Excitement and anticipation of our holiday was tempered somewhat by the ongoing BA strikes but, due to the excellence of the Ramblers Worldwide Holidays organisational team, and some last minute arrangements by our leader, Hugh, all went well and our flight, bus journey and ferry connection were re-arranged with the minimum of fuss.
The logistics of travelling to the island are not at all difficult as it is only a short bus ride and an hour’s ferry crossing to Marmari Port on Evia. From here it is only a 15 min run to the Karystion Hotel where you will be greeted by warm, friendly and attentive staff.
After a late arrival and a great choice of a buffet style “supper” complete with wine, we turned in to a nice, clean and comfortable room to rest, ready for the walking programme.
Awaking next day to the glorious views from our hotel balcony 11 Ramblers, plus leader Hugh, assembled for the first of some lovely walks.
Exploring Evia on foot is the real way to meet the very friendly, spontaneous locals who were always ready with a smile and a wave as we passed, and to discover such hidden delights as the Turkish Bridge, welcome shady glades or a quiet, unspoilt Potami Bay.
The paths can be rocky and rough underfoot, so good, supportive footwear is required as you make your way up to Castello Rosso and the Roman aqueduct for glorious views over unspoiled Karystos Bay. Or perhaps up the steepish and rocky trail, past mysterious “Dragon Houses”, to the Acropolis on the ridge overlooking Styra village where, later, cold, draught “Mythos” beer will wash away the trail dust!
A particular highlight and well worth seeing are the abandoned Roman Columns, left as they were on the collapse of the Roman Empire, on a rocky plateau overlooking the lovely village of Mylli. We descended to a friendly, shaded taverna and sipped cold beers to the accompanying smells of herbed scented barbecued lamb.
Unfortunately, bad weather – yes, torrential rain, very strong winds, and thick mist! – precluded the party from descending the Dimosari Gorge or ascending to the 4000ft summit of Mt Ohi.These being two particular highlights, we were naturally disappointed to have missed them out. As always and quite rightly, Hugh put safety and concern for the group as his priority so we decided they were best left for a return visit.
As you take the ferry back to the mainland and look back to the rocky peaks, rolling foothills and hidden valleys where you’ve passed through, you might just make yourself that promise.