Photo: www.discovergreece.com

Central Evia

The central part of Evia is dominated by the city of Chalkida (Ancient Chalcis) with boasts a nice riverside promenade and a handful of attractions. The Archaeological Museum of Chalkida and the Folklore Museum are two interesting city attractions, so is the Roman Gymnasium and part of an ancient aqueduct called Kamares. There is also a Municipal Gallery in the Town Hall and the Chalkida Art Workshops in the Old Town Hall, an interesting neoclassical building, for those who are art enthusiasts. You can also spot remains of the city’s medieval fortifications near the municipal market.

Beyond the lovely cafes on the river and near the bridge that connects it to the mainland, inner Chalkida is nothing to write home about, so after a good day or two in the city, take the time to discover the rest of Central Evia which hides many treasures. You will also find some decent traditional accommodation outside the city itself, either by the sea or in the mountains.

Impressive history across the ages

To begin with, not far from Chalkida lies the enchanting Karababa Castle built of stone on the hill near the Boeotian coast. The southern exit of the city boasts the Spring of Arethousa, offering an interesting stop before heading towards the town of Eretria. Midway between Chalkida and Eretria lies Lefkanti, where expeditions in ancient Xeropoli brought to light important knowledge about the so-called Dark Years in the region’s history. Once in Lefkanti, look for the Monument of Toumba, considered the largest monument in Greece from the Early Iron Age.

Photo: www.discovergreece.com

As you reach Eretria, you might not be impressed with the older hotels there, but the seaside town is home to many hidden attractions. These include a very decent archaeological museum, ancient theatre, the Macedonian Tomb of Eroton, temple of Dafniforos Apollo, temple of Isida and 3rd century baths in the region of Limani.

Central Evia’s monuments, archaeological sites, museums and castles don’t stop here. The Fyllon castle some 8 km from Chalkida, once home of the legendary knight Likarios, stands tribute to the many Venetian remains on the central part of the island. These also include the Venetian towers of Triada, Politika, Pissonas and twin towers of Lilandio. Another Venetian towers survives in very good condition at the centre of Vasiliko, while in Kastri Psachnon there is a Venetian castle and traces on an ancient settlement.

History fans will also appreciate remains from the prehistoric settlement of Kalogerovrysi, as well as the Sanctuary of Artemis at Avlis on the coast between Avlida and Chalkida. In the wider Amarynthos area, a natural harbor on the south side of the island where ancient inscriptions in Linear B script where found, there are plenty of historical surprises and monuments such as the Venetian tower in Gymno and Macedonian-type tomb on the road to Ano Vatheia.

The central region’s finds will continue to amaze you once you come across are the roman baths of Aliveri, Mycenaean tomb of Katakalo, La Cuppa Castle in Drgonera above Vrysi, and Skoteini Thourrounion Cave with an ancient cemetery nearby.

If you like museums, head to the Anastasios Liaskos Historical-War Museum in Kontodespoti (north middle part of Central Evia). Also noteworthy is the Folklore Museum of Kymi (Southern coast of Central Evia) considered one of the best regional museums in the country. Also in Central Evia are the Folklore Museum of Ano Vatheia and the Folklore Museum of Avlonari, giving you interesting insight into how the region’s inhabitants lived in the not-so-distant past.

Nature’s bounty

Beyond the manmade sites over the millennia, you will be impressed by the biodiversity and nature of Central Evia. The Dirfy mountain range is of special ecological interest, thanks to the diverse flora, shape and hydrological features. Closer to the Aegean coast the ravines of Mourteris and Manikiotiko near Avlonas, Konistra and Kymi have been rightfully designated as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty by the Greek State.

Photo: www.discovergreece.com

Crossing Agali Gorge is an amazing experience that must not be missed, so is a visit to the Aesthetic Forest of Steni which is protected by a government decree. Another protected area is the Kolovrechtis wetland of Psachna. If you’re near Kymi visit the Oxylithos Volcano towering over the village by the same name.

Ecotourism galore

There are a number of sailing schools and natucal clubs on the island, as well as many diving schools that will let you discover the wonderful aquatic charms of the region (see our diving section). An Equestrian Club operates in Pei, Chalkida, set in an attractive green location.

Hikers and mountain climbers will revel in the Michalis Nikolaou Mountanieering Refuge of Diry at an altitude of 1,100 meters, offering unparalleled views of bothe the Aegean and the Evian Gulf. There are many outstanding hikes such as the 6-hour one from the Dirfy Refuge to the Agali Gorge, or the 2.5-hour ones from the refuge to Steni or Ksirovouni.

