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|The village and the beaches of Karystos on the island of Evia in Greece|
Karystos is a fairly large village that is located in the south of the island of Evia. The distance to the capital Chalkika is 130 kilometers and the village has about 5000 inhabitants. The journey from Chalkida to Karystos takes about two to two and a half hours. The roads after Lepoura are sometimes a bit narrower and curly, sometimes you have to climb a hill, and fast driving is not recommended. Nature becomes more attractive in the south than in the beginning of Chalkida to Karystos. As you get more southern it also gets quieter with traffic. Here and there are rows of windmills that capture energy for the inhabitants of the villages. On the way you have regular views of the mainland and the islands that lie off the coast of Evia.
At the harbor front of Karystos you will find the fishing boats, a nice number of tavernas and a couple of hotels. Here it is also easy to park the car. In the streets behind it there are shops, supermarkets (also a few big ones) and some bakeries. On the main square at the port is the taxi stand and here is also the Pirraeus bank ATM. There are also a number of terraces on the square and there are kiosks. Behind the square by the sea is the Bourtzi fortress that was built by the Venetians in 1350. During the construction, stones and pieces of marble were used from a Roman cemetery that was situated in the centre of the village (the marble figures are sealed in the wall and can be seen next to the door). The Bourtzi fortress is hexagonal in shape (with six sides), is two stories high and there are 24 shooting holes in its walls.
On both sides of the village of Karystos you can find large and small beaches. The first beach on the west side is called West beach. This one is organized. It gradually turns into what is called Gallida Beach. This is the largest beach in the immediate surrounding of Karystos (2 kilometre long and divided into two by the river Rigia - after which it is called Rigia beach), but along the south coast east of Karystos and around the hills on the west side on Cape Paxamida are countless small and large beaches. A large number of them are easily reached by car (sometimes you have to walk just a bit) and most of them are quite clean. Along the village beach Gallida runs a (quiet) asphalt road and you can easily access this beach along the whole route. It is an sandy beach and it is easy to get into the water, so also safe for small children). At around half a kilometre east of the centre of Karystos you find the 300 meter long Psili Ammos beach (meaning "fine sand"). This beach is also shallow and safe for children. It can be accessed from the main road that leads along the coast via some stone steps.
On the small beaches (mainly to be found on the west side) there are usually no facilities except for a beach that is about 10 kilometers west of Karystos and where a cantina can be found where drinks are sold. On the big beaches on the east side, such as Marmara beach, there are probably some facilities during the tourist season (but not around May 20th when we were there).
For hotels, apartments and villas in Karystos on Evia - click here.
|The Agios Nikolaos church of Karystos and the Roman Mausoleum|
Around the middle of the village (when you take the street heading north away from the sea leading from the long pier in the harbor) on a large park /square you find the church of Agios Nikolaos with two bell towers and a dome. The entrance is located behind three large arches. The church is three storeys high and assigned to the patron saint of the seamen. It is cross-shaped and built in Byzantine style. Yet it is just a little over half a century old.
In one of the side streets of the village that lead from the sea there are also have the remains of a Roman mausoleum. It is the tomb of a prominent Roman procurator who was probably responsible for the mines north of Karystos. These mines can mainly be found around the village of Agios Dimitrios. The marble of Karystos was famous and made for a flourishing economy at the time.
The Roman monument in Karystos was built in the form of a small temple that was 13 x 12 meters long with columns on each side. The monument is made of white marble. There was a pedestal that was decorated with the bust of the deceased and a horse in a circular medallion.
|Castello Rosso near Karystos on the island of Evia of Euboea in Greece|
The Castello Rosso is situated about 4 kilometers from the village of Karystos. It is reached by car by a turn behind the square with the large Agios Nikolaos church and the route is indicated by signs. It stands on a hill between the villages of Gabrias and Myloi, and you have a beautiful view of Karystos and the sea here. The last part to the fortress you have to walk but there is a stone road / stairs and it is doable. The first fortification built here was made by the Byzantines in 1030. Between 1209 and 1216, the present Castello Rosso was set by the Venetians on the foundations of the ancient Byzantine fortification. Inside the walls of the Castello Rosso atthe top there are two churches. A fairly new (I suspect) of white painted bricks and behind it the ruin of a very small other church.
