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Impressions of Evvia (Euboia), Greece

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Evvia is the modern Greek pronunciation of the country's second largest island after Crete: Euboia, stretched over a length of some 180 kilometres along the Eastern coast of mainland Greece. Often remaining under the radar of history textbooks of ancient Greece, Evvia has played a crucial role in keeping up the spirits of Greek culture, as the more or less only large region which avoided plummeting into the so-called Dark Age following the implosion of the Mycenaean civilisation in the 12th and 11th centuries BC. Evvia was again important at a later stage, as from the 8th century BC, when Greek city-States started colonising and Hellenising the Mediterranean basin, first Makedonia, shortly afterwards Southern Italy and Sicily. Euboian cities like Eretria, Karystos and Kymi founded plenty of new settlements in those areas, developing intense commercial networks as a consequence. A couple of brilliant museums highlight it all appropriately. Byzantines, Venetians and Ottoman Turks dominated Evvia's Middle Age. The latter even held on to Evvia until three years after the mainland, just across the bay, had acquired its independence in 1830. But there is more than history. Evvia may not really 'feel' like an island, but its green nature, lined in turquoise and deep blue tones by some spectacular coastal landscapes, particularly in the North, fulfils all expectations one can have of a genuinely attractive and representative region of Hellas. Not to mention the snow-capped mountains in the winter months, with nothing to envy from the Swiss Alpine beauty. Evvia is simply far too often undervalued. Actually, this report does not treat Evvia rightly either, because – for the time being – it leaves out too many interesting and valuable places. That will soon change, promised. And in the meantime, the incompleteness of this report is no good reason to withhold from you the excellent, brand-new Arethousa museum of Chalkida, the great archaeological site of Eretria, the castle of Karystos and the attractive city of Chalkida.

Before visiting the place of your choice:

Karystos is situated close to the Southern tip of Evvia and has a ferry link to Rafina on the Greek mainland via the nearby little port of Marmari. The harbour of Karystos itself is home to a local fishing fleet. Some scant remains downtown Karystos and ancient writings indicate that Karystos already existed as a prosperous settlement in the 6th century BC.

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