top of page

Travel: Chalkida, Evia IL. Greece. June 1-6/2024

Updated: Jun 15


Coincided with our spontaneous "respite departure " to Greece, (on June First) was Bibi's defiant reply to Biden's pre-preemptive speech,

Revealed by Biden, only 3 hours before his actual commencement, were the proposal principles, composed and submitted by Israel itself, to return the hostages and pause the war . Bibi's dramatic replay was “no starter”...

This disheartening reply, which only predicted another month of more turmoil, didn't really promised a respite, but did predict a step-up protests, both in Israel and the US.


The one week in Greece was planned to be spent between the large Island of Euboea/ Evia North/East of Athens, and then in Nafpaktos which was further->>> away (3 hours drive) to the West. on a bay on the north coast of the Gulf of Corinth, where we visited once in 2019 (here)




However after the first day spent in charming resort town of Chalkida in Evia , it was decided to do less driving, to the West and better explore the more enchanting Evia part of Greece, we never toured before.







 Driving from Athens toward Chalkida, Evia Il in the North






Evia is situated across from, and very close to the Main Land


Chalkida -Chalkis



About one hour drive North of Athens, toward Evia / Euboea island. (the second-largest Greek island in space and population) at the point where the Euboea is nearest to Greece's mainland , nests the chief city Chalkida and its port, by the Euripus Strait 


Euripus is the narrow channel of water separating the island in the Aegean Sea from Boeotia in mainland Greece


The Euripus Strait between the city across the island and the mainland was bridged in 411 BC with a wooden bridge. In the time of Justinian 



A special tidal phenomenon takes place in the strait , as strong tidal currents reverse direction once every 6 hours, approximately four times a day .creating maelstroms.

Tidal flows are very weak in the Eastern Mediterranean, but the strait is a remarkable exception. Water flow peaks at about 12 km xs5frper hour (7.5 mph; 6.5 kn), either northwards or southwards, and lesser vessels are often incapable of sailing against it. When nearing flow reversal, sailing is even more precarious because of vortex formation.



The town of ~ 56,000 inhabitants is now connected to mainland Greece by 2 bridges

  "New" or "High" bridge,





The two road bridges both at Chalcis are across the strait, .

One is the Euripus Bridge or Chalcis Bridge, a two-pylon, cable-suspended bridge built south of town in 1992, and commonly called the "New" or "High" bridge, with a span of about 215 m (705 ft). The strait is 160 m (525 ft) wide at this point.



The "Old" or "Low" or "Sliding" Bridge which accommodates two lanes of vehicular traffic .lies across midtown, at the narrowest point of the strait, where it is only 38 m (125 ft) wide. and can slide away to allow shipping traffic. It It was originally built as a retractable bridge in 1858, replaced by a rotating one in 1896. The existing, originally wooden bridge was built in 1962 and was extensively refurbished in 1998.



The view of Chalkida. is so beautiful. The blue sea water surrounds all around the town, as are many rocky coves, grey sand beaches, and small boat harbors.

Blooming in pink and white Oleander and Bougainvillea plants dot the promenades of the 2 town's parts connected by the wooden bridge, and where many taverns, coffee shops and hotels offer great food and time.





The earliest recorded mention of Chalcis is in the Iliad. During antiquity, it was an important town. Its Ionian, people were an ancient Greek race.

Chalkida founded many colonies. Most of them were in south Italy.

In the Hellenistic period, it gained importance as a fortress by which the Macedonian rulers controlled central Greece


In 323 BC the Stagerite philosopher Aristotle comes to Chalkida to die the following year at his mother's house.

Also the Latin alphabet is an evolution of the ancient Chalkidian alphabet




The old town, called the Castro (citadel), was surrounded by a full circuit of defense walls until they were completely razed for urban development around the start of the 20th c














On the Promenade on Chalkida's Island's Side





The Jewish Long Presence

Chalkis has had a Greco-Jewish presence since antiquity,

Jews lived there continuously for over 2,500 years! Probably one of the oldest and few communities in Europe in this case. They settled mainly in the northeast of the fortress.



