Southern Evia has fascinating natural attractions that are unknown by foreign tourists, making it a great destination for ecotourism. In the little seaside town of Marmari near Karystos, Ktima Nikola represents the perfect hub to discover the region.
Enjoy blue skies, sea views and a quiet environment that's not far from a small cozy seaside town. On the hills behind the little port of Marmari lie the handful of villas of Ktima Nikola, complete with a garden, lovely terraces, fully equipped kitchens and even a fireplace for winter visits. These independent villas – either 45 or 80 meters square – have a country homely feel about them, in an environment full of nature and with a sea view. The property has also integrated some eco-friendly technologies such as solar panels for hot water and LED lighting, in addition to participating in recycling projects.
Traditional flavors and fruit off the tree
"Ktima" means farm, and Ktima Nikola lives up to its name in a variety of ways: it boasts vineyards, olive trees, a vegetable garden and many fruit-bearing trees that invite you to enjoy the flavors of the Mediterranean. You can even milk sheep on the farm, feed them and join in making cheese from sheep's milk. Although the apartments have their own kitchen, the owning family would love to cook breakfast or lunch if you ask them to. Beyond a kitchen rich in fresh fruits, vegetables and of course extra-virgin olive oil, specialties such as lamb and a unique pasta called 'Kourkoubines' served with rich tomato sauce are often on the menu.
Amazing historical attractions to discover…
There's a fascinating Venetian castle dating from 1205 AD – called Castello Rosso or "Red Castle" – just outside the nearby town of Karystos that you must visit. The castle changed hands from the Byzantines to the Ottomans, Franks and Venetians many times. Also noteworthy is the Venetian Bourtzi tower from the 13th century, which in summer becomes a place for art and photo exhibitions. You must also head to the Giokaleio Cultural Foundation which houses archeological finds for the unique ancient houses of Evia called Drakospita.
If you like a taste of the past, visit the Deligiorgis Folklore Collection at the 'Karystian House', which unveils an authentic home from the area's past. In Marmari, there's the Marmari House run by the Women's Association of Marmari, also revealing artefacts, clothes, and furniture of the past in a folklore kind of museum.
The best of Evia's nature
Feel like going to the beach? Just hike for 15 minutes to Lykorema beach or Kefala beach. There are hiking paths around the area that go to the best but also to other locations, and the team at Ktima Nikola can help point them out to you. Among the most fascinating places to hike in Southern Evia are the Dimosari Gorge and the Agios Dimitrios Gorge, as well as all of Mount Ochi with its amazing paths, stone bridges and nature. You can also hike to the famous Drakospita – ancient traditional stone houses (literally Dragon Houses).
Last but not least, the Cave of Aghia Triada (Holy Trinity) on the southwest slopes of Mount Ochi is home to the largest underground waterfall in Greece, and parts of the cave still remain unexplored! These and many other mysterious beauties in the region around Ktima Nikola are just waiting to be discovered by the adventurer and eco-tourist.