This is an impressive calcareous gorge with the most dramatic rocky precipices in the Mt Ochi region. A new road runs through the gorge, leading from the village of Aghios Dimitrios to Kallianos and Cavo d’Oro. There are also two wonderful trails that cross the gorge. Starting at Aghios Dimitrios, one descends down into the gorge and ends up at the beautiful beach of Schinodavlia. The other footpath ascends high up above the gorge and reaches the Kalergos settlement. From there it descends abruptly to the Demosaris Stream and ends up at Kallianos Beach.
Undoubtedly, the most interesting thing about the gorge is its geology and its importance to birds and rare plants species.
The sheet-like layers of marble and cippolino marble form impressive towers, arches, cavities and gullies. The gorge has many springs, even near the sea.
Remnants of forest vegetation with plane-trees, evergreen oak and oak may be found next to steep ravines and growing next to rocks. The Porphyras Stream flows practically year-round, creating small waterfalls and natural pools. The Aghios Dimitrios Gorge is one of the most important sites in Evia for birds of prey. Rare raptors such as the Bonelli’s eagle, the peregrine falcon and the long-legged buzzard, live here or stop over, while the golden eagle is a very rare visitor.
During migrating season one might see griffon vultures – skipes, in the local dialect; which in the past used to nest permanently on the cliffs of the gorge. It is easy to watch buzzards, kestrels and sparrowhawks or to hear the booming call of the eagle owl during the night. The gorge is also interesting from a botanical point of view. Many rare chasmophyte plants grow on its high calcareous slopes, while unique plant communities exist near springs and seaside cliffs.
Boublia Peak, Lakka Boukoura above Aghios Dimitrios
Above the picturesque village of Aghios Dimitrios lies a wooded valley with plane-trees and evergreen oaks. Some of the oldest chestnut trees of Mt Ochi can be found scattered in this forest. A mountain trail begins at Aghios Dimitrios, passes through a barren landscape, which, due to the cold grey colour of cippolino marble, resembles a mountain iceberg and ends up at Boublia Peak. The route is one of the most beautiful in Evia. Boublia Peak rises like a pyramid over Aghios Dimitrios and the view is unrivalled. The valley of Aghios Dimitrios and the entire Demosaris Gorge lie at one’s feet. Lakka Boukoura means “beautiful meadow” in Arvanitika. These kind of meadows spread out at the foot of the peak where plane-trees grow and fresh water flows. A variety of mountain tea, which grows in June and is found only in the mountains of Evia, is abundant on the plateaus of the area.
The Aghios Dimitrios Gorge ends up at Schinodavlia, a small out-of-the-way beach.
The beach is bordered by stalactites, the product of centuries, still dripping cool spring waters. The colours are captivating. Anyone glancing up can admire the wild beauty of the gorge, and, with any luck, observe the flight of some birds of prey.
The estuary of the Porphyras Stream forms a small lake behind the beach; “limnionas”, in the local dialect. One easily encounters herons, slender-billed curlews, terns or other unusual bird species in the above areas.