Mountains & Villages of Evia GREECE
The delightful island of Evia is a real hidden treasure, with old stone paths connecting quaint villages tucked away on the slopes of the mountains. This walkersâ€™ paradise is little known outside of Greece and offers unique history and culture, an authentic atmosphere and the hospitality of the local towns and villages. We enjoy five daywalks on the island, taking in the wonderful scenery. A walk down the famous Dimosaris Gorge is perhaps the highlight of the week, ending at the coastal village of Kalliani. Traditional tavernas and waterfront ouzo-meze shops make eating and drinking here a wonderful experience.
Day 01: Start Athens; transfer to Rafina; ferry to Evia.
From Athens airport we transfer by road to Rafina (approximately 35 min), and then take the ferry to Mamari on Evia Island (about 1hr). It is then a short drive to our hotel at Karystos. Accommodation: Hotel Galaxy or similar
Day 02: Walk through rolling hills, villages and castles.
Our first day take us up to the villages of Gourna that are scattered high above the bay of Karystos and below the peaks of Mount Ohi. Walking along stone worn paths next to springs and streams, in a verdant countryside, we reach one of the grandest Forts of the 4th crusade, Castello Rosso, from where we can enjoy beautiful views of the Mediterranean. Using mountain goat-trails we walk down to the fertile plain of Aetos, full of citrus, olive and cypress trees, and we then reach the coast. Accommodation: Hotel Galaxy or similar
Day 03: Ascend Mount Kliosi and the Acropolis of Styra.
An early morning drive along the panoramic mountain road to the North, known as the 'Eagle Route', takes us above the evergreen valley of Styra. We climb Mt Kliosi's dramatic summit where the remains of the ancient Acropolis defy time and elements on a 'Wuthering Heights' plateau. The Eerie ancient Gate, the cave of St Nicolas and the ruins of Castro Armeno, often in the mist, make it a visit to remember. The gentle walk down takes us past wild strawberry bushes and the remains of the Roman marble quarries to the quaint villages of Styra Valley, which overlook Marathon, just across the water on the Continent. In the afternoon we take the local bus back to Karystos. Accommodation: Hotel Galaxy or similar
Day 04: Explore rural hamlets, wild flower meadows and rivers.
We drive along the south-eastern tip of the island, over the mountains towards the Cape of Cavo Doro, heading to the beautiful ravine of Platanistos and the first of 20 ancient villages of Albanian descent. Over the arches of stone bridges, we follow the river towards Potami hamlet on the coast, a Hellinistic anchorage since Homeric times. En route we visit the site of Hellinikon with the remains of the foundations of Poseidon's temple, dating back to the 8th century B.C. Walking amongst large plane trees we reach the sea and one of the nicest, yet still relatively unknown, beaches in the Aegean. During the warmer months of the year we have the opportunity to swim and relax on the beach. We return to Karystos by taxi. Accommodation: Hotel Galaxy or similar
Day 5: Gorge walk from Mt Ohi down to the rugged East Aegean coast.
Today we have a picturesque walk through the gorges to the rugged East Aegean coast. We will travel by taxi to Boublia on Mt Ohi, which is the starting point to one of the famous Gorge Walks to the east coast of Evia. The Porfyra Gorge is a unique habitat for flora and fauna with peonies and orchids, eagles and falcons amongst plane and chestnut trees. The ancient stone path leads us down to smuggler's coves in the dramatically exposed Aegean coast. These secluded bays are occasionally visited by seals and dolphins. Here there is time for swimming in the calm summer days. Accommodation: Hotel Galaxy or similar
Day 6: Relax on the beach or wander around Karystos, a thriving market town.
Relax on the beach or wander around Karystos, a thriving market town. Alternatively you can hike along the Karystian bay or the picturesque countryside of the bay of Marmari, or travel to Athens for a day exploring the capital's famous sites. Accommodation: Hotel Galaxy or similar
Day 7: Walk through chestnut forests, misty peaks and discover the ancient ruins on Mount Ochi.
Today we hike Mt Ohi, one of the sacred Mountains in Greek Mythology, where Olympic Zeus supposedly wedded goddess Hera. A coach/taxi ride will take us up the mountain, close to the famous, ancient chestnut forest of Kastanologos. On very few occasions when the peak is not covered in clouds and not windy, due to the strong Meltemi winds, we will climb to the top to enjoy the views. We will walk on the steep slopes of the mountain into the heart of the Imperial Roman quarries where the famous Cipollino, green and white striped Marble is formed. The Evian Cipollino Marble was loved and praised by the Roman Emperors. We will visit the superb site of Kolones, situated up high on the mountain. There are fantastic views over the town, bay and surrounding islands. It is a fascinating place, with ten giant columns remaining exactly where they were built in 252 AD. In the afternoon we will visit the Montofoli Winery Estate, a place of wine production for the last 2000 years, here we try the exquisite Vin De Liqueur, a unique desert wine which has been produced since Classical times. Accommodation: Hotel Galaxy or similar
Day 8: Ferry to Rafina; end Athens.
We travel back to Rafina by ferry and transfer to Athens where our adventure ends.