Traveler Benjamin de Tudela In 1159, noted the presence of 200 Jews in the city, who were mainly silk manufacturers and dyers suffering from no discrimination. They all spoke Greek and had a synagogue.

During the 13 c under Venetian conquest, the fate of the Jews was very different. They suffered discrimination and had to live in a ghetto.

Under the control of the Ottoman Empire, in 1470 which perpetuated a great massacre of the villagers there. the Jews suffered the same fate and exploitation as during the Venetian occupation.

A number of Turkish families continued to live until the late 19th c, and a sizeable Jewish community lived until World War II, up to the early 20th c in the old walled town

The Jewish community almost completely destroyed in WW2, but is still existing.


Synagogue, the Jewish cemetery (closed) and the statue of Jewish world WWII hero, Mordehai Frizis. can be visited


Romonite Synagogue built in 1854 ->>>

+30 222 102-7638 -To make visit appointments


Synagogue. Frizis. Cemetery



The synagogue is closed to the passing by public, thus in-doors visit requires pre-arrange appointment

After calling the appointment's number few times , I finally got Mrs. Ester Maissis - the wife of the Jewish Community's President - Mair Maissis, on the phone, and she instructed me to call her husband (# +30 6936116631) who luckily was accompanying a visiting group as to verify our attendance. Mr. Maissis and the wonderful Lily (Lea) delayed their departure, and especially waited for us.





On the way to the hotel we stayed on the main Land's Drosia neighborhood


Historic Buildings


Ottoman Emir Zade Mosque Old Train Building



Karababa Castle/Fortress

Overlooking the straits of Euripos the massive castle was built on a strategic hill, by the Ottomans in 1684, to protect Chalkis from the Venetians.

It was designed by the Venetian Gerolimo Galopo and its architectural form is more European than Turkish in character.




We stayed at a very quaint understated hotel resort, right on the beach of the Chalkis main -land side, in the midst of an upscale residential Drosia neighborhood of widely spared-out beautiful private homes, facing the sea, and in between Olive groves, Pine trees and Oleander bushes It definitely exceeded our expectations. Absolutely great.









by the small port

Agios Ninas Chalkida


Located near Agios Minas small port area, amid a lush tree garden, Brown Beach Chalkida, a member of Brown Hotels, is actually painted all white, and feature a wonderful beach ( 2 of them) in front of the hotel, a big pool, and a small quint church..



View from the Hotel

The Beach at the Hotel


Sea water is still cold at this time of the year but the brave ones do swim




Thursday open-air Market at the Neighborhood



Very close to the hotel, at the next bay, is the Agios Minas small port dotted with great sea food restaurants, where we had many of our great meals.

It is frequented mostly by more of the neighborhood's locals, and less by the tourists who mainly concentrate at the center of town,




Here are the names of the Restaurants we liked



Taverna - Amaudia Ouzeri. -Sea Food Taverna at Agios Mina small port

+30 2221097097. +30 6992870898

A very affordable Sea food Taverna popular with youth crowd.






Limanaki

+30 22210 98220

At Agios Mina Small Port

Very good food also serve meat

(very good Lam chops)







On the first night when we dined at the Agios Minal small port , a fantastic fire work show entertained us, when some private celebration was going on




Tsafaki - Sea Food Restaurant

Archiepiskopou Makariou 5,

+30 2221094600

On the main-land Promenade overlooking the water right after crossing the wooden bridge. Great fish meal









In Limenas on Evia Island itself, great views of the strait are offered off Piato restaurant



Piato Restaurant 

El. Drakopoulou 42, Chalkida 694 318 0380

Lovely restaurant on a small beach,

indoors and out doors sitting overlooking the bay, Europeans especially love it








To be continued....

コメント


bottom of page