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For the mythological figure, see Euboea

Euboea ( , Évia; ) is the second largest Greek island in area and population, after Cretemarker. It is separated from the mainland of Greece by the narrow Euripus Straitmarker. In general outline it is a long and narrow, seahorse-shaped island; it is about 150 km (90 miles) long, and varies in breadth from 50 km (30 miles) to 6 km (4 miles). Its general direction is from northwest to southeast, and it is traversed throughout its length by a mountain range, which forms part of the chain that bounds Thessaly on the east, and is continued south of Euboea in the lofty islands of Androsmarker, Tinosmarker and Mykonosmarker.


Beach at Chiliadou in Euboea.

Like most of the Greek islands, Euboea was originally known under other names in ancient times, such as Macris and Doliche from its shape, Ellopia and Abantis from the tribes inhabiting it.

Euboea was believed to have originally formed part of the mainland, and to have been separated from it by an earthquake. This is fairly probable, because it lies in the neighbourhood of a fault line, and both Thucydides and Strabo write that the northern part of the island had been shaken at different periods. In the neighbourhood of Chalcismarker, both to the north and the south, the bays are so confined as to make plausible the story of Agamemnon's fleet having been detained there by contrary winds. At Chalcis itself, where the strait is narrowest at only 40 m, it is called the Euripus Straitmarker. The extraordinary changes of tide which take place in this passage have been a subject of note since classical times. At one moment the current runs like a river in one direction, and shortly afterwards with equal velocity in the other. A bridge was first constructed here in the twenty-first year of the Peloponnesian War (410 BC). The name Euripus developed during the Middle Ages into Evripo and Egripo, and in this latter form transferred to the whole island. Later the Venetiansmarker, when they occupied the district, altered it to Negroponte, referring to the bridge which connected it with the mainland.

The main mountains include Dirphys (1,745 m), Pyxaria (1,341 m) in the northeast and Ochi (1,394). The neighboring gulfs are the Pagasetic Gulfmarker in the north, Maliakos Gulf, Northern Euboean Gulf in the west, the Euboic Seamarker and the Petalion Gulf. At the 2001 census the island had a population of 198,130, and a total land area of 3,684.848 km².



The history of the island is for the most part that of its two principal cities, Chalcismarker and Eretriamarker. Both cities were Ionian settlements from Atticamarker, and their importance in early times is shown by their numerous colonies in Magna Graecia and Sicily, such as Cumaemarker and Rhegiummarker, and on the coast of Macedonia. In this way they opened new trade routes to the Greeks, and extended the field of western civilization.

The strength of their commerce is shown by the fact that the Euboic scale of weights and measures was used in Athensmarker until Solon, and among the Ionic cities generally. They were rival cities, and appear to have been equally powerful at first; one of the earliest of the sea battles mentioned in Greek history took place between them, and it is also said that many of the other Greek states took part.

In 490 BC, Eretria was utterly ruined and its inhabitants were transported to Persia. Though it was restored after the Battle of Marathonmarker, on a site at a little distance from its original position, it never regained its former eminence, but it was still the second city on the island. From this time its neighbour Chalcis held an undisputed supremacy. Already, however, this city had suffered from the growing power of Athens. In the year 506 BC the Chalcidians were totally defeated by the Athenians, who established 4,000 Attic settlers on their lands, and seem to have reduced the whole island to a condition of dependence.

Again, in 446 BC, when Euboea endeavoured to throw off the yoke, it was once more reduced by Pericles, and a new body of settlers was planted at Histiaeamarker in the north of the island, after the inhabitants of that town had been expelled. The Athenians fully recognized its importance to them, for supplying them with grain (ie, wheat) and cattle, securing their commerce, and guaranteeing them against piracy, because its proximity to the coast of Attica rendered it extremely dangerous to them when in other hands. But in 410 BC the island succeeded in regaining its independence. After this it took sides with one or other of the leading states, until, after the Battle of Chaeronea, it passed into the hands of Philip II of Macedon, and finally into those of the Romans.


In 1157 all the coastal towns of Euboea were destroyed by a Sicilian force.


In modern history, Euboea came into prominence following the Fourth Crusade. In the partition of the Eastern Roman Empire by the Latins, the island was divided into three fiefs which placed themselves under the protection of the Venetian Republicmarker, henceforth the sovereign power. On 12 July 1470, after a heated defence, the well-fortified city of Chalkis (Negroponte) was wrested from Venice by Mehmed II, and the whole island fell into the hands of the Ottoman Empire. It was called Eğriboz by the Ottoman Turks during the period of 1470-1830. At the conclusion of the Greek War of Independence in 1830, the island constituted a part of the newly-established Greek state.

Euboea is linked to the mainland by two bridges, one that runs through Chalcis and is also accessible from Thebesmarker, and another which bypasses Chalcis and is accessed from Athens. All of Euboea's modern bridges are suspended.

In the 1980s, the Dystosmarker lake was filled with grass which was set on fire by farmers to make more farmland. This act caused devastation of much of the plants and the environment in that area. A part of the lake later regenerated. Also the municipalities of Anthidona and Avlida in the mid to late 20th century, which once were part of the eastern part of the Boeotia Prefecture, reverted to Chalcis. Since then, the postal codes corresponded with the rest of Euboea, including Skyros.


