Steni – Evia

steni-evoias-2

Like a fairy tale scenery!

A favorite destination of the Athenians, for a «getaway» in nature, with walks beside rivers, in the unique fir forest and all «fire» gourmet flavors. Do you want anything better ….

Each visit and a discovery. A few days ago I walked in the woods and went crazy with the mushrooms which I photographed with a mania … In Kathenous, just before I climbed the snowy peaks, I visited my friend Lefteris Lachouvari, owner of the tavern “Dirfys’ who cultivates mushrooms, he packs them and the flavors are masterful … they make me travel …

After trying the kritharoto with wild mushrooms, I sneaked into the interior and tasted cheese with Greek troufa. He offered us food– goodies, wild mushrooms, kanthareles, trumpets, agar and for the end let the best white truffle … I bow!

We continued our trip with several stops for photography and unexpected meetings since I came facetoface with a falcon that flew over our heads

One of the most picturesque villages of Evia, our favorite, only one hundred kilometers from Athens. The ideal destination for a quick break in wonderful nature. Steni, stretches lazily at the foot of Mount Dirfys. From Halkida a serpentine road among fields and hills climbs in Dirfi, the highest mountain in Evia. The myths about dragons and fairies of the beautiful mountain are «here to stay» …. The village has three settlements. Kato Steni, Mesi and Pano.

Approaching Steni, the air is «special» and the sounds of the nature, wonderful. Giant maple trees hide sometimes impetuous rivers with clear water. Every turn and another image, each path different. Our soul «breathes» and the mood rises. In Mesi Steni, the scents of nature blend with the aromas of grilled meat that «play» with the fire either on the spit or on the grill..

In Pano Steni a beautiful paved square, water running everywhere, even in the streets, beautiful stone houses, taverns and beautiful shops with sweet creations, cheese and all sorts of souvenirs. Five hundred meters from the village you will find next to the chapel of «Giatrou tin Vrisi” (Doctor’s fountain) our favorite spring of crystal water. The village women here in the «not working days», deal in a bargain of their own tasty traditional treasures. Wild greens, mountain herbs, oregano, tea, sage, dreamy walnuts ripe and yellowish, noodles, trachana and their cheeses. The honey marvelous, some jars are together with their wax honeycombs and others with local nuts. If you are lucky you will find delicious beans from Stropones and tomato sauces. The stop here is highly recommended at the start of your wanderings because when their goods finish, the ladies withdraw ……

Our wandering drive continues until the Shelter. We can leave the car 300 meters before and walk in an exceptionally beautiful forest of fir, walnut, oak trees and clear air … You will see hives with color artwork that blend harmoniously with the touches of nature. The local people are involved in beekeeping and the honey is pure and very aromatic. The walk will relax you. Wildflowers in their forte. Bright red anemones and lilac. If you are lucky you will find orchids, but do not cut them, simply focus your camera, because it is an «endangered» kind. You will find enough mushrooms in your path but if you’re not familiar with, do not dare to pick them. The bad news is that the most famous mushroom specialist and beloved friend, George Constantinides is located in Grevena, so to give us advice on the site, thus I did not dare to gather wild mushrooms.

Just below you’ll find many greens, sow thistles, chicory, black mustard and other wild greens. It is worth making a wild greens safari to return with precious spoils in Athens.

Returning to the village, the tinkling aromas make us crazy. The maple trees hide in their arms taverns, the kokkoretsi, the kontosouvli, the ribs and the local piglets have a very “strong” presence. Let us not forget that the area is in close proximity to the village of Mystras, famous for its dairy and unbelievable quality meats. From the near Pissonas, which has a tradition in vegetables, they are supplied the best vegetables. The potatoes, herbs, cheese advocate for «dietary improprieties» … After the «sumptuous» meal another sweet sin is forgiven, since Steni is the realm of baklava made with fine honey, local walnuts and their own made filo, the walnut cake is divine and the biscuit sweet cake  with hot chocolate «plays» very loud …

Another idea for the Easter is to enjoy with friends, a picnic in the nature next to a stream that will be unforgettable. Besides, it is very restful for everyone since you need not to organize anything, only good mood, a red tablecloth, napkins and red eggs. From the taverns you will choose the best, so you will not miss anything.

In my last getaway in Steni, I «accidentally» enjoyed a picnic in nature because we got a red card from the taverns because of the presence of small Michalinos, my favorite rontvailer that was feeling crazy by the aromas of roasted meat… However we greatly enjoyed it both we and he … Experience.

How much does it cost?

With fifty euros, we bought lunches for four persons and enjoyed kontosouvli, piglet, and kokkoretsi in nature and gave fifteen euro for a biscuit sweet cake.

As for the coffee we made an unbelievable frappe with crystal water from the spring.


Where to stay

In ambient Guesthouse Music Inn

Tel. 2228051202 mousiko@pandoxeio.gr

and in Vasiliki Guesthouse Tel. 2228051583 and 6982074974

 

 

 

 

Where to eat

All restaurants are equally good. Neon in the entrance of the village, Kissos next to the bridge and in exiting the village opposite of «The Doctor’s Fountain», Platanos and Katarraktis.

Bread from a wood oven at the Prokopis Yamas bakery, in the square.

Coffee, hot chocolate, walnut cake, donuts and biscuit sweet cake at Elati, Café patisserie 1743 and Onar.

Worth buying

Honey from Karagiannis, Tsoutseos George and Kamariotis Dimitris.

Greens, herbs, nuts and legumes from the small bazaar by the “Doctor’s fountain”.

In Steni it is worth searching for small honey producers, sweets with walnut, homemade baklava. We met Vasso Gerakini who makes her own wine, dreamy honey and gave us incredible information about the secret passages of the mountain.

Must

The stop to Kathenous, in the workshop Dirfis of Leyteris Lahouvaris, for the best mashrooms and mashroom products ever.

 

 

 

The “must” local recipe: Kontosouvli

 

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