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Evia Sightseeing

Evia Sightseeing
Evia is not only a big island, but it is also characterized by amazing landscape diversity and many interesting venues to visit. Evia has high mountains, rivers, canyons, dazzling beaches, imposing monasteries and picturesque chapels, wetlands, lakes and lagoons, museums and even a petrified forest! 

Churches and Monasteries

Evia is a favourite destination of Orthodox Christians, since it hosts Byzantine churches and monasteries, where miracles are believed to have happened.

Among the monasteries worth visiting is the Monastery of Galataki in Limni built in the 8th century A.D. , where nuns are involved in producing Persian carpets; the Monastery of Saint George in Ilia (close to Edipsos) that boasts a truly imposing architecture and was built on the ruins of an ancient temple devoted to Apollo; the Monastery of Saint (Osios) Daviv established by Saint (Osios) David himself on mountain Kavalaris, where visitors can relish the amazing view from 927 m. of altitude; the relatively new Monastery of Saint Eirini Crhysovalandou in Rovies with a traditional architecture; the impressive Monastery of the Assumption of Virgin Mary in Makrymalli (close to Psachna); the Monastery of Perivleptos in Politika devoted to the Assumption of Virgin Mary that has been declared a preserved monument; the Monastery of Saint George ARMA located at 20 km. to the east of Chalkida  built in 1141 A.D.; and the Monastery of Transfiguration of Christ in Kimi, which has a beautiful architecture, with arches and stones and offers a panoramic view to the sea.

Also, there are churches in Evia that are connected with miracles and have a strong spiritual atmosphere, like the Church of Saint John Rossos in Prokopi that hosts the sacred relic of the Saint and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors per year, or the Church of Saint Dimitrios in Avlonari, which is considered to be the oldest church on the island.

There are also churches that are worth a visit because they are very picturesque or they are located in a fantastic venue, like the beautiful white Church of Panagia Ntinious surrounded by planes and cypresses close to Istiea or the Church of Hiliadou right above the homonym beach, which was built in the middle of the 9th century A.D. and was named after the Greek word “hilia” that means a thousand, because it was the thousandth church built after the end of the war on icons.

The list of churches to visit on the island could be endless. What is certain is that in Evia, every area, every small village, has an interesting church worth visiting!!


Museums and Galleries

The fact that Evia has been inhabited since the Prehistoric Era explains why there are three archaeological museums on the island.

The Archaeological Museum of Chalkida houses findings from 11.000 B.C. till the 3rd century A.D., which have been brought from throughout the island. Its collection includes house objects, jewels, tools, weapons, statues, and objects from ancient temples.  

The Archaeological Museum of Eretria hosts objects, parts of temples, jewels, etc., from different eras, but is mainly famous for its sculptures and especially for the sculptures of the Ancient Temple of Apollo. Among them, the sculpture of Thiseas and the Amazon stands out for its details.

The Archaeological Museum of Karystos is the smallest of the three museums; nevertheless, it houses interesting objects, tombstones, inscriptions with the ancient alphabet of Chalkida, and sculptures.

There are also two more archaeological collections, in Edipsos (in the spa building of the Hellenic Tourism Organization) and in Ano Potamia (next to the church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary) close to Kimi.

Another interesting museum is the Historic National Museum of Anastasios Liaskos in Kontodespoti, which was established in 1995 and presents the recent history of the island, starting from the 1821 Revolution till today.

Moreover, there are six Folklore Museums:  in Chalkida, Kimi, Karystos, Agia Anna, Limni and Amarhynthos. All host objects of the everyday life through the centuries, embroideries, art objects, tools and local costumes.

The Museum of Paleontology in Kerasia will thrill young visitors and will astonish older ones, since it hosts fossils from 10 million years ago! So far, 24 different species of animals have been proved to have lived on the island based on the discovered fossils. This museum is not to be missed!

Another venue that will delight young visitors is the Nautilus Museum of Marine Life located in Agiokampos (close to Edipsos). Apart from hosting beautiful sea-related objects, the museum presents the relationships between sea objects and aspects of everyday life, like architecture, communication, etc.

Moreover, the Museum of National History of Istiea, created by hunters of the area, presents the nature of Evia through embalmed animals, fish birds, minerals, rocks, shells, plants and insects.

Last but not least, the Museum of Friends of Giannis Skarimbas, the renowned Greek writer from Evia, is located in Chalkida and houses his objects and books, giving visitors some more information on his life.


Villages

There are hundreds of villages in Evia and each one has something different to offer. In the northern part, villages are built on mountains or along the coast. Some of them are larger and provide contemporary amenities and others remind visitors of past decades. Among the places worth a visit in northern Evia are of course Edipsos with its thermal spa, Rovies, Hronia, Agios Georgios and Lihada for their gorgeous beaches, Istiea that offers all amenities and great food, the picturesque coastal village of Orei, the traditional village of Kyrinthos, and Drymonas with the river Sipias and its fantastic waterfalls.

In southern Evia, apart from the main big villages of Karystos, Marmari and Styra, there is a plethora of small traditional villages. Around Karystos, there are the “villages of Gourna” (Aetos, Chora, Grambia, Kalyvia, Lala, Mekounida, Metochi, and Myloi) that are built in the foot of mount Ochi and they are surrounded by olive groves and planes. Around Marmari, there are several villages that have the atmosphere of a past era. Among them: Melissonas, Paradeisi, Figias, Hania, and Stoupaioi.

