Evia, Greece

Evia, also known as Euboea, is the second largest of the Greek Islands, after Crete. It is separated from the very close mainland of Greece by the Gulf of Euboea and the Evripos Straits. It is long and narrow and seahorse shaped. If you are viewing Evia on a map, you may not realize that it is actually an island, you may, instead think that it is part of the mainland. Evia is connected to Mainland Greece via an iron bridge, there are also ferries, buses, and a railway for transports.

Evia is believed to have once been part of the mainland, and separated from it by an earthquake. Due to the fact that it lies in close proximity to a fault line, this belief has been deemed probable.

A main highway and ferries from many terminals provide transportation to the island, which is the center of attraction for tourists seeking natural beauty. Evia offers many towns alive with tourism or peaceful smaller villages that have maintained their ancient culture and traditions. Mountain climbers are amazed at the wooded mountainsides ripe for climbing. Other visitors simply lounge around on one of the many beautiful and peaceful beaches.

Halkida is Evia Island’s capital, and is the perfect starting place to explore the island in entirety. The roadway from Halkida to Eretria takes you past the Malakonta beach which is a tourist favorite, and then passes through the Vassiliko village which boasts a distinctive local color and a beautiful Venetian tower. The shoreline settlements of defiant and Kambos lies very close to this spot.

Heading south from here will take you to Karistos, which is overgrown with pinewoods and where fossils of prehistoric species have been found. Heading north from Halkida will land you in Steni Dirfios, which has maintained its traditional character and offers a wonderful starting point for a climb to the alpine rest hut.

Also located in Evia is Limni, a very charming township that is rumored to be the site of ancient Elimnion, where the wedding of Zeus to Hera was performed. The ancient temple, however, was destroyed long ago by an earthquake. Sights to be seen include the early Christian Church’s mosaics, the chapel of Zoodochos Pighi, and the Galataki convent, which was built over the site of an ancient temple of Poseidon, and is now occupied by nuns. The monastery of Osiou David geronta contains frescoes from the 17th century.

Artemision is a cape that looks across the straits to Mt. Pelion. Ancient history has linked it to the goddess Artemis who is believed to have gone there hunting. The remains of a temple found there are dedicated to Artemis. You will also find the churches of Agio Paraskevi and Agios Georgios here.

Pefki is north of Artemision, and is situated in a pine forest, offset by a beautiful serene beach. Just a bit from here will take you to Istiea, where legend says the sacred bulls of the goddess Hera grazed. Its port, Orei, offers a Frankish fortress which separates Istiea into two separate parts. On the west side, castle ruins can be seen. There is also a Byzantine church.
In Chalcis the bays are so confined that they have been said to give credentials to the legend of Agamemnon’s fleet having been detained there by high winds. Where the strait is at its most narrow in Chalcis, it is called the Euripus. The highly unique changing of the tides in this area have been notably recorded since the ancient ages. At one moment the current may run like a river in a single direction, and the next moment sees it running with the same force in the other direction. In the twenty first year of the Peloponnesian War, 410 BC, a bridge was constructed across this passage.