Get to know Evia…
A few words about Evia
Evia is the second largest island in Greece. Although it has become known as a tourist destination for all seasons within the last years, it is still a relatively well-kept secret, totally unaffected by mass tourist invasion. We have so much we could say about it because there are such untold, wild beauty and secret natural landscapes. It is a land of diverse beauty, cultural heritage, local tradition, and mouth-watering traditional Greek cuisine. Evia is an island which is very easily accessible and which remains genuine, authentic and traditional. And we love it!
Where to go
Sunshine House is located, in central Evia, in a small and quiet village between the two most popular towns of Evia, Chalkida (often spelled Xalkida or Halkida) and Eretria, which are the capital and the second largest town, respectively. Just 3km from our house, the first settlement within Evia dates back to 3000 years BC and we often go there for ceremonies and rituals which help connect us to ancient wisdom and ancestral roots. The hills and sea give a feeling of depth and power.
Chalkida has been the capital since antiquity. Eretria was also an important financial and cultural center in ancient Greece. In both, you can visit archaeological museums and see the ruins of ancient temples, theatres, and houses as well as a 15th-century fortress. Most of Chalkida’s ancient buildings were destroyed in various wars and it is now quite ugly architecturally but it has a beautiful promenade and the feng shui of a town next to the sea, surrounded by mountains is still quite majestic and special.
Interesting fact: The Tidal Phenomenon of Chalkida
Chalkida is very well known for its tidal phenomenon. Visitors watch in awe as for six hours the waters rush towards the north and six hours later to the south. This is due to the difference of the level of waters between the North and South Evian Gulf. It is said that Aristotle threw himself off this bridge because he could not understand this tidal phenomenon. During summer days, groups of trainers with kayaks can be seen battling against the strong current.
Kymi, one of the oldest towns on Evia, is another beautiful little town in the eastern part of the prefecture of Evia, and has many things to see, as it is the area that “oversees” the Aegean Sea from a privileged position. This is why they called it the “Balcony of the Aegean Sea”. Kymi has a large harbor which connects the mainland to the island of Skyros. The most famous agricultural products produced in the region of Kimi are figs, cherries, and olive oil. Our very good friends own an organic fig farm there called “Askada”.
Moving to the northern Evia, there is Edipsos with its healing baths since ancient times, and you can enjoy the spas to this day. There are more than 80 sources of spring whose temperature rises from 28 to 80 degrees Celsius. Doctors and other scientists have concluded that the curative waters of Edipsos are therapeutic for a large number of diseases such as Arthritis, Rheumatism, Lumbago, Sciatica, Migraines, Tendonitis, after injury healing and also the invigoration of aesthetics and beauty. When we visit Edipsos we enjoy the natural tiny rocky pools on the water’s edge and dip into the hot sulphuric water then into the cold salty sea.
Alternatively, we often go to the natural hot pool of “Nine Queens”, which is the only place we know of in the town that does not add chlorine when regulating the temperature of the water.
The temperature is around 35 degrees.
More north of Edipsos on the tip of the nose of the dinosaur (Evia’s shae looks like a dinosaur) there is a small island of Lichadonisia. This area is beautiful and often seals can be seen swimming to and from the island of Alonisus. We know a nice place on Kavos beach which is relaxed and welcoming and reminds us a bit of Sunshine House.
One the way to the north there is the town of Limni and village of Rovies. Limni is a very picturesque fishing town. It has above it the beautiful monastery of Nikolau Galataki and the area of Galataki, which is a mini free-camping paradise of shady pine trees on the sea. Rovies is a nice, seaside village with small, sweet guest houses who have their own private beaches and gardens – ideal for families and people who love to see the plankton glow at night. Katerina’s bungalows, Sungate and Chromata.
There is also a very well-established and organized campsite in Rovies, which organizes a variety of cycling and walking tours in the local area.
Above Rovies we have a small piece of land that we hope to make into a small holding to retreat into the forest one day. It has a sea view overlooking the other side of mainland Greece, where Parnassos and Delphus are. The sunset view from there is extraordinary. Further up there are the beautiful lagoons in the waterfalls of Drimona, where you can swim all year round and there is the famous Orthodox monastery of Osio David, where pilgrims come from all over the world to worship this saint and his legacy.
On the wild side of the open Aegean Sea, in central Evia, one of our favorite places to go is Hiliadou. It is a haven for snorkeling as the sea is crystal clear with visibility up to 20 meters deep. The rock formations and wild coastline of this part of Evia is breath-taking, as well as the simplicity of the fish tavernas and the people who go there for a complete getaway. There is a nudist, free-camping beach and so much to discover with a kayak around that coastline. On this same side of Evia, there is also the beautiful beach of Vlachia, near the village of Pili.
On the way to Hiliadou we have to cross the largest mountain of the island called Dirfis. It has one of the richest, most diverse vegetations in the whole of Europe, and is usually covered in snow from Dec to March. Steni, the largest mountain village, has rivers, forests and local tavernas. It is said there are over 2000 species of medicinal herbs growing wild there, as well as many mushrooms. One of our favorite places is the small chapel of Agia Kyriaki, where there is an amazing taverna, a sacred chapel in the cave and a river with a small waterfall and year-round deep lagoon to jump into and cool off during the Summer heat!
One of the closest paradise places to Sunshine House is the beach of Dafni. It has year-round spring water streaming down from the mountain into the sea, which creates a freshness and clean, clear water to swim in. There are a very beautiful wooden beach taverna and cafe bar that has a balcony over the whole beach and very friendly to sit and chill out in. It is around 40 minutes from our house.
Apart from simply exploring this amazing island, there are also several places for water sports like kitesurfing, scuba diving, wakeboarding in Chalkida, Eretria, Lefkadi, Nea Stira and around Kimi. You can also go on organized cycling, trekking or mountaineering tours. You can also visit Evia in the winter for alpine skiing, climbing mount Dirfis with snow, trekking tours, and experience the wild and untouched scenery of some of the worlds’ most ancient alpine forests all over the island of Evia.
Find more activities here: https://trekking.gr/location/evvia/
There are beaches all around the island. You can find beaches that may stretch up to 5-10 km, or even ones that cannot even be seen on a map. Be a modern explorer by land or by sea and visit about 800 km of shoreline and stunning beaches that just kiss the mountains and pine trees. Just to mention a few: Heromilos, Limnionas, Galazia Limni (Blue Lagoon), Chiliadou, Zarakes, Angali, Agiokambos, Thapsa, Mourteri, Vythouri, Petali, Almyrihi, Agios Dimitrios (a stream flows all year long) and Agios Georgis.
If you are planning a trip to Sunshine House, please allow yourselves some time to explore our island. You would most likely need to hire a car, however hitch-hiking is quite safe. We sometimes have camping equipment available that you can borrow. Some of our volunteers also enjoy going to see and work in an ecological community called Free and Real in the north of the island. Others also enjoy hopping over to the other nearby islands of Skyros (from Kymi), or Skopelos, Alonissos, Skiathos (from the port of Mandoudi). This part of the world is magic. It’s not by chance that the Gods of Olympus chose to be here.
Explore. Enjoy. Feel the Magic.
This is the sunset from our local beach… by Azul our local bar!