Download the new Mount Dirfys hiking/adventure app!

At an elevation of 1743 meters (5720 feet), the volcano-like Mount Dirfys in the heart of Evia will amaze adventure seekers and hikers. Download the Mt. Dirfys topoGuide here, complete with 13 hiking routes, 2 MTB routes, 2 marathon race routes and an SUV tour. Easy and moderate trails available, including challenging mountain ascents over a total length of 70 km (43 miles). The detailed offline maps, in-depth information, pop-up photos and points of interest were compiled in 2016.

 

 

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Location - Central Evia

Dafni

Along central Evia’s tranquil northern coast, Dafni beach is a clean and calm bathing destination for those looking to take a refreshing dip in privacy. Just outside the village with which it shares the same name, Dafni beach is full of pebbles and surrounded by trees all around. There are several springs which flow into the sea from the nearby mountain of Kandili.

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Hiliadou

One of the area’s most popular bathing spots, Hiliadou beach is set within a dramatic landscape of lush vegetation and backed by sheer cliffs which contrast beautifully with its blue-green waters. The beach can be reached by car or can serve as a refreshing reward as the end point of the hiking paths originating from Lamari or Stroponon Gorge.

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Kalamos

Just south of Korasida is the infamous beach of Kalamos, regarded as one of the most graphic throughout both Evia and Greece. A rock in the shape of a naturally-carved arch splits the beach into two sections and adds to its scenery. Popular with campers and the young crowd, the beach is home to a beach bar and canteen.

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Mt. Dirfys

Evia’s tallest mountain is logically also the best spot for mountain climbing throughout the island. Reaching 1743 m., the climb to its summit is considered more of a challenging hike, and its unique position between the Euboean Gulf and Aegean Sea causes it to experience weather similar to that of much higher altitudes, causing inexperienced climbers to turn back due to conditions. Expect snow in winter and a cool climate in the warmer months.

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Despite having the highest concentration of people within the island’s three regions, Central Evia is a popular area for bird watching and is also home to two important habitats for both migratory and non-migratory birds in the area.

The Dirfys Mountain range located roughly 30 klm. North of Halkida (Chalkis) is an area of stark beauty made up of thick forests, sheer cliffs and winding rivers. This is where the adorable Cretzschmar’s Bunting (Emberiza caesia) has its breeding ground along with several other large raptors such as falcons and buzzards.

Another extremely important place with high ornithological activity is Lake Dystos, which lays 45 klm. South of Halkida. The natural freshwater lake is of great significance since it’s a major heron breeding site. Unfortunately in recent years, the lake has lost large amounts of its water due to agricultural use and is in danger of being completely drained. Aside from several heron species, the lake also supports a wide range of birds which make the lake their year-round home.

Some examples to look out for are the Sardinian and Subalpine warbler (Sylvia melanocephala, Sylvia cantillans) along with the Olive Tree warbler (Hippolais olivetorum) and Ruepell’s warbler (Sylvia ruepelli). Cretzschmar’s and Black-headed buntings (Emberiza caesia, Emberiza melanocephala) are commonly seen throughout the lake area. The Rock partridge( Alectoris graeca), Western rocknuthatch (Sitta neumayer) Little bittern (Ixobrychus minutes) Ferruginous duck (Aythya nyroca) and Black-eared wheatear (Oenanthe ispanica) are other examples of birds you may see around Lake Dystos.

A short drive from Athens and relatively low prices throughout make Evia an appealing choice to campers. Add in clean beaches and a number of outdoor activities and it’s easy to see why more and more camping enthusiasts are making Evia their top destination.

Canoeing

The Manikiatis River which winds its way through the eastern section of central Evia is a great place for canoeing by explorers of all ages and abilities. Lake Dystos located just south of Krieza is also a scenic destination for those interested in exploring the area by canoe.

Photo: chrysamas.blogspot.com

Kayaking

Kayaking enthusiasts can enjoy the sport both in freshwater rivers and in the sea thanks to Evia’s diverse landscapes. Inland, the Manikiatis River lies at the eastern section of Central Evia and offers kayakers the chance to experience Evia’s beauty up close. Lake Dystos towards the southern edge of the region provides bird watchers the opportunity to observe the numerous fowl via kayak along the lakes peaceful waters.

