kymasi and Krya Vrysi. The road continues to Kirinthos, Strophylia and Ayia Anna. Ayia Anna is a traditional village that spreads around the slopes of a hill covered with pine trees. It has a small Folklore Museum containing local costumes, textiles, a photographic archive, household utensils, farming tools and other objects.

Angali on the coast (5 km to the east) is one of the finest beaches on Evia. The road continues north to Vasilika, a traditional villagein the foothills of Mount Xiros, 95 km to the north of Chalkida. The beach of Psaropouli attracts large numbers of holiday-makers in the summer and has crystal clear sea and fresh fish. We proceed northwards to Artemision, famous for the naval batle fought here during the Persian Wars. The famous bronze statue of Poseidon, on display in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, was found in the sea off Artemision.

evia-northPefki, a popular tourist resort where the pine trees come down almost to the sea. After this, the main road leads to lstiea, which is built in a fertile plain. Istiea has a small archaeological and folklore collection. The church of Ayios Nikolaos in this town, has some notable paintings. Six kilometres to the east, in a region densely planted with plane trees, is the church of the Virgin Mary, where a festival is held on 23 August.
On the coast nearby at Kanatadika are the wetlands of Mikro and Megalo Livari, which attract rare species of wild birds. The picturesque harbour of Orei has many visitors in the summer. On one of the two hills here, remains have been found of a Venetian castle that was built on the foundations of an ancient fortification wall.

Further more, are the villages of Neos Pyrgos, Agiokampos, Ayios, Yaltra, Likhada and Gregolimano, passing beautiful little bays with lush vegetation and a good tourist infrastructure. Some 3 km south of Ayios is the Spa town of Edipsos, 117 km away from Chalkida. This is one of the largest and most important spas in Greece, and the healing qualities of its springs were already known in ancient times. Today there are hydropathic facilities, a wide range of restaurants, taverns, etc. Edipsos has an archaeological collection with many interesting objects on display.

rovies-eviaThe road continues southwards towards Rovies and Limni. Rovies is one of the finest seaside villages on Evia, and attracts large numbers of holiday-makers. It has clear sea and fine beaches with lush vegetation. Limni spreads around a natural harbour. It has an unequivocally island character, with narrow streets, old traditional houses and picturesque chapels. The natural setting is also completely enchanting. The town has a Historical and Folklore Museum . Sights worth seeing near Limni include: the church of the Assumption of Mary, the ruins of a sunken Early Christian basilica that was built above a Roman bath-house, the skete of St Christodoulos, and the Historical Archive of the Municipality of Limni, which contains some important documents. The nunnery of Ayios Nikolaos (Galataki monastery), which was built in the 7th or 8th c., is 10 km southeast of the town. Just outside Limni there is a hydrobiology collection, with fossils from the sea-bed and various species of fish and shell-fish.


Starting from Chalkida, we follow the coast road south-eastward towards Aliveri, coming first to the villages of Mytikas and Vasiliko. There is a Frankish tower at Vasiliko, with two more a short distance away on hills affording fine views of the entire plain and the sea. At the nearby community of Phylla is the Venetian castle of Likario (13th-15th c.). The sea-side resorts of Lefkandi and Malakonda have good swimming and a large number of tourist facilities. Archaeological excavations this area have brought to light some important finds from settlements dating from prehistoric times to the Geometric period.

eretriaWe proceed to Eretria, the second largest port on Evia after Chalkida, from which there are connections with Attica on the mainland. Eretria spreads along the coast above the ruins of the ancient city. Ancient Eretria was built in the 8th C. BC and became a prosperous city. In 490 BC it was destroyed by the Persians, but quickly recovered and took part in the naval battle of Salamis, on the side of the Athenians (480 BC). It was destroyed by the Romans in 198 and 97 BC, and fell into obscurity. In the archaeological site at Eretria can be seen: a covered house with mosaic floors (4th c. BC), ruins of the east fortification wall of the ancient acropolis, ruins of the ancient theatre and palaestra on the lower slopes of the acropolis, the temples of Dionysos and Demeter and the sanctuary of a female deity on the south side of the acropolis, next to the theatre.

There are also the ruins of the large temple of Apollo Daphnephoros, roughly in the centre of the archaeological site, remains of the temple of Isis, the palaestra, the gymnasium, houses, and tombs at Livadia, by the sea. The Archaeological Museum contains important finds from the excavations at Eretria, Amarynthos and Lefkandi.

The Municipality of Eretria organises a cultural and athletics festival at the end of July beginning of August. The area of Eretria has many hotel units, restaurants, bars, entertainment centres, and facilities for a variety of water sports.