In 1276 Castello Rosso was again conquered by the Byzantines until 1295 when the Franks took control. In 1359 the castle was sold again to the Venetians and after that it slowly decayed. In 1470 the castle was abandoned under pressure of the Turkish Ottomans and the whole area was occupied by the Turks. The Turks, who had the castle between 1470 and 1830, strengthened the fortress and made it bigger.
|The Archaeological Museum in Karystos|
The Archaeological Museum of Karystos is located on the main road that runs along the coast, just behind the Bourtzi castle. On the grounds outside are some sarcophagas, a large stone with an inscription, an old steam roll, and a number of pillars and other old objects. It is a small museum consisting of only two rooms. In the small room there are all kinds of objects in glass cases. These are objects found in the vicinity of Karystos and in the dragon houses (drakospita), such as different statues of clay and other materials, utensils and coins. They date from the Classic, the Hellenistic and the Roman period. In the second larger room there are mainly statues, marble tablets with inscriptions, remains of columns and tombstones.
|Karvoraki taverna in Karystos|
This tavern is situated on the main road that runs along the coast through the village of Karystos, not far from the port. We order some simple things like a saganaki (fried cheese) a Greek salad, a tzatziki (yoghurt with cucumber and garlic) and French fries. Because there is a Greek family eating here, we assume that the food is good, but it is a disappointment. The feta cheese on the Greek salad does not taste very nice, the fries are pale and soft and the saganaki seems like a piece of rubber. The white wine is not cold but lukewarm. The service is also not really friendly. After dinner no free dessert or some fruit which is common in many tavernas in Greece.
Our verdict: bad, a 4 out of 10
|Fish taverna O Kioykis in Karystos|
Cozy restaurant in the harbor of Karystos. Here we have eaten a number of times. The service (by Johny) is extremely friendly. We tried the saganaki, the tzatziki, the stuffed tomatoes and paprika, goat in lemon sauce, the Greek salad, fried zucchini slices, fries and chicken fillet. Everything tasted good, the bread was always fresh and the white wine cold. After dinner they served free melon and cherries.
Our verdict: good, an 8,5 out of 10
|Cava D'Oro taverna in Karystos|
Cava D'Oro is an excellent restaurant that can be found in the small street next to the main square with the taxi rank. It is the narrow street that runs next to the square from the harbour leading away from the sea. Inside this tavern are many food items displayed in showcases. The food is very good, and the service is very friendly and fast. We tried the goulash (stifado) and goat in red sauce, accompanied by large beans and okra's. Very satisfactory.
Our verdict: very good, a 9 out of 10
|Hotels on the island of Evia in Greece - Penelope Villas in Karystos|
Here we stayed a week in May 2017. It is a place for people that are looking for total peace. There is virtually no traffic and it is very quiet. No barking dogs and no music, but instead just the birds and in the distance the rustle of the sea, and beautiful views. Nearby are I do not know how many nice beaches. If you are going to stay here you need to rent a car. The road to the accommodation is very good though.
At a distance of 9 km from the centre of Karystos Town, the traditionally built Penelope Villas offer self-catering units with views over the Aegean Sea and the mountain. Agios Nikitas Beach is 20 km away. Fitted with a fireplace and built-in beds, this air-conditioned and tastefully decorated house of Penelope features 2 separate bedrooms. Opening to a furnished patio, it consists of a living room with flat-screen, satellite TV and an open-plan kitchen with dining area and oven with cooking hobs. A hair dryer is included. Guests may enjoy the property's BBQ facilities, along with al fresco dining. Activities in the surrounding area include cycling and fishing.
A restaurant, a café bar and a mini market for the general supplies are 1.5 km away. Karystos Port is 9 km away and the ruins of the Venetian Castle, Castello Rosso, can be reached within a short drive. Free private parking is possible on site. This property also has one of the best-rated locations in Karystos! Guests are happier about it compared to other properties in the area. Couples particularly like the location - they rated it 10 for a two-person trip. This property is also rated for the best value in Karystos! Guests are getting more for their money when compared to other properties in this city.
Check availabilities and prices & book Penelope Villas in Karystos - click here.
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