Karystos is the absolute destination in south Evia either for the Weekend or even better on your vacation.
Having small and long beaches which start from downtown and are extending all along the gulf, Karystos gives many options to its visitors.
It’s easily to get there from Rafina’s port and it’s ideal for all seasons of the year.
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There are three versions of how it got its name.
The first says that it is named after Karystos the son of the Centaurus Chiron who was its founder.
The second claims that it took its name from “karya”. That is the wild chestnut.
And the last that it comes from the verb “karysso” which means preach and this explains why the city symbol is the rooster.
What You Can See in Karystos
Castello Rosso or Red Castle stands at the foot of mountain Ohi and is just 4 km away from downtown. It’s easy to climb without difficulties and the view is breathtaking!
According to one version it was built by the Baron Ravano dalle Carceri between the 1209 and 1216.
The entrance is free and on its top you’ll find the chapel of Prophet Elias. Beneath the marble floor of the church, there is the fortress’s cistern from which in a state of siege the besieged could be supplied with water.
You’ll meet it at the road along the coast of Karystos. It’s a Venetian construction of 1350 a.D. It’s two-storey and has hexagonal shape. During summer time, the Department of Antiquities spares the place for fine arts and photography exhibitions.
Archaeological Museum of Karystos
It is housed in Yiokalio Foundation which is situated close to the port opposite of Bourgi. It hosts a big collection of prehistoric findings as well as findings of the Drakospita (Dragon houses) of Karystos and Styra.
During the weekends of July and August, the Archaeological Service organizes an educational programme “The Museum is on Vacation”. It is appealed to small and elder children. The programme includes clay constructions, painting, fairytales and the treasure hunting. The archaeologist Fanny Stavroulaki supervises the programme.
The museum is open every day except Tuesday since 08.30 to 16.00
Kastanologos of Karystos is on the east side of the mountain Ohi. Its age – old chestnuts are standing silently and eerie giving the impression of sculptures.
It is half an hour away of Karystos and at 1100m altitude. It is worthwhile to leave the car and walk up there. The forest is 600 acres and a very important ecosystem because is one of the oldest of the planet with rare flora.
Dragospita in Karystos
The most impressive of the 25 Dragospita in Evia is situated on the peak of the mountain Ohi at an altitude of 1398m. It is made out of big stone boulder wisely situated one next to the other without any connection between them!
Here, pottery and shells have been discovered and are kept in the Archaeological Museum of Karystos. In one version it was a temple dedicated to Jupiter and Hera while some others claim that the Dragospita were quarrymen’s shelters. Whatever the truth is, Dragospita keep impressing thanks to their architecture, construction and their huge size!
Platanistos in Karystos
Just 20km away from Karystos in a lush green wonderful landscape Platanistos settlement or Panochori is situated. The sycamores, the willows, the osiers and the splinter create an oasis. If you love hiking in the nature, don’t miss to cross the canyon of Platanistos. It’s a trail that starts from the waterfalls and ends up to the 1870’s stone bridge.
At the river, there are two taverns and site for free camping. The region smells theme and oregano (there are almost 870 different kinds of herbs having unique characteristics).
Here, after Easter, the feast of Zoodohos Pigi takes place. In August, the Cultural association organizes a party next to the river and many people from the wider area are gathering. They have also a dj.
The Cave of Holy Trinity
It situated at the foot of the mountain Ohi and is one of the most interesting caves in Greece.
Its extent is over 3000m and it is crossed by a subterranean river. The visitors can walk in a small area. If you want to cross the rest trail you must have knowledge of speleologist, of climbing and generally you must have athletic skills.
The trail hides great interest because you walk through small lakes, cascades and breaks.
How you can get to Karystos
*From Rafina’s port depart daily ferryboats for Marmari which is just 13 km away from Karystos. The trip lasts about an hour.
*From Agia Marina port to Nea Styra there are daily itineraries. Nea Styra is 36km away from Karystos. The trip lasts about 45 minutes.
In Karystos there are hotels and rooms to let that cover every taste. For more information and choices have a look here.
It’s certain that in Karystos you’ll have a good time and you’ll enjoy food even more.
Don’t miss to visit the “Gefsiplous”. There, you’ll find original dishes based on local tastes and exceptional wines. Also the service is very good. The well known chef Giannis Baxevanis supervises the menu.
Another suggestion for good food is Choni. The traditional tastes, the delicious dishes and the exceptional service make Choni the joint of all gourmands.
Tip: Don’t miss to taste kourkoubines. They are small pieces of dough boiled and fried in oil or butter. They wash down braized meat.
What to Buy
You can buy exceptional local wines, cheeses (try touloumotyri), meat (local goat) herbs, honey and kourkoubines. Personally, I got thrilled with the sweet wine Malagouzia. You can have it as aperitif and I suggest you to taste it!
Sometimes you live near to a place that you have never visited. This is what happened to me. When you’ll get know Karystos you’ll be thrilled and you’ll become one of its regular visitors. Because Karystos offers more things of what is written in this small article. And it worthwhile to discover!
Thanks to ENEL GREEN POWER HELLAS, a company that is active in the local community showing sensibility to environmental issues, I had the opportunity to discover the beauties of S.Evia.