Friday Fun: Evia as it used to be…

Before the massive destructive wildfires last week, few people outside Greece had heard of the island of Evia. It is not really a tourist destination for British tourists (although it attracts a small proportion of German or French hikers or ecologists), despite the fact that it’s the second-largest island and quite close to Athens. For many Athenians, including my ex-in-laws, it is where their home village lies, so it is the place where my children have spent nearly all of their summer holidays, although the local beach was nothing to get excited about. I have to admit that I struggle with the very arid landscapes of most Greek islands in summer, but Evia is – or was, until recently – different: full of forests and pines growing all the way up the mountains, which reminded me of Romania. Sadly, that is the very reason why the fires spread so quickly, and why the northern part of the island has been damaged beyond recognition. So, this is less of a Friday Fun, more of a tribute to this beautiful island.

Vegetation practically reaching the sea, from CEOWorld.
Hard to believe this is Greece, with all the greenery. From Dreamstime.
But the inland is beautiful too, with lots of hiking trails among the woods. From Unsplash, photo credit Omar Ky.
Evia is famous for its honey, which was largely in the northern part of the island, so most of the hives have been destroyed. From Pinterest.
Evia is also famous for its walnut trees and this walnut tree orchard was for sale recently. (I also had to do my share of walnut gathering for the family harvest a decade or so ago.)

If you can bear to look at the state of it now, I highly recommend this photographic journal by Thodoris Nikolaou, who is a Chalkida, Evia local.