EVIAWelcome to Evia, the second largest island of Greece after Crete ideally situated in the centre of the country, providing amazing landscapes and wild nature, with mountains, rivers, fertile valleys, sandy beaches, a ski centre, natural hot springs as well as archaeological sights, churches and monasteries, indicating continuous habitation of Evia reaching as far back as the Paleolithic period.
Visit the capital city of Halkida to experience for yourself the phenomenon of constant current changing, along with its archaeological museum and visit historic cities such as Karystos, Eretria, Edipsos and Kimi with old monasteries and fortresses, between countless traditional villages, still many tranquil and unspoilt for peace-seekers, with rich diversity of landscapes perfectly combining forests and sandy beaches. The beaches along the coast of the Evian Gulf are easily accessible and quite popular such as Amaryntos, Halkida, Styra, Marmari, Limni Pefki, Orei and Agia Anna, all areas with significant tourist traffic. Evia offers luxury accommodation settlements with fully equipped conference facilities in hotels, spa hotels and traditional villas with magnificent views of the surrounding area to satisfy any taste, providing high standard services and excellent facilities to serve large scale conventions and congresses.
Evia is a must destination for all year round tourism, having a ski centre along with wonderful beaches ideal for water sports and sailing, lying between scenic contrasts fascinating the visitor at every turn. Fertile valleys, mountains, rivers, forests and flourishing vegetation, ideal for outdoor activities such as trekking, hiking, mountain climbing and horse riding. Thermalism tourism, religious tourism and archaeological tourism also find their place here with several hot springs, countless archaeological sites, fortresses, churches and monasteries of historical importance; Evia is the ideal destination to have a picture of the traditional, often untouched Greece.
GETTING THEREAs Evia is situated centrally in Greece, just a few kilometres from Athens, the Greek Mainland and the Aegean Sea, it can be easily accessed by road, train or boat, as no airport services are available in the area. A small iron bridge connects the island with the mainland, only 88km from Athens, regular bus and railway services or car can all be used for an easy and comfortable access to Evia. The island's extensive network of roads is ideal for its exploration and therefore car rental is highly recommended in order to make the most of this trip. Finally the port of Kimi connects the island with the mainland though the port of Volos and Kavala, or with the neighbouring Sporades islands Skiathos Skopelos, Skyros, Alonissos, as well as Limnos at Eastern Aegean Sea.
POPULAR DESTINATIONSOne of the most popular destinations across the island is its capital city Halkida, keeping this privilege since antiquity. Named after cooper (Halkos) being processed in the city during older times is characterized by the narrow Evripos Straits where the channel's current changes seven times daily, a bizarre tidal phenomenon to surprise its visitors since the times of Aristotle who left this question unanswered. Halkida nowadays is a modern town, with many shops, banks, bars, restaurants and so on, being an ideal destination for short breaks as well as a starting point for exploring the entire island.
The second largest town of Evia is Eretria, and this was also an important financial and cultural centre in ancient Greece. The road from Halkida to Eretria passes by the splendid Malakonta beach with its ample tourist facilities. Another old town in Evia right next to very long shingly beaches is Kimi, hosting a folklore museum, as well as ancient ruins and a Byzantine monastery, while Edipsos is well known for its healing baths from ancient times till today. Thermalism is Evia is at its best to add to its list Gialtra and the springs with curing waters, as well as the radioactive hot wells in Therma. At Orei there is another fortress built by the Franks, and nearby is the lovely plain of Istea. Continuing south along the coastal road, on the shores of the Gulf of Evia, one comes upon the township of Amarinthos with a lively square that is filled with taverns serving delicious seafood such as local sun-dried octopus, a beautiful beach, tranquil surroundings.
SIGHTSEEING & MONUMENTSOne of the most important archaeological sites of Evia is the Temple of Laureate Apollo, which adorned Eretria in ancient times. Along the perimeter of a holy shrine of Apollo was the religious centre of ancient Eretria to host the Dafnaia or Dafniforia every eight years to celebrate the cleansing of Apollo after the murder of Python, with sacrifices with dances, to attract pilgrims from all over Greece. Close to the city of Halkida lies Lefkanti to house the tombs of Tumba, Skoubri, and Paleon Perivolion, remains of the ancient wall that surrounded the town, the Entrance Gate, the ancient theatre with the arched underground passage that joined the Stage and the Orchestra, along with a mansion with mosaics. Near the village of Agii Anargiri in Edipsos, one can find the Roman spas and therapeutic springs, a hydrotherapy centre lie parts coins, decorative elements from Ionic columns as well as Greek and Roman anaglyphs. Above the city of Karystos on a hill above Myli, is the most important medieval monument of Evia, and one of the most important in Greece, the massive Castle of Karystos or Castello Rosso or Red Castle, dominating the whole region. Built by the Franks, Byzantines, Catalans and Venetians, has plenty of trees spring and running water, necessary for the survival of the castle in case of siege, creating an impregnable natural fortifications. Finding from excavations discovered within the whole prefecture of Evia are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Halkida. Dating from the Paleolithic age to the late Roman period, visitors can admire a large collection of Hellenistic coins, artefacts, tools, various funerary monuments and important Roman sculptures such as the headless statue of goddess Athena, the relief of Dionysus and the abduction of Antiope by Thesseus. Last but not least in Kerasia is the Museum of Fossilized Mammals, to house unique artefacts, and fossilised mammals such as giraffes, beef cattle, hyenas, machairodontes (reminiscent of today's lions), rhinos, ponies, as well as informative texts about animals that lived in the area before 6 million years.
THINGS TO DOThe exploration of this island is an endless process as this big island houses incredible plane forests in mountains, right off blue watered sandy beaches. Halcida, Nea Stira and areas around Kimi offer a wide range of water sports with instructors and sailing clubs for those who want to take sports seriously. The grounds of the island especially in its northern part, is a wonderful place full of hidden natural treasures, with waterfalls, forests and breathtaking scenery with several trails for its exploration through hiking, trekking, mountaineering and skiing in Mount Difris. For those who enjoy horse riding, a few clubs to offer professional guidance with calm horses and peaceful trails through the woods, can assure an experience to remember. There are several beaches all around the island, some of the most popular beaches with crystal clear blue waters being Artaki, Nea Stira, Heliadou, Kimi, Angali, Agiokambos and Agios Georgis, ideal for snorkelling and observing the myriad marine species that thrive in these waters. Additionally, its northern tip hosts several thermal springs and spas fro relaxing and healing purposes. Being so close to Sporades islands, Evia finally gives one the chance once having explored the island to proceed with island hopping.
GASTRONOMYEvia and its fertile grounds along with the mild climate is a producer of organically cultivated olives and extra virgin olive oil, dried figs, wine and pulses. Local small enterprises produce diary products as well as natural soaps using oils and herbs from the area.
USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERSEvia Bus Services: +30 22210 20400
Evia Railway Services: +30 22210 22386
Evia Police: +30 22210 25211
Chalkida Hospital: +30 22210 21901-2
Dirfi Ski Center: +22280 51285