"Evia, Greece" Prefecture of Evia by SWFC_Fan
Prefecture of Evia Travel Guide: 431 reviews and 1,620 photos
The large Greek island of Evia is located to the north of Athens and the Attica prefecture of Greece.
It also lies to the south of the Sporades group of islands (Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonissos and Skyros).
How to get there?
From Athens, perhaps the easiest way to reach Evia (and the way that I reached it) is to take a ferry from Rafina to the southern ports of Marmari and Karystos.
I arrived in Marmari by way of the "Evia Star" ferry, a journey that took a little over one hour.
It is also possible to catch ferries further north in the Attica region to several ports in the north of Evia.
The capital of Evia, Chalkida, is connected to the mainland by bridge and it is possible to reach the island by car or train from the mainland.
I'll be honest….I did not enjoy my solitary day on the island of Evia. I arrived in Marmari in early October following 3 weeks in the Cyclades and Argosaronic Gulf islands. My plan was to spend the final week on Evia before returning to Athens for a day's sightseeing and my flight back to the UK. In the event, I knew within half an hour of leaving my hotel room that I would be ready to leave the following day.
Marmari, at this time of year, is a ghost town. I was the only guest in the hotel, the only diner in the taverna, the only shopper in the supermarket…it was depressing, soul-destroying! The weather was dire. Imagine a thunderstorm, but without the rain. The sky was dark grey, the wind was howling and the waves were crashing against the shores. This isn't how Greece is supposed to be. This isn't how Greece had been for the last three weeks!
Evia is a large island and if I'd moved on from Marmari to Karystos I'd perhaps have found more life. If I'd moved to the large capital of Chalkida, I'd certainly have found more life. If I'd visited in July or August, then Marmari may have been thriving. The weather would surely have been better. The glorious yellow sandy beach that appeared in my guidebook certainly looked a lot better than the grey sand and rough seas that I encountered. So, I'm prepared to withhold judgement - but I won't be in any hurry to go back and be proved wrong.
Despite its relative anonymity, (for example, I've never seen it advertised in any holiday brochure), Evia is the second largest of all the Greek islands with only Crete being bigger. I always thought that this lack of exposure was due to the Greeks keeping it for themselves, but maybe now I've found the true reason!
A few observations from my (miserable) day on Evia:
Sombre off-season atmosphere
I should have read the early warning signs. There were only a handful of passengers on the Marmari-bound "Evia Star" ferry when I boarded it at Rafina. They were all Greek and were all wearing coats. Upon arrival at Marmari, they all disappeared into waiting cars or buses and I was alone. This was a feeling that I was to become accustomed to over the next 24 hours. I dragged my luggage through the empty streets and checked in to the first hotel that I found (the Hotel Delfini I). The receptionist looked surprised to see me. My room had the smell of emptiness and there was nothing to suggest that there had been any guests in the hotel recently. I set out in the howling wind to explore Marmari. I walked along the coast and watched the waves crashing against the shore. I tried to figure out where the "centre" was. Eventually, with hunger setting in, I was forced to choose between the handful of empty cafes. I settled on one that was run by an elderly man and ordered a cheese pie and a beer. With the highlight of my night over, I wandered back through the deserted streets and went to bed. After a long sleep I awoke the next day, checked out of my hotel, purchased a ferry ticket and was in the centre of Athens in time for lunch.
- Pros:Lots of spare rooms in the off-season!
- Cons:In October: Where have all the people gone?
- In a nutshell:For me, this was the wrong island at the wrong time!
The island of Evia is connected to the Greek mainland by about half a dozen ferry routes. The Athenian port of Rafina... more travel advice
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