Do you dream of islands where green trees reach golden beaches? Come and discover the Sporades. A unique microcosm in the Aegean, comprised of 11 islands, four of which are permanently inhabited: Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonissos and Skyros. They invite you to explore their secret nearby islets and hidden coves by boat, and to get lost in their picture-perfect towns. A little further south, you’ll find Evia, a large island that looks like an integral part of the mainland, and has a little bit of everything: incredible beaches, a lush green landscape, castles, historic monasteries, the famous thermal springs at Loutra of Edipsos,Halkida and the Euripus Strait with its ‘crazy’ waters, fantastic roadtrips for motorcycle enthusiasts, and countless trails for hikers and nature lovers. It’s time to get to know a strikingly different Aegean.
The Sporades are known for their beaches, like Koukounaries and magical Lalaria on Skiathos, and Agnontas, Armenopetra, Glysteri and Limnonari on evergreen Skopelos. The star of Alonissos is Agios Dimitrios, and on Skyros it’s the sandy Magazia. In Evia, visit the famous beach Hiliadou, Mouteri with its big waves, Kymasi with its coarse sand and Agios Nikolaos with its pine trees and crystalline water. Swimming in Edipsos is a special holiday experience: the temperature of the water rises at the points where the sea meets the hot springs.
These islands invite you to learn about their rich history. Skiathos is the birthplace of the influential Greek poet and novelist Alexandros Papadiamantis. Its port is separated in two by Bourtzi, a pine-studded islet with the ruins of a castle erected by Venetians in the early 13th century. Also important is the Evangelistria Monastery, reminiscent of the monasteries on Mt. Athos. On Skopelos, in Kastri, you’ll find the Byzantine chapel of Ai Yianni, and in Paloukia the monasteries of the 16th and 17th centuries. On Evia, noteworthy are Agios Nikolaos Galataki, Sotiros Monastery, Agios Yiannis o Rossos, and Osios David monastery.
On Stira, you’ll explore the mysterious drakospita (dragon houses), megalithic structures from 1000 B.C. built of limestone. Above Karystos, you’ll be transported to another time at the so-called Castello Rosso of the Byzantines. Don’t miss the ancient city of Eretria and the archaeological site at Kymi. Evia also has many museums worth a visit: the Archaeological Museum of Halkida and the Folklore Museum of Kymi, the Archaeological Museum of Karystos, the Historic and Folklore Museum of Limni, the Museum of Mammal Fossils in Kerasia and the Museum of Natural History in Istiaia. All of these noteworthy museums demonstrate the wealth of history and culture that you can discover in this region of Greece.
Action and adventure at sea and on shore
Nature offers so many adventures: are you up for Watersports like jet skiing or paragliding, or exploring the National Marine Park, home and refuge of the Mediterranean monk seal? Fancy a boat ride to the famous sea caves of Skiathos? On Alonissos, head inland and find a hiker’s paradise: pure unadulterated Mediterranean beauty with lush vegetation and herbs of all kinds. On Skiathos, you’ll go trekking around Strofilias, whose lake is a unique habitat and home to a variety of rare birds. On Evia, hop on a horse and go riding around the Telethrio Mountains and Taksiarchi, or catch a wave at Mourteri, known for its windsurfing and kite surfing. For off-road adventures, southern Evia is ideal. Hikers will love the paths around the waterfalls at Drimonas and Dirfi. For scuba diving in the colourful and animated seas, go to Karystos. And for practising ‘wellbeing’, include yoga in your holiday at Atsitsa in Skyros.
On Skopelos, you’ll try the skopelitiki cheese pie, and the local Agen prunes, one of the most famous plum varieties in Greece and the world. Skyros is famous for its creamy cheese, mizithra, and its decadent and super-fresh lobster pastas. Before you set sail for your next destination in Greece, be sure to try Skyros’ memorable goat dishes – in antiquity the island was called Aigivotos (she who raises goats).
The towns of Alonissos, Skopelos and Skyros are lessons in traditional architecture, as is Glossa on Skopelos. The Hora-port of Skiathos is built like an amphitheatre and is striking with its red-tile rooftops.
The island with a character all its own. Wonderful beaches, the Skyrian horse and the intricate wood-carved furniture.
Ideal for a weekend getaway. Its trademarks are the Euripus Strait and the old bridge. A wonderful esplanade with fish tavernas and cafes awaits.
You’ll discover a Belle Epoque atmosphere in one of the most timeless spas in Greece.
In the picturesque coastal town of Limni, you’ll find a cluster of industrial buildings and old magnesite mines. In nearby Rovies, two attractions stand out: visit the mediaeval tower and the old paper mill.
Stop for meze at the picturesque ouzeries of Karystos, a settlement that was famous for its marble in antiquity. Make time for Eretria, Amarynthos and Kymi.
Cape Kafireas is one of the most difficult passages in the Greek seas. You’ll get to its beaches by dirt road, or by boat, from Karystos.