Evia Guided Walking Holiday

A view of Potami beach with azure sea water, Samos island, Greece
Duration: 7 nights
Type: European Centre Based
Walking Grade: 2 & 4
from £1,299pp with flights

A walker's delight - traditional paths between sleepy villages, beautiful Aegean coastline and an island steeped in history. Stroll through green valleys sampling the local culture, traditional villages and warm Greek hospitality. Walk to the tiny villages above Karystos, up the slopes of Mount Ochi, through green hills to unspoilt Potami Beach and down the island's impressive gorges. The island of Evia is one of the closest to Athens and yet it is one of the most unknown. It is second in size to Crete and stretches from the tip of the Pelion Peninsula all the way south to the coast of Attika. Our walking holiday on Evia is based at the charming seaside town of Karystos, which lies to the south of the island in a sheltered bay overlooked by Mount Ochi. This attractive town with neoclassical public buildings and traditional coffee and ouzo tavernas on small squares is known for its beaches, Venetian fortress, and folk museum. There are local cheeses and a type of pasta (Kourkoubines) which should be tasted. A Bavarian engineer had a hand in the original street plan in 1843, but this area was originally small trading stations along the coast set up by the Venetians until it had to be fortified against piracy. At this time, the construction of Castel Rosso (about 4km away) took place. It has long been a seat of a Greek bishop and the Venetians coveted this area for a long time until it finally did pass into Venetian control in 1366. Then in 1470 it was conquered by the Ottoman Empire. Also in this area are The Dragon Houses, Neolithic monuments that have been a mystery to archaeologists since they were discovered. They are called Dragon Houses because of their size. People believe they had to have been built by a very large creature. There are twenty of them in all, most near Styra and another above Karystos near the peak of Mount Ochi.

Holiday Highlights

  • Explore Karystos, once considered as an alternative capital to Athens
  • Use old tracks and cobbled mule paths to climb Mount Ochi
  • Look out for unique 'Dragon' Houses
  • Enjoy warm Greek hospitality from the Givisis family at the Hotel Anastasia
  • Sample local produce with an authentic Greek breakfast, with a traditional coffee

What’s included

  • A full programme of guided walks with 2 options every walking day
  • Transfers to and from Athens Airport (see travel tab)
  • All transport to and from walks
  • The services of experienced HF Holidays’ leaders
  • Return flights from the UK on ‘with flight’ holidays
  • 7 nights' accommodation in en-suite rooms
  • Half Board – continental buffet breakfast and 3-course evening meal

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

Welcome to Hotel Anastasia. Unpack and settle in.


Today’s walks introduce the rich history of the island, finishing with a tutored tasting of local wines and cheeses at the Montofoli Winery on the slopes of Castello Rosso.

Option 1 - Walking through time: Myli and Castello Rosso

Distance: 5 miles (8km) 

Total ascent: 1,200 feet (360m)

In summary: The walk meanders through the villages occupying the lower slopes of the Mt Ochi Range that dominates the northern skyline. Ascending to the Castello Rosso, dating from the Byzantine period, via the pedestrian gateway of ancient times to offer extensive views back toward the Greek mainland. The route descends through the village of Myli to reach the Montofoli Winery.

Highlight: Discover the hidden gem that is the Montofoli Wine estate.

 

Option 2 - Ancient Quarries

Distance: 5 miles (8km)

Total ascent: 1,500 feet (450m)

In summary: The walk begins in the village of Myli, ascending to the Roman Kylindroi quarry to marvel at the enormous columns left behind in the 2nd century AD. Stand in the footsteps of those masons and admire the views down to the Castello below and Karystos Bay beyond. The descent to the Montofoli Winery is on ancient tracks and paths.

Highlight: Spectacular views of Castello and Karystos.

 

 


Mount Ochi (1,399m) is the highest peak in southern Evia. It hosts an excellent specimen of a Dragon House and the nearby chapel of Profitis Ilias.

Option 1 - Mt Ochi environs and the Chestnut Forest

Distance: 4 miles (6½km) 

Total ascent: 1,300 feet (390m) 

In summary: Our journey, one of the longest of the week, offers not only great views, but provides an opportunity for the easier walk to reach a very remote location. Our walk follows a section of the old road, before heading eastward to ascend to a shepherd’s hut. A sense of remoteness is achieved, with little evidence of human habitation to be seen. The track passes through the ancient chestnut forest of Kastanolongos, the only remaining chestnut forest in south Evia and a place for quiet
contemplation before rejoining the awaiting bus at the foot of Mount Ochi.

Highlight: The ancient chestnut forest of Kastanolongos.

 

Option 2 - The Dragon House of Mt Ochi

Distance: 6 miles (9½km)

Total ascent: 1,400 feet (420m)

In summary: The walk begins at the road terminus below the higher slopes of Mount Ochi, soon to pass the mountain refuge. Our ascent is steady, and the final stages are on the rock slabs that surround the summit. The chapel of Profitis Ilias is discovered in the final approach to an imposing Dragon House. The summit lies beyond, and the views are ample reward for those last few steep steps. The return is to the south via open tracks with extensive views to the village of Myli encountered earlier in the week.

