Evia has been inhabited since pre historic times. Its most important settlement early became today’s Chalkida, since it was the closest to the mainland and had natural resources of copper, making the city a trading center of great importance. The island’s name means “rich in cattle”. Evia is mentioned by some as Greece in miniature.
With 900 km of coastline, Evia has a vast variety of beaches, 5 private and 7 public ports, historic and cultural heritage, castles, nature reserves, alpine forests and gloomy mountains, it surpasses all other Greek islands in diversity.
Man made his first appearance on Evia and the nearby island of Skyros as early as the Palaeolithic Era. Primitive stone tools have been excavated in New Artaki, some kilometers away from Chalkis. Those first inhabitants of Evia are known by the name of Avandes (Abantes). Already in prehistoric times, from 1200 B.C.on, we can document a major wave of new settlers belonging to the Ionian Greek culture. Eretria, one of their cities, seems to have contributed ships for the expedition against Troy, if Homer’s list in the Iliad is an accurate one. Eretria, together with Chalkis, were the most important city-states in Evia in the centuries preceding historical times. According to legend, the two city-states were involved in a war, which took place sometime in the 9th century B.C., which was one of the first such “civil” wars in antiquity.