EVIA & THE SPORADES
Evia is the second largest island in Greece. The narrow channel that separates it from the mainland is only 40 meters wide. The waters here travel at speeds of up to 8 miles per hour, changing direction every 6 hours. The landscape in Evia is rich and varied with pristine inland villages and scenic mountain roads, gorgeous sandy beaches and steeping cliffs. Set on the wide Karystian Bay below Mt Ohi (1398m) is Karystos, the most attractive of the southern Evia resorts. Its waters are teeming with fish, the seafood is remarkable: lobster, octopus, and huge prawns often baked with cheese and fresh tomatoes. They are situated across the port town of Volos on the eastern coast of mainland Greece.
Much of pine covered Skiathos is blessed with exquisite beaches of golden sand. Not surprisingly it is one of Greece’s premier resorts. The island has only one settlement, the port and capital, Skiathos Town, on the southeast coast. The north coast is precipitous and less accessible. Most people come to the island for the beaches and nightlife, but the truly curious will discover some picturesque walks, hidden valleys and quiet beaches. Skiathos town has twin harbors divided by Bourtzi islet, which is reached, by a narrow causeway.
This lush green paradise is heavily pine forested, the sheltered southeast coast harbors many beaches, most of which are pebbled, while the northwest is exposed with high cliffs. It lies between Skiathos and Alonissos. The tourist development has not affected its intensely traditional character. Skopelos Town is most captivating. It skirts a semi circular bay with dazzling white houses that and clambers in tiers up a hillside, culminating in a ruined fortress.
ALONNISOS & SURROUNDING ISLETS
The water around this serene, green island has been declared a marine park, and is the cleanest in the Aegean. Every house has a cesspit, so no sewage enters the sea. Old Alonnisos is a tranquil picturesque place with lovely views. Most of the beaches are on the east coast, which means they avoid the strong summer meltemi winds. Kokkinokastro Beach was once the site of the ancient city Ikos; there are remains of the city walls and a necropolis under the sea. The islet of Piperi, located northeast of Alonissos is home to the endangered monachus monachus seal and it is forbidden to set foot there.
Skyros is some distance from the rest of the group; it also has a different atmosphere, reminding you more of the Cyclades than the Sporades. Skyros Town is a striking, dazzling white town of flat-roofed Cycladic style houses draped over a high rocky bluff. The resort of Magazia is at the southern end of a splendid, long sandy beach; Molos is at the northern end of the beach. Beaches At Atsitsa, on the west coast, there is a tranquil pebble beach shaded by pines. To the north is the even less crowded beach of Kyra Panagia. At Pefkos there is another good but small beach and taverna. Farther east is the pebble and sand beach at Kalamitsa. Opposite, are the small, uninhabited islets of Valaxa and Skyropoulo.