Evia, the second-largest island in Greece, is a great road trip destination for nature lovers. It is separated from the mainland by the narrow Evripos Channel at Halkida. In Evia the pace slows down as the island consist of hilltop monasteries, hidden bays with stunning beaches, rugged gorges, mountain peaks, small farms, and vineyards.
Why visit Evia?
Evia is a real road trip paradise! It has great beaches, awesome mountains, walkable gorges, rivers, and interesting ancient sites scattered around the island. The climate is most pleasant, and the island is home to Aedipsos Spa (with more than 80 hot springs), the stunning Lichadonisia islets, and the famous resort in Pefki, as well as the long sandy beach of Agia Anna. You will find picturesque seaside towns all around the island with traditional restaurants and cozy cafes.
Where is Evia?
Evia prefecture is next to the prefecture of Viotia on the east, it touches the Aegean Sea on the south, and on the north and northwest it touches the Pagasitiko and Maliako Gulf. On the west and southwest it is separated from the mainland by the Evian Gulf. The prefecture of Evia also includes the island of Skyros.
Euboea (Evia) on a map
How big is Evia island?
Evia is the second largest island in Greece, and the third largest in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. It is located just north of Attica prefecture. Being so close to the mainland, it has a mainland feeling to it. It is connected to the mainland by two bridges – a modern, suspended bridge, and an older, sliding one. Evia covers a total surface of 3,580 km2, its coastline has a total length of 48 km and it has 220,000 inhabitants.
Evia – How to get there?
If you arrive by plane in Athens, the best way to reach Evia is by car. Firstly, because the big island is perfect for road trips. You can rent a car in Athens International Airport. Chalkida, the capital of Evia, is approx. 70 km from Athens, and the journey by car takes 45 min. It can also be reached by bus or train, there is also a suburban railway connection. If you travel by car, you must follow the E75 National Road from Athens towards Lamia, follow the road signs for Chalkida and take the first exit to Chalkida. You can use any of the two bridges, the High Bridge, or the old Negroponte retractable bridge.
History of Evia
According to archaeological findings in several areas of Evia (Istiaia, Kirinthos, Psachna, Artaki, Amarynthos, Karystos a.o.) Evia has been inhabited sinde the Paleolithic Era. Especially from the period of copper important findings have been excavated. Ruins dating back to the Early Helladic period as well as the Middle Hellaic period have been found in Evia. Finally, post Hellenic and Mycenaean tombs and ruins have been excavated in many areas of Halkida.
The powerful ancient cities of Evia established important colonies in both Halkidiki, Asia Minor, and Southern Italy, while Eretria during the Classic period was one of the most powerfuld cities. Evia prospered during the Byzantine era, but during the Ottoman occupation, Evia was under Turkish control; it joined the rest of modern Greece after June 13th, 1830. Many refugees from Asia Minor installed themselves in Halkida and Amarynthos after the tragedy in 1922. Having a strong local resistance, Evia was bombarded by the Germans during WW2.
Evia – What to do?
Northern Evia Activities
- The area of northern Evia is great area for activities like fishing, trekking, or horseback riding around the villages of Kamatriades and Taxiarhis.
- Around Mt. Dirfys which dominates the middle part of Evia you will find numerous villages dotted on the forested mountainsides; Steni village is a paradise destination for you who love trekking, mountain hiking, climbing, cycling by the riverside bicycle lane and enjoy an off-road 4X4 ride. You will find Agali Gorge nearby which is one of the most walkable gorges in Greece.
Southern Evia Activities
- Hiking in Dimosari Gorge – starting from Myloi village and ends at Kallianos beach.
- Hiking accross the Valley of Platanistos, following a riverside path overlooking Cavo Doro (Cape Kefireas).
- Climbing up to the top of Mount Ochi, where one could see the best preserved Drakospito of Evia.
- Diving near Karystos
Evia – What to see?
