Family- and kid-friendly road trip to the island of Evia
To help you explore Greece’s family-friendly gems and top kid-friendly destinations, today we present to you in English what turned out to be our most popular MAMAKITA blog post in Greek: Vacationing on the Island of Evia with Kids. Read how some of MAMAKITA’s followers explained why Evia is their favorite among all Greek islands for their family summer holidays!
Evia is the second largest island after Crete, and one of the two that you can reach by car –the other is Lefkada in the Ionian Sea. Evia can be approached over two bridges, “the old sliding bridge” and the new “suspended bridge,” both connecting Sterea Ellada (Mainland Greece) with Halkida, Evia’s capital.
Located very close to Athens, Evia is still an unexplored island. Its mountainous terrain on the one hand -mostly in South Evia, located opposite Attica, the Athens Prefecture- and its relatively undeveloped road network on the other, have kept Evia far from mass tourism, which is just perfect for us travelling families!
Ideal for school age kids and teens on the side of the Aegean but also very baby- and toddler-friendly on the side of the Southern Evia Gulf, Evia beaches have nothing to be jealous of any beach on the popular Greek islands. Access from the Mainland to Central Evia is easy over the bridges of Halkida; just as easy is access to North Evia on the ferry from Arkitsa to Edipsos, and South Evia on the ferry from Agia Marina to Stira and Almyropotamos, or from Rafina to Marmari. The whole island can be explored by car via winding roads on beautiful mountains with scenic views, some of them very green, especially in the north.
Halkida and the Surroundings: A year-round destination in Evia with Kids
“Weekends, and occasional day trips on holidays to enjoy excellent seafood. That’s what Halkida stands for us, just an hour away from Athens,” says N.M., a Greek mother of 3 to MAMAKITA.
Halkida is a top day trip destination from Athens, a weekend break, or your first stop on a trip to Central Evia. Less than one hour and a half from Athens, Halkida is known for the tidal phenomenon of its waters in the narrow straights between the north and south Evia gulfs, where once every six hours tidal currents reverse direction; it is also known for its multicultural background –you can find a Byzantine church, a Synagogue and a Mosque within one of the town’s central neighborhoods; and its gastronomy, of course, its famous fresh fish and seashell restaurants. Along its beautiful pedestrian esplanade, busy day and night, you will find dozens of cafés and restaurants right on the waterfront.
Central Evia for babies, toddlers and…pregnant moms!
“The first time I ever went to Evia was in July 2014. We had a 2-year old toddler and were about to welcome our second baby. It was a very hot summer and we just had to get out of Athens. I was 8 months pregnant though, and our demands were hard to meet: accommodation by the water –on the water if possible! – a safe beach, because I could not chase the toddler around or rush to him if needed; waters as clean and fresh as the ones in the Aegean; plus easy access from Athens where my doctor was located,” says E.K., Greek mother of 2.
Central Evia is popular for summer vacations with babies and toddlers –and pregnant mothers too— thanks to its sandy and welcoming beaches stretching south of Halkida all the way to the top kid-friendly destination of Eretria. The east coast of Central Evia on the side on the Aegean hosts many beautiful beaches with turquoise waters. From the town of Kymi, a ferry will connect you to the nearby island of Skyros.
Download the MAMAKITA tried and tested 8-day family friendly itinerary in Central Evia and the island’s capital, Halkida here.
“Our family likes nature. We have 3 boys aged 5, 7 and 10 years old that are extremely active and love the sea. My wife and I like hiking. We go to North Evia every summer. Every time we discover something new that makes us fall even deeper in love with this part of Greece,” says M. P., father of 3 and ardent hiker.
Ideal for family holidays with school age kids and teens as well as lovers of agritourism, ecotourism, hiking and biking, North Evia has green mountains and verdant valleys. Its mountains are covered with pine tree forests that often reach all the way to its white-pebbled beaches. There are many family friendly accommodations to choose from that combine activities in nature such as horseback riding and agritourism.
Download the MAMAKITA tried and tested 10-day family friendly itinerary in North Evia here.
Gulf of Southern Evia: Relaxed Summer Holidays with Kids
“Our second kid was 1,5 years old and our older daughter 5. We wanted to spend our family vacation somewhere close to Athens, because my husband had to commute to Athens once a week. I wanted to find a place where I could safely be on my own with my children when he had to be away,” says I. L. Greek mother of 2.
South Evia is very different from North and Central Evia. Ideal for baby and toddler vacations on the sandy beaches of the South Evia Gulf, it is also a top destination for climbing, mountaineering and canyoning inland. On the side of the Aegean, South Evia’s nature is untamed and filled with amazing gorges ending to unique beaches along the coast. Look for the Gorge of Dimosari, the Platanistos gorge, the gorge of St. Demetrios where “Deep End” was filmed, or the gorge of Nea Styra. South Evia’s beaches along the Aegean coastline are harder to reach; they often sustain northern winds, and are usually preferred by free campers. The same holds true of Cavo D’ Oro, Evia’s southernmost cape and the “River” (Potami) beach.
Download the MAMAKITA tried and tested 6-day family friendly itinerary in South Evia here.
Check out MAMAKITA family friendly privately guided tours and kid friendly activities in Evia here.