A resort haven, Eretria, sits just over 100 km north of Athens on the second largest Greek island of Evia. Leave Athens’ crowded streets filled with honking vehicles searching for the fastest route and swarms of pedestrians eager to arrive to their destination for a retreat on Evia. Known as the “gateway” city of Evia Island, Eretria’s marina welcomes ferries and various boats to the island.
Established as one of the original Greek colonies of the west in 750 B.C., Eretria quickly became the commercial and agricultural power providing a route that led to the establishment of Macedonia and Cumae in Italy. The city was destroyed twice during both the Persian War and Roman rule. In 1827, the settlement was restored as Nea Psara by refugees from Psara Island. The neoclassical mansion from the influential Kanari family can still be seen today.Other archaeological sites can be seen within the city such as the ancient 5th century theater positioned beside the archaeological museum. The structure simply resembles various piles of stones on the ground, probably from the multiple city destructions, making it difficult to visualize the once towering theater. Pieces from the site have been placed within the museum, which would be a better choice for the history lovers. This museum also houses artifacts from the entire island including sculptures from the temple of Apollo and signature Greek pieces during the Dark Ages.
Arriving in the center of Eretria, one can enjoy picturesque views from the cafes and restaurants on the main path along the shoreline. Listening to the waves on a quiet, evening stroll is perfect at the end of the day. A bridge from Eretria connects to the Island of Dreams, which is covered with pine forests. Swimming, sailing, and other water sports are common on this uncrowded, coastal town.As an entrance to the island, Eretria offers more than relaxing resorts. Traveling from the west, deeper within Evia Island the terrain changes to high-cliff mountains dividing the island north to south. Swim within the numerous coves, trek up the large gorge, explore small, forest covered villages or visit the historical castles and famous city Halkida as mentioned in The Iliad.
Whether traveling for rest, exploration, or stepping into an ancient story, Eretria promises a memorable experience for an array of travelers looking to step out of Athens.