Highlight: Breathtaking views.

 


Your free day offers the chance to explore the waterfront, shops and harbourside cafés in Karystos. Have a lazy day relaxing by the pool. Walk to the main beach and have a swim and then take lunch at one of the many restaurants/cafés in Karystos.

On your free day, join an optional boat trip, which takes in views of Karystos Bay and the nearby Petali Islands towards Marmari. This exhilarating excursion offers a mixture of sightseeing, a short stop on a secluded beach and it may be possible to enjoy a short introduction to snorkelling. Please ask your leader for further details.

Marmari ,Evia Island, Greece


Stira is 25km northwest of the hotel, but soon reached via the newly constructed highway. Ships left from this city-state to aid the rescue of Helen of Troy. This region contains a number of ‘Dragon’ Houses, and the walks explore three of these and nearby quarries before descending to Stira and its main square with a collection of tavernas.

Option 1 - The Dragon Houses of Styra

Distance: 5 miles (8km)

Total ascent: 1,300 feet (390m)

In summary: The walk starts in the village of Zoodochos ascending on tracks and Kalderimi (paved mule tracks) to the Dragon houses and quarries beyond. There is time to explore this area, and add to the speculation of origin and purpose of these structures before descending on good tracks to Stira.

Highlight: Discover the ancient Dragon houses.

 

Option 2 - Dragon Houses and the Castle of Armena

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Total ascent: 2,200 feet (660m)

In summary: The walk ascends from the outskirts of Stira to explore the Dragon houses before continuing upwards through the nearby quarries to the little church of Ag. Nikolas below the Mount Kliosi fortifications. Leaving the church to explore the ruins above, we then descend through the majestic limestone framed portal down to disused ancient quarries and on to the square of Stira.

Highlight: Discover the theories behind the construction of the Dragon houses.

 


The pass is to the north west of Mt Ochi. To the north, the Dimosari gorge runs to the Aegean Sea. To the south, the landscape rolls down toward Karystos Bay.

Option 1 - Dimosari Gorge

Distance: 4½ miles (7km)

Total ascent: 250 feet (80m)

Total descent: 2,700 feet (810m)

In summary: From the Petrokanalo pass, the entrance gate to the Dimosari Gorge path is soon found. The route through the gorge was the only route from the north of the island peninsula to the port of Karystos, and today sections of the original stone cobbles can still be seen. The path descends steeply, sometimes with made steps, to meet the stream, soon to become a river. Even in the height of summer, water continues to flow. The path follows the gorge beneath chestnut and plain trees, passing majestic waterfalls through to the small hamlet of Lenosei and its church.

Highlight: One of the most beautiful trails in Greece.

 

Option 2 - Dimosari Gorge

Distance: 6 miles (9½km)

Total ascent: 600 feet (180m)

Total descent: 3,800 feet (1,140m)

In summary: After following the same route as the easier group, the route continues on Lenosei's access track then descends to an abandoned mill on the bankside, and follows the river bed to the sea.

Highlight: Discover the impressive Dimonsari Gorge with it's majestic waterfalls.

 


Today we will explore the eastern shores with the chance to enjoy a communal meal at a delightful beachside tavern with stunning views.

Option 1 - Poseidon’s Temple and Riverside Paths

Distance: 4 miles (6½km)

Total ascent: 500 feet (150m)

In summary: Starting in the village of Platanistos we descend to the restored packhorse bridge, featured in most postcards, crossing the stream whose source is in the ancient chestnut forests explored earlier in the week. The descent is interspersed with an exploration for the remains of Poseidon’s temple, before descending through the river meadows and olive groves behind Potami beach.

Highlight: Lunch at a beachside tavern with the opportunity for a swim or a wander along the seashore.

Option 2 - Waterfalls, Bridges, and Artefacts

Distance: 5 miles (8km)

Total ascent: 600 feet (190m)

Total descent: 1,300 feet (400m)

In summary: From Platanistos we continue inland to visit one of the few waterfalls of the area, before continuing downstream to join the route of the easier walk from the packhorse bridge.

Highlight: Sample a traditional Greek lunch at the beachside tavern.


We hope to see you again soon.


Evia Itinerary Map

Hotel Anastasia - Evia

The 4-star Hotel Anastasia enjoys a beachfront location in the charming coastal town of Karystos.  Winner of several HF Hotel Awards in 2018 for its fantastic staff, abundant breakfast and mouth-watering evening meals.  It's conveniently situated just 300m from the town center, allowing you to explore the local shops and culture, enjoy the harbourside cafés, or enjoy an exhilarating boat ride to the beautiful Petali Islands with a chance to visit an island beach.  

Rooms

There are 29 stylish and spacious en-suites bedrooms all with:

  • King size or Twin beds
  • Air conditioning
  • Private balcony
  • TV
  • WiFi (free of charge)
  • Hairdryer
  • Room safe
  • Mini-bar
  • Non-smoking rooms available

Facilities

This hotel has:

  • Outdoor pool
  • Pool/Lounge bar
  • Restaurant that has delightful Aegean Sea views

Beauty and massage facilities are also on offer for guests.

