The sea port town of Nea Styra is located on the southwestern part of the island of Euboea, in the municipality of Karystos. This is the smallest section of the island with a width of only ten kilometers. Nea Styra is a contemporary beach resort with lots of hotels, tavernas, bars, nightclubs and shops. Because of the regular ferries that connect the mainland of Greece at Agia Marina with Nea Styra it’s a very popular holiday destination for Greeks. It takes less than two hours by car and ferry to get there from Athens.

Boat trip to islands of Stouronisia
There are some interesting places to visit around Nea Styra. Opposite of Nea Styra are the islands of Stouronisia, protecting the bay of Nea Styra. According to Greek historian Herodotus the largest island was called Aigeilia in ancient times. After the destruction of the ancient city of Eretria in 490 BC the Persians brought their hostages to the island before they continued their battle at Marathonas near Athens. Nowadays the island is called just Styra, Stoura or Stouronisi. The smaller islands are called Verdouni, Agios Andreas and Fonia. The islands are not inhabited, but on Verdouni is a little light tower. In 2007 a ship wreck with amphoras was discovered at the northern side of the island at a depth of 46 meters. During the summer there are boat trips to the islands.

Mount Kliosi and the acropolis of Styra
Mount Kliosi is the mountain that covers the back of Nea Styra and has a height of 685m. The many foothills of the mountain reach until the coastal area and create many idyllic bays with crystal clear waters, like the one of Almiropotamos. On mount Kliosi, at a height of 450m, you will find the ruins of the Armenos Castle. The castle is built on top of the remains of the ancient acropolis of Styra and an impressive stone gate overlooks Styra and the sea. The views are breathtaking and never ending. Though it’s not easy accessible.

Deserted village of the monks of Kellia
Another interesting place in the area of Styra is Kellia, a mountain village that was deserted around fifty years ago. It’s a peaceful place with old oak trees, wild herbs and springs with fresh water. During the Turkish occupation of Greece over 500 people were living here. Many of them were farmers during the day and monks and priests during the night. Of course the practicing of the Christian religion had to be hidden from the Turkish, that’s why secret chapels existed underneath the houses.

Mysterious dragon houses
Around Nea Styra you can find the mysterious phenomenon of the dragon houses or drakospita as they are called in Greek. Because people couldn’t comprehend how it was possible that these buildings of gigantic stones were erected they assumed it must have been by dragons or at least creatures with supernatural forces. It’s still unknown what they served for. It could be sanctuaries, shelters or lookouts. There are around twenty preserved all over Euboea and many of them are in the area of Styra. They are indicated by signs on the road that say “Drakospito”. Some are easily accessible others are not. It’s best to visit these intriguing buildings with a guide as they are in mountainous and remote areas along dusty and rocky roads. Sometimes you have to leave the car behind because of the condition of the path.

Read more about the dragon houses of Euboea.

Charakas Gorge
A small gorge with a length of only a few kilometers leads you along oleanders, cedars, plane trees and mastic trees. It’s a walk of about two hours and at the end of the gorge is the beach of Charakas (Rulers Beach) at the Aegean Sea with crystal clear waters. From Nea Styra you will have to drive first to the village of Zoodochos Pigi, which is a nice little village with several taverns. It’s best to ask around how you can reach the entrance of the gorge.

Beaches around
Except for the beaches of Nea Styra, there are plenty of other beaches you can go. Some are at the coast of the Euboean Gulf others on the other side of the island at the Aegean Sea. You will need your own transport. At the Euboean Gulf you will find the beaches of Almyropotamos (Panagia), Diliso and Nimporio. At the side of the Aegean sea the beaches Mesopotamos (village of Tsakei), Armyrichi (village of Mesochoria) and Zarakes. On all beaches you will find taverns. Enjoy the fresh sea food!


Featured image of Nea Styra by C messier [CC BY 3.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons.

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