There is a bungalow complex on the pine-clad islet of Pezonisi to the right of the harbour. The island is connected to the town by a bridge. After Eretria we come to Amarynthos, a beautiful seaside town with a fine beach and fish-restaurants serving fresh fish and sea-food. A small sideroad leads to Ano Vatheia, a traditional village built on a ravine and rounded by verdant hills.

A short distance away is the nunnery of Ayios Nikolaos, in a superb natural setting. The nunnery church has some 16th c. wall paintings. To the east lies Aliveri, a town in which there is considerable commercial activity, to the south-east of which is a DEI (Public Electricity Enterprise) thermo-electric station. Just beyond the DEI facility we come to Rizokastro, one of the earliest castles of the Frankish period. A Mycenaean tomb was discovered in the area of Katakalos, 7 km to the north-east.

drystosThe important wetland of Dystos is just a short distance away. Beyond Aliveri the road leaves the sea and continues inland towards Lepoura, after which it turns north to Avlonari, passing through a fertile plain with many crops. Avlonari is a beautiful traditional village that spreads around a hill with a superb view over the plain. There is a Venetian tower and church at the top of the hill. At Khania Avlonariou is the Byzantine church of Ayios Dimitrios, which has some 13thc. wall-paintings.

Other beautiful villages in this area, surrounded by lush greenery, include Ayios Georgios, Ayios Vlasis, Orologio, Monodry, Konistres, Oxylithos, Taxiarkhes and Pyrgos. Most of these are built on heights, enjoy wonderful views over the plane and the sea, and have attractive houses and carefully kept gardens. The road forks at Khania Avlonariou, with one branch going down to the coast and Stomio and Platana, traditional settlements that extend along an endless shore, with ample accommodation, tavernas and entertainment centres of all kinds. It ends at Paralia Kymis, an important harbour connecting Evia with the Sporades islands and Volos. The other branch of the road continues inland and leads to the beautiful town of Kymi, the ‘balcony over the Aegean’, as it is known, because of its superb view over the boundless sea (44 km from Eretria and 91 from Chalkida). It is built around the slopes of a hill with lush vegetation.

kymiA twisting road 4 km long connects the town with Paralia Kymis, which has several tradtional houses, picturesque streets fine gardens, an abundance of running water and some rich traditions. In ancient times this was one of the most important cities on Evia, and founded colonies in South Italy and Asia Minor (8th c. BC). Kymi has a very interesting Folklore Museum, with exhibits covering the period 1800-1930. A special room contains relics of Georgios Pa panikolaos, a doctor and researcher of worldwide renown. Khoneftiko, 2 km north-west of Kymi, has a mineral spring of drinking water, and lush greenery. To the west of Kymi is the superb beach of Khiliados, and the traditional village of Lamari. The mountain village of Stropones, in the foothills of Mount Dirphi, is in the interior of Evia, south-west of Kymi. The village has abundant running water, fruit trees, garden produce, and chestnut and plane trees. Just to the south is Steni Dirphis, a picturesque vilage built in a ravine full of plane trees in the foothills of Mount Dirphi. This entire area at the heart of the island is enchanting.


north eviaA road starting from Aliveri crosses southern Evia and ends at Karystos. We first come to Lepoura, Krieza, and Zarakes. Minor side-roads lead to the west coast and the beautiful seaside settlements of Boufalo, Ayios Dimitrios and Panayia. On the east coast, overlooking the Aegean, is Paralia Zarakon. Continuing along the main road, we come to Almyropotamos (77 km from Chalkida), a small village with several traditional stone houses. The small harbour at Panayia has a connection with the coast of Attica opposite (Ayia Marina). We proceed to Mesokhoria, Eleokhori and Nea Styra 91 km south-east of Chalkida).

There is ample accommodation, as well as tavernas, at Nea Styra, and the settlement is connected by a frequent ferry service with Ayia Marina. The village of Styra is 4.5 km away, inland, spreading around a verdant hillside with a superb view of the sea. Further south there is a side road to Marmari, a populous village and harbour, from which there are boats connecting Evia with Rafina. The village has fine beaches, clear sea, adequate accommodation, and tavernas. The bay of Marmari has a scattering of verdant islets, called the Petali islands.

marmariTo the north of Marmari is the deserted beach of Phiyia. The road ends at Karystos, a beautiful town with a large harbour, from which there are daily connections with Rafina. The town has several characteristic old houses, a good urban design, a beautiful quay, and a tourist infrastructure, with many of restaurants, taverns, bars, discos etc. The beaches are very beautiful and the sea is superb. The most important tourist sights are: a restored Venetian tower (Bourtzi), a 13th c. building to the right of the harbour, the Town Hall, a 19th c. neoclassical building, the ruins of the Venetian castle (Castello Rosso) on a wooded hill, with a superb view over the city, the nunnery of Ayias Mavras 2 km northeast of Karystos, and the verdant area of Ayia Triada, with its abundant spring water and twin churches.