Lihada peninsula – is located on the northwestern side of Evia. It is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Evia: Yaltra, Gregolimano and Agios Georgios. Greek mythology tells us that this peninsula formed part of Liha’s body. He was killed by Hercules. From his head the Lihadonissia (meaning “islands of Lihada) were created. These green islets, known as the Greek Seychelles, can be reached by ferry from Agios Georgios or from Agios Konstantinos. Also visit Cape Kyneo, the Lighthouse of Vassilina, and go swimming and scuba diving from the beach of Gregolimano. Accommodation: You can choose among one of the elegant hotels in Gregolimano or a traditional guest house by the sea in Yialtra or Agios Georgios.
Orei tourist resort – is in northern Evia and has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Enjoy the picturesque surroundings and the many fish taverns along the coast. Visit the Town Hall of Orei where important archaeological finds are on display, the marble statue of a charging bull (4th century B.C.), and the ruins of the Venetian castle built on top of one of the two citadels of ancient Orei. Neos Pyrgos nearby is a great place with a beautiful street and waterfront and it has a lively nightlife. You can choose to stay in one of the picturesque guest houses in either Orei or Neos Pyrgos.
Drymonas waterfalls and a petrified forest – North of Limni and Rovies resort you will find the famous pilgrimage centre, the Monastery of St. David, the Drymonas waterfalls, and the museum of petrified mammels and the Petrified Forest of Kerasia. Nearby you also find the amazing beaches of agkali, Ahladi and the Gorge of Nileas.
South Evia has a natural environment totally different from that in the north. It is much less forested but boasts an amazing natural terrain with ecosystems rich in flora and gorges, of which the best known is Dimosari Gorge. The landscape is perfect for hiking, especially in the legendary headland called Cavo Doro with its beautiful coastline and sandy beaches hidden in coves and little islets close to the coast.
Styra – is built amphitheatrically over the ruins of the ancient city. Do not miss to see the mysterious megalithic constructions known as Drakospita (meaning houses of dragons). They were given this name because of their enormous size. According to archaeologists these houses were sacred, dedicated to Zeus and Hera, and dating from the 6th to the 2nd century BC.
Marmari port – a quiet vacation resort is connected with the port of Rafina. Marmari is just opposite Petalioi, a private island group of 10 islets, it is also the wind park of Evia.
Castle Rosso, also known as the “red castle” near the picturesque town and port, Karystos.
Towns of Evia
Just 80 km from Athens, you will find the city of Chalkida, the capital and main gate of Evia. With its strategic geographic position Chalkida has been a crossroad of cultures and ideas for centuries. Today Chalkida is the administrative and commercial centre of the island and the city is built on both sides of Evripos Straits. It is a weekend getaway for many Athenians and thanks to its modern cable bridge, access to the city has never been easier.Read more
Chalkida is quite famous for its tidal phenomenon in Evripos; the swift change of water direction happens every six hours, it is caused by the Moon. At each change of direction, the water stops moving for approx. 8 minutes. The best spot to watch this unique phenomenon is from the sliding bridge of Negroponte. Locals enjoy their waterfront; the charming pedestrian street is lined with elegant cafés and restaurants full of people day and night.
Sightseeing in Chalkida
- The Red House – the landmark of Chalkida, a neoclassical building with 4 statues of clay on its top.
- Karababas fortress – Venetian fort standing on top of the Kanithos Hill. It has an amazing view of the city and the Evoikos Gulf.
- The Archaeological Museum
- The Municipal Art Gallery
- The “Kamares” site
- The Roman Aqueduct
- Emir Zade Turkish Mosque
- The Folk-Art Museum
- The Spring of Arethouse
- The tomb of the poet Giannis Skaribas – located at the Karababas fortress.
- The Byzantine church of St. Nicholas
- Basilica of St. Paraskevi – (early Christian); on July 26th (St. Paraskevi feastday) a big bazaar is held there, and all the city celebrates.