Food & Drink

Holidays on Evia are Half Board and the hotel is proud to serve a specially recognised 'Greek Breakfast' as well as a 3-course evening meal.

Breakfast

This hotel offers a self-service buffet that includes fruit juices, cereals, fruit, cold meat and cheeses, home-made preserves, some traditional Greek items and Greek coffee and teas are available.

Lunch (payable locally)

This hotel offers picnic lunches at a small additional cost. Alternatively, ingredients can be purchased from the local shops and on certain days it may be possible to eat in local cafés, your leaders will advise you of these options.

Evening meal

A 3-course evening meal is served with a combination of local specialitites and international cuisine. Vegetarian and special diets are catered for, we ask you to speak to the management of the hotel on arrival.

Drinks

The hotel has a well-stocked bar serving beer, wine and spirits.

Your Evenings

The friendly atmosphere of our Guided Walking holidays continue into the evening.

Enjoy a glass of wine or local beer whilst listening to our leaders outlining the next day's walks.

After dinner, you can join your group in a walk into the resort for a coffee just have a relaxed conversation with your fellow guests.

Your leaders will be checking for local events going on nearby.

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Getting to Hotel Anastasia - Evia

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

What to Bring

Essential Equipment

To enjoy walking/hiking comfortably and safely, footwear, clothing and equipment needs to be suitable for the conditions. Safety and comfort are our priorities, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities.

  • Footwear with a good grip on the sole (e.g.Vibram sole) is the key to avoiding accidents.
  • Walking/hiking boots providing ankle support and good grip are recommended (ideally worn in), and specialist walking socks to avoid blisters.
  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed, are better than a single layer (include spares).
  • Fabrics (lightweight and fast drying) designed for the outdoors are recommended.
  • Waterproof jacket and waterproof over trousers.
  • Warm hat and gloves. Gaiters are an optional but useful extra.
  • Denim jeans and capes are not suitable on any walks.
  • Rucksack with a waterproof liner.
  • Thermos flask for hot drink.
  • Water bottle (at least 2 litre).
  • Spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar.
  • Small torch.
  • First aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed).
  • Sun hat and sunglasses
  • Sun cream.

Optional Equipment

  • Walking poles are useful, particularly for descents.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Camera.

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change.
Non-member associate fee: £10 per person.

These departure dates can be booked with flights or as land only holiday options. All packages that include flights are ATOL protected. Advertised flight prices are based on UK flights departing from London. Regional departures and/or connections to London, if available, can be requested. Cabin upgrades may also be available on request.

Date (Start - End) Version Price Status Trip Notes Book
2019
27 Sep - 04 Oct 2019 Itinerary £1,299 Unavailable
2020
01 May - 08 May 2019 Itinerary £1,299 Available Book Now
08 May - 15 May 2019 Itinerary £1,299 Available Book Now
15 May - 22 May 2019 Itinerary £1,299 Available Book Now
22 May - 29 May 2019 Itinerary £1,299 Available Book Now
29 May - 05 Jun 2019 Itinerary £1,299 Available Book Now
11 Sep - 18 Sep 2019 Itinerary £1,299 Available Book Now
18 Sep - 25 Sep 2019 Itinerary £1,299 Available Book Now
25 Sep - 02 Oct 2019 Itinerary £1,299 Available Book Now
02 Oct - 09 Oct 2019 Itinerary £1,299 Unavailable
09 Oct - 16 Oct 2019 Itinerary £1,299 Available Book Now
Date (Start - End) Version Price Status Trip Notes Book
2019
27 Sep - 04 Oct 2019 Itinerary £1,099 Unavailable
2020
01 May - 08 May 2019 Itinerary £1,049 Available Book Now
08 May - 15 May 2019 Itinerary £1,049 Available Book Now
15 May - 22 May 2019 Itinerary £1,049 Available Book Now
22 May - 29 May 2019 Itinerary £1,049 Available Book Now
29 May - 05 Jun 2019 Itinerary £1,049 Available Book Now
11 Sep - 18 Sep 2019 Itinerary £1,049 Available Book Now
18 Sep - 25 Sep 2019 Itinerary £1,049 Available Book Now
25 Sep - 02 Oct 2019 Itinerary £1,049 Available Book Now
02 Oct - 09 Oct 2019 Itinerary £1,049 Unavailable
09 Oct - 16 Oct 2019 Itinerary £1,049 Available Book Now

Important Information

  • Double rooms for sole occupancy: £30 per night
  • With flight holidays include flights from London Heathrow.
  • UK connecting flights to meet our Heathrow British Airways flight available from Manchester, Leeds Bradford, Newcastle, Glasgow or Edinburgh.   £139
  • Holiday is inclusive of coach transfers and scenic ferry journey to Marmari
Duration:
7 nights
Type:
European Centre Based
Walking Grade:
2

7 nights from £1,299pp with flights

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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