Archaeological Museum

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The Archaeological Museum of Karystos is housed in the Yokaleion Cultural Foundation, featuring collections of the Hellenistic and Roman eras, sculptures and pottery. Findings from Montofoli Wine Estate are mainly exhibited there. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 8:00-15:00. Ask for a guided tour that gives you more detailed information on Karystos since Antiquity when it had its own Court and Theatre.

Castello Rosso

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In the beginning of the 10th century a Byzantine castle was fortified on the top of the rocky hill overlooking Karystos valley and its bay. The Lombardian Baron Ravanus dalle Carceri erected a medieval castle, between 1209 – 1216, on top of Byzantine foundations. The castle was named ”Castello Rosso” due to the red stone with which it was built. Soon a town developed around the castle because of the security it provided to the population.

As early as 1255 Castello Rosso became a battlefield among the rulers of Evia. In 1276 the Byzantines conquered the castle after a siege, while in 1295 the Franks of Bonifacio da Verona recaptured the castle. In 1318 it came under the rule of the Catalans and in 1359 the Venetians bought the fief of Karystos for the sum of 6,000 ducats. The occupation by the Turks by Kotza Mahmut Pasha followed in 1470. During the Ottoman rule (1470-1830) the castles’ fortification was improved. The town around the castle was secured; the foundations of some towers and bastions, the remarkable vaulted cisterns and the remains of Turkish baths are preserved until today.

The uprising of the Greeks in 1821 led to many battles for the fall of the castle, with no effect. It was handed over to the Greeks in 1833 after the liberation treaty.

Today, Castello Rosso is open to visitors and offers a great ride and breath-taking sunsets in Karystos bay. Its ruined walls preserve the memories and secrets of the past, myths and legends with knights, soldiers and sieges.

Fortification Elements of Castello Rosso

The enclosure of the external walls is constructed with impressive high walls and battlements.

The main gate is facing south and is invisible from the outside.

The ruins of an imposing two-storey building rise on the west of the main gate. This building had a large hall of ceremonies and should have been the residence of the master. Near the main gate, there was a large open courtyard, during the Turkish occupation some houses were built to house the families of the guards.

To the north and east, the walls lead to strong bastions and polygonal towers with ‘M’ shaped ramparts.

The south-west walls lead to a strong square bastion. Visible in its masonry are marble blocks, coming from the ruins of an older important building of the area. In the bastion was the guards’ room and it used to have a stone-paved roof that had a huge bronze cannon installed in the Venetian era.

The walls on the south-west side are reinforced by an imposing cylindrical tower; the second castle arched gate, which faces the “arches” of the aqueduct, is located near this tower.

On the north side of the castle, which is the tallest and most inaccessible part of the rocky hill, stands the inner fortress, the last defence stronghold. The church of Prophet Elias is built there.

Underneath the marble-tiled church floor, lies the great reservoir of the fortress, while nearby are the ruins of an austere, single-aisle church, probably St. John of the Franks.

Cape Kafireas – Cavo D’Oro

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Evia’s Legendary Cape Kafireas, also known as Cavo D’ Oro, is a promontory on the south-eastern tip of the island of Evia, located 60km from the town of Karystos.

The slopes of Μt. Ochi fall steeply into the sea and with the nearby island of Andros, they form the Kafireas Strait. Since earlier times, that passage was one of the most dangerous areas for shipping in the whole of the Aegean; a wild cape windswept by Aegean winds. It is rare to find calm waters here, but Kafireas Straits’ dark reputation rises more from its treacherous currents, underwater cliffs and swirling whirlpools. Countless shipwrecks have occurred in the area since ancient times.

On the north side of the castle, which is the tallest and most inaccessible part of the rocky hill, stands the inner fortress, the last defence stronghold. The church of Prophet Elias is built there.

Underneath the marble-tiled church floor, lies the great reservoir of the fortress, while nearby are the ruins of an austere, single-aisle church, probably St. John of the Franks.

Cavo D’Oro Villages

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The Kafireas villages and settlements clinging on the slopes of Mt. Ochi are: Kastri, Platanistos, Epanochori, Potami, Andia, Komito, Evangelismos, Drimonari, Thimio, Zacharia, Amygdalia, Schizali and Prinia. Most of the villages of Cavo D’Oro are built at a high altitude, away from the steep shoreline, in lush valleys and close to grazing land.

The nature of South Evia around Cavo D’Oro, resembles that of the Cycladic islands; dry, wild and windy. However, strolling around you will find that nature is flourishing green; fresh water from the mountain, deep shadowed gullies and vegetation of plane trees, oak trees and olive groves alternate with vast naked heaths. On the seafront, rocky cliffs embrace a dozen of beaches in the arms of the Aegean Sea.

An excursion to the remote villages of Cavo D’Oro is literally a journey back in time, they keep their natural beauty well-hidden. The few residents are engaged in agriculture, honey production and grazing goats. Enjoy the hospitality of the inhabitants, taste delicious dishes and flavours from the local cuisine.

Quarries “Kolones”

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Karystian quarries, famous in ancient times, were in operation since the 1st century BC. The local green marble (Marmor Carystium or Cipollino Verde) was much in demand in Rome, Athens, Ravenna, Palestine, Constantinople and elsewhere.

The most remarkable ancient Roman quarry preserved in the area, is found in ‘‘Kolones’’ over the village of Myloi. The marble was cut out of the rock. Giant monolithic columns of about 12m long are still scattered in situ today. Huge volumes of shale are telling the story of thousands of years. You can hike to the ancient quarries ‘‘Kolones’’. The location is unique, with a spectacular view of the valley and bay of Karystos.

Mount Ochi

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Mountain Ochi could be called ‘‘the mountain of springs’’. Fresh water runs from the mountain all year round, a life-giving source to the area. You will notice the water conducts within the estate; they are part of an extended network which provides water for the gardens.

The last chestnut tree woodland of south Evia survives to this day on the high eastern slope of the mountain. The ancient chestnut trees are the remnants of the great forests that once covered mount Ochi. Many endemic species of wildflowers, shrubs (holly) and trees (black Spruce, Yew and Oak trees) grow on the inaccessible cliffs of the mountain. Mount Ochi is also the habitat of a variety of mountain bird species.

In 1962 the mountaineering shelter of Ochi was built. Thanks to the shelter, groups of visitors, hikers, nature lovers can discover the mountain. Mt. Ochi is known for the trekking and hiking routes it offers.