Evia is the second largest Greek Island after Crete. It is 110 miles long and between 31 and 4.7 miles wide. It is not a usual tourist destination other than by the Greeks themselves, so it was much quieter than the Islands south of Athens. Much more up our street.
The Euripus Strait that separates it from the Greek mainland at its narrowest is just 130ft at Chalkida where the bridge is and only opens at night to let us Yachts through.
We left Porto Raft (29th July 2019) and made our way to Panagia which was a very small village. We anchored for one night on one side of the bay and the following day with the change of wind direction moved to the other side. We anchored in the deepest water we have so far which was 14m.
Our next port of call was Eretria. We pulled up the anchor and along with it was a drum whether it was something to do with fishing or a cable drum we didn’t know but it was a b*****r to get off.
Eretria is where the Greeks go on holiday. We ended up spending five nights here as our next stop would be Chalkida where we needed to go though the bridge. The bridge wasn’t open on the first Friday of every month and we arrived on Wednesday 31st July and didn’t want to rush off. Plus the weekends incurred a premium of 75% to go through the bridge so hence why we stayed for so long.
There are Greek ruins and an archelogical museum which we visited.
We were planning on leaving a day earlier than we did to get up to Chalkida but in the end we were settled so stayed another night in Eretria. Well with what occurred that last night we were so glad we stayed. At about 9.30pm we noticed that there were small boats starting to arrive and hover about. Now this normally means one thing, FIREWORKS!!! This display was different,there was a small wooden boat left in the middle of the harbour, a flare was thrown into it and this set off fireworks that were in the boat. The boats who had come to watch the display also had flares which they held in the air. The ferry not to be left out also had a flare and it spun round 360 degrees twice with its horn blaring. It was quite a spectacle.
The next morning we left for Chalkida. There are two bridges that connect Chalkida to the mainland. One a suspension bridge which is 45m above the sea level, so plenty of room to go underneath it. The other is a sliding bridge and as I mentioned only opens once a day and always at night. We had to visit the Port Authority Office to pay to go through the bridge. We were told we couldn’t pay until we had been to the Port Police for them to check our papers. So off we went. They looked at our papers only to check we’d paid our cruising tax, which we had. We were then told we should go back to the Port Office to pay but we needed to come back after 4 o’clock and see the Port Police to give us instructions and check all our papers. Back to the Port Office where we were asked did the Port Police check your papers we said yes and so he processed our payment! At 4 o’clock off we went back to the Port Police who checked all our papers and were given instructions that we must be on our boat at 9.30pm with the radio on and to wait to be told when we could transit through the bridge. It could be anytime from 10.00pm to 2.00am when we could go through. There is an electronic sign on the bridge which tells people when the bridge is closing that day so we knew it would be after midnight, we went through at 12.45am watched by crowds of people lined along the bridge.
There are very strong tidal currents that reverse direction every six hours and you can see the water whirling round and round. We moored up on the wall on the other side of the bridge. Chalkida is the capital of Evia and so busy. There are lots of jellyfish here so not the place for swimming. We stayed a couple of nights here to stock up before leaving for Theologos on the mainland.
Theologos was a small town with a few bars. Here we saw the largest power boat trimaran which is quite a sight.
After a short stay overnight at a small bay near to the tip of Evia we headed to the Bay of Velos as we were expecting some very strong winds so we were looking for shelter.
Bay of Velos