• Asteria beach – beautiful beach, 200 metres from the Old Bridge in Chalkida. Organized with umbrellas and sunbeds with serving from cafés and restaurant.
• Rodies beach – beautiful, quiet, and family friendly beach, located 6 km from Chalkida centre.
• Liani Ammos – Sandy beach with water sports like kite boarding, water skiing and fishing
• Alikes beach – Party beach, hotspot for young people. Beautiful, sandy beach, probably the best around Chalkida. It tends to be a bit crowdy during weekends. Located 7 km from Chalkida.
Activities around Chalkida
Besides the water sports you can also take advantage of the facilities available and play football, volleyball, basketball, tennis or horseback riding at the city’s equestrian club.
Visit Nea Artaki; Lefkandi; Nea Lampsakos and Drosia if you love seafood or Vathy (in Avlida) for a tour in the archaeological site where the Temple of Artemis stands.
Loutra Aedipsos (Baths of Edipsos)
Of all spa-towns in Greece, Edipsos (also Aidipsos) is the most famous. You will find this picturesque little town in northern Evia. You can reach Edipsos by ferry from the Greek mainland, in Arkitsa in Fthiotida, or by car, bus or train from Athens through the Cable Bridge.Read more
Since ancient times, the healing effect of the thermal springs in Aidipsos have been known to man. They were mentioned in scripts by Aristotle, Plutarch, and Strabo. The precious water flowed for the very first time when Hephaestus hit the land with his hammer. At least, so mythology tells. This was a favour to the goddess Athena, who believed that the water from the thermal springs would keep Hercules powerful and healthy.
Emperors and commanders frequented Aedipsos during the Roman times, but also centuries later the springs attracted famous personalities, like Greta Garbo, Maria Kallas, and Winston Churchill. In the town of Edipsos you will see a plethora of neoclassical mansions, and picturesque traditional restaurants and cafés in the shade of lush plane trees. Giving a unique nostalgic feeling to the place. Around Edipsos you will discover archaeological sites, like the Sylla Cave.
In Edipsos you can choose to stay at family run pensions, guesthouses or luxurios hotels and spas.
A miracle rising from Earth
In Edipsos you will find more than 80 springs. The high temperatures combined with the composition of the waters is beneficial for the human body. According to archaeological finds the spot from where the waters flow was discovered already during prehistoric times. In the same area a drawing of a mammal fossil is found. The springs have been known to man for 20.000 years now.
The temperatures of the waters are ranging from 28°C to 86°C. The water is rich in calcium, magnesium, and iron, and their properties are very healing. You will find the springs scattered at different points of the city and at all hydrotherapy centres in the area.
The water from the springs eventually reaches the sea and at certain beaches you will have the opportunity to swim in semi-thermal sea water. Here the springs pop out from the seabed raising the temperature of the water considerably. Combine the beneficial properties of the healing waters with the kinesitherapy of swimming. In Edipsos you will also find mud-baths, hosted in special hydrotherapy centres.
Edipsos is a beautiful old thermal spa town with a modern tourism infrastructure. You will find golden beaches nearby where thermal springs are flowing. The waterfront promenade is full of traditional restaurants, cafes, and bars where you can enjoy refreshments and delicious food.
Eretria – Ancient city-state
Eretria, a coastal Evian town is a “gateway” to the island since it can be reached by ferry from Oropos in Attica. It is built in the spot of the ancient city-state by the same name. Ancient Eretria was a dominant maritime, agricultural, and commercial power. It established colonies in the Aegian Sea as well as in southern Italy.Read more
It was destroyed twice, first by the Persians and second by the Romans. It was later abandoned until 1827, when refugees from Psara island settled here. For a period, the town was named Nea Psara. Eretria is located 23 km southeast of Chalkida.
- The impressive Theatre of Eretria (5th century B.C)
- The temples of Dafniforos Apollo, Dionysus, Dimitra and Isida
- The “mosaic house” (370 B.C.) with mosaic floors dating back to 4th century B.C.