An ancient temple, which probably belonged to Apollo or Hephaistos, has been found in the centre of Karystos. To the east of the town, excavations have brought to light part of ancient Geraistos, while the Hellenistic acropolis of Karystos has been discovered near the village of Kokkali and the extensive Hellenistic cemetery at Palaiokhora. The archaeological museum of Karystos contains some important
finds from the surrounding area. There are severa cultural events Karystos, including performanc plays and exhibitions.

karystos-eviaAbove Karystos, in the foothills of Mount Okhi, is a scattering of villages: Grambias, Lala, Myli, Nikasi, Kalyvia and Pothi. These have fine views. ind abundant water and vegetation. Twe km south-east of Karystos is Aetoe with beautiful houses standing in fine gardens. A narrower road continues on to the south, ending at the southernmost tip of Evia, Bouros. A secondary road, which is quite difficult at a number of points, leads to the remote villages of Cavo Doro (Cape Kaphireas). It is an enchanting journey through the unique plane wood of Platanisto. At some points there is a breathtaking view over the ocean and the wild rocks. A small river flows in the ravine, issuing on the beautiful beach at the settlement of Potami. Other villages in the area include Evangelismos, Amygdalia and Prinia, all of which have very few inhabitants and no tourist infrastructure .


The capital of Evia, Chalkida, has been the capital since antiquity. It is a modern town today, with many shops, banks, bars, restaurants and so on. This is also where the bridge and ferryboats to and from the mainland are. Here, you can visit an interesting archaeological museum and see the ruins of ancient temples, as well as a 15th century fortress.

The second largest town is Eretria, and this was also an important financial and cultural centre in ancient Greece. It also has an archaeological museum, and you can see ancient ruins of a theatre, houses and temples here.

Kimi is situated high above the sea, and here you can visit a folklore museum, as well as ancient ruins and a Byzantine monastery. This is one of the oldest towns on Evia. Limni is another interesting town. Here, you can visit the nunnery of Galataki, and see ancient remains. Note: when visiting a monastery, make sure you are dressed accordingly: longs skirts and covered shoulders for women, long trousers for men.

Edipsos has had healing baths since ancient times, and you can enjoy the spas to this day. You can also visit the site of an ancient town here.

There are hundreds of villages on Evia to visit, and I might do injustice to those I don’t mention here. I want to assure you that there are many more to visit than the following.
Paleochora has an interesting cave, as well as several remains from antiquity. In Ano Potamia you can visit a kastro built by the Franks during the Middle Ages. In Rouvies there used to be an oracle dedicated to Apollo, and here you can visit an interesting monastery called Osiou David Geronta. At Orei there is another fortress built by the Franks, and nearby is the lovely plain of Istea. In Gialtra there are springs with curing waters. There are radioactive hot wells in Therma as well.


Apart from exploring this amazing island, there are also several places for water sports in Chalcida, Nea Stira and around Kimi, for example, in summer and skiing on Mt. Difris in winter. You can also go trekking or mountaineering and enjoy spas and hot, curing baths in several places


There are beaches all around the island . Just to mention a few: Artaki, Nea Stira, Heliadou, Kimi, Angali, Agiokambos and Agios Georgis.


For a wide variety of bar and clubs, Chalkida is the best place for you since it is the biggest town on Evia. Don’t expect the wild partying of islands like Kos and Ios though: Evia is very much a Greek holiday resort, and they have a more relaxed attitude to alcohol and clubbing. You’ll also find many bars in the different villages around the island.


Evia is very much a traditional island, and you’ll find that almost every village has at least one specialty. You can usually walk into the kitchen to see what is available, since few places have menus in English.


In Chalkida and Eretria you’ll find everything you need, and in the villages around Evia you’ll find many nice shops with traditional things. It is a very good idea to ask what is specific for the village and get that as a souvenir.


There is an extensive network of roads on the island, so start off by going to Chalkida, rent a car there and explore Evia. From Chalkida there are also many buses.


Evia is connected to the mainland with a iron bridge (Chalkida). There are also ferryboats, buses and a railway. Get a direct flight to Athens, and from there it is about 1 hour drive (Athens-Chalkida=88km). Kimi has ferry-boats to and from Volos, Alonissos, Skopelos, Skyros, Kavala, Skiathos and Limnos.