Greece // The Sporades and Évvia //

Southern Évvia

So narrow that you sometimes spot the sea on both sides, mountainous southern Évvia is often barren, bleak and windswept. The single road from the north is winding and tortuous – most people who come here arrive by ferry, and though Greeks have holiday homes in numerous coastal spots there’s really just one attractive resort, at Kárystos.

Heading south by road you’ll pass what maps mark as Lake Dhýstos; these days it has been largely reclaimed as farmland, and there’s barely any water. Atop conical Kastrí hill on the east shore are sparse fifth-century BC ruins of ancient Dystos and a medieval citadel. At STÝRA, 35km from Lépoura, three dhrakóspita (“dragon houses”) are signposted and reachable by track. So named because only dragons were thought capable of installing the enormous masonry blocks, their origins and purpose remain obscure. The shore annexe of NÉA STÝRA, 3.5km downhill, is a dull, Greek-frequented resort, worth knowing about only for its handy ferry connection to Ayía Marína. Much the same is true of MARMÁRI, 20km south, except here the link is with Rafína. Both have plenty of food and accommodation should you be stuck waiting for a bus or ferry.

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