On January 24 through January 28, 2006, a snowstorm which also affected Eastern Europe brought heavy snowfalls with snow accumulating to heights ranging from , cutting off roads from the rest of Greece in the northern, eastern and southern parts of the island. Electricity was cut off to parts of the island for several days. Two days later when the snowstorm tapered off, villages in the south and north remained cut off from roads and water supply. Communications were later restored as bulldozers cleared away the snow as far as Aliverimarker a day later. The snowstorm became one of the worst in the island's history. Another system arrived on February 7, 2005 and brought heavy snows that isolated several residents in their homes with of snow, enough to reach upper balconies and almost cover homes in snow over their roofs in several villages. In Kampia, snowfall of up to covered people's cars, and some people had to dig away the snow to get into their vehicles. Roads were also blocked and some locations were cut off from the rest of the island. The storm did not cause blackouts. A day later, temperatures began to rise and roads were re-opened and communications restored.

Another natural disaster was the forest fire that occurred in the Aliveri part of the island, fires lasted in July 2007 and devastated much of the forests including the vicinity of the hotel and devastated the tourist industry of the island . Fires battled for a few days until the situation ended completely. Hundreds of buildings were damaged. .

On October 14, 2008, a near tremendous earthquake rumbled the island and measured 6.6 on the Richter scale, over four months after the Achaia-Ilia earthquake that measured at the same range, mostly the same measurement. The earthquake was even felt in Athens and parts of the mainland .


Among the rest population, there are two sub-groups on the island, who live there since the early Middle Ages: the Arvanites and the Vlachs. Arvanites traditionally occupy portions of the southern tip of the island and are concentrated today in the area around Cape Kafireas also known as Cavo D'Oro, where the Arvanitika are still spoken by the villagers. The area southern of Aliverimarker is the northernmost limit of their presence in Euboea. Arvanites settled Euboea in the 14th century during the Venetian rulemarker of the island. The Vlachs are largely assimilated and live in the hilly and mountainous area in central and northern Euboea. The Vlach language is not spoken as much as it once was. Euboea also formerly hosted a large Sarakatsani population who emigrated from the mainland of Central Greece and Epirus at the beginning of the 19th century and settled around Mandoudi and Agia Anna. The population of the island according to the census of 2001 was 198,130.


The mining areas include magnesite in Mantoudi and Limni, lignite in Aliveri and iron and nickel from Diprhys. Marble is mined 3 km north of Eretria which include Marmor Chalcidicum and asbestos in the northeastern part of Carystus in the Okhi mountains.

The trees include chestnuts.


Local administration

Euboea Prefecture

Euboea Prefecture is somewhat larger than the island, and includes two municipalities on the mainland, Anthidonamarker and Avlidamarker, as well as the island municipality of Skyrosmarker. At the 2001 census the prefecture had a population of 215,136 inhabitants, whereas the island itself had a population of 198,130. The prefecture's land area is 4,167.449 km², whereas the total land area of the municipalities actually on the island is 3,684.848 km², which includes that of numerous small offshore islets (the largest of which is Petalioi Island, near Euboea's southeastern tip).

Municipalities and communities

Municipality YPES code Seat (if different) Postal code
Aidipsosmarker 1401 Loutrá Aidipsoú 343 00
Amarynthosmarker 1402 340 06
Anthidonamarker 1403 Drosia 341 00
Artemisiomarker 1404 342 00
Avlidamarker 1405 Vathy 341 00
Avlon 1406 Avlonarimarker 340 09
Chalcismarker 1426 341 00
Dirfysmarker 1407 Steni Dirfyos 340 14
Dystosmarker 1408 Krieza 340 17
Elymnioimarker 1409 Limnimarker 340 05
Eretriamarker 1410 340 08
Istiaiamarker 1411 342 00
Karystosmarker 1412 340 01
Kireasmarker 1414 Mantoudi 340 04
Konistresmarker 1415 340 16
Kymimarker 1416 340 03
Lilantiamarker 1417 Vasiliko 340 02
Marmarimarker 1419 340 13
Messapiamarker 1420 Psachna 344 00
Nea Artakimarker 1421 346 00
Nileasmarker 1422 Agia Anna 340 10
Oreoimarker 1427 340 12
Skyrosmarker 1423 340 07
Styramarker 1424 340 15
Taminaioimarker 1425 Aliverimarker 345 00
Community YPES code Seat (if different) Postal code
Kafireasmarker 1413 Amygdalea 340 01
Lichadamarker 1418 343 00

  • Note: The municipalities of Anthidonamarker and Avlidamarker are on the mainland, attached to the northeastern part of Boeotia Prefecture. Skyros is not on the main island of Euboea, but is on an offshore island by itself. Map


Note: Provinces no longer hold any legal status in Greecemarker.

Prefecture population

Year Population Change Density
1991 209,132 5,236/123.23% 53.51/km²
2001 217,218 8,086/3.87% 55.59/km²


The 2007 Greek fires were some of the deadliest in world history, killing at least 64 people in the Peloponnesemarker and Evia.


Sporting teams

See also


External links

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