The Havos Gorge near the small village of Kambia just south of Steni provides an incredible backdrop of cliffs, verdant forests and fairytale-like waterfalls to venture through. The route lasts between 4-5 hours and is suitable for both beginners and expert canyoners. Though the level of difficulty is mild, proper equipment is needed and experienced guides are highly recommended.

Photo: www.trekking.gr

Evia’s vast geographical diversity makes it a picturesque and invigorating backdrop from cyclists of all ages and abilities. Within Central Evia, the areas around Mt. Dirfys and Kymi are favoured by riders looking for a bit of a challenge, while the western coast around Aliveri and Eretria offer mostly level routes that are great for beginners or those wishing to take it easy.

Photo: www.mbike.gr

The island’s chief city of Halkida is well-known for its famed ouzeries; small establishments which serve Greece’s signature liquor Ouzo along with a variety of tasty appetizers. You could spend years in the city without managing to visit all of its ouzeries, which line the picturesque walkways along the Evian Gulf. And in a city which is virtually surrounded by sea, it’s no wonder that seafood dishes are of high standard and in high demand. Stuffed squid, fish soup and a variety of year-round fish make the Halkida area an ideal place to enjoy the bounty of the Aegean.

Central Evia’s seas aren’t the only place providing the region with delicious dishes. The Dirfis mountain range is home to some of the country’s best mushrooms, and the locals know how to serve them up right. Accompanied with locally raised beef or baked into mushrooms pies, these small fruits of Evia’s soil pack a succulent punch into just about any recipe they’re added to. The region’s pleasant village of Kymi along the Aegean coast has long been a top producer of dried figs, exporting roughly 80% of its harvest abroad. Back at home, the sweet fruits are used to liven up meat dishes and salads and should be sampled by anyone lucky enough to visit this incredible town.

Travellers with a sweet tooth aren’t forgotten in Central Evia, in fact, they may find themselves in a glucose-filled heaven surrounded by fresh baklava made with Evia’s organic honey, the scrumptious custard-like galatopita (milk pie) and the equally delicious almond pie. No matter your taste, central Evia is bound to satisfy it.

A brief idea about hiking in Central Evia. Central Evia’s diverse geographical features make it a convenient area for those looking to get out on the trails not far from the island’s capital. Towards the western side along the Euboean Gulf, seaside walks along level paths are ideal for hikers looking for a more leisurely route. The landscape becomes more dramatic to the east, with the Dirfis Mountain and Havos Gorge providing more challenging walks within some of Evia’s most beautiful scenery. At the southern end of the island’s center, Lake Dystos and the surrounding area are great places for those looking to combine hiking with bird watching and photography.

Photo: hikingexperience.gr

Dafni-Melouna                                                 Time: 2 hours                    Difficulty: Easy

This route in central Evia’s northern section snakes its way from the small village of Dafni along the coast of the northern Euboean Gulf and ends at the Cape of Melouna.

Stroponon Gorge – Chiliadou                           Time: 4 hours                    Difficulty: Easy

One of the most scenic routes on the island, the journey through the Stroponon Gorge has everything, from a canopy of trees above, gurgling streams below, and a variety of fauna and flora all around. Hikers have the opportunity to take a dip in the river at its deeper sections, and everyone will appreciate the amazing beach of Chiliadou set against the backdrop of a large cliff.

Photo: www.evia-guide.gr

Lamari – Chiliadou                                            Time: 2 hours                    Difficulty: Easy

Starting just north of Dirfys Mountain, this mostly downhill hike leaves the small village of Lamari and continues northward to the superlative beach of Chiliadou.

Dirfy Mountain Refuge – Xerovouni Mountain       Time: 2.5 hours        Difficulty: Easy

Though it may sound challenging, walking the route from Dirfy Mountain to Xerovouni Mountain is actually quite relaxing and scenic. Hikers will pass small rivers and a village or two along the way.

Agali Gorge – Dirfy Mountain Refuge               Time: 5.5/6 hours    Difficulty: Moderate

For those looking for a more challenging route, this path is a great choice. The start of the trail starts outside the village of Agios Athanasios, just south of the Dirfis Mountain. Walkers enter the gorge and begin a scenic journey through the narrow passage, passing waterfalls (during the winter and spring), riverbeds, caves, and scenic c villages along the way. After 5.5/6 hours of walking, the Dirfy Mountain Refuge comes into sight and walkers can take a well-deserved rest here before departing.

