Greece / Central Evia

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Central Evia  

  For most people, the central part of the island of Evia is equivalent to the island's capital, Halkida. More experienced and persistent visitors quickly discover that the famous capital, though clearly being one of the most important pieces of the puzzle, it is not the only one. Important cities and towns such as Eretria on the famous seaside of the seafront promenade, the amphitheatrically  built Kimi with its Byzantine churches, Avlonari with its paradise beaches, Nea Artaki with fishing boats and ouzo, Drosia with the cosmopolitan coast and Steni  with the verdant landscapes invite you  to explore them and to fall in love with them...


Beaches for all tastes

Hiliadou Beach   It is true that the visitor will find numerous beaches on Evia. It is common knowledge, however, that the best, perhaps, beaches are located in its central part. Apart from the now well-known Hiliadou (... with thousands of visitors every summer!), there are other lesser known but equally impressive ones. A similar example is Korasida, which bears many similarities to Kalamos Aliveri. The waters of both are turquoise, their pebbles are white and the surrounding hills are lush! The short distance between them makes them easy to visit on the same day. Further north, the huge long beach of Murteri with its imaginary flanking extensions of the beaches of St. Demetrios and St. Mercurius, is considered a tourist attraction which is why in recent years it has been organized with restaurants, cafes and accommodation. Limionas and Sarakiniko constitute a sharp contrast ... to the landscapes that  have been mentioned so far. Forget the turquoise waters and white sand. On both seashores there are black and  brown pebbles and the waters, in a matter of speaking, stand out because of the dark blue color of the Aegean. However, it is equally clear, deep and cool most of the summer season. A hidden gem of Evia, the least known beach Vythouri on the back of Dirfys, overlooking the Aegean Sea. The beach is not organized and the road leading there is relatively difficult for drivers. The wild landscape of rugged boulders surrounding the quiet coast is its special feature. Finally, you should reserve Alikes Beach in Drosia Halkida for a last stop. This is undoubtedly the most organized of all, with sunbeds, beach bars, restaurants, cafes and beach volley courts, and it is where beach parties are often thrown. It is located just 7 km from Halkida, making it the most easily accessible beach in the central part. If you are looking for exciting moments, Alikes is ideal.

The Hiliadou rocks and waves

Anemaki beach Hiliadou    The beautiful Hiliadou with dark pebbles and dense vegetation  embracing it is considered the most important and popular with tourists beach, not only in the central part of Evia, but on the entire island. The name comes from the church of Panagia Chiliadou located in the area. According to tradition, the beach Hiliadou  was the starting point of the pirates’ journeys, which is why, in discussions, many people claim that their origin goes back to the sea wolves.
   Just 1.5 hours from Halkida, the path towards Hiliadou is "swallowed up" by the green of mount Dirfys. Besides, the famous beach is situated at the foot of the mountain, the side of which is wet by the Aegean. Due to its geographical location, it is often battered by strong winds and huge waves, which is not particularly convenient for the swimmers, who, however, do not seem to be intimidated. Every summer the beach is crammed with people.
    The imposing character is intensified by the scattered rocks both in and out of the water; rocks which divide the coast into smaller parts. One of its divisions has been used in recent years as a nudist beach.

Halkida and ... its 'crazy' waters

  Halkida, the capital of Evia, is the center of action, culture and economy of the island. The waterfront promenade is the busiest part of the city, at the end of which is the Old Bridge. Where residents and visitors have the opportunity to enjoy the unique phenomenon of the motion of waters Euripus. The "crazy water", as they have gone down in history, change direction every six hours, the cause of which phenomenon has not been explained yet. On walking to the north side of the waterfront, the visitor will encounter the Malliou family "Red House", which is the landmark of the capital. A walk to the hill of Kanithos is necessary to explore the of Castle Karababa with its unique sights, at close quarters. And then, a tour of the Archaeological and Folklore museum, where history comes to life through the objects and narratives. The last destination, the residents’ most beloved shopping street, Avanton street.

On the outskirts of Dirfys

 Dirfys Mountain   The heart of the island is dominated by the highest mountain, Mount Dirfys, with an altitude of 1,743 meters [its highest peak being “Delphi”). Its rugged relief is  covered with plane trees, chestnut trees, firs, cypresses, oaks and flowers that make its walking routes in its territory particularly impressive. On the sides of the imposing mountain the villages of Steni, Stropones, Agios Athanasios and Kathenoi have been built. The common element of all are the traditional stone houses, the ravines with streams spanned by wooden bridges, the nice, paved squares and the famous taverns with delicious local meat. On your first reconnaissance rides you can seek out local grocery stores with traditional products, the cozy cafes overlooking the lush landscape where you can taste sweets. You can also visit the numerous small scattered countryside churches.


  For sport lovers, central Evia holds countless entertainment possibilities. The capital, Halkida, is renowned for organized clubs of canoeing and  kayaking, countless visitors go free climbing up the rocks of Chiliadou; the strong winds of Murter are ideal for wind and kite surfing; the free campers enjoy Vythouri and Kalamos; while for endless country walks the marked trails beyond Upper Steni are recommended. The favorite destinations for walkers are the mountain refuge M. Nicholas at point "Liri" (alt. 1,120m.) of Dirfys and the gorge of Agali with its clear water and small cascades. Those, however, who want their holiday to include carefree beach promenades Eretria, Chalkida and Kimi are considered top choices.

Archaeological wealth

The ancient theater of Eretria   The ancient theater of Eretria dating to the 5th century. B.C. , flourished in the 4th century. It was destroyed in 198 BC but was nevertheless reconstructed. It is of special interest that it was chosen to be built on an artificial hill, rather than the already existing slope. What remains today of the ancient theater, which in the heydays could accommodate 6,000 spectators, are the ruins of the sight that have been preserved, and part of a vaulted underground passage leading to the center of the orchestra. Nevertheless, it still is a monument of enormous historical interest for the region.
 The  archaeological site of Avlis, with its rich background featuring the temple of Artemis Avlideias (5th c. BC) attracts a lot of attention, too. Known even until now for the sacrifice of Iphigenia by Agamemnon, before the Achaeans set sail for Troy, Avlis was one of the most important religious centers of antiquity. Today although there are ruins of significant archaeological interest, the area does not enjoy the protection and promotion it deserves.

Local products made with respect for tradition

Dirfys mushrooms   A special place in local production is held by Dirfys mushrooms, the cultivation and export of which constitutes an innovation to the rural life of the region. Chestnuts are also famous, with production  mainly concentrated in the village of Stropones. Central Evia is famous for the medicinal mountain tea herb, its traditional sweets (baklava, macaroons, soutzouki and all other sorts), the oregano and the delicious dried figs. If you pull up on the road in Upper Steni, do not forget to try the local roast meats in traditional tavernas. For those who would enjoy seascape more, a stop at the port of Nea Artaki for ouzo and seafood is recommended.


   Access to central Evia can be made either by car, via the National Road Athens-Lamia towards Halkida, either via Ferry Boat from Oropos to the port of Eretria.


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