EVIA (Εύβοια)

We drove from Athens (🛣️ 8.30 EUR / Class 3) late afternoon to beautiful Evia Island. It is the second largest island in Greece after Crete. Along with Lefkada in the Ionian Sea, it is one of the two islands connected to the mainland by a bridge. It’s just a short drive from Athens. but still not spoiled by mass tourism. And it has a lot to offer – long beaches, fantastic nature, thermal springs of Edipsos, the alpine world of Mt Dirfis, old Byzantine churches, the enigmatic drakospita (dragon houses), and the enchanting Dimosaris Gorge. But for us, it was just a “drive-through” to the north coast. Immediately, after crossing the Chalkida bridge, we not only saw the difference – a lot of greenery, but we also felt much cooler fresh air compared to the heat of the mainland. The whole island has tall mountains with extensive fragrant pine forests, but sadly north of the island was devastated by some of the worst wildfires in the country’s history, 46000 hectares burnt just a year ago, and this year flooding and mudslides have laid bare the scale of the destruction. It was an apocalyptic ride through blackened mountainsides under the carcasses of burnt trees to the lazy resort town of Pefki. On our way there, we were passing just pricy little gasoline stations, so we recommend taking a full tank of cheap diesel in Chalkida at Shell ⛽ for 1,937 EUR / l before you start exploring this forgotten island.