EUBOEA TRAVEL GUIDE - Lake Dystos to Karystos, and around Mount Ochi - History - Drakospita


These remarkable, and often beautiful, megalithic constructions are unique to Euboea—which in itself is an odd fact. There are over 20 of them which have been identified on the island, mostly in the areas of Mount Ochi and of Styra. They are characterised by their construction method which employs mas sive, relatively flat stone slabs, meticulously corbelled roofs, and monolithic door posts and lintels. Most are rectangular: some have windows and indented niches or shelves inside. They are mostly solitary, and intentionally panoramic; but at Palli-Lakka be low the acropolis on Styra, by contrast, they exist in a small group and in a more hidden position with limited visibility.
   Their rarity and the remoteness of their sites have invited much speculation about both their date and purpose—ranging from those who wish to see them as prehistoric temples, to those who simply see them as sturdy animal pens. Buildings—as Ruskin observed—don’t tell lies, as writers often are prone to do. The architectural milieu from which these buildings emerge is undoubtedly the world of late Classical and Hellenistic constructional practice: it is sufficient to compare design and masonry—especially of the drakospito on the summit of Mount Ochi—with, say, the Hellenistic fortified complex of Aghia Triada on Amorgos, to see that they belong to the same ‘˜family’ and epoch. The corbelling of the roof is a result of the properties of the natural stone in the area where they are found: it easily splits into large flatschists, making a corbelled roof the most logical and easiest solution for covering an open space. The majority of the drakospita are in the vicinity of stone-quarries on mountain sides, where refuges were necessary for the workers who lived among the quarries. Those that are not found near quarries, would appear to have served for surveillance. Most of the artefacts found at the same sites confirm a 4th–3rd century bc date. While it is true that objects of the 6th century bc and earlier have also been found at these sites, this does not necessarily indicate a date for the constructions, but only good evidence that their site was also frequented before the buildings were erected.
   An interesting similarity has been noted between the drakospita and certain stone constructions in Asia Minor—namely dwellings said to have been built by the Lelegians, probably in the late 5th century bc in a distinctive masonry which employs corbelled vaults, in the area of Syangela (Alazeytin) and Theangela (Etrim), near Halicarnassus/Bodrum in Turkey. ‘˜Lelegians’ are a people hard to define: they are generally considered to be pre-Greek predecessors of the Carians. They have left no inscriptions, and appear to have been considered a culturally inferior people to the Carians, whose servants they were. Strabo (Geog. XIII, 1.59) says that they served the Carians as soldiers and became ‘˜scattered throughout the whole of Greece, so that the tribe disappeared’. It is not impossible that some of them ended up on Euboea as quarry-workers, once again doing the heavy labour of social inferiors, and putting up constructions here in the only way they knew how.

Euboea Island, Greece

Kos Island is part of the Dodecanese Island group

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Euboea Island, Greece.

Access to the island is either by road via the Euripus bridges (1 hr from Athens, exit "Schimatari" from Athens/ Thessaloniki autoroute) or via short ferry crossings from Rafina (Attica) to Marmaris (c. every 3 hrs), Aghia Marina (Attica) to Nea Styra (c. every 2–3 hrs), Skala Oropou (Attica) to Eretria (every 30 mins), Arkitsa (Phthiotis) to Aedipsos (hourly), Glyfa (Phthiotis) to Agiokampos (hourly).
A hydrofoil service, four times weekly in the summer also links Chalcis with Limni, and Limni with Loutrá Aedipsoú and Aghios Konstantinos.

Euboea Travel Guide


Euboea Island, Greece.

In Aedipsos, the central Mezedopoleion Armenizontas often has good, live rebetiko music.
In Limni, To Kyma (new), in a handsome stone house on the waterfront, is attentive both to service and to the freshness of its delightful variety of classic, Greek dishes. The well-established To Astro, at Katounia, remains good for fresh fish. To Neon, 1km below Stení, delightfully spread out beneath immemorial planes by a stream, specialises in local sausage and charcoal grilled vegetables and meats.
Geroplatanos in Myli, near Karystos, is somewhat similar in setting, with a good choice of dishes, especially at lunchtime on Sundays.
In Karystos itself, Kotsika Street is lined with simple, inexpensive street-eateries; these may look uninspiring, but do not underestimate the quality of meat and the freshness of the wine at the minuscule I Melissa, at no 27

Euboea Travel Guide

further reading

Euboea Island, Greece.

Sarah Wheeler, An Island Apart, 1992; Barbro Noel Baker, An Isle of Greece: The Noels in Euboea (2000), Archaeopress, Oxford; or from

Euboea Travel Guide


Euboea Island, Greece.

North Euboea. Spa hotels in Aedipsos: the luxurious Thermae Sylla Spa (T. 22260 60100, fax 22055, www. or the Avra Spa Hotel (T. 22260 22226, fax 23260).
Alternatively, the Hotel Aigli (T. 22260 22215, fax 24886), is a comfortable hotel, without spa facilities.
In Limni, choice is limited: the 81959), near the museum is a pleasant option.

Central Euboea. At Steni, the Hotel Dirphys (T. 22280 51217) is tranquil and delight ful, but very basic. Chalcis is not an obvious choice to stay in but if necessary, the Paliria Hotel (T. 22210 28001, fax 81959), near the museum is a pleasant option.
At Kymi the Hotel Corali (T. 22220 22212, fax 22002, www.coralihotel. gr), a little way outside the harbour, is modern and comfortable.

Southern Euboea.
At Karystos the Apollon Suites Hotel (T. 22240 22045, fax 22049 is an Italian-run hotel on the beach, with large rooms to the eastern end of the town.  Hotel Plaza (T. 22270 31235, fax 31336), on the water front is quiet and simple, and currently represents the best option. Closer in to the centre is the Hotel Karystion (T. 22240 22391, fax 22727, less spacious, but a little more modern and stylish, and with pleasant service.

Historic Villa Rentals For those seeking a luxurious base for a longer period (preferably in a small group so as to share the cost) these two historic houses are excel lent and elegant solutions: Villa Averoff at Kirinthos, (; and the Konaki at Prokopi (www.

Euboea Travel Guide


Euboea Island, Greece.

Folklore Museum
Archaeological Museum

Euboea Travel Guide

other attractions

Euboea Island, Greece.

Thermal springs

Euboea Travel Guide

practical info

Euboea Island, Greece.

340 01-346 00 Evia, Evvia or Evvoia: area 3,661; perimeter 729km; resident population 191,009; max. altitude 1743 m. Port Authorities: Agiokampos T. 22260 71228; Aedipsos T. 22260 22464; Chalcis T. 22210 22236; Eretria T. 22290 62201; Kymi T. 22220 22606; Nea Styra T. 22240 41266; Marmari T. 22240 31222. Information: T. 22210 82677,

Euboea Travel Guide

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