The region has been equated with “the good life” since antiquity, with the northwestern corner known for its bountiful wine production as well as its therapeutic natural hot springs. The small seaside village of Loutra Aidipsos has gained international fame for the healing properties of its thermal springs, and spa resorts as well as one-of-a-kind cosmetic treatments with its waters and mud have bathers from all corners of the world flocking to its bubbling elixirs.
Those looking for a more active aqua encounter will love the tropical-looking islets known as Lichadonisia or the “Greek Seychelles”. Tucked away in the westernmost corner of the region, these islets are great for natural explorers and can easily be swum to and in between. Sea kayaking is also popular here, and rowers may need to remind themselves that they are not gliding through waters of the south pacific.
The popular resorts of Pefki and Agia Anna offer everyone from young campers to large families with a variety of activities to do within the beautiful contrast of forest and sea at every turn. Venture father inland and the utopian Nileas Gorge will mesmerize you with its waterfalls, emerald pools, narrow caves and lush vegetation all around. A little north lies the petrified forest of Kerasia, which experts believe date back millions of years ago. Fossils of a number of mammals and invertebrates can still be seen in the hardened surface of the rocks. Most of what was removed from the site can be visited in the local Museum of Petrified Mammals.
If talk of fossilized bones makes your eyes glass over, a plate of hearty “rolled fish balls” is sure to perk you up, as will the numerous delectable local dishes, a large amount of which are made from organic products. Octopus dishes as well as cuttlefish with spinach satisfy seafood junkies, while the ultra –rich custard pie known as “galaktoboureko” will seduce even those who profess not to have a sweet tooth.
As tempting as it may be to never want to leave the table, northern Evia’s excellent cycling and hiking routes are the best way to deal with the region’s affinity towards sweets. The mountain ranges of Telethrio and Kandili are best suited for those preferring scenic walks rather than bona fide hikes, while Mount Ksiro and Pyxarhias provide challenging climbs for avid trekkers. Dozens of short forests paths see a growing number of cyclists, as does the health-conscious city of Aidipsos, where renting wheels is easy.
Horseback riding is a fantastic alternative way to see and appreciate the natural beauty of northern Evia, with a handful of stables offering real trail rides along with a number of other equestrian activities. And if all of this activity has you worn out, let your cares slide away with a class of authentic and organic regional wine made by local producers doing all they can to preserve rare wines native to northern Evia. Raising a glass towards sustainability never tasted so good!
No matter whether you come in search of spa treatments, hiking therapy or the perfect glass of Vradiano, northern Evia is sure to have you coming back for more.