Famous Landmarks in Greece – The Dragon Houses of Evia

All over the Greek island of Evia you can find the mysterious phenomenon of the dragon houses, or drakospita, as they are called in Greek. It’s worth to visit Evia only to see one of the dragon houses, as they are one of the most famous landmarks in Greece, though not well known by foreigners that visit Greece.

Evia Island Close to Athens

Evia is, after the islands of Salamina and Egina, the closest island to Athens. Although it’s one of those beautiful Greek islands, it yet has to be discovered by foreign tourists. Athenians more often take the ferry to visit this Greek island for a short break.

The roof of a dragon house at Palli Lakka. Photo by Klaus-Norbert, Wikimedia Commons CC BY 3.0.

Dragon Houses Evia – Ancient Greek Landmarks

Dragon houses can only be found on the Greek island of Evia. The ancient buildings are really fascinating and located in beautiful places in the mountains, with magnificent views. Until today twenty-five dragon houses have been found in different places on Evia. It’s still unknown what they served for. It could be sanctuaries, shelters, houses, or lookouts. It’s estimated they are about 3000 years old.

drakospita evia
Dragon houses, in the mountains around the old village of Styra, seen from a distance.

Who built the Dragon Houses

Whatever the Greeks couldn’t explain, they attributed to the work of dragons. Greek people thought dragons lived in the mountains in huge palaces, caves or towers. The gigantic size of the stones and the ingenious way in which the dragon houses were built, made the Greeks believe it was impossible that they had been built by normal human beings. Hence they assumed dragons built them.

In Greek legends and myths dragons are humanoids (they look like humans but they are actually not) of enormous size and with supernatural forces. They usually are bad towards people.

Access to the Dragon Houses of Evia

Some dragon houses are indicated along the road by road signs that say “Drakospito” or “Drakospita”. Not all of the dragon houses are easily accessible (some are!). It’s best to visit these intriguing buildings with a guide, as they mostly are in mountainous and remote areas, along dusty and rocky roads. Sometimes rocks have to be removed from the road before you can continue, or you have to leave the car behind because of the condition of the path.

nea styra evia
Sign along the road of Styra shows the direction to some drakospita.


⇒ 8-Days Walking Tour on Evia, that includes a visit to the dragon houses of Styra. See details.


Dragon houses around Nea Stira

Information about dragon houses of Evia in the area of the coastal city of Nea Styra and the old mountain village of Styra, you can read in the article “Dragon houses around Nea Styra”.

closest island to athens
View on the coastal area of Nea Styra, from the road that leads to some dragon houses near Styra.

Marmari & Karystos dragon houses

Information about dragon houses around the coastal cities of Marmari and Karystos on Evia, you can read in the article “Dragon houses around Karystos and Marmari”.

Short video that shows some dragon houses at Styra


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