In the central-eastern part of the island, the biggest village is Kimi, but there are several villages worth a visit: Limnionas with is dazzling beach, Oxilithos with an amazing view both to the hills around and to the sea, Avlonari with its fabulous panoramic architecture, Konistra with the Kolethra Source and its turquoise waters, and the picturesque village of Oktonia with its uniform low white houses with red roofs!

In the central-western coast, Eretria is the biggest village hosting museums, archaeological sites, many amenities and a lovely beach. Nearby there are the beautiful coastal village of Amarynthos, the village of Vasilikos with picturesque chapels and imposing old neoclassical houses, and the village of Fylla hosting the house of the Greek hero Andreas Miaoulis and an impressive tower.

Close to Chalkida, the places worth a visit are the coastal village of Nea Artaki, Psachna that offers a breathtaking view of mountain Dirfys, Politika with their traditional square and the traditional village of Pissonas.

Chalkida, the island’s capital, is an unsurpassable destination; apart from hosting several museums and monuments, a Castle (“Castle of Karampampas”), and the many choices of accommodation, dining and leisure, this blessed place offers the opportunity of observing the unique phenomenon of the Euripos tide. Here, the sea water current changes direction from 6 up to 14 times per day, depending on how many days have passed from the last full moon! And what better place for observing the waters than the Chalkida Old Bridge?


Archaeological Sites and things not to be missed

Evia could not but have very interesting archaeological sites.
Very close to Chalkida, there was the prehistoric Chalkida, where the archaeological site of Manika is situated. Visitors may admire ruins of rectangle houses with yards around them, roads, and unusual U-shaped buildings. The latter were probably warehouses of wheat. There is also a cemetery, where researchers found many objects that are presented in the Archaeological Museum of Chalkida.  

In the area of Eretria, there are two important sites: the Ancient Eretria, which was built on a hill to the west of Eretria, and a settlement of the Middle Neolithic Era in the area of Tsaggli, Magoula. The ancient walls of the Ancient Eretria acropolis are still visible today, although they do not form a continuous wall; eight parts of the ancient walls are saved today.

Moreover, there is an ancient theatre and ruins of the ancient temple of Dionysos, while there is also the Tomb of Erotes which goes back to the dominance of the Macedonians on the island. In Tsaggli, archaeologists have found four prehistoric houses, three of which were successive. Of course, several objects were found in both places, which are now hosted in the Archaeological Museum of Eretria.  

Between Chalkida and Eretria, visitors will find the archaeological site of Lefkanti, where a very prosperous geometric settlement was situated. The Iroon of Lefkanti is an imposing arched building that was built in the 10th century B.C. and is considered to be the oldest monument of the Early Iron Era.   

The archaeological site of Kimi is situated on Viglatouri hill and consists of the ruins of a prehistoric and geometric settlement which included houses, roads, temples and graves. Although parts of the ruins are visible, there still remains a lot of research to be conducted in order for this settlement to be fully brought to light.  

The archaeological site of Archamboli includes houses, roads, metallurgy workshops, tanks and fortifications! In this area, researchers found Karystian coins and a leaden utensil.

The mausoleum of Karystos stands out among sites in the southern part of the island, as it is both well preserved and very imposing. Made of white marble, it must have been the grave of a Roman dignitary.

Another interesting archaeological site is located close to the village of Fylla, on a hill called Vrachos. Here, archaeologists revealed an ancient fortress, probably of the 6th century B.C. The fortress is quite big (230 m. x 80 m.) and there are also two complementary buildings next to it. A plethora of ceramic objects were found here as well.

Smaller, but not less important archaeological sites are located in Amarynthos (with a prehistoric settlement, a classical settlement and a temple devoted to Artemis), Artemisio (where a temple of Artemis was referred in the battle of 480 B.C. and there are ruins of ancient walls in the area of Kastri Gouvon), and Kastri Potamias (where ruins of an ancient wall and a gate are found).

In southern Evia, between Karystos and Styra there are the famous “drakospita” which means dragon houses. There are rectangle buildings of the Neolithic Era made exclusively of stone, some of which are really huge. The biggest of them was found on one top of Ochi Mountain, at about 1400 m. high! It is believed that drakospita were devoted to the Ancient Greek Gods or to Hercules. Several pottery pieces, animal stones and indications that sacrifices were conducted around them have been also found.

Another interesting place to visit in Evia is the Petrified Forest of Kerasia in the north. There are petrified trees and findings also include fossils of petrified mammals about 10-20 million years old!

Finally, while in the main villages of the island, there are always exciting things to see. For example, in Chalkida there is the imposing Karampampas Castle built by the Turks in 1684; in Karystos, there is Mpourtzi, an impressive fortress that was built in the Venetian Times in order to protect the port of Karystos; and in Edipsos there is the Cave of Syllas, which is the place where the Roman General Syllas lived when he visited Edipsos in order to relish its thermal spas.

In general, Evia has many monuments and interesting places to visit pretty much everywhere. All visitors have to do is walk, drive, ask around and, of course, read the signs!



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