LEARN ABOUT SOUTHERN EVIA

 

Southern Evia is gifted with fabulous natural landscapes, such as the Styra massif, the mountain range of Ochi, the Dimosaris river gorge, monuments of history such as the mythical Dragon Houses (Drakospita), castles, the picturesque villages of Cavo D’Oro, that is literally a journey back in time.

Pristine beaches in the Evian Gulf and the Aegean, isolated forests, villages clinging to the slopes, full of myths and taverns with delicious dishes and flavors from the local cuisine such as the famous Karystos kids and the unique flavor of Evian fish.

Styra offer wonderful hiking trails and places where nature remains untouched.

Get yourself a pair of sneakers and good mood and enjoy walking, the colors, scents and images of the magical corner of Southern Evia. Styra is an ideal destination near Athens.

 

 

BEACHES

 

Styra have the privilege to be surrounded by many beautiful beaches on the Evian Gulf and the Aegean Sea.

Almyropotamos, Dilisso, Nea Styra and Nimborio on the Evian Gulf and Mesochori and Tsakaioi on the Aegean coast, are easily accessible by car, a real challenge to swim in crystal clear waters.

Enjoy and relax in the taverns with delicious seafood.

 

 

 

 

DRAGON HOUSES (DRAKOSPITA)

 

The megalithic monuments of Evia.

The legend of the Dragon Houses is alive for thousands of years on the mountains of Southern Evia.

Mythical supernatural beings with great power have passed through the centuries and lived in the Dragon Houses on the mountains of Styra and Karystos.

These megalithic structures, existing for centuries on our mountains, have witnessed the prehistoric era and challenge the imagination.

Huge stones artfully arranged and assimilated by the environment form a perfect architectural creation.

Most Dragon Houses, are located in Styra, complex of three near the village, offering the opportunity to enjoy a magnificent hiking trail.

Visit them and a guide will take you to a trip of fantasy and reality.

Enjoy both the nature and history of Styra, easy hike for the whole family.

Starting from the hotel, after 4km of paved road, we approach Styra. Follow the signs towards Chalkida, after 500m we meet a sign to "Dragon Houses/Drakospita" n the right.

We follow the marked path to the Dragon Houses, the Ancient Quarries and Armeno castle.

Traveling time by car is 30 minutes. From where we get off the car, the small path leads to the Dragon Houses, hiking lasts 5 minutes.

Hiking trail Starting from the Styra square and through the cobblestone streets of the village on the back of the church, follow the path marked with red arrows and find the signs, leading to the Dragon Houses.

The trail is 5.5 km long. Sneakers, water and a hat are necessary

 

 

ANCIENT QUARRIES

 

A magnificent hiking experience is going down the road from the Dragon Houses to the prehistoric castle of Armeno, in the archaeological site of the Styra Mountain, passing by the ancient quarries.

Huge volumes of shale, invulnerable to time, are telling the history of thousands of years, when Styra was known for its green marble, the Styrian stone.

A trip with the time machine in the field of marble artists, an activity that continues to our days.

 

 

 

ARMENO CASTLE

 

At the top of Mount Kliosi over Styra, stands a castle with important role in the prehistoric, ancient and the Venetian times. Its stone gate overlooks Styra and hides secrets that call hikers to explore inside.

High walls, stones safely arranged, the chapel of Panagia (Virgin Mary) and the cave of Aghios Nikolas (St. Nicholas) overlook the Evian Gulf and reward the guest.

 

 

 

KELLIA, IMAGES FROM THE PAST

 

Kellia is a mountainous village in the broader Styra area.

Fifty years ago, the last resident left the village and since then, peace and nature incessantly create images and are the story tellers.

Deep shadowed gullies, old oak trees and fragrant myrtle and plane trees, houses with open doors, courtyards, springs with fresh water, form a scenery and travel visitors in bygone times.

Facing the village, you are almost confident that doors will open, children's voices will be heard and the houses will be filled with life.

Wonderful images within unspoiled nature.

 

 

 

MEGALI VRYSI

 

Megali Vrysi (Great Fountain) is the natural monument of Styra.

Stroll through the cobblestoned streets of the village with traditional houses, thousand-year-old plane trees, myrtle trees, lentisks and fresh water.

In Styra there are remarkable taverns with local dishes such as:

pasta (goglies) with cock, home-made spinatpie, cheese pie and local sausages

In the traditional cafes, drink your coffee or your tsipouro under the imposing church.

 

 

 

DIMOSARIS RIVER GORGE

 

Southern Evia combines everything enthusiasts of adventure, nature and ecotourism look for.

The eastern part of the Ochi Mountain hides a green treasure; the Dimosaris River Gorge.

Half an hour from Nea Styra by car, turn left at Marmari intersection and follow the road to the village of Aghios Dimitrios.

Turn left at the sign to Kallianos a dreamy half-hour route with an amazing view to the deep blue Aegean Sea.

