The story behind the Averoff mansions is nothing short of fascinating. A Greek nobleman by the name of Avgerinos Averoff who came from Epirus, Northwest Greece, bought this land in 1833 when Evia was liberated from Ottoman rule. After settling there and employing the locals to help in the land, a whole village eventually sprung up in the area.
The two mansions that stand today were built in 1935 in place of the original home from the 1800s, and have housed many different Greek personalities in the last few decades. As the mansions are still in family hands, they have managed to maintain their aristocratic ambiance and contents – from books to paintings – until this very day. Amazingly, the surrounding gardens have also kept their character from the time before the current mansions were built, with trees that are over 100 years old.
Onsite there’s also a farm that underlines the owners’ love for animals. It contains deer, goats, sheep, rabbits, ducks and swans, all living in harmony within one open space. The farm offers guests a chance to interact with these wonderful creatures, who have names and their own habits. Also noteworthy are the 300-year old stonebuilt ‘stables’ that today are a serene place for organizing group activities such as yoga. After this you might want to dip in the pool and just relax for a good part of the day.
A plethora of activities to choose from
This part of Evia is green and stunningly beautiful, with so much to do. Hikers will enjoy the hiking routes that take to verdant forests, gushing rivers, mountain lakes and wondrous canyons. Your hosts are eager to recommend and organize the best hiking routes for each season so don’t be shy to ask.
Just a few kilometers away a horseback riding offers lessons to beginners as well as great riding opportunities for professional horse lovers. There’s also an animal farm just a few minutes away with deer, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, ducks, chickens and turkeys, offering a very entertaining visit for children.
Needless to say there are some great beaches around the property, some more secluded than others, depending on what you feel like. The beach of Agias Annas is good for watersports in summer.
Check out the remains of Ancient Kirinthos, birthplace of Canthus the Argonaut, a settlement at the beach of Kria Vrisi just 4 km from the Villa. Built between 1600-1000 BC, it was once one of Evia’s biggest seven cities and participated in the Trojan Wars.
For a peek at the island’s more recent history and local tradition head to the folklore museums of Agias Annas and that of Limni as well. The latter also boasts a collection of interesting archeological finds from the region, firing your imaginatio David is another important one on a national scale and lies 45 minutes away.
Search some more and you’ll find many other fascinating attractions in this part of Evia such as the Kleisoura castle built by the Franks in 1205, lying about 15 minutes away. There’s also a Venetian tower hidden in the island’s vegetation. Lastly, if you’re here in summer you can take a boat to the gorgeous Sporades islands (Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonissos) for a day trip from a little port that’s just 10 minutes away.
On a more gastronomic note, a visit to an olive oil mill in Rovies will unveil this intriguing processes and let you taste some quality virgin olive oil, while those who have an appetite for spirits will enjoy visiting a Tsipouro workshop which produces this strong local ouzo-like liqueur.
Island cuisine at its best!
As the estate produces its own olives, olive oil and fresh eggs, as well as fruits such as pomegranate, figs, oranges and even some vegetables, you’ll be able to prepare some healthy dishes right in your own ‘home’. The team at Villa Averoff can also prepare a rich local dinner for you upon request.
And if you feel like going out to eat good local fare, there’s a spectacular ‘taverna’ just two minutes away near the river and under the plane trees, serving delicious dishes. The village square close by offers some great small dishes or ‘meza’ accompanied by a glass of local wine or spirit. At the nearby beach you can sample some seafood specialties or just sip a leisurely coffee. An ouzo at sunset as you listen to the sound of the waves is highly recommended!