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Euboea - Lake Dystos to Karystos, and around Mount Ochi - general

Lake Dystos to Karystos, and around Mount Ochi

(Karystos = 0.0km for distances in this section)

Dystos and Agia Triada

Approached from any angle, the landscape of Lake Dystos (59km) is like a mirage: a strange cone of limestone rising from the middle of a sea of green, surrounded by bald hills. The alluvial lake itself, encircled by swallow holes, is filled with water in spring and early summer, and then recedes to a verdant reed-bed in late summer and autumn. It shares a number of aspects of behaviour and appearance with Lake Copais across the water in neighbouring Boeotia, which is similarly a limestone-bound basin fed by seasonal waters. Lake Copais was the object of a massive project to drain and control its waters in pre historic times which constitutes the earliest known, major hydraulic work of European history. It is interesting that a relief found on Euboea and now in the Museum of Epigraphy in Athens, bears a long 4th century bc inscription stipulating a contract between the people of Eretria (to which Dystos was subordinate) and an engineeer by the name of Chairephanis, to drain and control the water in Lake ‘Ptechon’ (namely, Dystos), using many of the means adopted centuries earlier at Copais. In recent years an attempt has been made to convert areas of the lake into arable land by filling.
   The isolated hill on the lake’s east side is the site of Ancient Dystos, inhabited since the Neolithic period, and settled in earliest Antiquity by Dryopians—a Pelasgian, pre-Hellenic people of obscure origin. (Access is by any of the tracks that lead west from the main road, south of the turn for Koskina (58.5km). Dense vegetation has engulfed many of the remains still on the surface and makes exploring the site arduous. The walls and terraces alone stand above the vegetation.) The site is highly panoramic with natural defences in the form of a steep drop to the lake on the western side. Describing a wide semicircle eastward from the west cliff, the line of the full enceinte of walls in polygonal construction, dating from the late 5th century, can be traced. The walls are 2m thick and in places still stand to 3m in height. There were in all eleven towers, and one gate with double bastions in the middle of the east side, which led north into the area of the agora. On the slopes of the hill—especially to the north where there are also protrusions of terraces in a later, isodomic construction method—are the remains of a number of houses built in ashlar masonry. They generally possessed an en trance passage, an inner court, a living room, bedrooms, and in some cases an upper storey. At the summit of the hill were the inner walls of the acropolis, the north part of which was converted into a Venetian fortress and tower.
   Some of the remains from Dystos made their way to the curious, ruined mediaeval church of Aghia Triada, just to the north. (To the left, 1.2km south of Krieza, about 200m before the descending road finally flattens out into the floor of the Dystos valley.) The lower areas of the apse and walls still stand. The altar is a fluted column stump: the central door of the templon-screen—an ancient sarcophagus, standing on end, the bottom of which has been cut out, creating a single, stone, rectangular entrance-way—is anenious example of recycling.


Euboea Island, Greece


access

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

eating

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 www.deniseharveypublisher.gr

Euboea Travel Guide

lodging

Euboea Island, Greece.

North Euboea. Spa hotels in Aedipsos: the luxurious Thermae Sylla Spa (T. 22260 60100, fax 22055, www. thermaesylla.gr) 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 www.apollonsuiteshotel.com) 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, www.karystion.gr) 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, (www.villa-averoff.com); and the Konaki at Prokopi (www. candili.gr).

Euboea Travel Guide

museums

Euboea Island, Greece.

Folklore Museum
Archaeological Museum

Euboea Travel Guide

other attractions

Euboea Island, Greece.

Drakospita
Thermal springs

Euboea Travel Guide

practical info

Euboea Island, Greece.

340 01-346 00 Evia, Evvia or Evvoia: area 3,661 sq.km; 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, www.naevias.gr

Euboea Travel Guide

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