The shipwreck at the beach Potami in Evia island, Greece

Six reasons to visit Evia

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It may be Greece’s second-largest island after Crete, but Evia’s charms are much lesser known. Separated from the mainland by little more than a sliver of Aegean Sea, this island stunner rewards with superb archaeological finds, lovely vineyards, and glittering beaches where you may not see another soul. Here are six reasons to make Evia your next walking destination.

The dragon houses on Mount Ochi

Climb the 1,398-metre-high Mount Ochi, which towers proudly over the Aegean Sea. Most fascinating here though are the drakospita (dragon houses) – over 20 megalithic structures buried deep in the mountains, first discovered by British geologist John Hawkins in 1797 (their origins remain a true archaeological mystery).

Bay of Karystos, Evia

The beaches

After a day’s walking, there’s nothing more rewarding than dipping your toes in bluer-than-blue waters. And the beaches surrounding Evia are all Greek-Island goodness. A highlight for us is Potami Beach on the southeast coast; its long swathe of golden sand is nestled amongst the hills with olive groves in the background. Looking out to sea, you can spot the shipwreck, which you can snorkel out to.

The local wine and cuisine

While Mediterranean staples such as olive oil and tomatoes are a given across the island, you’ll also spot several popular dishes such as dolmadakia (stuffed vine leaves) and skewers of lamb souvlaki with tzatziki - a refreshing yogurt and cucumber dip. Sweet treats include baklava, pistachio ice cream, and karythopita (spiced walnut cake). To round off your meal like a local, sip on an Ellinikos Greek coffee or frappe - or try a glass of ouzo.

Castello Rosso (Red Castle), Evia

The archaeological finds

Following ancient mule tracks and paths you’ll come across fascinating remains from the past. For example, near Karystos, there’s the 11th century Byzantine fortress, Castello Rosso (Red Castle), which was later occupied by the Franks, Venetians, and finally the Ottomans. Also nearby is a Roman Kylindroi (cylinder) quarry, whose immense columns have been standing since the 2nd century AD. Around Styra, there are another 20 or so dragon houses to explore, too.

The hike through Dimosari Gorge

Also located on Mount Ochi, Dimosari Gorge is one of Greece’s most beautiful hiking spots. Head here for waterfalls, rocky ravines, lush green slopes, ancient mountain paths, and peaceful vibe. You can hike two parts, above and below the little village of Lenoseoi, with the route taking you through six miles of jaw-dropping scenery where wildflowers, plane trees, and olive trees grow in abundance. 

The landscape

Rippled with vineyards and olive groves, Evia’s landscape is enchanting. The mountains running through the centre of the island give way to rolling hills, ancient chestnut forests, and a peaceful haven of bubbling streams. The south coast reminds you of drier Cyclades islands, while the north has spa towns where people have long bathed in its healing waters.

These locations feature on our seven-night holiday, On Foot on the Island of Evia, an ideal introduction to this under-the-radar island.

On Foot on the Island of Evia

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Published 8th March 2024