After crossing the Dimosaris River Bridge, follow the road uphill and turn right at the sign to Lenossaioi. After three kilometers of dirt road, you reach the starting point of the path that leads to the Dimosaris gorge.

The gorge is 10km long, but just half hour of hiking is enough to get into its “heart” and enjoy swimming in the “vathres” (pools) created by nature, under the shade of huge plane trees and bird songs, the real delight to your senses.

The Dimosaris River Gorge is ideal for both nature lovers and people with specific interests.

Dozens of springs, waterfalls, small lakes, ancient riverine forests, wildlife, offer consecutive images to hikers.

The river flows into the Kallianos beach in the Aegean Sea, a dreamy pebble beach with crystal clear waters. Enjoy relaxing moments under the Aegean breeze.

Hiking in the Dimosaris River Gorge, one of the most beautiful gorges in Greece, is a life experience that will remain unforgettable.

 

 

 

ON THE ROAD TO KARYSTOS

 

On the road to Karystos, images change on the background of the Evian Gulf, the island group of Petalioi, the game of light depending on the time shows a different landscape.

The town of Karystos is well-structured with wide streets, beautiful sea, taverns, ouzo bars and restaurants and the historic Giokaleio Foundation which houses the Museum, a gem of our history.

The beach is dominated by the presence of Bourtzi. The small Venetian castle was built around 1350AD. Still guard of the town with its wonderful gallery and battlements, battling time and emerging victorious.

Every year it hosts cultural events such as exhibitions of painting and photography, small ensembles and more.

 

 

 

CASTELLO ROSSO (KOKKINOKASTRO, “THE RED CASTLE”)

 

4 km from the center of Karystos, between Grampia and Myloi villages, Kokkinokastro dominates through its robust presence. Its name is due to the red stones with which it was built and the Latins used to call it Castello Rosso (“The Red Castle”).

It was built by the Lombard baron Ravano dalle Carceri between 1209-1216.

The Byzantines, Franks, Venetians and Turks claimed Kokkinokastro occasionally.

Impressive high walls and battlements, ramparts, threatening fire pots, a fantasy with knights, soldiers and abundant myths.

Castello Rosso offers a great ride and breathtaking sunsets in Karystos of history and legend.

 

 

 

KASTANOLOGOS

 

Karystos is built below the summit of the Ochi Mountain.

Ochi is a mountain-museum, full of history and with one of the few pure chestnut forests in Europe.

15 km from the city center, after Aetos and Metochi villages (there are signs to Kastanologos), at an altitude of 900 meters lies Kastanologos.

It is a primeval forest of chestnut trees, vitally important for the flora of the region.

The age-old chestnut impress with their huge trunks and lay their leaves like a carpet to greet initiated visitors in an environment like setting for fairytales with ancient gods, dragons, fairies and elves.

The University of the Aegean has included the chestnut forest in a protection and development plan as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

A unique experience and easy hike, full of surprises.

 

 

 

THE DRAGON HOUSE ON OCHI

 

The path goes uphill on the left side of Kastanologos, passes next to the refuge and leads to the mountain summit.

After an hour we see the monastery of Prophitis Elias with the church and the four cells. The monastery is located among huge rocks and is built like a Dragon House.

200 meters north of the monastery, a small breezy plateau is formed.

Here, at an altitude of 1400m, stands the best constructed and preserved Dragon House, a building raised by Proto-Greek tribes that impresses with its massive stonework.

According to Pausanias, it was a temple dedicated to Hera, Ocheia Hera.

Myths, legends, mystery and reality as you take the road to the mountain.

Moderate hike, lasting one hour, requires hiking shoes or sneakers, water, a hat and a light summer jacket.

 

 

 

CAVO D’ORO

 

Kafireas is the cape in the southeastern end of Evia, also known as Cavo D’Oro.

Touring around the villages is an experience that will remain unforgettable.

Just two hours from Athens and time seems to stop.

The villages of Kafireas are seventeen, remote and clinching on the slopes like eagle nests overlooking the Aegean.

Residents are few but always hospitable and eager to share a tsipouro, engaged in farming, honey production and a little of agriculture for home supplies.

Beaches in the arms of the Aegean Sea, deep shadowed gullies, fresh water and vegetation of plane trees, oak trees, olive trees and vast heaths coexist in the terrain that at several points reminds a lot of the Cycladic islands.

The road to Amygdalia village is paved with asphalt but afterwards is dirt. The journey from Nea Styra and around Cavo D’Oro and back takes about six hours.

 

 

 

MARMARI

 

Beautiful fishing village built amphitheatrically on a picturesque bay with beautiful beaches of the Aegean Sea and the Evian Gulf.

In Marmari you can enjoy the ride and good food at the ouzo & meat taverns on the beach.

Pothi and Giannitsi villages are famous for their cuisine.

Ideal for short trips to the surrounding villages with good road network and the characteristic feature of Karystia, the continuously changing landscape.

It is half an hour from Nea Styra.