Central Evia is forested, lush and graced with beaches on both coasts, though the more remote eastern beaches facing the Aegean Sea have finer sand and even clearer waters.
Beyond the mainland bridge entry to Evia at busy Halkida, the road veers south, following the coastline to Eretria, a bustling local resort and archaeological site that's of moderate interest.
Further on, a string of hamlets and fishing villages dot the route until the junction at Lepoura, where the road forks north towards Kymi, and south towards Karystos. A rough dirt road winds west from Kymi to a rock-enclosed arc of beach at Paralia Hiliadou.
From Halkida a road threads north into the mountainous interior of northern Evia, reaching the beautiful village of Prokopi, whose inhabitants are descended from refugees who came from Prokopion in Turkey’s Cappadocia region in 1923. They established the substantial pilgrimage church of St John the Russian, named for the saint who remains central to the town’s identity and livelihood to this day, and is celebrated with a festival on 27 May.
At Strofylia, the road heads southwest to picturesque Limni, which clusters around a bay, then north to the little thermal resort of Loutra Edipsou.
East of Eretria, the road branches south at Lepoura as the north's rich vegetation gives way to sparse and rugged mountains. A turn-off leads to Lake Dhistos, a shallow lake bed favoured by migrating egrets: water levels have been diminished by local agriculture. You’ll pass high-tech windmills and catch views of both coasts as the island narrows before reaching Karystos, the only really enticing resort here, where friendly locals enjoy life at a pace that makes you forget how close you are to Athens.
The ruins of Castello Rosso (Red Castle), a 13th-century Frankish fortress, are a short walk from Myli, a well-watered village 4km inland from Karystos. The aqueduct behind the castle once carried water from the mountain springs to the Bourtzi in Karystos. A 3km walk from Myli brings you to a 2nd-century-AD Roman quarry (Kylindroi, meaning 'cylinder') strewn with massive marble columns, abandoned during the time of Caesar.
With your own transport you can explore the pristine Cavo d'Oro villages nestling in the southern foothills of Mt Ohi. Highlights include Platanistos, Potami and the walled ruins of an ancient settlement at Helleniko.