Photo: hikingexperience.gr

Steni-Dirfy Mountain Refuge                           Time: 2.5 hours                 Difficulty: Easy

Walkers along this route will begin their journey from the town of Steni and head northwest towards the Refuge. The path is characterised as easy, though the last section of the trail is mainly uphill.

Andronianoi-Metochi                                        Time: 6 hours                    Difficulty: Easy

The lovely village of Androniani just west of Kymi is the starting point of this lengthy but worthwhile hike through Mavrovouni Mountain and on to the village of Metochi.

Mt. Dirfys

Evia’s tallest mountain is logically also the best spot for mountain climbing throughout the island. Reaching 1743 m., the climb to its summit is considered more of a challenging hike, and its unique position between the Euboean Gulf and Aegean Sea causes it to experience weather similar to that of much higher altitudes, causing inexperienced climbers to turn back due to conditions. Expect snow in winter and a cool climate in the warmer months.

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Εvia’s unique geographical location makes sailing its coasts an unforgettable experience. Whether navigating the ever-changing currents within the Euboean gulf or exploring the beauty of the Aegean Sea, riding the waves around Greece’s second-largest island is an adventure that shouldn’t be missed by anyone!

Thermal Springs

Thermal springs are located outside the seaside town of Kymi along Evia’s Aegean coastline. The first is run by the municipality and is cool for spring standards, with water temperatures hovering around 14 º Celsius. This spring is recommended for bathers suffering from kidney disorders. The second is used exclusively for bottling and is not open for bathing. Both are located at an altitude of 180 m.

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Central Evia’s Aegean coast is a swimmer’s paradise full of pristine beaches that have largely gone unnoticed by mass tourism. Less stunning but still beautiful in their own right, the beaches along the Euboean Gulf are popular among visitors and conveniently located not far from Halkida.

Akti Nireos

Along the 12 klm. stretch between Amarynthos and Aliveri lays the Akti or coast of Nireos, named after a sea divinity before the time of his better known counterpart Poseidon. Calmer than Eretria and Amarynthos, this bathing spot features natural shade provided by the tamarisk trees backing it and clean water with a beach of course sand.

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Alykes Drosia

This long expansive beach along Evia’s mainland strip is very popular with campers and those staying in one of the many hotels within the area. It’s the perfect place if you’re looking for company and the beach itself is organised and clean.

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Amarynthos

Within the last two centuries, prehistoric settlements dating before 3000 BC have been unearthed here, as well as numerous artefacts from a variety of regions and cultures, confirming that Amarynthos was an important trading centre during ancient times. Many of the archaeological discoveries have been found on the hill above the natural harbour as well as throughout the wider area.

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Dafni

Along central Evia’s tranquil northern coast, Dafni beach is a clean and calm bathing destination for those looking to take a refreshing dip in privacy. Just outside the village with which it shares the same name, Dafni beach is full of pebbles and surrounded by trees all around. There are several springs which flow into the sea from the nearby mountain of Kandili.

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Eretria

The past few years have seen Eretria’s popularity grow, with both Greek and foreign tourists.

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Hiliadou

One of the area’s most popular bathing spots, Hiliadou beach is set within a dramatic landscape of lush vegetation and backed by sheer cliffs which contrast beautifully with its blue-green waters. The beach can be reached by car or can serve as a refreshing reward as the end point of the hiking paths originating from Lamari or Stroponon Gorge.

Find Out More

Kalamos

Just south of Korasida is the infamous beach of Kalamos, regarded as one of the most graphic throughout both Evia and Greece. A rock in the shape of a naturally-carved arch splits the beach into two sections and adds to its scenery. Popular with campers and the young crowd, the beach is home to a beach bar and canteen.

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Karavos Aliveri

Just south of Aliveri lies the beach of Karavos, the city’s closest swimming spot. Though it’s convenient for those staying in the area, the busy coastal road behind and view of the area’s power plant make Karavos an average beach, at best.

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Korasida

Another exotic beach is that of Korasida south of Platana. Thick vegetation covers dramatic hills that lead down to two separate sections of the beach. One consists of white pebbles, and the other of thin pale-coloured sand.

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Lefkandi

Lefkandi’s long beach along its seaside road is ideal for families or those looking for a convenient swim just footsteps from the town centre. A section of the beach has sun loungers and umbrellas available, though there are unorganised spots to put your towel down as well.

