At the highest peak of mount Ochi, at 1398 meters of altitude, on a breezy plateau stands a very peculiar construction of enormous stones. This building, named Drakospito (House of Dragons), was raised, according to the legend, by Ancient Greek tribes (Dryopians) and impresses with its massive stonework and its mysterious past. According to Pausanias, it was an ancient sanctuary dedicated to the goddess of Hera. Others believe that they might have been guarding posts or even shelters for lumberjacks. Whichever the truth, their imposing size and construction technique is an intriguing enigma! The old Christian Church of Prophet Elias is built next to the Drakospito.
To get there, you drive to Aetos, pass through Metochi village and follow the route to the chestnut tree woodland (Kastanologos). From there you hike to reach the site: the path goes uphill, passes next to the Shelter and leads to the mountain summit. Moderate hike, lasting one and half hours, requires hiking shoes or sneakers, water, a hat and a light jacket. If you are not comfortable reading hiking signs (the red dots that show you are on the right trail) it is advisable to go with a guide.
Dimossaris River Gorge
Karystos offers a unique destination for hikers: Dimosari gorge, on the northeast side of Mount Ochi is one of the most beautiful hiking gorges in Greece and one of the most famous ecological sites in Evia.
The gorge is included in the Protected Area (Natura 2000) and the name refers to the small, brisk stream ”Dimosari”. The watercourse through rocky ravines, small waterfalls, rapids and narrow valleys reaches the Aegean Sea. The route is about 10 kilometers long. A cobbled path starts from the‘‘Petrokannalo’’col, at 954 m altitude, which follows the stream and ends up at the beautiful beach of Kallianos after 4 – 5 hours of hiking. The path is formidable and much of it is under the shadow of perennial plane trees but also wild olive trees, pear trees and large oak trees. The sound of running water, the birds’ warble, the lush green slopes and the ever-changing landscape make a peaceful atmosphere for the walker. The stream’s natural pools are ideal for refreshing dives in summer. Further down, halfways, you will come across the settlement Lenosaioi. From there on, the route to the sea is milder. You can end your hike at the beach with a cool dip in the clear blue water of the Aegean Sea.
The gorges’ path has been used since ancient times, connecting the Kallianos area and the rest of the villages of Cavo D’Oro with Karystos.
The creation of a diving park in South Evia gulf is already underway and puts the region on the world map of diving tourism.
The park consists of six visited areas: Sea area of Styra, Kavalliani Islet, Bay of Almyropotamos, Island complex of Petalioi, Porto Lafia Evias, Makronissos island and Laureotiki. The largest concentrations of shipwrecks are noted in the sea area of Styra and also around Makronisos, where sea routes have passed over time.
Shipwrecks which are investigated by the department of Underwater Antiquities, form an ”underwater museum” with 26 wrecks from the Archaic, the Roman to the Late Byzantine period. The waters in South Evia gulf, opposite the ancient Ramnounta (islet Kavalliani) have been connected to the tragic shipwreck of the ‘‘Heimarra’’ Steamer, which sank in the early hours of January 19, 1947 and remains in history as the “Greek Titanic”.