It was one of the first days of 2018 which found me and my good company at the village of Mantoudi on the north of the island of Evia. The winter had been wild last days, so we’d spent them mostly chilling at home. Finally, on the day of this story, the sky adapted a merry, favorable to our imminent excursion mood.
Early in the morning, without even having had breakfast, we got in the car and started driving northwards straight away. We soon reached the village of Agia Anna. We stuck around for a while. We got to saunter through the village’s quiet lanes while enjoying the splendid views of the sea and the surrounding mountains. We had a cup of coffee in a traditional cafe at the square. And we resumed our way.
The destination of the day’s trip was the highest mountain on North Evia: Mount Xiron. We kept driving northwards on the main road for some 10 km until we took a small road leaving to the left on 38.9031/23.3716. We drove past the tiny village of Kerasia, then took a left again at a fork junction (38.8876/23.3131), and shortly reached our desired spot where a narrow parking space, an information board, a spring, and a kiosk are to be found on 38.8725/23.2940.
That’s where both the path down to Drymonas Waterfalls and the trail to the top of the mountain begin from. We started with the former one. We took the paved path which shortly passes by what once used to be a cafe but seemed now utterly abandoned, and then descends down into the secluded gorge. Only a few minutes later, we’d met its conclusion on the gorge’s bottom. This a privileged little spot few know about. It’s where the river of Sepia, on its way to the sea, meets a tall precipice, forming a waterfall and a pond of heavenly beauty. I felt a strong desire to climb up the cliff and jump together with the waterfall into the pond, but the very likely prospect of ending up with pneumonia stopped me. The trail continues down the gorge, but our idea was to rather head up.
We got up back to the road and assumed the trail to the top of Mount Xiron. The trail first runs up the slope through a beautiful conifer forest until it meets a mountain road on 38.8688/23.2958. We follow it to the west for some 300 m, and we get back on the trail off a sharp left curve of the road. We soon after we reach a picnic area with a kiosk and a playground on 38.8707/23.2993. From there the trail continues straight up the slope to the southwest.
After about two hours from the beginning of our way, we’d made it to the top of North Evia. The summit of the mountain is a rather broad, grassy area with a small kiosk and a triangulation pillar standing in its middle. The sky was perfectly clear and the sun at a late stage of its course, allowing for a wide, vibrant, resplendent view. The wild, snow-clad mountains of central Evia to the south; the even wilder and whiter ones of the Greek mainland, after the Euboic Gulf, to east; the Pagasetic Gulf, the city of Volos, and the distant Olympus and Athos mountains to the north; and the Sporades Islands sticking out from the serene, unruffled surface of the vast Aegean Sea to the west… all this terrestrial grandeur was posing proudly for us, reminding us what a great fortune we’ve had to be brought into existence upon this gloriously beautiful planet.
Making use of the last light of the day, we took the same way down to be back in the car by dusk time. We continued on the same road, wondering at the epic beauty the twilight was transfusing to the surrounding wild sceneries. And, finally, right before complete darkness was to take over, we’d come to the picturesque town of Limni where this story ends.