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Limnionas

Aqua green water and an exotic jungle feel make this beach just outside the eponymous village one of Evia’s most popular. Despite this, the area is peaceful and quiet. It can be reached by car and canteens, tavernas and small hotels are close by. During the weekend it is extremely popular with campers, so if you’re looking for seclusion, best to come during the week.

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Malakonda

Though a bit rocky at some spots, Malakonda’s pebbly beach is a nice alternative when nearby Eretria becomes packed with campers and weekend visitors. Backed by natural shade in some places, swimming here is a great chance to relax.

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Platana

Along the coast of this seaside village, the quiet beach of Platana is a long stretch of sand. Though the landscape is arguably less impressive than that of the other beaches listed here, the water is clean and the access is much easier than the others. Amenities nearby make it a great choice for families.

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Politikon

Along the quaint fishing village of Politikon, coarse sand and clear waters make this beach a convenient choice for visitors of the areas. The calm seas of the northern Euboean Gulf and large number of shops behind the beach make it a great choice for families, though not for those looking for privacy.

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Sarakiniko

Just south of Cape Sarakiniko, this lonely beach is surrounded by pine trees and low hills. Black sand and pebbles line the beach and bottom of the sea here, which deepens quickly. The beach can be reached by car, though the last few hundred metres require a 4×4. Many choose to park their car farther up and walk down to the beach.

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Thapsa

Another well-kept secret is the secluded beach of Thapsa north of Kymi.

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Vythouri

One of Evia’s and perhaps Greece’s best kept secrets is this spectacular beach found virtually hidden between the cliffs along the Aegean coast between the villages of Glyfada and Agia Eirini.

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Dafni

Along central Evia’s tranquil northern coast, Dafni beach is a clean and calm bathing destination for those looking to take a refreshing dip in privacy. Just outside the village with which it shares the same name, Dafni beach is full of pebbles and surrounded by trees all around. There are several springs which flow into the sea from the nearby mountain of Kandili.

Find Out More

Hiliadou

One of the area’s most popular bathing spots, Hiliadou beach is set within a dramatic landscape of lush vegetation and backed by sheer cliffs which contrast beautifully with its blue-green waters. The beach can be reached by car or can serve as a refreshing reward as the end point of the hiking paths originating from Lamari or Stroponon Gorge.

Find Out More

Kalamos

Just south of Korasida is the infamous beach of Kalamos, regarded as one of the most graphic throughout both Evia and Greece. A rock in the shape of a naturally-carved arch splits the beach into two sections and adds to its scenery. Popular with campers and the young crowd, the beach is home to a beach bar and canteen.

Find Out More

Mt. Dirfys

Evia’s tallest mountain is logically also the best spot for mountain climbing throughout the island. Reaching 1743 m., the climb to its summit is considered more of a challenging hike, and its unique position between the Euboean Gulf and Aegean Sea causes it to experience weather similar to that of much higher altitudes, causing inexperienced climbers to turn back due to conditions. Expect snow in winter and a cool climate in the warmer months.

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Women’s Cooperative of Kymi

The Women’s Cooperative of Kymi is weaving up something special!

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Amarynthos

Evia / Central Evia
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Eretria

Evia / Central Evia
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Kalogerovrysi

Evia / Central Evia
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Kastri Potamias

Evia / Central Evia
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Lefkanti

Evia / Central Evia
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Varka Psachnon

Evia / Central Evia
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Viglatouri Kymi

Evia / Central Evia
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Castle of Apokleidi

Evia / Central Evia
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Castle of Fila

Evia / Central Evia
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Castle of Karababas

Evia / Central Evia
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Kastri Psachnon

Evia / Central Evia
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La Cuppa Castle

Evia / Central Evia
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Potiri Castle

Evia / Central Evia
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Despite central Evia being dominated by the island’s capital city of Halkida, the area is home to an astonishing array of flora and a large diversity of landscapes. While the western section is mostly level seaside plains, the central and eastern areas of central Evia boast rolling hills which gradually turn into mountains and features several beautiful peaks and gorges. The southern edge of central Evia is home to one of the island’s most important biotopes, Lake Dystos. Though they still remain at serious risk of complete drainage, the lake and surrounding wetlands feature an impressive amount of plant and animal life.

Photo: kynoclub.gr

Avantis Winery

Evia / Central Evia
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Kokkinos Pyrgos

Evia / Central Evia
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Tzivani Wines

Evia / Central Evia
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More Subdestinations In Evia