Evia (Euboea) – a Great Roadtrip Destination for Nature Lovers

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?

Where is Evia?

Euboea (Evia) on a map

How big is Evia island?

Evia – How to get there?

History of Evia

Evia – What to do?

Evia – What to see?

Halkida City (Chalkida)

Loutra Aedipsos (Baths of Edipsos)

Eretria – Ancient city-state

Karystos

Limni Evias

Kymi

Evia Beach Guide

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?

Old bridge in Chalkida city connecting Evia island with mainland Greece
Old bridge in Chalkida city connecting Evia island with mainland Greece

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

Map of Evia, Pelion and Sporades islands
Click to enlarge map – Coordinates: 38°35’10.0″N 23°45’04.5″E

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?

Aerial view of the new suspension bridge in Chalkida city connecting Evia with mainland Greece
Aerial view of the new suspension bridge in Chalkida city connecting Evia with mainland Greece

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

View of Dirfi mountain in Euboea in Greece
View of Mount Dirfys in Euboea
  • 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?

Organized beach at the islet of Monolia, part of the archipelago paradise Islands of Lihadonisia, northern Evia, Greece
Organized beach at the islet of Monolia, part of the archipelago paradise Islands of Lihadonisia at Lihada peninsula

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 waterfall in Euboea Greece
Drymonas waterfall

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 with anchored fishing boats, Evia Greece
Marmari port with anchored fishing boats

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 Karystos in Evia, Greece
Castle Rosso, also known as the red castle near Karystos

Castle Rosso, also known as the “red castle” near the picturesque town and port, Karystos.

Towns of Evia

Halkida (Chalkida)

Neoclassical building in Chalkida, Euboea Greece
Neoclassical building in Chalkida

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.

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Loutra Aedipsos (Baths of Edipsos)

Beautiful rock formations at the thermal springs and baths in Edipsos Greece
Beautiful rock formations at the thermal springs and baths in 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.

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Eretria – Ancient city-state

Aerial view of famous fishing village of Eretria with beautiful island of Dreams or Pezonisi connected by small piece of land, Central Evia, Greece
Famous town of Eretria with beautiful island of Dreams or Pezonisi connected by small piece of land

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.

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Karystos

Main beach of seaside village Karystos in southern Evia, Greece
Main beach of seaside village Karystos in southern Evia

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.

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Limni Evias

Limni village, Euboea Greece
The seaside village of Limni

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.

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Kymi

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.

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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

Beautiful Golden Sand Beach in southern Evia, Greece
Beautiful “Great Sand Beach” in Marmari, southern Evia
  • 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