Evia is Greece’s second largest island of Greece and is close to the prefecture of Attica, where Athens is located. It has a somewhat mainland character, since two bridges – the modern, suspended one and the older, sliding one – link it to mainland Greece.
The island has wonderful beaches, a pleasant climate, renowned monuments, many thermal sources and great food. Evia extends over a surface of 3,580km², its coastline is 48km long and it has 220,000 inhabitants.
Various findings in several parts of the island provide evidence that Evia was inhabited from the Palaeolithic Era. Important archaeological findings have been excavated from the copper period. Ruins dating back to the Early Helladic period have been found in Lefkanti, Vasiliko and in Manika and Chalkida, while in Oreoi and Aliveri ruins of the Middle Helladic period have been uncovered. Finally, tombs and ruins of post-Hellenic and the Mycenaean era have been excavated in many areas of Chalkida.
The ancient cities of Evia established important colonies throughout the Mediterranean (Chalkidiki, Asia Minor, Southern Italy), while Eretria was one of the most powerful cities during the classical period. During the Byzantine era, Evia was very prosperous and formed part of the Department of Greece. The island fell under Ottoman control in 1470, but joined the newly-established state of Greece in 1830. After the 1922 Asia Minor catastrophe, many Greek refugees settled in Nea Artaki and Nea Lampsakos, as well as in Chalkida and Amarynthos. During the Second World War, Evia was bombarded by the Germans while the resistance of the locals was very strong.