Last May, my friend Lucka was taking her friend to her summer-house in the North Evia. She didn’t want to drive back alone so she asked me to come with her to keep her company. I’m always happy to go for a road trip so I took a couple of days off and we left.
The first stop – Chalkida. This is the biggest town in Evia and the entrance to the island if you are coming by car. I don’t think there is anything very interesting in Chalkida but the truth is that we never even bothered to stop and have a look around. Maybe next time. After Chalkida the road climbs up to the mountains and then down to the village of Prokopi and this part of the road is really beautiful, especially in the spring. We stopper by the river just before the village to recover from the turns of the road and to enjoy the calmness and beauty of the place.
Then we continued to the town of Loutra Edipsou. This is an old spa town, very quiet outside of the main season (and maybe even during the main season) and a little bit creepy. This old bath house would be a great backdrop for a horror movie, don’t you think? The good thing is that you don’t have to go to the spa to enjoy the hot healing water, running around the bathhouse and down to the sea.
We didn’t go for a bath here but enjoyed it the next morning in Gialtra on the other side of the bay. Gialtra is much smaller but equally sleepy, there was just us and one elderly German couple. The hot water is running under the road and on the rocky beach, where people dug a couple of small pools. The ritual (as we observed from the Germans) is to sit in the pools of hot water as long as possible, then run to the sea to cool off and repeat. After 3 repetitions we stunk like a bad egg but felt fresh and energized!
The beaches around this part of Evia are not the most impressive but they have their own beauty. They are quiet and deserted with shallow sea and old fisherman boats scattered on the shore. The perfect place for long walks and photography. Don’t expect much partying or socializing either because the area is populated mainly by German and English pensioners who bought a house here to be able to enjoy the mild weather and hot healing springs.
On the way back to Athens we made a detour to the Drymona Waterfalls. May is the ideal time to visit this beautiful place as there is plenty of water rushing through the waterfalls this and hardly any people. The waterfalls lie on the river Sepia in a lush wooded valley near the villages Kerasia and Drymona in Northwest Evia. There is a comfortable and well-maintained path descending down to the stream and the pools from the small carpark.
The tallest of the waterfalls has 15 meters and drops down to a pool of stunning, turquoise and crystal clear water. It lures the visitors for a swim but is actually freezing cold even later during the summer. However, just wandering along the stream or lounging in the shadow watching the water bubbling away makes for a soothing break.
The last detour before Athens was the Gieroplatanos (plane tree) near the village of Prokopi. This is the oldest plane tree in the Balkans approximately 2000 years old! Unfortunately, some of its branches have been broken off due to its age, the weather and probably the human stupidity. But there are new ones sprouting out of the huge tree trunk and hopefully one day they will reach the impressive 30 meters of height again.