- The ancient vault and the Macedonian tomb, the ruins of fortifications, houses, palaestra, gymnasium as well as Roman purple dying facilities (2nd century A.C.).
- Ditiki Pili (or West Gate), the central gate of ancient Eretria
- The Archeological Museum with important findings from Eretria, Magoula, Amarintho and Lefkanti
- The tower with the statues on the beach that has the characteristic inscription of “Amarinthias Artemidos” belonging to Kanari family.
- The Museum of Modern Art of Peace and Chalkidismos. It includes paintings of Greek painter Vassilis Chalkidiotis and others.
- The neoclassical mansion (1847) of the Kanari family. Konstantinos Kanaris, the captain of fire ships from Psara island, lived in Eretria from 1847 until 1864.
- The Pezonisi or Nisi ton Oneiron (Island of Dreams) covered with pine forests, connected to Eretria by a bridge.
Activities around Eretria
- Swimming at Eretria seafront and from the beaches west to Malakonta and east to Magoula and Amarintho.
- Water sports
Karystos, a picturesque town and port, is known since ancient times for its famous Karystos slabs, slate rocks of the area. Karystos is located 124 km southeast of Chalkida.Read more
- The ancient marble quarries in Kylindroi
- The Venetian tower (Bourtzi) on the beach to the east side of Karystos. The tower was built in 13th century.
- The ruins of Castello Rosso, a Venetian castle (13th – 15th century), situated further from the small forest.
- The imposing Town Hall
- The Giokaleio Foundation housing the Archaeological Museum with important findings from the region.
- The Cathedral of Agios Nikolaos
- The Monastery of Agia Mavra, which follows the old calendar.
- The Monastery of Taxiarches (Archangels) in Kalyvia dating back to 9th -12th century.
- Mount Ochi, on top of which stands one of the renowned “drakospita”. It is a megalithic construction dating back to the 6th to 2nd century B.C.
- The mountain settlements of Ochi (Kalyvia, Aghios Dimitrios, Pothi, Giannitsi).
- The village of Platanistos (18 km southeast of Karystos), where you can see a defensive wall of the Hellenistic period.
- The lush landscape of Agia Triada
- The village of Palaiochora, where there was a cemetery dating back to the Hellenistic period.
- The villages of Kavo Doro, Amygdalia, Drymonari, Prinia
- Dimosari Gorge, which begins from the source of the Dimosaris River near and ends on the beach of Kolianou (Length: 10 km)
Activities around Karystos
Swimming at the beaches of Karystos, Platys Gialos beach, Gallida beach, Psili Ammos, Kavos beach, Agia Eirini, Bouros beach, Livadaki beach, Katsouli beach, Agia Paraskevi beach, Kolona Paximadas beach,
- Cultural events organized during the summer period.
- The Wine Festival from late August until early September
Limni Evias is a small, beautiful coastal town with an architecture reminding us of a village in one of the Greek islands. It is located 80 km northwest of Chalkida.Read more
Sightseeing in Limni Evias
- The church of Genisis tis Theotokou at the town entrance is a three-aisled basilica built in 1837 with a remarkable marble belfry built in 1879.
- The church of Zoodoxos Pigi and the ruins of a basilica are dating back to the Early Christian period, built on Roman spas.
- The Historical Archive (including documents from 1732) housed in the Town Hall
- The Police Station and the building of Public Financial Service designed by Chiler.
- The Mansion of Angelis Flokos housing the Folklore and History Museum
- The hermitage of Agios Christodoulos (12th century) at the west end of Limni Evias near the beach.
- The historic female monastery of Agios Nikolaos (7th – 8th century), commonly known as Moni (Monastery) Galataki, located 10 km southeast of Limni Evias. It is known as the Galataki Monastery.
- The Museum of Hydrobiology, on the road to the Monastery, including fossilized exhibits coming from the seabed, shells, and fish from Greek and foreign seas.
Kymi town on the east coast of Evia, is also called the “balcony to the Aegean Sea” because of its spectacular view. It is also one of the biggest artificial ports in Greece with a direct ferry connection to Skyros. Kymi is located 87 km northeast of Chalkida. The local architectural tradition includes some neoclassical residences with details such as elaborate railing patterns on the balconies, brackets, and owner inscriptions.Read more
- The ruins of the Ancient City, not far from Kymi port
- The Square of Agios Athanasios with stone houses and paved alleys
- The church of Panagia Liaoutsanissa, dating back to 1849.
- The Monastery of Agios Panteleimon at the eastern end of Kymi
- The Folklore Museum
- Choneutiko, a lush region situated 2 km northwest of Kymi with a spring of drinkable water with therapeutic and digestive qualities.
- The female Monastery of Metamorfosi, built in the 17th century, is located 5 km to the north, offering a magnificent view.
- The road connecting Paralia (beach) to Kymi, about 4 km long with 52 road bends in total, which was recently integrated in the official Greek Rally Championship as an ascent.
Activities around Kymi
- Swimming at the beaches of Soutsini, Chili, Platana, and the small harbours all the way to Stomio.
- Fishing: Spear fishing and squid fishing in August
Evia Beach Guide
The northern part is green with dense pine forests that end at the seashore, mountain villages and towns with a marked Cycladic ambiance to the south, numerous beaches with crystal-clear waters facing the Aegean Sea or Evoikos Gulf
- Agia Anna beach – the longest beach in Evia, wide, sandy/pebbled, located on the northeastern coast of Evia near the famous resort in Pefki. Coordinates: 38°51’46.8″N 23°26’42.3″E
- Gregolimano beach – located on northwestern coast of Evia. The hotel “Club Med Gregolimano” covers all land behind this golden, sandy beach. Accessible only on foot walking along the beach all the way from Chrysi Akti. Coordinates: 38°49’59.9″N 22°56’10.7″E
- Ellinika beach – beautiful, sandy beach just opposite the islet of Agios Nikolaos in northern Evia. Coordinates: 39°00’52.8″N 23°20’31.6″E
- Lihadonissia beach – in Lihada peninsula is a beautiful paradise with all its magical islets. These green islets, known as the Greek Seychelles, can be reached by ferry from Agios Georgios or from Agios Konstantinos. Coordinates: 38°49’22.6″N 22°49’15.3″E
- Nisiotissa beach – near Neos Pyrgos in northern Evia, is a long sandy/pebbled beach. Coordinates: 38°56’27.6″N 23°03’27.9″E
- Potami Beach – beautiful, sandy beach on the east coast of northern Evia. Located about 3 km west of Sarakiniko beach. Coordinates: 38°45’13.2″N 23°40’39.5″E
- Great Sand beach – is a secret gem near the village of Krya Vrisi in Marmari in southern Evia. The beach has thick golden sand and a deep blue sea around. It is not safe with children since surfing and kitesurfing is practiced from the beach without the appropriate safety precautions. Accessible only through a dirt road. Coordinates: 38°02’01.3″N 24°18’22.2″E
- Tsokaiti Istiaia beach – near Orei – secluded, non-organized, long sandy beach, north coast of Evia. Coordinates: 38°58’41.5″N 23°05’34.4″E
- Kanatadika beach – near Orei in northern Evia – family friendly, sandy long beach, clean water, easy access by car, taverns, cafes, and bars nearby. Coordinates: 38°59’28.3″N 23°06’28.9″E
- Pefki beach – long, sandy beach, surrounded by pine trees, partly organized, on the north coast of Evia. Coordinates: 39°00’30.1″N 23°12’32.9″E
- Mavrika beach – long, pebbled, secluded beach, very quiet. Coordinates: 39°00’35.2″N 23°21’10.7″E